Every Day is Earth Day for Robbinsdale’s Bill Blonigan
Environmentalism is in the news a lot lately, and for good reason. Current estimates are that if major changes to the way we generate power and trash aren’t made within a decade, it will be too late to stop a climate disaster.
In our viewing area, perhaps no one is as in-tune to that message as Robbinsdale’s Ward-1 city council member.
“A million species I think are in danger of going out of business, becoming extinct in the next 10 years,” said Bill Blonigan.
Bill Blonigan is out on a sunny May day helping the Lower Twin Lake Association clean up the lake, which means he’s part of an environmental success story. Back in 2002, the DNR put Lower Twin Lake on its impaired water list.
But with a lot of effort, the association turned that around. The lake is cleaner now – its shores are a birder’s paradise – and it was removed from the impaired waters list in 2017.
Helping eco-friendly causes is nothing new for Blonigan – he’s been thinking about the environment for decades. In the early 80’s, he was a member of the Environmental Cities Organization. And today, he’s still worried about how the planet is being treated. You’ve probably heard about the global warming debate, but as far as Blonigan’s concerned, there isn’t one.
“We are destroying the environment,” he says. “And a lot of it has to do with what we burn as fuel, so we’ve gotta figure out ways to change what we do as a society.”
He doesn’t just pick up trash – he advocates for the environment in council meetings. He’s known to push for solar panel installations on new buildings.
Giving Gas the Boot
And his environmentalism is evident in his personal life too. He was the first customer at the local Chevy dealership for the Chevrolet Volt. That’s a car that runs primarily on electricity around town – it does have a gas engine, but that only turns on when the batteries get low.
“I just don’t think Chevrolet advertised it enough,” says Bill. “It’s a great car even today and they’re not making them anymore now.”
Chevy might not make the hybrid Volt anymore, but it does make the all-electric Bolt. And offerings from Tesla, Nissan, Porsche, Hyundai, and others mean almost anyone can get in on cutting fossil fuel use. For Blonigan, that’s a good sign.
“We have a great standard of life here in the United States. If we can just dial down a little bit and have all the fun we want to but be more environmentally sensitive, why wouldn’t you do that?”