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Governor's Blog

Save Some Green by Fighting Climate Change in Minnesota

7/29/2016 2:31:26 PM

Silhouette of Minnesota with trees and water in the background. Text: Minnesota Office of Enterprise Sustainability
Last week, Lt. Governor Smith announced the creation of a new Office of Enterprise Sustainability. This initiative will help to make the State of Minnesota, the state’s largest employer, a leader in the area of sustainability and save money by establishing more efficient operations. 
The State of Minnesota is doing its part to conserve resources and ensure a better Minnesota for the next generation, and individuals can also take advantage of sustainable, money-saving resources to join in the fight against climate change. 
Below you’ll find resources provided by Minnesota State agencies that can help you makes small changes that make a big difference for our environment—and your wallet. 
Make your home more energy efficient
The cheapest kind of energy is saved energy. Luckily, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency offers a Fix Up Program to help homeowners make energy-saving improvements to their homes, including upgrades to windows, heating systems, insulation, and more. 
Image of a smiling man sitting in a reclining chair in front of a window while snow falls outside. Text: Energy Fact: Switching to Energy Star certified doors and windows can save you an average of 12% on your energy bills.
according to
Get around by bike, bus, train or rideshare
Using alternative methods of transportation like biking, carpooling, or taking public transit for some of your daily trips is a great way to save money and reduce carbon emissions. Visit the Minnesota Department of Transportation website for information about carpooling, resources for transit riders all across the state, and maps by county of bicycle trails and bike-friendly roadways. 
Image of a bicycle traveling from a small red house to a mile marker labeled "2 miles". Text: Money saving tip: For a 2-mile commute, biking to work instead of driving could save you $230 per year.
according to the Kiplinger savings calculation tool
Support growers and merchants in your community
Minnesota-grown products sold at Minnesota markets have a much smaller carbon footprint than products that were transported from elsewhere. Not only that, but buying from local growers and sellers impacts the local economy by keeping your dollars in your community.  The Minnesota Grown Directory, created by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, can help you find farms & markets in your area that sell locally sourced products. 
Image of a small pile of produce labeled "supermarket" next to a larger pile of produce labeled "farmers markets and community supported agriculture." Text: Twice the amount of money spent at farmers markets or community supported agriculture programs stay within the community, compared to money spent at big-box supermarkets.
According to a New Economics Foundation study
Landscape with native plants 
Native plants are a great choice for sustainable, economical gardening and landscaping. They’re cheaper to maintain because they rarely require watering, mowing, mulching, or protection from frost. They also encourage bee and butterfly populations by producing valuable nectar and pollen. Visit the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Website for information about choosing and cultivating native plants. 
Image of a purple coneflower, a great blue lobelia, a sunflower, a calico aster, a pasque flower, and bees floating between them. Text: Made in MN: these native plants and many more can be incorporated into a colorful, low-maintenance, pollinator friendly garden.
According to the University of Minnesota Native Plant List

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