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Make your Christmas a little greener

Considering the pride Rosemount takes in its Irish heritage, going green should be second nature. And there are a number of projects going on around town that demonstrate just how easy it can be to reduce your impact on the environment.

Rosemount's Fairview Clinic recently received official word it has been LEED certified. The designation, given by the U.S. Green Building Council, means the clinic has met strict guidelines for energy efficiency. At the clinic, that means lights that go on when people enter a room and off when they leave. It means extra insulation in the walls and building materials that are recycled.

According to staff at the clinic the efforts toward greater energy efficiency have not meant a reduction in day-to-day comfort. Employees reportedly enjoy some of the green touches, like solar tubing that brings natural daylight into some of the interior rooms.

At Rosemount United Methodist Church there are efforts in place to help community members make their holiday seasons more environmentally friendly. Waste production typically goes up 25 percent from Thanksgiving through New Years, so a few small changes can make a difference. The church received a $12,000 grant to help spread the word about energy efficiency. The church makes tips available in its newsletter and online at

There are other efforts in place, too. Rosemount High School students have taken steps to reduce waste, and Dakota County Technical College is involved in an ongoing effort to make its campus greener. The college is also a partner with the University of Minnesota in an effort to build a massive wind turbine to advance the study of wind power.

That is a big effort, but there are plenty of smaller things Rosemount residents can do. Replacing traditional Christmas lights with strings of LED bulbs can make a difference. So can increased recyclng efforts in a season filled with packing boxes and wrapping paper.

If everyone takes small steps, Rosemount can be greener than ever.