Our concept is to change our selves as a block as quickly and efficiently as we can and inspire other blocks, or communities in Oak Park to create a structure for a quicker change of lifestyle. While our block has met for four years, once a month to establish group projects which we accomplish seasonally, we also change more rapidly as an individual family because of our involvement--we are encouraged and supported by belonging to a larger group of families. We hope by our block's structure to encourage many blocks in Oak Park to become a Green Block, then Oak Park as a Green Village will encourage other villages to change faster which could happen exponentially. A “Green Block” is formed by a group of neighbors who are committed to learning about energy conservation and environmental programs and taking individual and collective actions to implement these initiatives in their neighborhood. The Green Blocks program has proven to be beneficial for residents in their efforts to make their homes more energy efficient, participate in ongoing environmental activities and share their success stories.
Getting Started: A core group met to form the first Green Block and created the following Vision Statement: “To encourage actions in our every day life to support a sustainable, healthy environment, for the earth and its people.” Your group can work together to write your own vision statement.
Inventory: Develop a survey and distribute to each home on the block (sample survey attached). Discuss findings at the first meeting. Conducting the “inventory” each year to measure results is recommended as it will help you see your successes and plan future projects and activities.
Meetings: It is helpful to have a regular meeting schedule. The core group meets monthly and they have arranged larger meetings for the entire block with guest speakers on topics such as weather stripping, energy efficient furnace replacements or green remodeling possibilities.
Networking: Form an email list or telephone tree to help keep everyone informed.
Projects and ongoing activities: Plan a project for each quarter of the year and ask all to participate. Here are some of our projects and accomplishments:
1) Grow our own food or change to native plant gardens
2) Replace our cars with hybrids
3) Learn and share info
4) Insulate our home and reduce heat and a.c.
5) Reduced travel costs by staying closer to home
6) Use an electric or push mower
7) Have purchased water barrels in bulk for the block 8) Recycle, compost food and garden waste
9) Encourage change of lifestyle in our community by speaking, taking booths at Green Festivals and joining discussions for change,
10) Join other green groups to expand and encourage change faster
11) Walk, bike and commute more than drive 12) Mulch grass clippings and mowed leaves.
13) Eat fresh, locally grown and produced foods
14) Reuse when you renovate with recycled alternatives
Want more information?
Call 300 S. Humphrey Block Margot McMahon
Dorie Blesoff 708/660-1280