Energy

How community solar gardens, individual solar panels, wind energy and other renewables are making us Green

25 Minneapolis Solar Gardens Are a Step Closer!

In Hennepin County, there are currently 25 Community Solar Garden (CSG) applications, totaling 23.30 megawatts of power, that have been reviewed for completeness – which is the big step prior to the “design and construction” phase of a CSG. Two smaller garden applications (.07 MW) are now in that design phase. To learn more about…

Advanced Energy Strips

They call it energy vampires — the electrical items that continue to use electricity even when turned off. Items like laptop chargers, DVD players, and video game consoles that draw power when in standby mode and/or have a display light. According to the editors of Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Living Green 365 newsletter, energy vampires can account for…

Sustainable We #4: Where Does the Sun Shine on Renewable Energy?

“We are well served by having the educated, aware, thoughtful and passionate individuals we have in Minneapolis who want to collectively do in a better way. How are we designing a sustainable environment together?” Topic #4: “Where Does the Sun Shine on Renewable Energy?” Our city-wide series of “Sustainable We” conversations continued January 19 with a panel discussion at the community room…

The Energy Field of Nate Hagens

After a decade living the “high life” as a Wall Street trader, in 2003 Nate Hagens left to become a professional hiker and student, and now enjoys living the “low life” with his dogs on a farm in Wisconsin, collaborating with people like one of the early Greenpeace strategists, and teaching an interdisciplinary honors course at the…

A Paris Climate Talk Roundup

I am keeping tabs on news reports coming out of the Paris climate talks, from some of my favorite green sources. I am posting occasional links on the Facebook and Twitter MPLS Green feeds. Here are a few from this first week: A great overview from Vox of the realistic possibilities from Paris What the Paris climate…

Do You Know What You Are Breathing?

When microbeads were brought to the public’s attention nationally as an unnecessary environmental toxin, it didn’t take much time for us to get legislation moving and to pressure manufacturers to phase out their use. Those tiny, shiny bits of plastic, used as a kind of exfoliant in personal care products, are visible. The Minnesota Pollution…

How Do We Avoid Ice Dams AND Mold?

Insulation options

This is the second part in a Q&A series with architect Tim Eian, of TE Studios in Northeast Minneapolis, focused on issues of building codes and insulation in Minnesota. See Part 1, about renovating older homes for energy efficiency, here. Q: Why do you think it is hard to get older codes updated for newer materials? Tim Eian:…

School Costs: Energy Use and Air Quality

Southwest High School, Minneapolis, under construction

School costs for energy are second only to personnel costs as the leading draw on K-12 school district operating budgets. Schools spend approximately $75 per student on gas bills and $130 per student on electricity each year… By implementing energy efficiency measures, many K-12 schools have been able to reduce energy costs by as much…