Plan a greener National Night Out

National Night Out is Tuesday, Aug. 2. Minneapolis block club leaders planning NNO events should also plan on leaving a smaller environmental footprint thus saving money, using fewer resources and throwing away less garbage. A greener NNO may not even require any new supplies. Tips for a greener block party include:

  • Using reusable plates, cups and utensils to save throwing away and buying new every time. Planners who don’t have enough plates or cups can ask neighbors to bring their own.
  • Providing condiments in bulk containers.
  • Saving decorations to use again next year.
  • Only serving beverages in reusable or recyclable containers.
  • Recycling the bottles, cans and other recyclables from the party. Setting out bins or bags and labeling them will make it easy for guests.
  • Whenever possible, using email instead of paper to get information to neighbors.
  • Serving local, healthy food from farmers markets or organizers’ own gardens.

More ideas are at Green Block Party Ideas (pdf). People shouldn’t be afraid to ask for neighbors’ help – that’s the spirit of National Night Out.

Neighbors wanting to take their commitment even further can see if they can organize a zero-waste event by recycling, reusing and composting everything and throwing nothing away. More information about zero waste is at Be a Zero Hero.


Anyone using propane to grill should use refillable propane tanks whenever possible. An empty, non-refillable propane tank must be disposed of safely. The retailer or manufacturer may have take-back options, otherwise a list of companies that accept propane tanks is at

Those barbecuing with charcoal should dispose of leftover lighter fluid and treated charcoal properly by bringing it to a drop-off facility.

Recreational fires. Follow the law for clean air and safety …

Folks who enjoy a small outdoor fire at their get-togethers should keep these City ordinances in mind:

… and be considerate of neighbors

These simple suggestions could help make sure neighbors are being considerate:

For more information on recreational fires or to register a complaint about a recreational fire, call 311 or email

Published Jul 13, 2011



Contact us

Email updates

Find a service

About this site

For employees

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 


311 call center

TTY relay service


facebook25x25 twitter25x25 youtube25x25 Minneapolis311icon logo tv 14 footer icon image linkedin_32x32