Greening Your Holidays

Season’s greetings from Citizens for Sustainability!

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, residential waste increases by 25%. Food waste, product packaging, wrapping paper, and decorations add an extra one million tons per week to the nation’s garbage piles.

This holiday season, consider new traditions that create less waste, less stress, and more memories.

Shop Local – Support local businesses and cut down on the distance (and carbon emissions) items need to travel. Check out local businesses in the Chinook Book or MetroIBA. The virtual Green Gifts Fair can also help you this year!

Plan Ahead – Make more of your purchases at the same time to reduce travel for each item. Place online orders early, slower shipping is better for the environment when fewer trucks deliver more products.

Give Green Gifts – Create a homemade gift. Reuse material you have on-hand to make your own gift boxes and card holders. Instead of gifting “things”, give the gift of your time, provide a service, or share an experience. Find a list of ideas from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency “Sustainable Gift-Giving”.

Avoid Plastic Packaging – Shop for products that do not use plastic packaging. Consider zero-waste personal products you can find at a nearby Co-op or online. If you shop with Amazon, check out how to reduce your Amazon packaging.

Choose vendors that reuse or use recycled material or carbon offsets – Research product and vendor information to find companies that account for the environmental impact of their products and shipping. Start with Hennepin County reuse business.

Sustainability is the best gift you can give this year. –Find out more about greening any holiday with Minnesota Pollution Control Agency “Make the holidays greener this year” and “Give green gifts this year”.

CFS 2020 Goals

CFS meets with city staff every year to convey our goals for the year. We do this in October in an effort to align our efforts with potential city goals before the city’s goal-setting session.

Grow City Focus on Sustainability

  1. CFS’ continued sustainability-focused role within the city
  2. Increase Parks and Environmental Commission meeting frequency from quarterly to monthly
  3. Apply Minnesota GreenStep Cities best practices for quick wins
  4. Implement goal measurement and 2040 Comprehensive Plan progress dashboard
  5. Leverage CFS member expertise (GreenStep, Goals Measurement, Grant Writing, EV Consulting)

CFS Specific Focus Areas

  1. Safer non-car transportation: biking, walking, and rolling
  2. Accelerate CO2 reduction
  3. Grow tree canopy
  4. Grow residential waste management
  5. Zero Waste public events
  6. Sustainable redevelopment