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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.

Momentum Grows to Eliminate Plastic Straws & Single-Use Plastics

Compostable Straws at Poor Phil’s

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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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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Chasing Windmills in Garfield Park


In 2010, Annette Britton was walking through Green Fest Chicago, hoping to meet the writer John Perkins. His book “The World is as You Dream It” had inspired her, and she wanted a signed copy.

But something else caught her eye. It was a model of a wind turbine, about her height, displayed by the company Earth Wind and Solar.

“I thought, ‘That’s it. I’m supposed to have that,’” she said.

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School Garden Tour (District 97)


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