Earth Day April 22 honors and celebrates our common home every year. The whole month of April is a great time to focus on climate justice and protecting our planet.
What can you do?
- Sign up for the free Green Zones Summit. The Northside and Southside Green Zones of Minneapolis are hosting a free environmental justice Green Zones Summit at the 2022 Community Connections Conference. Join us 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, to connect with neighbors and organizers. Together we will raise awareness and build power to advance environmental justice actions in Minneapolis. We will have community-led sessions on climate justice, urban agriculture, a green workforce, zero waste and air pollution.
- Insulate your home or go solar. Minneapolis is now offering 0% financing for energy efficiency, insulation and rooftop solar energy through the Center for Energy and Environment. More than 70% of Minneapolis homes lack adequate insulation, which means they become hotter in the summer and colder in the winter. By adding wall and attic insulation, you can save energy and money while keeping your home more comfortable and more resilient to temperature extremes.
- Join in a cleanup event 9:30-noon April 23. Find a pickup location near you to get gloves and bags, and help clean up our city for Earth Day. Annual Earth Day cleanups are brought to you by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis.
Other ways to celebrate Earth Day every day
- Kick single use plastics. In Minneapolis, less than half of plastics are recycled. Most plastics are made from oil and gas. About 4% to 8% of the world's oil product is for plastics, and most plastics are thrown away after a single use. Plastics collect in our lakes and rivers and break down into micro and nanoplastics. One way to help is to bring your own bag to grocery and convenience stores.
- Donate when you declutter.
- Bring unwanted flower pots, hand tools, etc. to one of seven Garden Tool Swap locations 9 a.m.-noon May 14.
- Bring unwanted clothing, housewares, furniture, etc. to a secondhand store near you. Find donation locations or places to buy used on Hennepin County's Choose to Reuse webpage and scroll down to "Find a Retailer."
- Adopt a storm drain and commit to keeping it clear. When it rains, stormwater carries grass clippings, leaves, cigarette butts, pesticides, fertilizers, antifreeze, paint, gasoline, motor oil and animal waste directly into Minneapolis lakes and creeks and the Mississippi River.
- Sign up for recycling reminder emails. They will also have tips to properly recycle and reduce waste.
- Limit strain on the electric grid by keeping your air conditioner a suggested 78 when you’re home, 82 when you’re asleep and 85 when you’re away.
- In the morning before it gets too hot, shut your curtains and windows along the south side to keep the heat out. This can keep your space several degrees cooler. Open your windows at night when it cools off overnight.
- Avoid using big appliances like ovens, washers, dryers and dishwashers when it’s hot out. They use a lot of power and generate heat.
- Keep shade trees healthy by making sure they have an inch of water every week.