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.
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.
It's early October, and the annual holiday marketing onslaught is not too far away. "The more you spend, the more you save," is one of my favorite crazy slogans. Does that really work on people? If you've spent $500 on new sweaters to save $100, you've just, um, spent $400.
Unless... you put on one of those sweaters, and then crank down your thermostat to save money on your heating bill. Love it!