Environmental Initiative - Home

Archive for October, 2012

Shop Fair Trade, Shop for a Cause

October 26th, 2012

The Minnesota Environmental Fund (MEF) is a state-wide network of Minnesota’s most respected and responsible nonprofit environmental and conservation organizations working together to protect, conserve and restore our environment through employee giving. An employee giving campaign is an employer-sponsored benefit that allows employees to donate a few dollars per paycheck to charities and causes they care about. We are proud to be the employee choice for payroll giving to Minnesota’s environment.

We have partnered with Ten Thousand Villages this fall for an event to support MEF. Join us on Wednesday, November 14 to get a head start on holiday shopping and do a little good for the environment. Twenty percent of all sales will benefit the Minnesota Environmental Fund. Here are the details:

Minnesota Environmental Fund Benefit Night
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Ten Thousand Villages
867 Grand Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55105

Our fall workplace giving season is in full swing. We look forward to seeing you in the workplace over the next several weeks and in November for this event! Is your company or organization not yet a workplace giving partner? Contact me anytime for more information or visit our website to learn more.


A note from Environmental Initiative: We’re one of more than twenty member organizations receiving support through MEF’s employee giving efforts. As the holiday season begins, we wanted to share this unique opportunity to support MEF through the purchase of sustainable, fair trade gifts.

Ed Marek


Executive Director, Minnesota Environmental Fund

A Preview: Managing Downstream Waste

October 12th, 2012

Even more than the recent chilly mornings and dark evenings, here’s something even more telling that the end of 2012 is creeping up on us: in two weeks, we’ll hold our last Business & Environment Session of the year! On Thursday, October 25th, at Medtronic, we’ll gather with business partners, sustainability practitioners, and issue experts from nonprofits, academia, and government, to discuss downstream waste – a topic that’s been getting a lot of attention in sustainability circles.

More and more organizations are taking a supply chain-wide approach to waste reduction, looking both up and downstream and working with both suppliers and consumers to minimize waste. This makes waste management decisions more complex and sometimes more difficult, but also creates new and exciting opportunities for finding innovative ways to reduce waste. We opted to cover this big topic in two sessions: the upcoming downstream waste event complements our August conversation on upstream waste. (more…)

Georgia Rubenstein


Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

Presenting at the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Conference

October 5th, 2012

Recently, I had the pleasure of heading up to Cragun’s Resort just outside Brainerd, Minnesota to present the draft recommendation for parks and trails legacy funding and an overview of the Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Project at the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association’s 75th Annual Conference. This presentation was given in coordination with Al Leiffort and Jeff and Kathy Schoenbauer, who presented information on the $175,000 study being done for the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Coalition. Thanks again to Al, Jeff and Kathy for sharing their time!

The purpose of Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA), through its members, is to improve the quality of life in Minnesota by providing excellent park and recreation services. The MRPA was originally formed in 1937 and has now grown to include over 1,000 members across the state.

The Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Work Group members have been meeting since April to reach consensus on a recommendation on how best to allocate legacy dollars to the three parks and trails providers in Minnesota:

  • Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
  • Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails
  • Metropolitan Regional Parks and Trails

Below is the presentation I gave which includes information about how Environmental Initiative facilitated the process to reach consensus and the draft recommendation.  Work group members met earlier this week to finalize their recommendation. The final report will be made available over the next several weeks.

Thanks again to the Parks and Trails Legacy Funding Work Group for their efforts during this complex process. And thanks again to Al Leiffort and Jeff and Kathy Schoenbauer for giving Environmental Initiative this opportunity to present the information to MRPA conference attendees.


Eric David


Program Manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Environmental Initiative - Home