Learning from Others

By Eva Lewandowski

Part of Do It Green! Minnesota’s mission is to help build healthy, local communities, and as a result, we often find ourselves focusing on the many vibrant communities that we have here in Minnesota.  This is true not just when we are doing our educational programming, but also when we are looking for resources and information.  From our urban centers like Rochester, Duluth, and the Twin Cities, to the countless small towns and rural areas across the state, our state is a veritable fount of environmental resources.  Recently, however, I’ve had the chance to work with some terrific sustainability people and organizations from across the country, and it reminded me of how we can sometimes benefit from looking farther afield than we normally do.

I’ve had informative and exciting interactions with people from nonprofits in both California and Tennessee, who contacted Do It Green! Minnesota to ask questions about our materials and programming.  Since another part of our mission is to serve as a model for organizations in other cities and states, we welcome these inquiries.  It’s great to know that people across the nation are benefiting from what we’re doing here in Minnesota, and it’s also inspiring to hear the stories and experience of green-minded folks from outside our state.  After all, we have just as much to learn from them as they can learn from us.

It reminds me of the saying “Think Global, Act Local”, which is usually meant to encourage people to think about the global ramifications of local actions.  But we can also interpret it as a suggestion to think about global information and resources that can help us at the local level.  I am going to make a concerted effort to see what other locations are doing to address the same sustainability concerns that are facing Minnesota.  There’s no use reinventing the wheel!

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