Roots and Shoots focusing on wind sourcing, clean energy

Club growing efforts to promote sustainability in local community


Caroline Green

Junior Anika Hanson participates in a Roots & Shoots club discussion regarding the creation of a recycling video. The group's next meeting is Jan. 30 at 8 a.m. in A316.

Elise Riley and Isaac Wert

Senior Lukas Wrede, the leader of Roots and Shoots, said the school’s environmental club is currently leading St. Louis Park’s “Renewable Energy Work Group.”

“Our main role is now to (promote) the wind sourcing campaign and clean energy in the city in general,” Wrede said.

According to Wrede, wind sourcing refers to renewable wind energy created outside of the city limits.

“Xcel Energy captures (the) energy and brings it into St. Louis Park, and through various programs that Xcel Energy offers, (households) are able to buy that energy,” Wrede said. “So essentially, you’re using 100% renewable and clean energy in your house, but you don’t have to put up solar panels or (build) wind turbines.”

Junior Roots and Shoots member Katie Christiansen said she feels wind sourcing is both affordable and environmentally impactful.

“(Wind sourcing) matters because we expend so much energy that is non-renewable, and I think a lot of people find it difficult to get involved in bettering the planet on a personal and community level. (Wind sourcing) is a really great opportunity to do that,” Christiansen said.

Wrede said wind sourcing is relatively easy for households to implement in their homes.

“Basically what it entails is, depending on the size of your house and the amount of energy you use, (committing to wind-sourced energy would be) about the price of a cup of coffee per month — around five to six dollars per month to sign up for 100% renewable energy through wind sourcing,” Wrede said.

According to Wrede, families interested in signing their households up for wind sourcing should call 800-895-4999, or visit

Wrede said Roots and Shoots has various plans to promote wind sourcing across St. Louis Park.

“What we’re doing now is spreading awareness through social media, and we’ll do fundraisers as well as the campaign goes on. We’re also thinking of making yard signs to pass out in St. Louis Park,” Wrede said. “Also, once the climate action plan is passed, we’re going to have a launch (where) we are going to invite organizations to commit to wind sourcing as well and we’re going to advertise their commitment to clean energy.”

According to Wrede, Roots and Shoots will first promote residential wind sourcing, but eventually shift focus to businesses.

“Energy is the main greenhouse gas emitter in the city, and commercial usage of that energy is the largest user of electricity, and we want to address that as well,” Wrede said.

Roots and Shoots adviser Al Wachutka said he personally supports a shift to wind sourcing at the high school.

“I think it’s a cool idea. Even though it’s not completely efficient for us to make any kind of transference, (we) still have to look for other options,” Wachutka said. “The current administration isn’t supportive of that, but (I think) we should be doing something as an educational institution to model.”

The next Roots and Shoots meeting will take place at 8 a.m., Jan. 30 in room A316, and all students are welcome to attend, according to Wrede.