On 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Minneapolis calls for sustainability every day
April 22 marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Minneapolis celebrates Earth Day every day. The City and its residents are collectively learning innovative ways to operate that protect our resources and well-being for generations to come.
Some highlights of Minneapolis’ sustainable work:
- Minneapolis is in its fifth year of publishing the Greenprint report, which gives us concrete indicators on conserving energy, reducing pollution and improving our impact on the environment in every way we can.
- The City expanded a pilot residential organics composting collection program to a second neighborhood.
- More than 100 residents participated in the Homegrown Minneapolis initiative focused on expanding efforts to grow, sell, distribute and consume more fresh, sustainably produced and locally grown foods. Minneapolis has more than 20 farmers markets and more than 100 community gardens. A new pilot program makes leases available on 21 City-owned vacant lots for community gardens.
- There are 127 miles of bikeways in Minneapolis, with 83 of those being off-street trails. There is more bike parking per capita in Minneapolis than any other city in the country. In June, Minneapolis will start the largest bike-share program in the country. Also, the City has bike ambassadors to help educate and promote biking.
- The Earth Day Watershed Cleanup took place the weekend before Earth Day and is a collaborative effort between the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis.
People can make all kinds of decisions to be greener and save money at the same time. Sustainable living isn’t a luxury, and it isn’t a sacrifice either. It’s about living well now while also ensuring a great quality of life for our grandchildren.
What can you resolve to do?
- Eat more local food, or even plant some of your own vegetables or herbs. Food grown locally is good for your health and promotes a stronger local economy and protection of our environment.
- Walk or bike for short errands.
- Try bicycling to work once. Once you find out you can do it, it could become a great option for your commute.
- Help replenish the City's tree canopy and plant a tree – the easiest way to improve the value of your property, reduce your energy needs, shrink your carbon footprint and improve our air and water quality. The beautiful Minneapolis urban forest is under a new threat now from the emerald ash borer, a beetle that kills ash trees.
- Look into rebates for energy efficiency improvements and adding solar power in your home.
- Make every day Earth Day.
Earth Day was founded April 22, 1970, to put the environment on the national agenda. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species acts.
Published Apr. 22, 2010