Cookie season

By: Tasha Cudinski

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Friday, February 17th, was the start of Girl Scout cookie season! There are 10 flavors of cookies available for purchase this year!

  • Adventurefuls; caramel brownie cookies that were introduced last year. Thin mints; chocolate and mint wafer cookies.
  • Caramel deLites; coconut cookies covered in caramel and chocolate.
  • Peanut Butter Patties; a peanut butter cookie covered in chocolate.
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich; two oatmeal cookies stuck together with peanut butter.
  • Trefoils; shortbread cookies and the first types of cookies Girl Scouts ever sold.
  • Toast-Yay; cinnamon sugar flavored cookies. Lemonades; shortbread cookies with a sweet lemony icing on the bottom.
  • Caramel Chocolate chip; gluten free cookies with caramel and chocolate chips.
  • And new this year are, Raspberry Rally! They are wafer cookies with raspberry flavoring and a chocolate coating on the outside.

All flavors of Girl Scout cookies are 5$ a box, even the Caramel Chocolate Chip cookies, which were 6$ last year. You can buy Girl Scout cookies from door to door sales, from cookie booths, or online. If you know a Girl Scout who is selling cookies you can also ask them about buying cookies.

This year’s new cookie flavor, Raspberry Rally’s are only purchasable online this year, so if you want to buy a box of them, then head to to buy cookies once cookie season starts.

If you are worried about potential allergen in Girl Scout cookies, or have other questions about the ingredients of Girl Scout cookies, you can go to where you can find more details on the ingredients of Girlscout cookies.

The money from Girl Scout cookie sales goes to the troop you buy the cookies from, and funds all of their activities for the rest of the year until the next cookie season. This money is what allows Girl Scouts to do fun activities like horseback riding, arts and crafts, skiing, attending engineering workshops, and more. The money they get from cookie sales allows Girl Scouts to learn and experience more things without having to worry about the cost of things like equipment, or activities.

This year’s Girl Scout cookie season goes from February 17th to March 26th, so if you want to buy cookies make sure to keep an eye out for cookie booths, or head online to buy yourself a few boxes of cookies.

Fast fashion

By: Ajmal Abdirahman & Mushtaq Yonis

Are you aware of the manufacturers of the clothes you’re wearing right now? Do you recall where your clothing was made or how much you spent for them? Is fast fashion always the best option? Is it safe for the planet and our environment? Should we keep purchasing from fast fashion? Many people don’t think about these questions which is why these are some of the things you should consider asking yourself.

People should not purchase fast fashion because of overconsumption, child labor, and pollution.

The first reason why we should not purchase fast fashion is because of overconsumption. People usually tend to buy way too many clothes and items that aren’t necessary because things are cheap, affordable, and easy to access. Fast fashion allows people to buy cheap and trendy clothing that they’ll later end up discarding after a few wears.

Fast fashion falls into the idea that outfit repeating is lame and that if you want to stay trendy or relevant you have to achieve the latest looks as they happen.

Fast fashion causes pollution, slowly killing our planet everyday. Did you know, according to Good On You’s website, fast fashion is the second fastest polluter; oil is the first. Fast fashion’s impact on the planet is massive. It pollutes the world’s waters and creates carbon emissions which are very harmful to our planet. This includes the overuse of cheap toxic textile-dyes, making the fashion industry one of the largest polluters of clean water globally.

Many cheap textiles increase the impact of fast fashion. Fabrics like polyester, microfibers, and conventional cotton result in so many global warming disasters. Is it okay to continue this? To worsen the damage?

Child labor is sadly another reason why we shouldn’t purchase fast fashion. Factories like SHEIN (an online clothing store) that’s recently risen to popularity in the past 3 years, Zara and H&M, which are other major giants in the fast fashion field, often use low skilled child labor. They all, including many more, use that to their advantage so children in these factories can be exploited at a young age. As much as there is an environmental cost of fast fashion, there’s a human cost that comes along with it.

