March has been action-packed, with 100% renewable energy announcements from companies like 3M, Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan’s One Minnesota Path to Clean Energy, our Youth Climate Justice Summit, a new Humanities curriculum for educators, and our Zero Waste Challenge!
Our Advisory Board member and 3M Sustainability Manager, Rick DeMarchis, helped champion 3M’s commitment to power their headquarters with 100% renewable energy in a new power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy. Rick said, “It was with the education and information that (Climate Generation) provided that I was able to draft a plan for 3M Center to go GHG free and utilize renewable energy wherever possible. One part is complete – now I will drive electrification for our operations…Together we can do amazing things!”
We thank Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan for their leadership on climate action, establishing a target for our state to get 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Youth, students, and educators we support have been testifying in support of 100% clean energy policy – read more below.
Did you miss our Zero Waste webinar but want to learn how you can limit your carbon footprint? Learn more and join Climate Generation’s Zero Waste Challenge!
Later this month we will host a green alley at the Minneapolis Public Schools STEM & Career Exploration Expo showcasing climate and clean energy career pathways for thousands of middle school students. And in Duluth, MN we will host our Talk Climate Institute, a two-day program for anyone to learn how to talk about climate change and engage in solutions.
In response to recent news, we send out our heartfelt condolences to all of the families, friends, and colleagues impacted by the recent Boeing 737 Max crash in Ethiopia that took the lives of many international environmental advocates. We had the privilege of working with Max Thabiso Edkins, an incredible leader with Connect4Climate, who supported our youth and education leaders during the #youth4climate campaign during COP21 in Paris.
Our thoughts, good wishes, and healing energy go out to our colleague and fellow climate advocate, J. Drake Hamilton, who suffered a major head trauma after a fall on the ice in late January. We continue to root for J.’s continued progress toward recovery as she remains a much-needed voice for climate advocacy. You can follow J.’s Caring Bridge here.
Nicole Rom, Executive Director
New Humanities curriculum!
This month, we released the first of two new humanities-based curriculum — Innovation and Renewable Energy: A Humanities Module — in collaboration with Lowell School. This standards-based, interdisciplinary humanities module utilizes the true story of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba to bring the discussion of renewable energy to the English/Language Arts, social studies, and science classroom. Educators can download this new resource for free from our website! We also recommend watching the new Netflix original movie based on Kamkwamba’s story that just came out on March 1st!
Youth Convening MN Coming to a Community Near You
For the last seven months, young leaders in three MN communities have been participating in our Youth Convening Minnesota (YCM) leadership program. This opportunity for high school youth allows them to learn about climate change and gain the skills to bring their community together on climate change and inspire solutions. This April, youth from Red Wing, Forest Lake, and Fond du Lac are hosting free events open to the public to broaden the conversation about local climate change solutions in their respective communities. Read more about our amazing youth teams, and find a covening near you!
Youth Rise Up at Justice Summit and Climate Strike
This month, Minnesota youth are showing what people power looks like. Nearly 200 youth from across the state came to the Youth Climate Justice Summit at the State Capitol. They met with 50 legislators, advocated for the MN Green New Deal (a bill led by teens with MN Can’t Wait) and led a panel conversation with legislators and Commissioners. Then, just a week later, hundreds of youth left school Duluth, Rochester, and St. Paul, joining the international Youth Climate Strike for climate action. Read more about the strike here.
Last Call for Talk Climate Institute!
Opinion polls show that 70% of Americans understand that climate change is happening and that it will harm future generations, yet two-thirds of people say they never talk about it! One of the best things you can do to address climate change is to talk about it! Register for our Talk Climate Institute, March 25-26 in Duluth, MN at the American Indian Community Housing Organization, to find ways to balance the worry with hopeful messages of what we can do to take action! Featured speakers include: Karen Diver, Inaugural Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence for Native American Affairs at the College of St. Scholastica; Robert Blake, Founder and CEO of Solar Bear; and more. Scholarships are still available, thanks to Loll Designs. Register today before we close registration on March 20!
Thanks, Governor Walz for 100% Leadership!
We thank Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan for their leadership on climate action, establishing a target for our state to get 100% carbon free electricity by 2050. Students and educators also thanked the Walz administration at our annual Youth Climate Justice Summit. . In addition, youth we support involved in Minnesota Can’t Wait have been testifying in support of 100% clean energy policy. YEA! MN leader Anna Grace Hottinger recently told a room of legislators: “The action we take together, it’s for our sisters, our brothers, our cousins, our neighbors, your kids. This is #OneMinnesota. Our future must be built so that each and every one of us are guaranteed justice, equality, good-paying local jobs, and a healthy future.”
Silverwood Park Recap page
Over 130 people attended our Climate Conversation at Silverwood Park in partnership with Three Rivers Park District to deepen their understanding of climate change and engagement in local solutions through art. If you didn’t have the opportunity to join us, check out the artistic representations of climate data, hear the climate stories from community members, and watch our post-event video on the conversation’s recap page. The Climate Conversation series highlights climate change impacts on our natural resources and the opportunity communities have to come together and inspire solutions on the local level.
1, 2, 3 – Waste Free!
Even though we’re two days from completing our office’s ten-day Zero Waste Challenge, we encourage you to jump in! We’ve been diving into the basics of the 5 “R’s” — refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot. Check out our informational Zero Waste Webinar featuring tips and tricks for transitioning your life to zero waste with experts sharing their experience. We also wrote a piece by staff on why climate change and zero waste are connected, and what we’re most looking forward to beyond the 10-day challenge. We’re excited to sustain new habits and continue learning. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us on social media with #CGWasteWatchers!
Chris Heeter, alum of our 2018 Talk Climate Institute, shares her climate story with MinnPost and the changes she’s seen in her 30 years of being a wilderness guide.
Our public engagement manager Jothsna Harris chats with KUMD 103.3’s Green Visions program to share the importance of climate stories and our upcoming Talk Climate Institute in Duluth, MN.
Climate Generation presented during a workshop with Youth Eco Solutions, organized for educators and teachers to connect them with experts and environmental science and solutions.
Molly Reichert and John Kim from Futures North, whose “Phase II” art piece was part of the Silverwood Park Climate Conversation, shared their story with MPR’s Climate Cast.
Our founder Will Steger chats with The Star Tribune about his upcoming Arctic expedition, returning to the Barren Lands of Canada to continue his route from last spring.
This op-ed in Park Bugle advocates for individual to collective action, mentioning resources like Transition Town and Climate Generation as opportunities for people to plug into.
Dawn Bentley, Executive Director of Minnesota Fringe, shares her climate story featuring the impacts of warming winters on MN’s beloved Art Shanties Project. This story was shared at the Silverwood Park Climate Conversation.
The MN Green New Deal initiatives of the youth-led campaign MN Can’t Wait are featured in Southwest Journal, featuring the students and local partners part of this movement calling for bold climate action.