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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.

Explore the Magical World of Native Plants

Have you ever walked by a beautiful garden brimming with blooms and butterflies and thought, I wonder how they did this? The upcoming Birds, Bees & Butterflies Native Garden Tour in Oak Park and River Forest will give you a chance to satisfy your curiosity and talk to the people behind their own gardens. Passionate native plant enthusiasts, master gardeners, professional designers and experienced naturalists will guide you through 12 enchanting gardens that creatively incorporate native plants.

“Whatever your experience level, you will enjoy opportunities to learn from the gardeners themselves, who are all passionate about native plants and are eager to share their knowledge, tips and tricks,” says Pam Todd, co-founder of West Cook Wild Ones, which is hosting the tour. “Whether you are just getting started from scratch or want to expand an established garden, you can get your questions answered.”

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Momentum Grows to Eliminate Plastic Straws & Single-Use Plastics

My husband and I were at a restaurant recently and we noticed that there was a handful of paper-wrapped straws on the table. When we looked at one of these packages, we were pleasantly surprised to see that these straws were made from plants (not plastic) and that they were 100% compostable! Since there are 500 million plastic straws used and discarded every day in the United States alone, that’s very good news to see a restaurant that has made the choice to go in a different direction!

The news is filled these days with examples of action at all levels!

  • The European Union (EU) has proposed measures that will reduce the top 10 plastic items most commonly found on beaches, including straws, bottles, disposable cutlery and fishing gear. “It’s in the air, it’s in our oceans, it’s in our food and also in our bodies,” said the VP of the European Commission which proposed this legislation.  (source:  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/28/world/europe/european-union-plastics-pollution.html)
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, will be the first major Canadian city to ban plastic straws. The straw ban, which takes effect next year, is part of a program of waste-reducing policies. This also includes a ban on distribution of polystyrene (Styrofoam) cups and more. The city aims to completely eliminate the disposal of solid waste by 2040! (source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouver-to-be-first-major-canadian-city-to-ban-plastic-straws/)
  • Starbucks, American and Alaska Airlines and several large hotel chains and a cruise lines have also announced plans to eliminate plastic straws in their places of business within the next two years. Many independent local restaurants are also choosing to eliminate plastic straws or to offer them only on request rather than as a standard procedure.

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Green Built Home Tour 2018

Modular Prefab Modern Farmhouse at 634 N. Taylor St. in Oak Park will be certified as a Department of Energy Zero Energy Ready Home.

Two Oak Park buildings will be featured among 16 Illinois residences in the Green Built Home Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29: the District House condominiums at 702 Lake St. and the Modular Prefab Modern Farmhouse at 634 N. Taylor St.

The District House, with green roof terraces, should receive its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Home certification soon.

The Modular Prefab Modern Farmhouse will be a DOE (Department of Energy) Zero Energy Ready Home (pending). As a prefab, it was built in an Indiana factory by Hi-Tech Housing, and assembled at 634 N. Taylor St. on August 23, 2017.

“It took 3 trucks and one large crane to place the six modules together, and after six hours, there stood a fully enclosed and roofed house ready for finishes,” writes architect Tom Bassett-Dilley, who guided the process.

In this case, “prefab” meant working with modules, but Bassett-Dilley designed the layout, siting, HVAC, and thermal enclosure foundation in coordination with the modular factory.

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Add a Green-Themed Activity to Your Block Party


Planning a block party in Oak Park for July, Aug or Sept? Check out these green-themed “show & tell” activities offered by Green Community Connections and partners.

  • Mobilizing for monarchs: Stories of the amazing monarch butterfly and how we can help them survive and thrive! (with: West Cook Wild Ones)
  • Tips for a beautiful, family friendly lawn: Get tips on solving common lawn-care problems without toxic chemicals. (with: The Deep Roots Project)
  • Strategies for making eating more sustainable: Enjoy tasting yummy plant-rich dishes and share ideas for reducing food waste.

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Research Reveals Surprising Solutions for REVERSING Climate Change

“Think of the causes of global warming, and fossil fuel energy probably comes to mind. Less conspicuous are the consequences of breakfast, lunch and dinner. . .  [but] what we eat turns out to be the number one cause of global warming.”   — Paul Hawken, DRAWDOWN, pg. 37

In atmospheric terms drawdown is that point at which greenhouse gasses peak and begin to decline on a year to year basis. Research conducted by a team of 70 researchers, and reviewed by 120 advisers and 40 outside scientific reviewers identified 80 solutions which are highlighted in the book titled “DRAWDOWN,” that together could bring the world to the point of drawdown within 30 years.

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