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How to Lobby for Local Sustainable Practices

Advocating for sustainability is an important way to be a part of the solution and contribute to healthy ecosystems on a larger scale.

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As individual homeowners, we have more power than we may realize to drive meaningful change in our local communities. Advocating for sustainability is an important way to be a part of the solution and contribute to healthy ecosystems on a larger scale. While everyone can contribute to sustainability and eco-friendly practices in their own backyards, getting larger organizations, from corporations to local governing bodies, on board is where even more meaningful change can happen. City- and state-wide action is where some of the most impactful change can occur, but it takes the constituents (us!) to speak up in order for that to happen. 

Staying active in your community throughout St. Paul, Lake Elmo, Stillwater, Hudson, and River Falls areas can encourage others to do the same, and before you know it, your grassroots efforts will pay off! Here are just a few ways you can be involved in your local community to lobby for local, sustainable practices. 

Attend City Council Meetings

Keep an eye on the agenda for your city or town's council meetings and make your voice heard on issues related to city-wide practices around landscaping, stormwater management, tree canopy preservation, and other sustainability topics. Oftentimes, city council meetings see low attendance or only make motions based on those who are in attendance. It is hard to have your voice heard if you aren’t present! 

Another important tip is to be consistent, and show up in numbers when possible. You may not get a chance to speak at every meeting, or your great sustainability ideas may be overlooked or forgotten if you only mention them once and never show up again. It takes work, but it is worth it! Find some ideas and ways that your local community throughout the Eastern Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin can plant pollinator gardens, utilize rainwater, or add composting services to residents and promote Earth-friendly practices.

Support Sustainable Landscaping Rebate Programs

Many municipalities offer rebates or vouchers to homeowners who implement sustainable landscaping features like native plant gardens, rain barrels, or permeable pavement. For example, the Lawns to Legumes program though the State of Minnesota is a great way to promote pollinator gardens and help build healthy habitats for bees in your own backyard!

Participating in these programs and promoting them in your neighborhood and community can help spread the word and encourage more people to participate. It can even help to bring these programs to your city council to implement larger city-wide change. 

Lead by Example

Of course, it is difficult to affect change without starting with yourself! Consider how your own home and yard can be transformed into a pollinator-friendly habitat, or how you can integrate sustainable practices in your own home. Adding a rain garden, sustainable landscaping, or composting are some great project ideas to change the way your family interacts with the environment.

There are plenty of other ways to lead by example and get sustainable at home. It’s all about treating the environment as an extension of your own home and taking care of the entire ecosystem. Our local landscaping team would love to come out and help you with your sustainable landscaping ideas

Get Your Neighbors on Board

Building awareness around the importance of local sustainability on a city-wide level is truly a grassroots effort. The neighbors who make up a community can truly come together to bring about change, but the trick is, they need to know about it first! Share your passion for sustainability and eco-friendly practices throughout your community. Many neighborhoods have local Facebook or Nextdoor groups that you can join to share blogs, project ideas, and other resources with your neighbors. 

Inviting them to city council meetings is another great way to get them involved, too. Do you have neighbors who may not be interested right away? Invite them over and show them your own yard! The natural beauty of native plants and sustainable landscaping projects is oftentimes a great talking point for neighbors, and it can be a great way to get them on board, too! 

Build a community and share resources to help spread the word and make a difference in the community where we live. 

Write to Elected Officials

Don't underestimate the power of a well-crafted letter or email to your city council member, mayor, or state legislator. Outline your ideas for improving local sustainability policies and programs, and be sure to emphasize how these efforts would benefit the entire community. There are many great resources available that provide letter templates that make sending a letter or email to your representative quick and easy.

Keeping an open line of communication with city, state, and federal representatives is important in engaging with our government and advocating for ourselves and our community. Staying engaged and regularly writing to your elected officials will help them know how important these matters are to you and your community, so keep it up! 

Start Today. Change Tomorrow.

By getting involved at the grassroots level, homeowners can be a driving force for positive environmental change. The steps you take today can help create a greener, more resilient future for generations to come. 

It may take some time, patience, and dedication to bring awareness to sustainability among your neighbors and city and state officials. But with persistence and a beautiful native garden of your own, you can bring about change in your own community and help the local ecosystems. Remember, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something! 

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