Green digest // Whittier hosts Green Fair

Whittier hosts Green Fair

WHITTIER — Transit for Livable Communities, Hennepin County Master Gardeners and Peace Coffee will be among the exhibitors when the annual Whittier Green Fair returns this month.

The free fair sponsored by Whittier Alliance is focused on sustainable urban living. Exhibitors will share information on a variety of green issues, including non-toxic home cleaning products, transportation alternatives, gardening and recycling.

Area residents also can learn about programs that help renters and homeowners pay home heating and cooling bills at the “Energy Assistance 101: Community Action” workshop.

The first 30 visitors to the fair will receive free reusable CVS shopping bags. Attendees also may register to win a free bicycle.

The event runs 1 p.m.–4 p.m. Oct. 9 at First Christian Church, 2201 1st Ave. S. For more information, visit whittieralliance.org.

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Picturing clean energy

The state’s Clean Energy Resource Teams, known as CERTs, are collecting photos between now and the end of January that help tell the story of clean energy in Minnesota.

To share your photos of a community clean energy or energy efficiency project, visit cleanenergyresourceteams.org.

CERTs reported in September the photos would be shared at the CERTs 2011 Conference Feb. 2–3 in St. Cloud. Photos also will be posted on the CERTs website and Flickr, the online photo-sharing site.

CERTs reported the photo drive was inspired by 350.org, an international campaign aiming to increase awareness of the dangers posed by increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 350.org was collecting photo submissions from around the world ahead of 10/10/10 (Oct. 10, 2010), a day the campaign designated for a “Global Work Party” focused on climate solutions.

CERTs is a public-private partnership launched in 2003 to promote community-based clean energy solutions in the state.

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IATP hosts ‘climate justice’ discussion

WHITTIER — Members of the Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change will be at Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) 5 p.m.–6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 for a discussion on sustainability and equality.

“Climate Justice: What it means for our future response to climate change” is a panel discussion on the unequal impacts of both climate change and the potential responses to a warming planet, said Ben Lilliston, communications director for Whittier-based IATP.

“What we mean in this context is that generally low-income communities and communities of color have disproportionately suffered from a lot of the effects of environmental pollution, including climate change,” Lilliston said. “So, when you’re talking about solutions to climate change you need to keep that into consideration.”

The Environmental Justice Leadership Forum on Climate Change works to promote equitable environmental policy at the state and federal level, it reports on its website, weact.org. The coalition of 35 environmental organizations includes Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, based in Minneapolis, and Indigenous Environmental Network, based in Bemidji.

To RSVP for the event at IATP, 2104 Stevens Ave. S., register online at iatp.org or call Erin McKee Van Slooten at 870-3402.

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Household hazardous waste collection Oct. 9

EAST HARRIET — A household hazardous waste collection event sponsored by Hennepin County was scheduled for 9 a.m.–1 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Southside Operations Center, 3800 Bryant Ave. S.

Area residents can drop off hazardous waste items such as paints, batteries, toxic household cleaners, pesticides and mercury-containing items such as thermometers and thermostats. For a full list of items that will or will not be accepted, visit hennepin.us/collectionevents and click on “neighborhood events web page.”

Items such as appliances, electronics and tires will not be accepted at the Southside Operations Center event, but can be disposed of at the county’s two year-round drop-off locations for household hazardous waste and recycling in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington.

(Please note a previously incorrect web address for the collection event has been corrected.)

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Study examines schools’ trash

Nearly 80 percent of all the waste generated at some area schools could be recycled or composted, according to a Hennepin County study of the waste produced at schools in Minneapolis and several suburban locations.

The study, “Digging Deep Through School Trash,” also found 60 percent of the school waste currently sent to landfills could instead be recycled or composted, and that recyclable paper and food waste were the two most likely recyclable materials to end up in the trash. A collaboration between the county, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and school district in Minneapolis, Hopkins and Minnetonka, the study was made available online at pca.state.mn.us (where in late September it was still listed under “Featured Items” on the main webpage).

Participating Minneapolis schools included Burroughs Community School in Lynnhurst, one of the locations to pilot the district’s lunchroom organics recycling program.

The waste from all six school sites — about three tons in total — was collected in April.