Green digest // Living Green Expo

Billed as “Minnesota’s largest environmental event,” the annual Living Green Expo is set for May 2–3 at the Minnesota State Fair Grounds in St. Paul.

This year, exhibitors from about 270 businesses and organizations plan to attend and put their green credentials on display. The expo also features a full schedule of workshops to give attendees ideas for green living.

Workshops this year include information sessions on everything from sustainable septic systems to raising backyard livestock to eating local. There also will be food, cooking demonstrations, live music and family activities.

Check out a Tesla Roadster, the new electric plug-in super-car, in the alternative vehicle exhibition. Fashion shows will feature apparel for “active commuters” who bike or walk to work, as well as sustainable fashions for those who just want to dress green.

Expo organizers still were seeking volunteers aged 16 or older in mid-April. Find a volunteer sign-up sheet on the expo website, www.livinggreen.org.

Those planning to attend also can visit the website to sign up for a Go Greener Pass. Metro Transit is offering free rides to the expo on buses and light rail trains for pass-holders.

The website has additional information on a secure bike parking area, for those who prefer to pedal.

Encouraging alternative transportation is one of the ways expo organizers hoped to reduce the carbon footprint of the event. Much of the waste from the expo will be recycled or composted, as well.

The expo is coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

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Green your business

Green is good for the bottom line, say the organizers of the Greening Your Business Expo April 21 at Mill City Museum,
704 S. 2nd St.

Members of the local business community were invited to learn about how to incorporate sustainable practices into their businesses at the Expo, presented by the City of Lakes Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the city and county.

The average office throws away about 350 pounds of paper per employee each year, according to expo organizers. Reducing that amount is not only good for the environment, it can cut down on costs, they argued.

The event will feature more information on green practices that can also cut energy and other costs.

The event runs 5 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the museum. Registration was free prior to the event, or $10 on the day of the event.

To register, call 370-9100 or visit the Chamber of Commerce website (www.minneapolischamber.org), click on “Chamber Calendar” and follow the instructions.

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Find a CSA

Looking to eat local this summer?

Then pick up a copy of the Land Stewardship Project’s annual directory of community supported agriculture (CSA) farms that serve the metropolitan area. This year’s directory includes information on 43 farms that deliver to the Twin Cities, up from 33 last year.

Typically, CSAs sell shares of a season’s crop and then deliver fresh produce weekly to shareholders. Shares often sell quickly in the spring in anticipation of the first deliveries in June.

Shareholder agreements, delivery arrangements and produce selection vary farm-to-farm. Some CSAs also offer shares in locally grown meat.

The free CSA directory from the Land Stewardship office could be a good way to find the right match.

Find a copy at their website (www.landstewardshipproject.org/csa.html) or pick up a paper copy at their Minneapolis office, 821 E. 35th St., Suite 200.

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Minneapolis Farmers Market opens for season

You don’t have to join a CSA to eat fresh, locally grown produce.

The Minneapolis Farmer’s Market officially opens for the season April 25 at the intersection of Lyndale and Glenwood avenues. The market is busiest on weekends, but sells fresh produce and other products 6 a.m.–1 p.m. daily through mid-November.

The Central Minnesota Vegetables Growers Association manages the market, but that doesn’t mean the only things for sale are veggies. Shoppers can also find locally raised meats, plants for the porch or garden and many other products in the market’s three big, red sheds.

The opening of the Nicollet Mall Market is almost here, too. The market, which runs between 5th and 12th streets, was scheduled to open in May. The market operates on the mall 6 a.m.–
6 p.m. every Thursday.

For more information on the markets and a full listing of vendors, visit www.mplsfarmersmarket.com.