Community Sustainability Initiative, Green Innovators Expo

Getting creative for sustainability; dealing with energy use

A young student shares his recycled eco mobile robotic instrument (REMRI) as part of a Green Innovators Expo. Photo by Paul Pluskwik.

A young student shares his recycled eco mobile robotic instrument (REMRI) as part of a Green Innovators Expo. Photo by Paul Pluskwik.

MT. IRON – The Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability works to support and encourage sustainability projects within our communities. Organizations, students, groups, churches or businesses that have a project idea to advance the health and sustainability of Iron Range communities, but need funding to support it, are encouraged to apply for the Community Sustainability Initiative (CSI). Learn more about past year’s winners at www.irpsmn.org/csi.

Members of the IRPS Board of Directors and the Earth Fest planning team review and discuss all proposals. The top four proposals will win $500 to implement their projects. In addition, a $200 People’s Choice Award is voted on by attendees at Earth Fest each year at the Mt. Iron Community Center. Winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. at the 10th annual Iron Range Earth Fest.

A wide assortment of silent auction items will be on display at the Mt. Iron Community Center and open for bidding from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. All auction proceeds go to support future CSI projects and the Iron Range Partnership for Sustainability.

GREEN INNOVATORS EXPO: In partnership with the Range Engineering Council, this STEM outreach program provides area youth with an opportunity to practice hands-on engineering and problem solving skills when provided a grand challenge to address. All projects will be on display at Merritt Elementary (gymnasium) and judging will take place from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Learn more at www.irpsmn.org/green-innovators-expo.

The 2018 Grand Challenge: The United States has about 125 million households— twice as many as a few decades ago. Along with this growth, our use of electronics is also going through the roof with computers, cell phones and gaming systems, in addition to refrigerators and TVs. On the Iron Range, there are about 86,000 households, each in need of electricity.

If our population keeps growing, and the amount of electricity keeps going up, the electrical generating companies won’t be able to keep up. How can we generate more energy to meet our needs now and into the future or how can we reduce the energy we use?

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