Green digest // Watershed cleanup

Watershed cleanup nets a ton of trash

More than one ton of trash was collected during the fourth annual Minnehaha Creek Clean-Up July 11.

Volunteers collected an estimated 2,280 pounds of trash at the event sponsored by Minnehaha Creek Watershed District and Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. More than 600 people showed up for the event dubbed “Weigh’d in Against Pollution,” gathering near Lake Hiawatha to pick up trash there and at other points along the creek.

Volunteers also ventured into Southwest, collecting trash along the creek in the Lynnhurst neighborhood and near Lake Harriet. They collected more than double the goal of 1,000 pounds of trash.

Minnehaha Creek drains 181 square miles of watershed, including the Chain of Lakes and Lake Minnetonka, into the Mississippi River.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar was on hand to award prizes to trash collectors, who were served a pancake breakfast and barbeque lunch. Adults got a Leinenkugel beer at the barbeque, too.

———

City promoting energy-efficient rental properties

The City of Minneapolis joined with local energy providers to promote energy efficiency programs and rebates to rental property owners.

Working with Xcel Energy, CenterPoint Energy and Minnesota Housing, a state agency that provides home loans to low- and moderate-income Minnesotans, the city planned to distribute information on energy efficiency to rental property owners when license renewal notices were mailed in July.

The information was intended to point rental property owners to cost-effective energy programs and financial assistance to pay for efficiency improvements. The program was aimed at all sizes of rental properties.

The city recommended property owners apply for an energy audit from their power company as a first step. An audit helps to identify the improvements that would have the greatest impact on energy efficiency and utility expenses.

Owners of one- to four-unit rental properties were encouraged to contact either Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-4999 (xcelenergy.com/homerebates) or CenterPoint Energy at 321-5011 (CenterPointEnergy.com/energyaudit). Owners of larger rental properties can contact the Xcel Energy Business Solution Center at 1-800-481-4700 (xcelenergy.com/rebates) or use the same information as above to contact CenterPoint Energy.

For more information on loans to qualifying property owners, go to the city website, ci.minneapolis.mn.us, and search for the July 13 news release on the rental property program under “News & Events.”

———

Share your drinking water habits

How much water do you drink?

That’s the question the city has for its residents, and to find out the answer it began an online survey in July at ci.minneapolis.mn.us/water/waterusesurvey.asp. The survey will stay open online through Aug. 20.

The 12–15 questions aim to find out where and when city residents drink water. Several are aimed at differentiating between rates of tap water and bottled water consumption.

Last year Minneapolis launched a campaign to promote city tap water as a cleaner, cheaper, less wasteful alternative to bottle water. Several of the survey questions focus on how residents’ perception of city tap water have changed over the past 12 months, so answers to those questions may reflect whether or not the campaign is having an impact.

The survey only takes a few minutes to complete, and does not ask respondents to supply any identifying information beyond their area codes.

The online base for the city tap water campaign is tapmpls.com.

———

More help for green event planning

Green Digest readers probably are familiar with Rethink Recycling (rethinkrecycling.com), the one-stop online resource for Twin Cities-area recycling information.

Now, just in time for family reunion season, Rethink Recycling has a new resource planning green events. GreenGatherings is accessible from the Rethink Recycling webpage (click on “Event Planning”) and can also be found at mngreen
gatherings.org.

The website includes basic tips from making any gathering greener, from selecting the best venue to the placement of recycling bins.