The short month of February caught me offguard, so this issue of Greening Minnesota is for both February and March of 2010. Some of these stories date back at least that far. Read on to learn about environmentally friendly practices around the Twin Cities and Minnesota!
Janitors usually do their work after everyone else has gone home. But that has changed at the Hennepin County Government Center and other heavily used county buildings as of March 1. About half of Hennepin County's 63 buildings are vacuumed, wiped down, swept and emptied of trash during the daytime rather than at night. By shutting off the lights and turning down thermostats at night, the county expects to save at least $100,000 a year in energy costs. It's thought to be the first public entity in Minnesota to move to day cleaning, a trend that has gained popularity in the private sector.
Rep. Paul Gardner, DFL-Shoreview, has offered a bill that requires phone book publishers to print directions on the cover for how residents can opt-out of further unsolicited deliveries. The legislation says the directions should explain how to opt out either via a phone call or at a Web address. I don't know about you, but these collect dust on a shelf at my home - the internet tells all. Think of how many trees and how much paper it would save if fewer people received these books and they printed fewer?
The Recycling Association of Minnesota is again offering rain barrels (two design, both $65) and a new design of a compost bin (for $55.) Rebates are offered to residents living in certain areas of the metro.
Woodbury and Washington County are planning to team up to acquire a 66-acre tract of land and turn it into a park. Woodbury plans to buy the land near the junction of I-94 and Manning Avenue from Dale Properties LLC for $3.57 million, using funds set aside after a 2005 referendum that raised $9 million to acquire open spaces and improve recreation facilities. Partnering...