In her compelling address to the General Assembly, the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg upbraided world leaders and updated the numbers for them:
". . . . People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!"
The GreenBuilt Home Tour offers you a look inside 18 sustainable, energy-saving homes in Northern Illinois, and allows you to meet the builders, designers, and homeowners who made these homes possible. This all takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 3 and 4.
The tour features two categories of homes: Twelve Certified Green Homes, meaning that third parties have verified their adherence to nationally recognized standards (you can visit these homes on either day of the tour), and six Green Renovation Homes, meaning that owners have embedded sustainable features into green projects (you can visit these on Saturday only).
Out of Oak Park, Forest Park, Maywood and Berwyn, one community earned the title of “greenest suburb” when comparing per capita carbon dioxide emissions, but the winner may surprise you.
Author, researcher and former Oak Park resident Susan Subak will reveal the answer on Wednesday, July 10, when discussing her 2018 book, “The Five-Ton Life: Carbon, America, and the Culture That May Save Us.” The presentation will include Susan’s research on the low carbon culture of west suburban Chicago compared to other environmental leaders on the East Coast, a slideshow and a book signing. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library Main Branch, 834 Lake St., in the Veterans Room on the second floor.
Visiting friends or family via airplane this holiday season? Don’t forget to bring Mother Earth a present by offsetting the carbon emissions from your flight.
Carbon offsetting involves financially supporting Earth-friendly projects, such as planting trees or building wind farms, which reduce the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide that your flight generated. Burning jet fuel produces carbon dioxide, one of the harmful greenhouse gases that is causing climate change.
Bill Reilly recalls being invited to participate in a panel on socially responsible investing in Oak Park a few years ago. That’s when he first learned about One Earth Film Festival.
A senior financial advisor at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Reilly since has become a festival supporter. In 2017, his team of Merrill Lynch financial advisors, Oak Brook-based The Reilly Group, were Festival sponsors. And they plan on being sponsors again for the 2019 Festival, he says. This year, for Giving Tuesday, Reilly was a matching donor.
Each day’s news seems to pitch us deeper into the pits of despair: climate change action feels stalled, or worse, rolled back.
According to the latest report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a body of the world’s most respected scientists from 195 countries), climate change is here, and it’s accelerating faster than many models predicted. What’s more, climate change will usher in catastrophic food shortages and natural disasters by 2040 unless we change course.
Ana Garcia Doyle and Jim Doyle’s garage was falling apart, the slab was cracked, and they had received citations. They knew they wanted to add solar panels to a new garage they planned on building behind their Oak Park home. In order for Ana and Jim to fit enough solar panels to provide 100 percent of their home’s electricity and for the garage to be at an optimal pitch to capture the sun’s rays, the structure would have to be much taller than a typical garage. Therefore, Ana and Jim decided to build a large, two-story garage with a greenhouse attached and a top floor that could be used as an office or a room for community meetings.
What if someone told you they would give you over $100 worth of LED light bulbs, install them without charge, each bulb would last 22 years, and this would save you over $100 annually on your electric bill, as well as 900 kilowatt hours of electricity each year?
Green Mountain Energy (GME) Sun Club is partnering with the Park District of Oak Park to provide $100,000 for solar panels, rain harvesting, tea composting and bees at the Oak Park Conservatory.
To secure these funds, the Park District needs your help. Click on the link below to identify actions you and your family will take to help make our community more sustainable and contribute to the overall health of Mother Earth.
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 Resilient Communities Forum on Jan. 31 at the Nineteenth Century Club drew 175 residents from Oak Park and River Forest. They heard from municipal and environmental leaders on ways nations and communities are addressing the challenges of climate change.
Solar energy deployment is getting super charged on Chicago’s near west side, thanks to a community-based program called PlanItGreen: Solar in Your Community. The program is developing a pipeline of community solar projects to meet the renewable energy goal in Oak Park and River Forest’s PlanItGreen sustainability plan: achieve 25% renewable energy procurement by 2020.
Since 1975, Illinois Environmental Council (IEC) has promoted sound environmental laws and policies in Illinois. More than 80 affiliate organizations across the state collaborate through the IEC to create policies that protect Illinois’ air, water, and natural areas. IEC is the only organization that provides regular updates on the issues affecting the environment at the state level. We encourage Green Community Connections readers to sign up for the updates at the IEC website: https://ilenviro.org
Take a peek at our new video encouraging students from grade 3 to college age to enter the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest. In addition to winning cash prizes, all winning films will premiere at the One Earth Film Festival in March 2018. More details here.
Video animation by 2013 contest winner Léa Kichler. Music by Abby Lyons.
It’s easy to get discouraged by anti-environment action happening on the federal level…but our state government is actually making a lot of progress in growing our Illinois clean energy industry, protecting our state wildlife, shaping our expanding local food industry and much more. Here in Illinois, there’s actually a lot to feel hopeful about. You can get a snapshot of legislative action in a newly published 2017 Environmental Scorecard, which evaluates individual Illinois state legislators on their environmental voting records. The Scorecard is created by the Illinois Environmental Council (IEC), a non-partisan organization promoting sound policies and environmental laws in Springfield.
The 5th annual GreenBuilt Home Tour will feature at least 12 homes around Chicagoland that are "built tight and vented right." The tour takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 22 and 23, and will showcase sustainable innovations in older and newer homes. (All are third-party verified to confirm they are constructed according to nationally recognized standards.)
As the lemony leaves of local trees blossom into a robust, dark green, we enjoy the aesthetic and spiritual benefits of ambling under this canopy.
But there are also scientific advantages to this glorious arbor. Morton Arboretum encourages Tree Tagging in order to understand the quantifiable benefits for each and every tree, both environmentally and monetarily.
What if your heating system were smart enough to stay at 70 degrees during the day and drop down to 65 degrees at night? What if it were smart enough to even reactivate at 4:30 a.m. so that your house would go from 65 degrees to a comfortable 70 by the time you woke up every morning at 6 a.m.?
There are many reasons Solar energy is ‘disruptive’. The term carries with it massive environmental, economic, social, and political weight. Energy produced by Solar PV systems is clean; no carbon emissions or pollution is generated for the 20+ years a typical system will operate. Additionally, the generated power earns the owner SRECS (renewable energy credits) used by businesses to offset their dirty pollution footprint. Most PV systems can be designed to reach ROI (return on investment) well within the lifetime of the equipment, and thus they create monetary profits thereafter. System owners are insulated from utility rate hikes and inflation and are less dependent on external energy sources.