Image for Jan. Positive Change: Fresh Energy

Create Positive Change

Each time you shop at the co-op, you have a chance to directly support local community partners by donating your 10-cent reusable bag credits and rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar. It may only be a few cents or spare change, but your generosity makes a huge impact — to the tune of over $10,000 each month for our Positive Change recipients!

Fresh Energy

Making clean energy a key ingredient in Minnesota’s future

January’s Positive Change recipient is Fresh Energy, a nonprofit team of scientists, economists, policy analysts, and educators who advocate for clean energy in Minnesota. This includes renewable electricity sources like wind and solar power, energy efficiency in homes and commercial buildings, and moving the state toward a zero-carbon energy economy. They have been so successful that they are nationally recognized as a leader in their industry.

Fresh Energy is dedicated to creating policies and programs that ensure beneficial long-term effects for the health of local communities, land, and ecosystems. By focusing on current energy use and identifying changes that should be made, they are proactively ensuring Minnesota will continue to thrive for years to come. Their program areas include:

  • Beneficial Electrification – Transitioning from oil and gas to renewable electricity sources
  • Clean Power – Changing how electricity is generated and stored for a modern grid
  • Energy Access and Equity – Ensuring all Minnesotans can benefit from clean energy initiatives
  • Energy Efficiency – Cutting waste and improving the systems we already have in place
  • Energy News Network – A news resource highlighting noteworthy energy industry events
  • Global Warming Solutions – Working toward a zero-carbon energy economy in Minnesota
  • The Center for Pollinators in Energy – Identifying strategies to retain and promote pollinator populations

Funds donated at registers in January will support their Center for Pollinators in Energy program, a national resource for creating pollinator-friendly land on solar farms. Solar farms first became popular in the Southwest, and as a result, the standard for ground cover became gravel or lawn. Since Minnesota has a different climate, Fresh Energy sees the development of solar farms here as an opportunity to also create habitat for bees, monarchs, and other pollinators. In 2020, they will be working to secure 500 acres of solar farms for pollinator habitat, which is equivalent to 300,000 6’ x 12’ pollinator gardens.