The MPCA green meetings page provides extensive guidance, checklists, case studies and directories in the areas of food, venue, waste and recycling, waste reduction, resource and energy use, travel and transportation, and construction and deconstruction.
For example, in Duluth, just about every event at a community hall, public place, park or business with 100 or more guests is required to have recycling bins available alongside garbage cans. And in the Three Rivers Park District in Hennepin County, specific green gatherings practices are required for those renting designated facilities.
A related but vastly more powerful 'footprint-lowering' policy is internal carbon fees whereby city operations (vehicle fleet, buildings, drinking water plant, etc.) pay into a city energy-efficiency fund the carbon cost of their emissmions, and each operation also pays lower fees when they cut emissions.
Adopt a policy or adopt practices for meetings and events hosted by city government addressing issues such as solid waste generated (e.g., paperless city council packets), transit/carpooling to meetings/events, hosting at buildings with EV chargers. This could include distributing educational materials about holding a no-waste event for use at city-supported events such as National Night Out / Night to Unite. Report broader multi-topic educational material distributed at events under action 24.4
Have a policy for meetings and events taking place on city property, including parks and libraries; include healthy/local/organic food elements.
Work with at least the largest private venue in the city (such as a conference center) to cut waste generation by at least 1/3, to increase recycling by at least 1/3, to install publicly available EV chargers (powered by solar carports); adopt internal departmental carbon fees.
Who's doing it
Cottage Grove - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Use of Ipads for Council and Commission packets instead of printing copies as well as making packets available online to others was implemented on April 20, 2011. On January 27, 2012 a report was complied of the savings. Instead of printing 18 packet paper copies, only 2 paper copies are printed for each meeting. This is a savings of approximately $752. When including opportunity cost, where it is beleived the biggest savings have occured, savings equal approximately $3,068.
Tour de Kota bicycle event hosted nearly 400 bicyclists in June 2012 and was our first GreenStep City event. Marshall City Council meetings have adopted a paper-less meeting program.
Implemented the following green practices:
-Refilling water stations eliminated plastic bottles.
-Reduced printed material by developing a weblink and the use of QR codes for smartphones.
-Recycling and waste stations located throughout campground.
-Reusable signs for future events.
-Posted event schedules vs. printed handouts.
Marshall City Council meetings have lowered their environmental footprint by going paperless.
In 2012, the City purchased iPads for the City Council and Planning Commission members to use during meetings instead of printing out paper copies. Additionally, the City started emailing packets for the Park Board and Library Advisory Committee meetings and placing packets for all meetings online. This resulted in a savings of about $18,000 between 2012 and 2016 given that staff did not have to print several packets or deliver them.
The Saint Paul City Council is paperless. The agendas and Council files are all available on the Web. Councilmembers use iPads to review the files during the meeting. Using the iPad greatly reduces costs since most agendas, including the documents attached to files, are over 1000 pages when printed.
All events held at public facilities in Saint Paul are required by Ordinance 13-62 to have recycling and are encouraged to collect organics for recycling.
“The City of South St. Paul collects organics at City Hall for composting, and supplies compostable flatware in lunch rooms for employees. Large city events involving food have, and continue to use, compostable flatware to make the event more “green.” In addition, Organics collection had been present at “On The Road Again” in 2017 and 2018, offsetting the trash produced during the event.” In addition, other Community events has "gone green" and compostable (ie, Fill the Backpack Taco feed - all compostable, City Ribbon Cutting events - compostable items are used). At the Kaposia Days Parade, a group of youth is the Green Team and collects and sorts items from the parade goers and over 1/2 of the items were recycled instead of being placed in the landfill. When planning the events now. Going green is the norm. it is becoming the norm!
Kaposia Days Parade: 31 bags of items collected - 17 were recycled
Annual Taco Feed: All items were recycled or composted
On the Road Again 2017 105 pounds of compostable items and 2018 85 pounds of composable items.
The City of Albert Lea purchased iPads for its Councilors in 2013. Since then, the City no longer printed the council packets for the meetings. Packets are distributed via Dropbox.
The City Counil is made up of six Councilors and a Mayor. Seven council packets, usually of 60 pages each, are no longer printed for a meeting that occurs twice a month. This eliminates roughly 10,000 sheets of paper from being printed every year.
The City Council has budgeted $3,800 for 2016 to move to a paperless meeting process. They would receive their packets for meetings electronically and view the information on iPads, instead of having printed copies. City staff and Council make a concerted effort to carpool to meetings and conferences whenever possible. With the City's recent copier lease, staff now has the capability to fax electronically without paper.
City has hosted for the past 3 years an annual event called Re-Fest. A regional event hosted by Austin, Owatonna & Rochestor Public Utilities. The Nature Center & Renewable Energy Programs at Riverland Community College. Educational programs emphasizing energy conservation rebates, renewable energy, recycling, Green Step Cities are but a few of the educational programs offered. Free compact flourescent light bulbls are handed out, a green sound stage that uses solar power to power the sound system for entertainment is there. In 2011 six semi-loads of electronics were recycled at this event.