The risk of poor human environmental issues include poor labor conditions, and the people/kids who make the clothes get paid very little. In some countries, children working 16 hours a day 7 times a week only make enough money to buy a meal a day.

The fast fashion industry is widespread with low wages, long work hours, inhumane working conditions. Additionally, sexual abuse, and physical assaults also occur as reported about on

Countries such as Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, are great examples of these horrendous fast fashion practices.

The reason why people like to purchase fast fashion is that it’s cheaper for people who may not be able to afford much. The affordable prices and instant satisfaction for consumers, leads to more profits for companies, and the standardization of stylish clothing.

Instead of relying constantly on fast fashion, you can try shopping second hand because thrift shopping is affordable, yet it doesn’t harm our environment as much making it an amazing alternative to fast fashion. There are many other alternatives to this, such as buying clothes from ethical and sustainable brands.

People should try not to purchase fast fashion because of the many downsides to it that include overconsumption, child labor, and pollution. If consumers continue to try to buy less and consume less, that will be the first step we can all take to prevent many disadvantages.

Remember, 10% of global carbon emissions dry up water sources and pollute rivers and streams, while 85% of all textiles go to dumps each year.

Fast fashion is affecting the whole planet and if we continue to purchase more and more items this will have a big impact on our environment. Fast fashion is unethical and hard on the environment. It is responsible for huge textile waste, water, air, soil pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions. Large amounts of resources are being removed and clothes sent to landfills due to fast fashion. If we don’t try to help our planet now who will?

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Best way to spend a snow day

By: Biftu Osman

Image taken from: g-not-quite-but-it-depends-on-where-you-live/

Because Minnesotans are known for their cold weather, snow storms and unsafe weather conditions are not uncommon for us. For staff and students at schools, this means snow days could be a common event. Due to this, some people might find themselves questioning what to do out of boredom. I’ve chosen to compile a list of enjoyable and entertaining activities to do during a snow day to help minimize the boredom. 

First on my list is to play a board game/puzzle. Board games are a great and fun bonding activity to do with family or friends. It’s also an indoor pastime so you won’t even need to leave the comfort of your house. You can include a prize for the game’s winner to raise the stakes and make it more competitive. Some of my personal favorite board games include: Apples to Apples, Monopoly, and Candyland. 

Baking is the next activity you could do on my list. It is also a simple indoor activity that won’t take up too much of your time. You could make that new dish you’ve been wanting to try or even just celebrate the snow by making a winter-themed dish. My favorite baking challenge is coming up with new variations to a perfectly fine chocolate chip cookie recipe while also aiming to create the greatest recipe possible. One example would be to increase the amount of butter in the recipe to see whether it makes it more soft. 

My last activity for the best ways to spend a snow day is to shovel. This outdoor activity would be a considerate approach to support your parents and possibly your neighbors. It’s labor-intensive and a wonderful way to exercise, shoveling also has the added benefit of being beneficial.

Siren vs Grantsburg…rivalry runs deep

By: Mae Skold & Audrey Smith

February 3rd, an hour and a half northwest of the Twin Cities, two Wisconsin high schools faced off in a championship basketball game. Granstburg entered the Siren territory at 7pm out for blood with a plan involving nothing but victory. The varsity game was tight for the duration of the first half with both the opposing student sections on their toes. What had these fans so invested in, you may ask? Well let’s get into the riveting details of the game.

Within the first half of the game star player Ethan Rudd scored 4, 3-point shots, giving the Siren Dragons a lead. Ethan is the star of the team while being led by his own father, Jon Ruud, who has been coaching since the 90’s. The two of them are a dynamic duo and make the Siren Dragons the team that they are today.

Ethan’s points racking up for Siren made the student section hyped in anticipation of a possible win. By the time it was half time, the Siren Dragons had 27 points total as compared to Grantsburg with 19. This gave Siren hope of a win for the night.

