When most people retire, they kick back, take cruises, and visit the grandchildren. Sally Stovall was not most people. She did, indeed, relish visiting her grandchildren, but after she retired from a career in organizational development, Sally embarked on a new, vibrant career as climate activist and community organizer.
When monarch butterflies migrate over 2,000 miles to Mexico during the winter, they head to the same places within the fir forests each year. This fact may not sound impressive, but the monarchs who fly to Mexico may be fourth generation butterflies who have never seen the mountain forests and do not have any living ancestors to lead the way from experience.
Doug Taron, chief curator at Chicago Academy of Sciences’ Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, will speak about the life cycle and migration of monarch butterflies at a West Cook Wild Ones monthly meeting from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 26, at the Oak Park Public Library Maze Branch, 845 Gunderson Ave.
It happened suddenly, almost overnight. Just 700 feet from young children playing, MAT Asphalt, LLC appeared on the southern border of McKinley Park, at 2055 W. Pershing Rd., in Chicago, in early 2018. The plant produces up to 890,000 tons of asphalt per year.
Almost as quickly, Neighbors for Environmental Justice (N4EJ) formed in response; they are a group of local citizens who claim the plant brings dust and fumes, which could damage children’s lungs, increase rates of asthma, and possibly worse.
Not many people would let a tarantula crawl across their hand and consider it a “magical” experience. Nor allow an octopus to grasp their arm with its suckers, but author Sy Montgomery did both, telling stories about the animals in “How to be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals.”
The Nature Book Club of the Trailside Museum of Natural History will hold a free discussion of “How to Be a Good Creature” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2. The museum is located at 738 Thatcher Ave. in River Forest. For details, contact 708-366-6530 or email@example.com. “How to Be a Good Creature” is a New York Times bestseller, and Montgomery is a National Book Award finalist.
With 40% of all food being wasted in the United States, the Interfaith Green Network, in conjunction with several sustainable organizations in the area, want to help us all become Food Waste Warriors. Two programs are lined up to help us become more aware of the problem of food waste and what we can do about it at home.
Those who didn’t catch the documentary WASTED! at last year’s One Earth Film Festival have another chance next month at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Oak Park Library. Doors open at 6 p.m. for this free screening. All ages welcome. Please register here.
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.
Six One Earth Young Filmmakers Workshops started in the heat of summer, on August 11, and finished up amid a winter chill on December 9. Recent art school graduates and accomplished, award-winning film directors taught content, which ranged from stop-motion to live action.
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.
If you curl up with A Sand County Almanac by a window, you may soon be looking outside and seeing a passing dog as a “professor” of scents. You may imagine how if a nearby chickadee worked, it would have a “Keep calm” sign above its desk. Aldo Leopold’s classic book combines such memorable and humorous observations of flora and fauna on his Wisconsin sand farm, as well as his thoughts and philosophy on conservation.
For seven months now, a group of 20 people, give or take a few, have been practicing Sacred Wandering at Thatcher Woods, the third Saturday of each month. We start with some community-building conversation, a standing meditation, and then we walk slowly to our first meditation spot where we sit for about 15 minutes, focusing on the nature surrounding us.
Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest is co-hosting one of Faith in Place’s itinerant indoor Winter Farmers Markets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 10. The market is free and open to the public. These markets move from one location to another each weekend to provide more communities with access to local foods and give vendors the chance to meet new customers.
At a time of year when most summer farmers markets have closed for the season, this market will offer attendees the opportunity to purchase items such as meat, eggs, honey, salsa, jam, bread, pastries, seasonally-available produce, and more.
Saving food starts with your mindset. It’s a skill, as well as a passion. Like a muscle, it strengthens as you use it!
We can make a big difference by becoming food waste warriors! We don’t usually think of food being a major source of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but according to research published in 2017 in the book, DRAWDOWN, edited by Paul Hawken, “reduced food waste” was ranked as the 3rd most effective of the 80 solutions that could actually reverse global warming.
At the closing celebration for the One Earth Film Festival, Isaiah Mākar presented his Spoken Word piece, “Earth’s Breakup Letter: Please Don’t Leave Me for Mars,” on March 11, at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Recently, he answered a few questions about his journey from a shy kid to a Spoken Word entrepreneur. This interview is followed by his Spoken Word poem from the closing celebration.
Practicing self-care is essential in 2018. It’s been a year of soul-crushing news about the climate, the state of our democracy, and #metoo. If you enjoy walking, you might try forest therapy. Called forest bathing (shinrin yoku) by the Japanese, this beautiful practice combines mindfulness and a slow stroll in nature, under the direction of a certified guide, often in the company of others.
Jim Gill and Elaine Petkovsek are creating an oasis for birds in their backyard. Directly underneath the overhead bird feeder, they will plant an American Hazelnut which will be visible from their patio table (behind).
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?
2018 is the Year of the Bird, designated by the National Audubon Society, National Geographic, and other bird-loving organizations. They are inviting bird-lovers to “help build a better world for birds by taking a simple but meaningful action each month.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
Understanding of the importance of reducing food waste is growing. France has recently become the first country to prohibit supermarkets from throwing away food based on its sell-by date. They are required to donate the food to a charity rather than dispose of it.
We may be a long way from mandating food donations nationally, but there is a lot that we can do in our own homes. Within the US, we are responsible in our homes for 43% of the food waste.
During the weekend following World Oceans Day on Friday, June 8, over 140 organizations, including the local Illinois Ocean Coalition, are converging across the country to “March for the Ocean,” to highlight the importance of clean water in our rivers, lakes, and oceans.