City funds grassroots green activism

2009 Green Grants Group

For the third year in a row, Minneapolis is giving grants to help local neighborhoods and grassroots community organizations fund creative ways to engage residents to fight climate change. This year we are giving $75,000 in 15 small grants to neighborhood and business groups, faith-based organizations and nonprofits whose efforts inspire their members to curb climate change.

A new trend among a number of 2009 climate change grantees promotes local business and involves mobilizing residents to reduce energy use by shopping locally – often on foot. Walking to the corner store instead of driving miles away to shop, and buying locally grown food not only helps local businesses , but also helps reduce our use of energy and fight climate change all at the same time.

Grant awardees also sign up people for the Minnesota Energy Challenge, which already has more than 7,000 Minneapolis members. These people pledge to make changes in their lives – large or small – to reduce their energy use to save money on energy costs and help local businesses. From the 2007 and 2008 past climate change grants, Minneapolis residents and businesses pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 10.9 tons, saving $1.33 million in energy costs each year.

These grant projects represent the best in grassroots citizen action: residents coming together as workplaces, block clubs, churches, or neighborhoods to build our local clean energy economy and preserve our planet. Congratulations and best of luck to all the grantees. A full list of the grantees can be found on the city website.

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