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Sustainability

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Earth Action Hero: Q & A with sustainability commissioners

Authored on
Bloomington Briefing Published April 5, 2022
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Updated on April 5, 2022
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Three founding members of the Sustainability Commission left after their terms expired in February. Appointed by the City Council, the Sustainability Commission advises the Council on five areas of sustainability: air, water, energy, land and ecological resources, and waste. The Commission works with the City, businesses, citizens and the local community to protect and preserve such resources to ensure a high quality of life for present and future generations.

Rob Bouta

Rob Bouta joined the Sustainability Commission to help Bloomington adapt to climate change while sustaining natural open spaces that contribute quality to our lives.

Q: What accomplishments have you seen, or notable projects have you worked on during your service on the Commission?

A: We’ve done a lot with natural resource stewardship. The Sustainability Commission obtained a grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to restore oak savannah in the Minnesota river valley. That’s still going on and there’s opportunity to do a lot more.

Q: What advice do you have for residents to apply sustainability efforts in their lives?

A: Everyone can look at their solid waste, and sign up for the City’s curbside organics recycling, because organics will be turned into mulch instead of filling up landfills. Also, everyone can also think about their carbon footprint—home energy use and vehicle energy use.

 

 

 

Steve Flagg

Steve Flagg joined the Sustainability Commission to promote and focus on sustainability in the business community and to see the green potential for Bloomington overall.

Q: What accomplishments have you seen, or notable projects have you worked on during your service on the Commission?

A: Since businesses use more than 70% of the electricity in Bloomington, I have a special interest in promoting businesses that have succeeded in saving money through environmental initiatives. For both businesses and residents, we have found a two-year payback on LED lights as well as basic insulation.

Q: What role does sustainability play in your personal life?

A: For my own house, I am gradually switching over to more electrical appliances in order to reduce my gas usage, because gas is not a renewable energy.

 

 

Paul Erdmann

Paul Erdmann joined the Sustainability Commission to advocate for natural resource conservation in Bloomington.

Q: What accomplishments have you seen, or notable projects have you worked on during your service in the Commission?

A: The Commission, City staff and the City Council have made great progress in restoring our parks by removing invasive plants so that native plants and animals can thrive and residents can enjoy them more. It was great to see that Bloomington residents place a high value on these efforts as well, as we had more than 70 volunteers turn out for a buckthorn bust along Nine Mile Creek and tree planting events in City parks.

Q: What advice do you have for residents to apply sustainability efforts in their lives?

A: We all make impacts with what we do, or don’t do, in our homes and yards. Residents can plant native plants to help songbirds and pollinators, and refrain from using chemicals on their lawns for better water quality. If we each do a little bit, it adds up to a whole lot.

For more information about the City’s sustainable efforts and the Sustainability Commission, visit blm.mn/sustainability.