Minneapolis Climate Champs Challenge

Minneapolis was recognized by the White House as one of sixteen Climate Action Champion communities in 2014. This recognition is due to the City’s leadership in reducing carbon pollution, as well as creating a resilient community. In the spirit of that recognition, during her 2015 State of the City address Mayor Betsy Hodges announced a year-long challenge to the community to join her in becoming a Minneapolis Climate Champion. Each month, the Mayor will issue a new challenge to the community to commit to doing easy, everyday activities that will reduce individual carbon footprints and contribute to our citywide carbon reduction goals.

“Climate change is real.
 
“We know our collective future depends on our ability to have a planet – and a city – that can sustain life with clean air, clean water, nourishing food, and stable weather patterns.
 
“We know that given the current conditions, we must also prepare our city and our infrastructure to withstand the changes that have already started.
 
“We know that this has an impact on everyone: no one escapes the impact of severe and unpredictable weather, no one escapes the impacts of fouled air.
 
“We know that we don’t have a choice, none of us.”
 
- Mayor Betsy Hodges, 2015 State of the City Address

Mayor Hodges will share her progress each month on social media. Follow the mayor’s progress, and share your own progress – and struggles – on Twitter using the hashtag #mplsclimatechamps, on her Facebook page “Minneapolis Climate Champ Challenge” and periodically on her blog, mayorhodges.com. We will also include ideas that have worked for others and resources we have that you could use.

April: Be a recycling and composting champion

  • Give Recycling a Try – Use the City’s one-sort recycling program to recycling household paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass.  Live in an apartment or condo?  Check with your building manager to ensure is available and use it!

    • O2 savings: Regularly recycling these household items will save a person on average 4704 pounds of emissions a year.
  • Try Composting – New to organics recycling?  Try composting in your backyard this summer, use one of the City’s drop-off organics sites, and sign up for curbside organics recycling. 

    • CO2 savings: Composting in your backyard during just the summer months will save a person on average 80 pounds of emissions a year.
  • Extra Credit: Dinner with a Side of Compost – Visit a restaurant or other business that composts at least once this month.  Many restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, and other businesses compost.  Here’s a list of some of them: http://www.makedirtnotwaste.org/eating-out 

 

May: Power Down - Be a Lights Out Champion

  • Turn Off Lights Behind You (TOLBY) – It’s simple – just turn off the lights and unplug electronics (like computers and mobile phone chargers) when not in use. Investing in a few power strips makes this task easy.

    • CO2 savings: Making this a habit will save the average person 298 pounds of emissions a year, and $14 off your electric bill.
  • Extra Credit: Do the Twist – Identify the top 5 lights used in your home and replace any incandescent bulbs with a compact fluorescent (CFL) or LED lightbulb. These bulbs use a fraction of the energy of standard lightbulbs, and typically last many years longer.

    • CO2 savings: Changing out these lights can save a person 535 pounds of emissions annually, and $26 off your electric bill.
 

June: Be a Cool Champion

  • Thank your Fans – Switch off the AC and use window fans to cool your bedroom on cool summer nights, or use ceiling fans to circulate the air to feel cooler.

    • CO2 savings: Using a window fan instead of a window AC can save you 191 pounds of emissions and $9 annually. If you use window fans instead of central AC, you can save 540 pounds of emissions and $26 a year.
  • Extra Credit: Take a Load Off – Sign up for Xcel Energy’s Saver Switch program for your home’s central AC. This program will cycle your AC off for 15-20 minute periods during high demand days (usually 10-15 a year). You’ll save up to 15% off of your electric bill June through September just by signing up!

    • CO2 savings: On average, you’ll save 22 pounds of emissions a year, and $53 off of your electric bill.
 

Sign up for Xcel Energy's Saver Switch program for your home's central AC.

 

Last updated Jun 10, 2015

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