Every remarkable journey begins with a first step.

Discover the easiest ways to get started. Find out how to deliver the greatest impact. And, join the ULLU community in creating a brighter future.

ULLU was born on August 15th. We’ll be uncovering new opportunities to learn, share, and grow in the coming weeks and months.

We are powerful.

History tells us that at the center of every monumental change, every exciting innovation is a person who works toward something extraordinary—even in the face of setbacks and missteps.

That progress is rarely achieved overnight, of course—or alone. Rather, people of passion bring together great ideas and break down difficult challenges into smaller steps.

This is what ULLU is about.

We’ll spark conversations at home, at work, and in our communities. We’ll multiply our individual impact. And, step-by-step, we’ll walk toward our thriving future.

Take individual action.

When we all mobilize, our small actions multiply across our neighborhoods, our state—the world. From the things we buy and the food we eat to the way we live, commute, and vote—we can all begin to make those first positive steps today.

Here are just a few ideas to get started.

Create an ULLU home.

Maximize energy efficiency and reduce waste. These simple rules can move us on our way.

Take a five-minute action. Wash clothes on cold, and air dry them. Or program thermostats for maximum efficiency.

Take a thirty-minute action. Research ways to make homes more energy-efficient. Replace light bulbs with LEDs. Install low-flow showerheads. Plug TVs and monitors into power strips, so you can turn them off rather than have them running in standby mode.

Take action over a few days. Plant a native garden, reducing water consumption and yard maintenance. Put weather-stripping on windows and doors. Update insulation.

Adopt climate-conscious habits. Shut things off when leaving a room—lights, TVs, fans, and more. Program the thermostat—or get a smart thermostat so energy is conserved when no one’s around.

Make climate-conscious purchases. Get energy-efficient appliances. Choose electric options over natural gas. They’ll save money in the long run, and are better for the planet.

Save money, buy less. Before shopping for new clothes, consider vintage or hosting a clothing swap. Thinking of moving? Save money and reduce emissions every day by choosing a smaller, more energy-efficient home.

Become more efficient on the move.

Transportation is our biggest source of climate pollution here in Minnesota, and every one of us can be part of the solution. For some, that means choosing to walk, bike, or take mass transit more often. For others, thoughtfully planning fuel-efficient routes and reducing extra trips can make a difference.

Take a five-minute action. Explore whether mass transit is an option to get to-and-from work. And, check vehicle tire pressure to run as fuel-efficiently as possible.

Take a thirty-minute action. Research plane-free travel adventures. Try testing out bike trips to the store, too. Just stuff what’s needed into a backpack and go.

Take action over a few days. If practical, experiment with getting around on foot or by bike this week—just to get a sense of what it’s like.

Adopt climate-conscious habits. Walk, bike, and take public transit when possible. When that’s not an option, be mindful of what needs doing and plan the most fuel-efficient routes and fewest trips possible.

Make climate-conscious purchases. Ready for a new vehicle? Think electric, plug-in hybrid, or hybrid to minimize emissions.

Reduce where possible. Travel outside of rush hour to reduce idling. Find a job closer to home when making a career move. Some families even go from two cars to one.

Make an impact at mealtime.

The energy we use to grow, preserve, ship, and cook our food generates about a quarter of our carbon emissions. The good news: We can reduce food waste when we think carefully about the food we buy, and how we preserve and cook it.

Take a five-minute action. Open the refrigerator. Check the cupboards. See anything starting to turn or nearing its expiration date? Make a plan to use it up soon.

Take a thirty-minute action. Create a meal plan. Find a farmer’s market nearby, and research other opportunities to buy local.

Adopt climate-conscious habits. Take a cooking class—and chat up everyone about the impact of our food choices. Love seafood? Consider switching to more sustainable clams and mussels.

Take group action.

When we share what we’ve learned and how we’ve succeded with others—inspiring them to join in—we amplify our impact.

Here are a few ways you can jump in today.

Create an ULLU workplace.

No matter where we work—whether it’s a Fortune 500, a growing local nonprofit, a small family business, or anything in-between—we have the power to create a better world.

Dig in. Explore opportunities to create new, exciting careers and climate-friendly systems, processes, and innovations.

Take action over lunch. Start a monthly climate lunch club. Nurture a work community around this shared concern—taking time to exchange ideas and celebrate progress.

Take action over a few days. Identify inefficient energy use and waste. Thermostat settings and lighting choices are good places to start. Then, share opportunities to save with colleagues or your boss.

Take action over a few weeks. Promote retirement plan options that reward you financially and reduce emissions. (Bonus: Find opportunities to invest in climate resilience innovation.)

Get climate-educated. Learn about our warming planet and how to empower others—at the office or in the classroom.

Build cleaner, healthier communities.

Nudge people at school, in neighborhood groups, and in community organizations to explore issues through the ULLU lens. Prompt them to reduce consumption and work more energy-efficiently, too.

Take neighborhood action. Throw a climate-consciousness party. Get friends and neighbors together, and feast on local food. Talk about how everyone can take action—at home and as a neighborhood.

Take action within a professional association. Prompt discussions about our warming planet with association leadership, and encourage them to introduce climate-conscious habits to professional training opportunities.

Take action as a union. Band together. Ensure a healthy climate is part of the union agenda—from ways to conserve resources to new careers fueled by innovation.

Take action at school. Team up with parents, teachers, and students to create a climate day of learning, action, and inspiration.

Take action within faith communities. Explore how faith tradition can empower others to care for our creation—from planting a community garden and making places of worship more energy-efficient to powering up with solar and more.

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Join ULLU.

Ask questions. Share stories. Or, enjoy the lurker lifestyle for a while.

ULLU welcomes everyone to get started in whatever way feels right to them—whether that means dipping a toe in the water or making a spectacular cannonball-style splash.

Feeling conversational?

Talking about our warming planet is one of the most important ways we can move forward together. Here are just a few tips for kicking off the convo.

Be clear about the goal. It’s not to convince someone of an agenda, but rather to build trust—that’s the moment where change begins.

Check assumptions at the door. Approach healthy climate conversations with an open mind. That leaves the door open for understanding the challenges others’ face—a critical part of finding a productive path forward.

Listen actively. Be patient. Ask questions. Demonstrate interest through body language—lean forward, nod, make eye contact. And, here’s a secret reporter trick—don’t fill empty space. When someone pauses, wait quietly for a moment. They’ll often fill that space with deeper insight.

Validate the person’s experience. We all want to be heard and understood. So, when someone presents a challenge they face, acknowledge their pain with compassion. That helps foster the trust necessary to bring people together.

Seek common ground. We all want children to be happy—we want vibrant futures filled with opportunity for us and those around us. Start with the values that knit us together to begin positive, productive conversations.

Tell personal climate stories. When we share our own path—from early understanding to climate action—we invite others to join us in that journey. What’s more, personal storytelling is powerful. It gives us the opportunity to foster trust by being open about our own experiences.

ULLU: A project born in Minnesota.

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