Fossil Free

"We have not inherited the earth from our parents; we have borrowed it from our children." Lester Brown

Mankato Area Environmentalists

MAE is an ongoing voice for environmental quality, a resource to other environmental and community groups, and a source of action to shape environmental policies and practices in the Minnesota River Valley of south-central Minnesota.

MAE monitors local environmental issues, including:

  • County planning and zoning issues in support of sustainable development
  • Minnesota River basin planning
  • County and city government energy efficiency and environmental planning

MAE meets periodically for discussion of the issues. For dates and times, email us.

CFL A light bulb primer

What about the new rules on light bulbs? Should I stock up on incandescents?

Absolutely not! Most incandescents waste energy by turning it into heat, not light. That's why they're HOT when you touch them. The newer lights are fluorescents or LEDs, last longer, use less energy, and save you money!

Okay, so what type of bulb shall I buy? It's so confusing to me.

Don't fret. You're not alone. The preferable bulbs today are LED (light emitting diode). They come to full illumination instantly, provide excellent color temperature, are dimmable, and are the least costly in the long run. Xcel Energy provides an excellent resource here.

Another good bulb resource is the LUMEN Coalition website, which answers most consumers' questions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also offers information, as does Jim Dontje, Director of Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation at Gustavus Adolphus College, on his webpage Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) Bulbs.

Wondering what to do with those burned out compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)?

Home Depot stores will take them nationwide, and Menards stores will take them in Minnesota. In both cases, there is no charge. Many other local stores will take them for a small fee to cover the cost they're charged by the recycling companies.

What if I want to replace all the incandescent bulbs in my home or business? What do I do with them?

There is still a need for incandescent bulbs in some households. In the Mankato area you can take them to the Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota ReStore provided they're still working, of course!

How about appliances?

If your large appliance is still working, call the Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota ReStore to see if they can use it. If they can't, most stores will take your old appliance whether it's operating or not for free or a minimal fee. If they do not, we suggest you shop elsewhere. If you just want to get rid of an old appliance, GreenTech of Mankato will take it.

What about electronics?

Best Buy and GreenTech will take almost all electronics without charge. Other electronics stores may take them, but they may have to charge a fee due to their recycling costs.

How about everything else? Can I recycle it?

In fact, almost anything can be recycled or reused. There are several re-use stores in the Mankato area. These include Minnesota Valley Action Council (MVAC), MRCI, Salvation Army, and VINE. If you are in doubt about whether they will take an item, call them before attempting to deliver it.

Almost anything else from plastic bags to videocassettes to CDs and DVDs can be recycled at GreenTech.

Other recycling information:

Selected Environmental Resources

Living Green

Tools, resources, and events for helping Minnesotans prevent pollution, build healthier communities, and live more sustainable lives.


City of Mankato Sustainability Plan

Blue Earth County

Blue Earth County Climate Change Resolution

Clean Energy Resource Teams

Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) connects community members with resources to identify and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Youth Energy Summit

YES! is a team-oriented youth program that uses hands-on, experiential learning and energy action projects to address energy opportunities and issues in rural Minnesota communities.

DSIRE clean energy incentives

Clean energy incentives for Minnesota from DSIRE and the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center

Putting Green

Putting Green is an environmental adventure park featuring an 18-hole miniature golf course located in New Ulm.

Prairie Schooler Ecology Bus

Prairie Ecology Bus Center

The next generation mobile nature center classroom and laboratory.

Recycle More Minnesota
Recycle More Minnesota

Reduce Waste

SEEK - Minnesota's home of environmental education rsources

Next Step

Gustavus Adolphus College
Gustavus Adolphus College Sustainability

U.S. Mayors Climate Protection

Minnesota cities that have signed onto the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement

College & University Presidents Climate Commitment

Colleges and universities (by state) that have signed onto the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment

MSU Mankato Green Campus
Minnesota State University Mankato Green Campus

More Environmental Resources

Those marked in bold focus on the Mankato-North Mankato-New Ulm-St. Peter area environmental issues.

MAE advocates:

  • Cleaning up polluting feedlots in the Minnesota River Basin by passing responsible state feedlot rules, responsible local ordinances, and responsible state laws that provide assistance to "clean" producers.
  • Preserving and protecting the Minnesota River by promoting full funding for and full implementation of the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), which will permanently set aside flood plain and riverbank buffer land.
  • Enhancing water quality by advocating for sustainable agricultural and urban storm water management.

  • Promoting whenever possible an overall ethic of environmental stewardship in urban and rural areas.
  • Raising awareness of food security and food safety issues, and promoting environmentally sound shopping to support environment-friendly farming practices and good stewardship of the land.
  • Promoting a clean and sustainable energy policy at the state and national level, including more regional power production and further research into biomass projects that can provide new markets for Minnesota farmers.

About MAE

MAE is a grassroots 501(c)6 organization funded by grants and donations from friends and members

1411 Pohl Road, Mankato, MN 56001-5751 Phone: (507) 345-4494 email: email:

Copyright 2013 by Mankato Area Environmentalists, Inc. Website designed and maintained by The Red Jacket Company.