Northfield, MN

Ambassador Story: Northfield man looks to protect his community’s tomorrow

August, 2023

Headshot of Alan Anderson, he is a white male wearing glasses.For Alan Anderson of Northfield, MN, retirement didn’t signify the end of his working days. Instead, he saw it as an opportunity to look toward the future of his community.

“The earth is heating up. I think that the situation is far more dire than most people appreciate. If we want to preserve a livable world, we need people doing a whole lot more to bring down emissions.” says Anderson.

With these aspirations in tow, Anderson and two fellow Rotarians kicked-off a Climate Action Team within their local Rotary Club. What started as three people in 2017, has blossomed into a 22 person effort. Among the group’s many achievements, Anderson is especially proud of partnering with the city of Northfield to install two electric vehicle charging stations and inspiring the launch of some 200 similar Rotary climate action teams across the world.

While Anderson’s team is working to prevent earth-altering climate change, he says their approach is a bit smaller-scale.

“There are a lot of ways to try to reach people, but the chance to actually talk to people face to face, I think, is your best chance to share a message that will stick."

Alan Anderson

Part of meeting with the Northfield community means reaching them where they’re at. That includes giving educational presentations to community groups, service clubs, senior citizen groups, and tabling at local events. 

“On a recent Saturday at the local farmers market, I talked to 65 different people and gave away 65 flyers,” Anderson says. “If I can get them to stop for a moment, I can explain more and I find that they’re very interested.”

Inflation Reduction Act forges new paths

Eleven years into retirement and Anderson says he is still looking for new routes forward. One he’s particularly excited about is the Inflation Reduction Act, a landmark federal law. It's the largest climate bill in US history and it aims to curb inflation through a number of efforts, including the implementation of clean energy.

Anderson recently signed on as an Ambassador with the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs.) The volunteer role is informal but crucial - developed by CERTs to help spread the word throughout Minnesota communities about the clean energy incentives within the new law.

Anderson is involved in various outreach efforts, but he’s particularly excited about what the Inflation Reduction Act has available for contractors. He’s using resources and information from CERTs Inflation Reduction Act Toolkit to move forward.

Safeguarding community


The Southeast Minnesota town of Northfield has 15,000 full-time residents, and 5,000 college students. It’s a community that has shown impressive action toward a better tomorrow. 

“I’m pleased to say that we have multiple organizations within our small town that are all interested in working together to get the word out about the Inflation Reduction Act, a key way to fight climate change.”

When looking to the future, Anderson says his vision is clear.  He hopes we achieve a clean energy world for future generations of his local community and his own family. 

“My ultimate inspiration comes from my five little grandchildren. I am trying to do my part to preserve a livable world for them.”


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