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Earth Day Highlights Sustainability in Central Wisconsin
Madison -- State Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point) released the following statement today in recognition of Earth Day on April 22, 2012:

“Earth Day is a great opportunity to highlight the many innovative efforts underway in Central Wisconsin that are developing and promoting sustainable practices to reduce our demand for natural resources and release less pollution in our environment.

“At UW-Stevens Point, the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology is breaking new ground in biofuels research, creating energy from papermaking waste products and developing new sources of plant oils.  WIST is also developing new recycling techniques for biodegradable plastics, researching commuting habits for UWSP students to determine and reduce pollution, congestion and fuel use, and educating students and the entire community on everything from sustainable papermaking methods to green chemistry. 

“Recently I had a chance to visit Central Rivers Farmshed, a vacant greenhouse that is being converted into a center to promote the local food movement in Central Wisconsin. Farmshed enhances the relationship between local residents and their food, and strives to provide opportunities for participation, education, cooperation, and action to support a local food economy in Central Wisconsin. When food doesn’t have to travel far from farm to table, we reduce fuel consumption and pollution while we help support local farmers.  Local food is good for the environment and good for our health—and it tastes great, too.

“And Central Wisconsin is home to the Midwest Renewable Energy Association, which promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living through education and demonstration projects.   Its annual Energy Fair, the longest running event of its kind, attracts tens of thousands to the area to learn about the latest in sustainable energy technologies.  The MREA’s ReNew the Earth Institute and hundreds of workshops develop our understanding of green energy applications and build the expertise of everyone from contractors to homeowners.

“Throughout Central Wisconsin, individuals, businesses and communities are finding innovative ways to reduce waste and consumption, using more earth-friendly practices, adopting Green Community resolutions, implementing water quality and conservation methods, turning manufacturing and agricultural wastes into green energy, and so much more.  I’m proud to say that we’re a leader in building a more sustainable future.  In Central Wisconsin, every day truly is Earth Day.”