Packets for appointed boards, committees, and commissions are distributed electronically and are only printed upon request of individual appointees. The City is reviewing updates to the Council Chambers which include proposed technology updates which includes acquisition of tablets for use at the diaz. The Council Chambers updates are proposed for 2018. Additionally, the City hosts an annual recycling day event in April. Residents are allowed to bring electronics, appliances, tires, aluminum, metal, etc. to the one-day event for recycling. Additional information is available upon request.
Practice 15, Step 7:City Council and City Manager have adopted a paperless meeting practice by receiving their agenda and packet electronically and viewing it by an IPAD supplied by the City.Implemented January 2013
Burnsville distributed recycling and green tips for party organizers of Night to Unite in August of 2012 and will continue to distribute them for the upcoming year. Offered recycling “X-Frames” to Night to Unite block party organizers and several organizers used the containers at their parties.
City councilmembers have the option of paperless Council meeting agendas and most city staff receive electronic meeting agendas and meeting packets. With recent changes to HVAC valves, Conference Room thermostats now have sensors for when a room is occupied and needs heating and cooling.
The City Council, Conservation Commission, and Heritage Preservation Commission, Flying Cloud Airport Commission all receive "paperless" packets for meetings. Agendas, minutes, and associated meeting material is sent by email. City Council packets are also published online for the public to view.
We distribute educational materials with energy-saving tips at our annual Energy Expo. Each year we distribute reusable compostable bags at Fright Night around Halloween with information about reducing solid waste.
The City of Falcon Heights hosts several community-wide events each year (Ice Cream Social in July, National Night Out, Winterfest in January, Spring Together in May, and at each event we distribute information about city programs. Information we distribute often includes stormwater programs, "50 environmental tips", city rebate program on Energy Star purchases, and other environmentally friendly programs.
M-State is recycling three items at athletic events. Otter Tail County has portable recycling bins that are loaned to civic organizations at no charge. The county has suggested removing Styrofoam from meetings. The city will be providing recycling containers for large community events such as SummerFest and the weekly Concerts in the Park. The City of Fergus Falls uses paperless agenda packets for all council and committee meetings.
Members of the New Hope City Council now get packets for meetings electronically and view the information on iPads, instead of having printed copies. City staff carpools to meetings whenever possible. City staff also now has the capability to fax electronically without paper. (7) Lower the environmental footprint of meetings and events in the city. N/A Members of the New Hope City Council now get packets for meetings electronically and view the information on iPads, instead of print copies. City staff carpools to meetings whenever possible. City staff also now has the capability to fax electronically without paper. In 2017, the city discontinued using styrofoam coffee cups.
The City Council decided in August 2014 to purchase tablets to be used by council members and department heads during city council meetings.In 2019 we upgraded the tablets, allowing council members the ability to work off their tablets even more further reducing the need for paper.
The city had been printing out council packets, which were typically 10-30 pages each. The council packets were distributed to the mayor, 4 council members, treasurer, city administrator, police chief, public works director, parks superintendent, and the police chief. So by purchasing the tablets, the city is saving around 100-300 sheets of paper biweekly.
One practice that the City has adopted recently to lower the environmental footprint of meetings is to eliminate paper packets for City Council meetings. The council members have all elected to only receive an electronic copy of the Council Packets for each meeting.
The City of St. Anthony is centrally located and as such hosts a variety of educational opportunities for municipal and watershed programs.
The City hosts all staff educational programs at a central location.
The City distributes materials for and hosts a minimum of 25 block parties for National Night to Unite.
Reduced travel times, distances, and fuel consumption.
All regular meetings of the City Council and Planning Commission are broadcast live on cable television on Government Access Channel 16. These meetings are also repeated at regularly scheduled times and can be viewed over the internet. The City also posts agendas and meeting minutes on its website
By televising meetings, it allows residents to be able to view meetings from home without having to drive to city hall. Posting agendas and minutes online allows residents to be able to view these documents on electronic devices, reducing the number of paper copies needed.
The City purchased tablets for use by the Council, Planning Commission, and other Committees at public meetings. Meeting packets are distributed by posting into Dropbox for review in advance of meetings.
In February of 2017, the City Council voted to purchase tablets for the members so that council packets were sent all the members and staff. Two copies are made for staff and official record. In addition, all incoming faxes are delivered to staff emails.
The City has reduced the use of paper at meetings by providing staff and elected officials iPads. City Council Agenda packets can range from 20 pages to more than 200 pages. Without having to print copies of the agendas the City had been able to reduce it's environmental footprint.
The City has adopted multiple practices to reduce it's environmental footprint at City meetings and within City Hall. Meetings are all completely paperless, with agenda packets sent electronically to committee members and using computers or projectors at meetings to access agenda materials. The City also uses only compostable products at meetings and in employee break areas.
The City of Willmar has adopted the practice of using I-pads and Tablets for the distribution of meeting notes. These meetings include but are not limited to: City Council Meetings, Community Development Committee Meetings, Finance Committee Meetings, Labor Relations Committee Meetings, and Public Work/ Public Safety Committee Meetings.
The city has reduced the amount of paper it uses each month by hundreds and annually by thousands of sheets of paper, associated ink and volume of waste.
The city’s practice is to avoid the use of plastic or Styrofoam plates or cups at city meetings and events. If a catering company is unable to abide by these guidelines, it is the city’s practice to provide plates and cups for the event. The EPP that is being developed will address this issue at a policy level.