Another player who really shone bright was Derek Skold, leading shooting guard on the court. With 14 shot blocks alone in this game he is the most successfully ranked player in his position in Burnett County. Derek and Ethan have actually both been going through with their Division I basketball journeys traveling around the Midwest touring schools. Their skill, height, academics, and more are all impressive traits to the various scouts that have been guiding them on their Division I journeys.

As the game continued throughout the first half, leading varsity players on the Grantsburg team began to lead their team to victory against their rivals. The score swapped, with Grantsburg in the lead, however this wouldn’t last long.

Number 43 on the Grantsburg basketball team, Darius Galindo, suffered an injury. This was a stressful moment for not only the Grantsburg community, but the Siren community as well. Many Sireners know Darius well, and this severe moment in the game left every individual in the Siren Dragons bleachers on edge.

With Varsity starter Darius out for the rest of the game, Siren began to catch up in the score very swiftly. Darius Galindo is considered a weapon and necessity for the Grantsburg team.

So, will the Grantsburg team make it to the final round? This information is unsure however, against Siren the team was still able to play well.

In the second half following the Siren lead and devastating injury, another Grantsburg player stepped into the light. Frankie Macdonald took it upon himself to fill Darius’s shoes and he managed to get Grantsburg up by 10 points using his speed and amazing rebound skills. This unexpected comeback had both student sections biting their nails in anticipation not knowing when to expect another come back.

Jon Ruud of the Siren dragons decided to call an essential timeout with only a minute remaining. The team took the time to focus on defending Frankie and build a strategy on how to take him down. In the last minute, Frankie ultimately couldn’t be stopped and scored 2 three pointers giving Grantsburg the champion title.

After the game we had a chat with Ethan Ruud of Siren to discuss the loss. He was foggy brained after working so hard, he almost didn’t know what he was saying. After a few minutes of stumbling over his own words he came to the conclusion that he could’ve done better as an individual but the team worked great together.

Though tears were shed, the Siren Dragons were proud to have made it this far.

Teapot tips

By: Violet Hirman

In the past, tea was a reason to get-together daily, and was a huge part of so many cultures. Today, it still is for some. But a lot of knowledge and practice has faded into the background, obscuring the countless medicinal and mood-boosting benefits of tea.

Studies have shown that the majority of Americans don’t own a teapot or kettle, and that those who do don’t use them daily. Caffeinated coffee has taken the country by storm and replaced tea as the staple energy drink. There are several replacements for coffee in the tea industry that offer a natural energizing alternative.

One word. Matcha.

Matcha can be found on its own for making smoothies and drinks, even baked into pastries. It’s also a common ingredient in generic green tea, which you can find cheap at any grocery store.

Now, most people don’t like it because of the bitter aftertaste, but it’s easily sweetened with a little bit of honey.

Some other teas containing caffeine are chai tea (my favorite), black tea (also known as English Breakfast tea), white tea, purple tea, and oolong tea.

Natural energy isn’t the only benefit of tea, however. Chamomile, for example, is great for a restful sleep, and you can drink a cup before bed to help with sleep quality. Peppermint tea is helpful in easing stomach aches and digestion, and the Echinacea flower can be made into tea to shield against colds and fevers.

Tea ingredients can—and often are—combined with others possessing similar qualities to make an herbal mix, which can help to amplify their uses and benefits. For example, an herbal tea mixture of sarsaparilla, burdock, stinging nettle, and dandelion can help to clear up acne from the inside out. Topical mixtures and compresses can also be made from these ingredients and applied externally for the same use.

Certain herbal mixtures shouldn’t be taken too often or for too long, and by no means should they replace the presence of any medicine provided by a doctor, but they have their benefits and can certainly be used to ease the nerves.

It’s possible to grow and harvest many ingredients in your backyard to make your own herbal teas. But keep in mind that it’s a delicate practice, and it’s greatly recommended to talk to a local botanist or herbologist to get helpful tips and advice.

The benefits of tea are endless, and their medicinal qualities are bountiful. Next time you see a kettle in a store, consider making a simple cup of tea.