Minnesota Historical Society M-Flame Logo

Five Green New Year's Resolutions for 2015

Even though the ball hasn’t been dropped and the champagne as yet to be popped, it doesn’t hurt to start thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions.  While most resolutions focus on health, relationships, and even finances, choosing “green” resolutions may help both you and the rest of the world across the board.  As we head into 2015, consider the small changes you can make that will lead to a more sustainable and environmentally-conscious year.  Here are five of my favorite resolution ideas:

Christmas Tree Disposal

As the holiday season comes to a close, remember to take the sustainable and proper measures to recycle your Christmas tree.  In Minnesota, it is illegal to put your real Christmas tree or wreath in the garbage.  Thankfully, there are several convenient options for tree, wreath, and yard waste disposal.  While every city and county differs a little, most offer some sort of disposal service.

Campaign Survey Results

Thank you to all who responded to the Go Blue Campaign survey.  Evaluation is a key component to any project or event.  With your feedback, we intend to enhance our upcoming sustainability campaigns and take the next steps forward.  Here are some of the main findings from the survey.

White Bear Lake settlement to divert water from Mississippi River

A settlement was reached in the legal battle between two White Bear Lake groups and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) over plummeting lake water levels.  The settlement centers on a plan to pump water from the Mississippi River to 13 Northern Twin Cities suburbs in order to alleviate groundwater stress and hopefully replenish the shrinking White Bear Lake.

USGS Drought Tool

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently released a data visualization tool that provides a new and frightening look at California’s current drought.  This tool, using open source data and software, graphically displays the effect of drought on rivers, streams, lakes, and reservoirs in California.  


California Drought Worst in 1,200 Years

According to a recent study published by the American Geophysical Union, California is currently experiencing the worst drought in the past 1,200 years


Water Conservation Tips

We now head into the Challenge Week of the Sustainable Water Use Challenge.  This week, choose one day and try to limit your water use.  In what areas can you cut back?  Is it difficult to reduce your water use?

While installing low-flow or efficient fixtures are tremendous ways to reduce your water use, there are some simple steps you can take first. 

Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement

On August 1st, 2014, the Minnesota Historical Society officially created the Department of Inclusion and Community Engagement. Currently the staff has five members who were previously a part of the Education Division's "Diversity Outreach." The staff includes department head Chris Taylor, Coral Moore, Joey Novacheck, Jessica "Hops" Hobson, and Kyle Parsons.


Diversity and Inclusion: What Does That Really Mean for Museums and Historic Sites?

The world’s demographics are changing, but is your history organization ready to respond to them? This interactive roundtable at the AASLH conference offered an opportunity to explore issues and strategies around diversity and inclusion with other history professionals, and to walk away with a network of professionals to support your work in this area.

Chair: Jennifer Niemi, Program Manager, Split Rock Lighthouse Historic Site, Minnesota Historical Society, Two Harbors, MN

The Sustainable Water Use Challenge!

So what is the answer to last week’s question, “What uses the most water in Minnesota?” 

Power generation actually uses the most water in Minnesota and by a large margin.