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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.

Save Our Earth–Bring Your Own Bags

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Area Retailers will give away free reusable bags to customers on Saturday, Jan. 6

Beginning Jan. 1, Oak Park shoppers in many of the larger retail stores will be charged 10 cents for every single-use bag the store provides to carry home their purchases. The new local law, which applies to retail stores of 5,000 or more square feet, is intended to reduce the negative impact single-use bags have on the environment.

The fee applies to paper as well as plastic, officials say, because paper bags consume enormous amounts of natural resources to manufacture and create their own type of environmental issues when not disposed of properly.

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At Chicago Community Climate Forum, Participants Connect Around Solutions

Chicago Community Climate Forum | The Field Museum | ©Spoon Photo & Design 2017

Dallas Goldtooth, an activist with the Indigenous Environmental Network who helped stop the Keystone XL pipeline, is still advocating for sustained demonstrations and non-violent actions.

“We need a story of change…of resistance,” he told a gathering of close to 1500 civic leaders, community members, and representatives from 70 civic and environmental organizations that attended the Chicago Community Climate Forum, held Dec. 3 at The Field Museum.

The centerpiece of the forum was the unveiling of a Chicago Agreement on Climate and Community. The agreement outlines a set of principles and commitments by the city’s neighborhoods, institutions, and organizations to curb climate change. Just as the Paris Agreement facilitates collaboration among nations of the world, the Chicago Agreement offers a way for community members and local organizations to contribute to practical climate solutions.

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Oak Park/River Forest Resilient Communities Forum

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Get informed, inspired and connected for the year ahead at the Oak Park/River Forest Resilient Communities Forum at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, at the 19th Century Club, 178 Forest Ave., in Oak Park.

Hear firsthand the latest sustainability news from the North American Mayor’s Summit in Chicago, the Chicago Community Climate Forum, and the UN climate talks in Bonn, Germany. Local residents who took part in these events, including Village President Catherine Adduci (River Forest) and Mayor Anan Abu Taleb (Oak Park), have been invited to share their reflections and “takeaways” on how cities are taking action to build more resilient and sustainable communities.

We’ll also get an update on the significant work already happening and in process in Oak Park and River Forest contributing to implementation of the PlanItGreen sustainability plan.

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Jason Funk Talks about UN Climate Change Conference

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Oak Park resident, Jason Funk, attended the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, in November. Jason, the Associate Director of Land Use at the Center for Carbon Removal, answered a few questions about his experience:

Q:  How did you participate at the Bonn Climate Change Conference?

A:  I participated as an observer organization, along with hundreds of other NGOs from around the world. Observers aim to influence the negotiations by engaging with Party delegates, talking to the media, and working together to amplify our voices about environmental integrity, human rights, and other issues.

Q:  What were some of the accomplishments and main takeaways from the Bonn conference? 

A:  One of the main takeaways was simply the fact that countries worked hard to stay on track to meet the Paris goals, despite the announced withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement. In fact, the bluster from the U.S. administration seemed to galvanize the rest of the world, and they worked diligently, making good progress toward the implementation of the Agreement in 2020.

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Meet Mindy Agnew: Oak Park’s New Sustainability Coordinator

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In mid-November, Mindy Agnew took on the role as Oak Park’s new sustainability coordinator, stepping into a post that had been vacant for more than three and a half years.

Mindy’s sustainability pedigree is already well established in Oak Park. She was a member of the team that guided District 97 to incorporate zero waste programs in the schools, beginning in 2008. Since that time, composting, recycling, and zero waste lunches have become commonplace throughout the Oak Park educational system.

She recalls: “It involved the green committees and the PTOs and the school administration, the principals. We are blessed with local community support on zero waste schools from Seven Generations Ahead. That’s why I like to say there are a lot of ‘Mindies’ running around Oak Park! It’s not just me doing this kind of work.”

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Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors from the One Earth Film Festival.

    

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