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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.

New discount solar program comes to Oak Park and Chicago

Information excerpted from SolarChicago web site

Solar Chicago is a new, community-wide group solar discount program offered by the City of Chicago, the World Wildlife Fund and Vote Solar, a non-profit organization Barrows 50percentworking to bring solar energy into the mainstream. This initiative is available to Oak Park residents as well.

This program is intended to help homeowners pool their buying power to secure significant discounts that make installing solar more affordable than ever. Solar Chicago simplifies the process of researching and choosing a solar provider, making it easy for you to save money and produce clean, renewable energy.

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Community Profile: Julie Carlson and her River Forest Passive Solar Home

This month, the 2014 GreenBuilt Home Tour stops at two innovative homes in Oak Park and River Forest: one is a thoughtful green rehab with a greywater system, the other is a spectacular custom-built, passive solar home. The self-guided tour, which showcases the best in sustainable design and construction in home building and remodeling in Illinois, runs Saturday and Sunday, July 26 and 27. We chatted with one of the homeowners, Julie Carlson, about her River Forest passive solar home.

Read on to learn Julie’s biggest challenge in building the home. (Hint:  Julie, an editor by profession, acquired a whole new vocabulary to meet the challenge.) Plus, discover which stainless steel appliance is her favorite green feature of the home…but it’s not for cooking!

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Eminent Climate Scientist Advocates 3-Part Strategy to Combat Global Warming

“Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting   intergenerational injustice.”                                                                                      — James Hansen, et al, Abstract of “Assessing Dangerous Climate Change

Let the above statement sink in for a moment. It was written by James Hansen, widely considered the world’s greatest climate scientist.  He has been researching globalhansen reflective warming since the 1970s, and has been raising the alarm since 1988, when he gave Congressional testimony.  In 2013 he ended his 46-year career at NASA to put all his energy into global warming organizing.  Bill McKibben said of Hansen:  “He’s done the most important science on the most important question there ever was.”

Recently, Dr. Hansen wrote an intriguing essay, “The Wheels of Justice,” which we would like to share with you. It is strong and actionable.  The essay outlines a three-front strategy required for success in the struggle to stabilize the planet.  The strategies are:

1.  Through the courts.  This front is less familiar to many. In his essay, he reports on a group called Our Children’s Trust, which has gone to court to fight for the right of young people and future generations to have a livable planet.  This group has also produced a series of short documentary films called “Stories of Trust,” several of which were shown in the 2013 One Earth Film Festival. Action Opportunities:  Contribute to the legal costs of Our Children’s Trust, and use the short films to engage the community about legal challenges to government inaction.

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Beyond Hostas: Native Plants for Shade

(Oak Park, IL) West Cook Wild Ones will host a program titled “Beyond Hostas: Native Plants for Shade” presented by Patricia Hill, author of Design Your Natural Native midwest gardenMidwest Garden on Sunday, July 20, from 2:30 to 4:30p.m. The program takes place in Lewis Hall at Dominican University (7900 W. Division, in River Forest). This program is free and open to the public.

In this program, award-winning garden designer and author Patricia Hill tackles the difficult, dark and dry conditions often found in shady areas of a home landscape. These are the spaces underneath dense maple trees, on the north side of homes and other hard to plant places where grass, most annuals and other sun- and moisture-loving plants can’t thrive. Out of desperation, many people turn to dependable hostas, those ubiquitous, variegated-leaved, purple flowering summer staples. But Hill has other tricks up her sleeve…beautiful, hardy, native plants that are uniquely suited to shade.

Gardening with native species is low-maintenance, good for the environment, and yields stunning results. Hill shows you how to combine varieties that are perfect for the soils and climates of the upper Midwest into beautiful combinations for every space around your home.

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Film Screening: Resistance — Not All Germs are Created Equal

Resistance Screening Poster

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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!