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.
The Pivot Arts Festival and Chicago Community Climate Partners will present an evening of Art and Activism from 5:30 to 8:40 p.m. Saturday, June 9, at Loyola University’s Institute for Environmental Sustainability at 6349 N. Kenmore Ave., in Chicago.
The evening begins with a reception and tours of the LEED-certified, sustainable building at 5:30 p.m. A pre-performance panel will convene at 6:30 p.m., before "Not Every Mountain," to discuss the impact of climate change locally, legislative victories, and arts activism.
Local students took top prizes in the One Earth Young Filmmakers Contest at the elementary and middle school levels in both 2018 and 2017. Winning films premiered at the One Earth Film Festival in March at Columbia College along with top films from across the country at high school and college levels. At that time, students were fêted with monetary prizes, certificates, T-shirts, and a reception.
Meet architect, planner and author Douglas Farr from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., in Oak Park. Discuss ideas from his new book, "Sustainable Nation: Urban Design Patterns for the Future." His first book, "Sustainable Urbanism: Urban Design with Nature" helped shift the focus of urban sustainability from the stand-alone building to the high-performance neighborhood.
Enjoy a warm breeze and the glittering lights of the city at a free, outdoor film in Chicago’s Millennium Park this summer.
One Earth Film Fest will screen the animated film “WALL-E” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. This collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events is part of the Millennium Park Summer Film Series.
Spring has sprung, the birds are singing and the flowers are blooming.
Host a green show & tell event at your block party to explore ways we can do our part to support Mother Nature. You can choose from one of the following topics offered by Green Community Connections and friends or design your own event.
If you’ve ever wondered about pigeons’ navigational abilities, parrots’ linguistic skills or the musical memory of mockingbirds – and even if you haven’t -- it might be time to pick up a copy of The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman.
Students at Morton High School worked to solve the real-world problem of the declining monarch population by building a 5,000-square-foot monarch habitat and native garden at the Freshman Center in late April.
Dave and Ol are two Brits who work for environmental charities. Each week, they digest the latest environmental news stories, speak with experts, and spout their own opinions in their 30- to 40-minute, light comedy podcast, Sustainababble, which has as its motto: “Trying to be cheery in the face of impending ecological disaster.” Blimey.