Green scenes in Linden Hills
Al Gore would be proud.
The star of “An Inconvenient Truth” may be the foremost celebrity in the world of environment-based independent filmmaking, but those who participated in Linden Hills Power & Light’s (LHP&L) first-ever Green Carpet Film Festival on Oct. 23 are certainly taking strides to follow in his small carbon footprints.
The film festival’s 25 topical submissions focused on ways to live a more eco-friendly life. The neighborhood, which has already undertaken an organics compost pilot project and is eyeing the purchase of an anaerobic digester, can now add a film credit to its growing list of green activities. Submissions were between 30 seconds and two minutes.
Three filmmakers received honorable mentions (and $150 each); three were deemed “runners up” ($300) and Laddie Messig’s silent film “Clown Goes Green” took home the $500 cash prize and a Golden Garby — LHP&L’s equivalent of an Oscar.
In the Chaplin-esque film, Messig resolved to keep a red clown nose on until he meets his goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions under the Minnesota Energy Challenge.
The Green Film Fest was funded in part by a Minneapolis Climate Change Initiative Grant, and may return in 2009, according to neighborhood coordinator Felicity Britton.
Winning entries can be seen at www.lhpowerandlight.org.
What will become of the millions of political yard signs?
So 120 million people voted Nov. 4. But what will become of the millions of political signs?
Well, it depends on how creative you want to get. Here are a few ideas, inspired by www.ecometro.com:
• Save it for the grandkids. After all, it’s a piece of political history.
• Recycle it. The signs, whether they’re plastic, metal, wood, or corrugated plastic (also known as coroplast) can be dropped off at collection sites. Calls to Hennepin County’s Environmental Services division, however, did not net an answer of where or if they can be dropped off. Resource Recovery Program center in St. Paul said they’d accept the signs and dispose of them as long as they are wood or cardboard, an employee said. However, the minimum charge is about $23.
• Make them into bike parts. Kent Peterson, formerly of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, managed to form parts of a bike frame out of coroplast signs.
His photo blog at http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/2007/01/tobys-coroplast-panniers-fenders.html will teach you how to make your own fenders, panniers (bike basket) or handlebar bags.
• Obamacycle.com. The site encourages collectors of the president-elect’s political memorabilia to trade or reuse campaign materials instead of throwing them away. No commerce is accepted on the site. Everything’s free.
City crews began street-sweeping Oct. 21, and the job should be complete before Thanksgiving on Nov. 27. But according to a recent city news release, the city sees the twice-annual street-sweeping through an environmental lens.
“Residents should not push leaves, grass clippings, or other debris into city streets — it’s bad for our lakes and waterways, can cause safety hazards, and is against the law,” the release said.
Aside from possibly clogging stormwater drains, the debris that does go down a storm drain flows “directly into our lakes and river, and decomposing plant material in the water encourages the growth of harmful aquatic plants and algae,” the release said.
The city vowed to do their best to plant temporary no parking signs at least a day in advance of sweeping. However, if vehicles remain on a block, there’s a good chance they could be towed and ticketed.
The exact timing of the street sweeping will be set based on weather and other conditions this fall, however crews should complete all sweeping during the week of Nov. 17.
Go to www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/streetsweep to find what date your street is scheduled to be swept.
Green Institute turns 15
It’s home to the Will Steger Foundation and Peace Coffee and serves as an epicenter for green ideas and projects in the city.
Located in the Phillips neighborhood, the Green Institute celebrated its 15th anniversary Nov. 13, with an expected gathering of about 100 people.
Founded in 1993, the Institute has played a great role in “the incubation of green initiatives” in Minneapolis and elsewhere, said program associate Agatha Vaaler.
It’s members helped build the environmentally progressive Phillips Eco Enterprise Center (PEEC), which houses the Green Institute and some 15 green tenants, including the Steger Foundation. The construction of PEEC helped to influence Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building standards, now used across the world.
The Institute’s community energy program director is working with Linden Hills on the anaerobic digester project. For more information, go to greeninstitute.org.