What is GreenStep Cities?
Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability goals through implementation of 28 best practices. Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more specific actions from a list of four to eight actions. These actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage innovation. From http://greenstep.pca.state.mn.us/ . Click here to see a fact sheet prepared by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
I will advocate that Crystal join this program and make the commitment. Cities can participate in as little or as much of this challenge as they would like for recognition and accountability. It is time to start looking for the answers to hard questions; reducing carbon outputs, finding solutions to increasing energy costs, supporting local food production, decreasing waste, supporting a local green economy, and so much more.
I will make Crystal a Minnesota GreenStep city. This would recognize our city for the sustainability goals that Crystal has already reached and it would commit Crystal to consider sustainability in all City functions. Becoming a GreenStep City would make Crystal eligible for the technical assistance and limited funds provided to cities each year.
Crystal is ready to take this step. We need to be ready for our future. Energy prices will only get higher. Carbon output continues to increase at unsustainable levels. Our food is produced far from us, with no accountability of the practices that were used. We generate massive amounts of waste, and could have better plans to divert waste to recycling or composting. Green economy options could bring more business innovation to Crystal. There are many initiatives that Crystal could begin working on that would make a real impact on our environment and economy. The time to start is now! We can join the network of cities, organizations, businesses, and governmental units that are already working toward this and would be there to offer Crystal assistance.