Living Green 365 Newsletter - April 2011

LG 365 April 2011 header
April 2011

[The power of one]

Volunteering to help the environment 

In his inaugural speech, Governor Mark Dayton encouraged Minnesotans to volunteer at least one day a month for their communities. Whether you volunteer to help the environment, improve personal health, or increase your professional networking, our communities benefit.

Everybody’s doing it. 1.5 million Minnesotans volunteer and donate 171.1 million volunteer hours annually (

Volunteerism can range from a few hours planting trees for your community, to a leadership role in creating neighborhood green space. Here are some green volunteering opportunities in Minnesota:

Minnesota GreenCorps

Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program, coordinated by the MPCA, which places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues, while gaining experience and learning valuable job skills.

mn green corps logo
For the 2010-2011 program year, 25 host sites were selected through a competitive process out of 62 applicants. 26 full-time members are serving with organizations statewide in the areas of energy conservation and air quality; waste prevention and recycling; living green outreach and green infrastructure. 5 half-time members, who are also current students, are serving with the University of Minnesota-Morris, one of Minnesota GreenCorps' strategic partners.

Now accepting host site applications for next year. Interested in participating as a host site for the 2011-2012 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps program? MPCA may place up to 30 full time members with various host sites for the 2011-2012 year. Members serve approximately 40 hours a week for 11 months beginning in mid to late September 2011 through August 2012. Members will be placed either individually or in teams of two at selected host sites.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is now accepting applications from eligible organizations interested in hosting Minnesota GreenCorps members. Applications due by 5:00 pm, May 5, 2011. Email for a host site application packet.
Eligible organizations include public entities (local, regional, state, tribal), school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Organizations may apply for Minnesota GreenCorps members who will serve on projects in the areas of:
  • Energy conservation
  • Waste prevention and recycling
  • Living green outreach
  • Green infrastructure
For more information on the program, including descriptions of host site projects from current and previous years, please visit
*Please note, operation of the 2011-2012 program year is contingent on receiving funds. Confirmation of funds may not be available prior to the application deadline.

MIMO event recudes waste

The spring Move-in/Move-out (MIMO) Waste Reduction event in the South East Como Neighborhood will begin soon. MIMO collects household items and opens a temporary neighborhood free store at the University of Minnesota's ReUse Warehouse ( 883 29th Ave SE). The objective of this program is to reduce waste during the move-in/move-out cycles and give students and residents access to reusable goods.

The event will likely start on May 12, and MIMO will operate Thursdays and Saturdays until June 4 (except Memorial Day). Hours are 8 am to 8 pm on Thursdays and 10 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.

MIMO is looking for volunteers to work 4-hour shifts. T-shirts and a light lunch will be provided to volunteers (along with first dibs on some cool stuff). To volunteer, email: For more information contact the SECIA office or check out

Hennepin County Master Recycler/Composter

Hennepin County has a new volunteer opportunity for waste reduction enthusiasts to become advocates for the three Rs in their communities. Participants in the Master Recycler/Composter program are trained on waste prevention, recycling and composting through an extensive two-month course that features industry experts and field trips. After completing training, participants commit to volunteer 30 hours on projects that reduce waste generation and increase public awareness of recycling and composting opportunities.

The spring course will be held on Tuesday evenings, April 12 to May 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hennepin County Environmental Services Building, 417 North Fifth Street, Minneapolis. Optional field trips will take place on Friday, April 29 and Friday, May 13.

[Days of our green lives]

Community events and resources

Celebrate spring and green living at the Rochester Think Green Fair, April 16, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., 6th street and 11th Ave NW (Rochester).

Earth Day is April 22 and Arbor Day is April 29. Check out your local community calendars for events in your area.

Get ready for the spring planting season. Workshops are abundant in Minnesota this month. Find one in your area:

Look for more events on the SEEK and NextStep calendars.