Green report // ‘Get LESS!’ campaign

Campaign urges consumers to ‘Get LESS!’

A new tongue-in-cheek advertising campaign is urging local consumers to “Get LESS!”

So, what is LESS? Just what it sounds like.

The website for the “product,” getlesstoday.com, redirects Internet surfers to rethinkrecycling.com, the Solid Waste Management Coordinating Board’s online resource for waste reduction and recycling. The goal of the campaign is to urge consumers to simply buy less stuff — an environmental message that goes down a bit easier with slick-looking print advertisements and a zany informercial parody (both available for download on the website).

Hennepin County, which contributed funding to the campaign that will buy more commercial airtime on local Comcast cable channels, reports Twin Cities residents produce an average of about 6 pounds of waste per person, per day. That’s enough to fill Target Field 25 times over in a year.

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County seeking youth green education proposals

Hennepin County will award grants of up to $25,000 for new environmental education programs that engage inner-city youth in hands-on learning outdoors.

The county is seeking proposals through Dec. 9 for new programs that would start in 2012 or 2013. Existing youth education programs are not eligible to apply for a grant.

Eligible projects would be programs that engage youth in, for example, growing produce, planting rain gardens, improving water quality or learning about local fish and wildlife. Other
environmental education projects would qualify as long as they focus on inner-city youth and take place outdoors.

Schools, community groups, religious organizations and nonprofits are all encouraged to apply. Two or more organizations applying together could be eligible for multiple $25,000 grants.

The grant money comes from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund via Hennepin County.

For more information call Mary Karius at 596-9129, or go to the county website, hennepin.us, and type “experiential environmental education” into the search box. The website also has the county’s request for proposals available for download.

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Recycle your used car seat

Settergren’s Ace Hardware in Linden Hills is hosting a used car seat recycling event Nov. 15 in honor of America Recycles Day.

The Recycling Association of Minnesota will collect used or unwanted seats for recycling through its REseat program. Relatively new, REseat employs developmentally disabled adults to separate the metal, plastic and textile materials in the car seats to prepare them for processing.

The cost to recycle is $10 per car seat. In exchange, everyone who brings a car seat to the event will receive a gift certificate to Settergren’s worth $10 off any purchase of $25 or more.

The event runs 8 a.m.–5 p.m. at Settergren’s, 2813 W. 43rd St.

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Recycle old holiday lights

The Recycling Association of Minnesota and Clean Energy Resource Teams are teaming up once again to recycle old and broken strings of holiday lights during the 2011–2012 holiday season.

Last year, the campaign recycled more than 100,000 pounds of lights, doubling a goal set at the start of the season. This year, the goal is to recycle 200,000 individual light strands and at the same time encourage the use of LED holiday lights, which consume far less energy than strings of traditional incandescent bulbs.

Clean Energy Resource Teams has a map of holiday light recycling stations on its website, cleanenergyresourceteams.org. Another route to the map and more information about the recycling program is via recycleyourholidays.org.

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Help for green job seekers

A free workshop aims to teach manufacturing workers some of the skills they’ll need to find employment in the emerging clean energy industry.

The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation’s GreenPOWER program brings its Green Generalist workshop to the Minneapolis South WorkForce Center, 777 E. Lake St., Nov. 18. The eight-hour workshop developed at Purdue University is an introduction to sustainable business practices that aims to give manufacturing workers a leg up in the green economy.

About 1,250 people have gone through the GreenPOWER course in Minnesota. The organization reports about one in three unemployed manufacturing workers who took the course were hired after receiving GreenPOWER training.

Participants learn about a variety of sustainability practices, including: waste and energy-use reduction; water conservation; limiting air pollution; and new green chemistry techniques, including the proper disposal of chemical waste. The workshop emphasizes a “triple bottom line” approach for businesses that considers not just the economic but also the social and environmental impacts of doing business.

The BlueGreen Alliance Foundation is a national partnership between labor unions and environmental organizations that aims to grow the nation’s green workforce.

Registration is required for the workshop. To sign up, call the Minneapolis South WorkForce Center at 821-4005.

A series of Green Generalists workshops were scheduled around the state in November. For more information, follow this link to the foundation’s website: bit.ly/uFpqZ2.

Reach Dylan Thomas at [email protected]