January 2022

In this month’s resources update we welcome two new Resource Organization members of MN GreenStep Schools --Both can help your school engage with solar energy.

In our program news section, you can learn about our new Best Practice Page for waste reduction. And we introduce our new articles section of the website, with a piece on "Five Ways to Up Your Green Team Game," by spring 2021 intern, Annika Fisher.

Resource Organizations

What is a MN GreenStep School Resource Organization?

MN GreenStep Schools Member Resource Organizations help schools in their efforts to grow. Read about our latest Resource Organizations to join and consider being next… Go to the Resource Organizations Page to sign up.

Who can be a resource organization? Any organization or individual that has something to offer to schools trying to green their facilities, operations, or programming.

Rickey Sipila

MN GreenStep Schools first met Rickey Sipila as part of a student team exploring the potential of solar across schools in Minnesota. We are so glad Rickey has joined MN GreenStep Schools as a member Resource Organization. Here's what he has to say about his interest in helping schools:

"I am a solar enthusiast who is a very recent college graduate starting his own solar installation company called Sisu Solar. I love installing solar on people's houses and have been doing it for the last 2 years. If anyone is in need of installing solar at a small scale please reach out and I'd be happy to help! I am also more than willing to help with solar outreach to schools. If you are looking for a guest speaker who has experience in the solar industry, please reach out and I'd love to help."

Locations Served: All of Minnesota

Contact: Rickey Sipila



Read more about Rickey Sipila at his MN GreenStep Schools Profile Page

paleBLUEdot LLC

paleBLUEdot is a Minnesota based Sustainability, Climate, and Renewable Energy planning firm.

MN GreenStep Schools is glad to have paleBLUEdot become a member Resource Organization since their work includes an existing and growing interest in schools. They have conducted studies for schools such as solar readiness plans and schools factor in to their work advising cities on climate, sustainability and more. They've also engaged with youth in events such as a Youth Climate Action Workshop in 2020. Contact Ted to explore how paleBLUEdot could help your school plan for a bright future.

Organization Type: Educational Consultants or Service/Product Providers – for example: Curriculum provider or teacher training; Professional organizations for educational professionals; Educational teaching and research organizations, Operational Consultants or Service/Product Providers – for example: Vendors and services (office supplies, food suppliers, waste removal, etc.), Energy Auditors, Design and Construction professionals

Locations Served: All regions.

Contact: Ted Redmond



Read more about paleBLUEdot at their MN GreenStep Schools Profile Page

Sustainability Internships Class, Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment

This program became a MN GreenStep Schools Resource Organization in spring 2021, and they continue to have a biannual call for those interested in connecting with an intern.

Do you have a need for a college student intern to work on a sustainability-related project?

Each fall and spring semester, the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities offers SUST 4096: Sustainability Internships, a class that supports students in finding internships with a sustainability focus. Students intern for 4, 7 or 10 hours per week for a total of 14 weeks throughout the semester. Students in the class come from majors and programs across the university, but all of them share an interest in sustainability. If you have a project or position that you think could be a good fit for students in the class, reach out to Jess Jurcek ( for details about proposing an internship.

MN GreenStep Schools has worked with three interns from this program so far - it is a great resource and rewarding to provide a meaningful experience for the interns. We are glad to welcome the Sustainability Internships Class, from Sustainability Education at the Institute on the Environment as our newest Resource Organization Member.

Read more about the Sustainability Internships Class at their Resource Organization profile page.

MN GreenStep Schools Program News

New: Waste Reduction Best Practice

BP1.3 Waste Reduction has been published and provides a background on waste reduction in schools, examples from green schools, a list of best practice actions schools can take and a resource list.

Spring 2021 MN GreenStep Schools intern, Annika Fisher researched how waste reduction best practices were handled in other green school programs and what green schools in Minnesota have been doing to reduce waste and educate about the environment while doing it.

Explore the new Best Practice 1.3 Waste Reduction.

New Articles Section Launches

Read "Five Ways to Up Your Green Team Game" by Spring 2021 Intern, Annika Fisher

Explore how the insights of psychology can enhance your team's green school efforts.


MN Solar Schools Blitz

The MN Solar Schools Blitz is a statewide set of youth activities. Like a bio-blitz, the MN Solar Schools Blitz is an intensive period of time to learn about the natural systems in a specific place. While a bio-blitz usually focuses on identifying species in an event that may span days, our MN Solar Schools Blitz! will identify the existing and potential annual solar energy of schools throughout the state and explore the benefits. Youth in high school or younger, are invited to explore the sun's energy generating benefits at their school - on the roof, or on the ground. Guidance is provided and the results will be compiled on a statewide map. Learn more at the MN Solar Schools Blitz page.

Thanks to the contacts from Districts, Schools, Resource Organizations, and others
who have expressed interest in MN GreenStep Schools!

Interested in the program? Want to be on the mailing list? Sign up in the Interest Form...