Every city should strive to be twins with Minneapolis
I had the pleasure of visiting a close friend of mine up in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) in early June. Minneapolis is doing an outstanding job being a green city.
While we were visiting, we went to see a Twins game at Target Field. To say I was impressed with Target Field is an understatement – the entire ballpark is waste-free! In fact, I could not locate a trash can!
What are they doing? Composting and recycling only. All of the bottles and cans go into the recycling can, and all food, cups, napkins, forks, etc. go into the compost can! These compost/recycling stations are everywhere inside of the park.
My son bought a pop, which came in a compostable cup, and when the food service worker gave it to him, she advised him to save it and fill it with water when he was finished. Yes, they have water-bottle refilling stations in the park as well!
Not only is all of the “waste” used by fans not ending up in the landfill, but the employees are receiving excellent sustainability training as well. Encouraging patrons to reuse items should be standard across all ballparks, whether they are compostable or not.
It was so refreshing and energizing for me to witness how much the Twins are committed to sustainability. If the Twins can do it, any major sports team can do it. In fact, every major sports team should commit to becoming sustainability twins with the Twins!
During my visit we also spent time at the gorgeous Lake Harriet, in South Minneapolis, eating ice cream with the kids. All of the food containers at the concession were compostable, recyclable, or reusable. The concession did not sell plastic water bottles! They sold reusable stainless steel water bottles that they fill with water. While I’m sure they are not the highest quality stainless steel bottles, the fact that plastic water bottles are not being sold near the lake in order to curb pollution is wonderful and hopefully when people purchase the water bottles, they take them home to reuse them.
Sustainability and conservation of the environment are values that are seemingly ingrained in Minnesotans. We ate at Chipotle one day – and even Chipotle had composting bins and directions on how to sort waste!
Experiencing a city with such high environmental standards gave me so much hope but also made me realize that while Cleveland is getting there, slowly but surely, but we have a ways to go.