Everyone is doing more to save energy!

As I looked through my fellow fellows’ Monthly Reports, I realized I hadn’t fully documented some of my activities.  This post is a summary and “catch-up”.  And what I’ve found is a lot of care and energy around helping people over the hurdles of behavior change to live more energy-efficient and sustainable lives.  Everyone is doing more to save energy (but we need to do a whole lot more to show what everyone is doing!)  Here’s the latest…

Sept 14 – WaterShed Partners Meeting at the Capitol Region Watershed District Office in Saint Paul
I learned about this group through Christine Baeumler (a fellow Bush fellow).  The Metro WaterShed Partners is a coalition of over 60 public, private and non-profit organizations in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minnesota metropolitan area. Through collaborative education and outreach, we promote a public understanding that inspires people to act to protect water quality in their watershed.  At this meeting, I heard about the activities the partners are taking to help with water quality and conservation.  Below are some opportunities and resources:

  • Work for Water Neighborhood Challenge by Freshwater Society and InCommons: Win $500 to implement a leaf raking idea in your neighborhood! (Sept 20 – Oct 11)
  • There will be an Educational Roundtable on November 9th at Hamline University featuring metro leaders on water issues, bike transit, and energy.
  • Mae Davenport, Associate Professor in Natural Resources Science and Management at the University of MN, presented a model of behavior development, incorporating moral obligation with behavior stage theory around raising engagement around water issues.
I’m looking forward to following up with some individuals I met at this event, including Mae and Peggy Knapp from the Freshwater Society.  Freshwater Society also recently received an award from the InCommons Water Challenge for their Farmwise Program, increasing water-responsible agricultural practices through a farmer-to-farmer approach.

Sept 15 – Completed a flyer for sharing my fellowship with communities
I also completed a flyer summarizing CBSM and presentation and workshop opportunities for MN Communities.  This flyer will help me (and my partners) identify communities that are interested in learning about enhancing their sustainability and energy work with behavioral change considerations.

View it here: CBSM Presentation and Training Opportunities for MN Communities

Sept 16 – Call with Kathy Kuntz, Cool Choices
See a previous blog post about our discussion!  A Game-Changer: Construction company builds sustainability in their workplace 

Sept 20 – Met with Jana Larson, Watershed Partners, Hamline University
Blog post coming soon!  Jana is also doing a lot of research around CBSM to learn how it can positively impact her work on watershed issues.

Sept 21 – Region 5 Resilient Region Workshops, Little Falls, MN
This last Wednesday, I went up to Little Falls, MN for a Resilient Region workshop, being hosted by the Region 5 Development Commission.  Cheryal Lee Hills, Executive Director, presented on the work they are doing through a regional HUD Planning Grant.  It is a very inclusive process including over 200 individuals from all over central MN.  Angela Headlee, also Central CERT Coordinator, presented on a wide array of energy efficiency opportunities for homeowners.

We had a lively discussion on the latest lighting options and how to get others to move from inaction to action.  From our discussion, I can tell that civic leaders are anxious to get others on board.  There was some talk about information and information sharing through tv and radio.  Such information sharing is very important and can raise the knowledge in a whole community.  WaterShed Partners has run media campaigns as well which has done just that.  But information is not enough, as Jana Larson and I discussed.  CBSM reminds us that our minds only use that kind of technical information so much.  (5% is one number I’ve heard).  So we all need to be careful that we don’t assume we have the time to rationally take in and act on all the messages we receive everyday. Human behavior is more complex than that (or we’d all be super energy conserving individuals saving tons of money every day!)


COMING UP NEXT!

Sept 25-27 – Energy Efficiency as a Resource Conference [This week!]

Sept 28 – Meet with Gail Conners, Colorado Springs Public Utility

Oct 4 – Present Lightning Talk on CBSM at UMN Extension Fall Conference

Oct 6-7 – MN Council for Non Profits Annual Conference

Oct 8-12 – EXHALE and reflection 🙂

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