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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fun for the whole family awaits at the 2018 Earth Fest, including a wide range of activities for kids from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at the Village of Oak Park Public Works Center, 201 South Blvd. Engage with more than 50 vendors and organizations who will provide hands-on activities, environmental services information, free samples and green goods for sale. Take a tour of the LEED Gold-certified Public Works facility, and check out the beehives on the building’s green roof.
This is a drive up/drop-off event to reuse/recycle items not accepted in the curbside collection. Clean out your basement, garage, and drop off items for recycling rather than sending them to landfill. The Epilepsy Foundation will be collecting clothing, shoes, and household items.
For a detailed list of accepted items and for information on the Electronic Collection Program, go here. For volunteer opportunities, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area Retailers will give away free reusable bags to customers on Saturday, Jan. 6
Beginning Jan. 1, Oak Park shoppers in many of the larger retail stores will be charged 10 cents for every single-use bag the store provides to carry home their purchases. The new local law, which applies to retail stores of 5,000 or more square feet, is intended to reduce the negative impact single-use bags have on the environment.
In mid-November, Mindy Agnew took on the role as Oak Park’s new sustainability coordinator, stepping into a post that had been vacant for more than three and a half years.
Mindy’s sustainability pedigree is already well established in Oak Park. She was a member of the team that guided District 97 to incorporate zero waste programs in the schools, beginning in 2008. Since that time, composting, recycling, and zero waste lunches have become commonplace throughout the Oak Park educational system.
With Oak Park’s single-use bag tax taking effect on January 1, 2018, now is a great time to make carrying reusable bags a habit.
Over the next few months, Green Community Connections will be launching a bag share project. If you have extra reusable bags, you will be able to leave them at one of the bag locations. If you need a bag, or you’re out and about and realize you’ve forgotten yours, you can swing by a bag location and grab a one.
It’s easy to get pulled into the consumer frenzy during the upcoming holidays. Rethink your approach by making or purchasing hand-crafted products. Or donate to important causes in honor of friends and family. These are a few of our favorite things:
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.
The Village of Oak Park has unanimously passed an ordinance requiring stores over 5000 square feet to charge 10¢ a single-use bag. The new rule goes into effect on January 1, 2018, and will apply to both paper and plastic bags. The new 10¢ fee will be evenly split between the retailer and the Village, with the Village’s share earmarked for “environmental sustainability initiatives” which have yet to be named.
We've seen the images of seagulls caught in plastic bags, microscopic plastic beads in plankton, and the Great Norther Pacific garbage patch. Plastic is so ubiquitous that cleaning up our enormous mess sometimes seems hopeless. But three opportunities are available for those with a heart to make a difference.
Summer is upon us and with it the annual block party season. Block parties are a special part of celebrating community and our wonderful outdoor spaces. It’s also a great way of recognizing and celebrating the many sustainability initiatives and resources in our community – whether it’s native or edible gardens, backyard or curbside composting (offered through the villages of Oak Park and River Forest), solar panels or learning about the awesome trees on your block. By shining a light on these important community assets, we encourage one another and help to build a more resilient future for our children.