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Who We Are

Green Community Connections provides a place to tap into conversations about sustainability issues and to identify concrete steps you can take. We believe change is both necessary and possible and the best way to get there is together. Learn more About Us.

Citizens Urge Oak Park Board to “Get on Board” with Green Energy

Action Alert:  Rally 17Feb13 Not Easy Being Green

On April 11, 2014, the Oak Park Village Board reversed its commitment to renewable energy and voted to change our community choice aggregation investment from green to brown.  (See related Chicago Tribune article.)

It may be too late to change this particular decision by the board, but it is NOT too late — and it is crucially important — that we use our voice to express our continuing desire to have Oak Park take leadership in building a sustainable, resilient community and to ensure that the Village Board is “on board” with us!!

If that is a message that you would like to send to the Oak Park Village Board, please consider taking the following actions. join in the Green Energy Appeal:

  1. Help us pack the house during the next village board MEETING, scheduled for Monday, April 21 at 8PM at Village Hall (Lombard and Madison). Our attendance will demonstrate support for green energy and sustainability policies.
  2. Sign the PETITION, urging the board to recommit Oak Park to 100% renewable (green) energy now. If you want to make additional comments, write to: board@oak-park.us to remind the members that we expect them to be sustainability leaders.  Remember to say “Thank you!” to Trustee Colette Lueck, the lone board member who spoke in favor of choosing a green energy investment option.
  3. SHARE a link to the Oak Park Green Energy Appeal page with your family and friends via an email or social media.  Watch for updates, background and additional action ideas.
  4. Stay tuned for information about how you can opt out of brown (fossil fuel-based) energy in Oak Park.
  5. OTHER CREATIVE ACTIONS as you are so inspired, e.g., write a letter to the editor at Wednesday Journal, Oak Leaves, Tribune, and/or Sun Times. Make signs to bring to Village Board meetings.

As Trustee Lueck said, “This [slight cost increase to support green energy] is a hit I could live with, because I think green is important to Oak Park. . . I also think it is important to the future of our world.”

We do, too!

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Green Living: Break Your Bag Habit

plastic bag litter

If you’ve driven down the Eisenhower Expressway recently, you know where I’m going with this. After the snow melted, six months of buried trash was suddenly exposed all along the highway. And it’s the bags, fluttering in the wind, skittering across the lanes that grab attention and demonstrate their own polluting wastefulness.

Hopefully the city will send out work crews soon. In the meantime, we want to encourage you to break your bag habit. Reason #1 is to help a good cause. We  are happy to announce that the River Forest Whole Foods has chosen Green Community Connections as the recipient community group for their “One Dime at a Time,” bring-your-own-bag program. Every time you shop there now through June 30, bring your own grocery bags and let the cashier know you’d like Whole Foods to donate 10 cents for each of your bags to Green Community Connections.  

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Community Profile: Julie Moller, Bag Monster & Founder of Recycling Extravaganza

Bag Monster - JM

When Julie Moller showed up as the “bag monster” last year at the One Earth Film Festival, we knew we had connected with someone special. As facilitator for the film Bag It at the River Forest Public Library, she came in a handmade costume consisting of hundreds of plastic bags.  Needless to say, she attracted a lot of attention. And, she still gets  use out of that costume.

“I’ve worn that costume to the science fair at my daughter’s school, a girls scouts event, and on Earth Day. My kids are used to it,” she laughs. But her commitment to waste reduction doesn’t stop there. As founder of River Forest’s Recycling Extravaganza–this year’s runs on May 3 from 8 am to 1 pm at River Forest United Methodist Church, 7970 Lake Street, River Forest — she mobilizes hundreds of people to divert carloads of stuff from the landfill and get these materials into the hands of people who can reuse them.  We talked to Julie about the event and what motivates her.

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Connect to Action: Taking Determined Steps to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

Rally 17Feb13 Not Easy Being Green

The report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reported on in the New York Times on 3/31/2014, warned of climate risk and the impact on human society in the coming decades.  “Nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said the chairman of the IPCC, at the news conference.

As I struggled to think about how to respond to this report, I found myself drawing on the concept of “active hope” conceived by authors Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

Active hope is a practice, like gardening or yoga.  It is something we do rather than something we have.”  (p. 3, Active Hope:  How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy)

Active hope involves identifying the outcomes we hope for and then playing an active role in bringing them about.  We don’t wait until we are sure of success.  We don’t limit our choices to the outcomes that seem likely.  Instead we focus on what we truly, deeply long for, and then we proceed to take determined steps in that direction.”  (p. 37, Active Hope)

 Following are 5 determined steps that you can take right now to reduce your carbon footprint . . . and develop a sense of active hope.

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One Earth Film Festival Expansion Opens New Doors

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The third annual One Earth Film Festival was the biggest and best one yet! Originally conceived and launched by Green Community Connections in Oak Park and River Forest two years ago, the One Earth Film Festival has grown dramatically in a short time. Festival organizers, volunteers, resource persons and attendees have made connections and formed new partnerships, opening doors for ongoing growth and development of the Midwest’s Premier Environmental Film Festival.

This year we expanded the volunteer-run film festival into 10 new communities. In Berwyn, River Grove and eight Chicago locations—from the North Side to the South Side, with Austin, Garfield Park and 3 universities and colleges in between, nearly 2,500 people saw 30 films in 28 locations the weekend of March 7-9, as well as at eight pre-Fest screenings.

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Premier Sponsors of the 3rd Annual One Earth Film Festival

We are delighted to have these businesses and organizations join us to produce our third annual One Earth Film Festival. 

manaaki logo 2              firstunitedLogo dom logo blue copy Garden Club logo-1

                     Moller Family             VRF Color Logo

 

See a list of all our 2014 Sponsors,  our 2014 Venue/Partners our 2014 Friends of the Fest, and all of our team members, volunteers, and special guests.

Thank you to all our 2014 supporters!