Cricket is providing microgrants for community projects

Planning a clean up, a garden project, or any other community-centered opportunity?  Cricket wireless is running a competition called Cricket Community Voices.

They want to hear from organizations and individuals who want to do community improvement projects, and a panel of judges will pick the best projects to receive up to $2000 each!  There’s $20,000 total available, and the online submission deadline is November 5.  Check with a local Cricket store, but the deadline may be later if you turn in a paper application.

Open House at Pivot, Feb 27

Education and fashion unite to promote a smarter, greener future for Chicago

What: Pivot, Chicago’s first eco-boutique, hosts an open house event to benefit the Academy for Global Citizenship, a new Chicago Public Contract School on the Southwest Side. Opening for Kindergarten and First Grade students in August 2008, the school aims to be a national model for sustainable education by empowering all children to become active world citizens. It will be the only Chicago Public School with a core mission to incorporate environmental and international mindedness into all aspects of their innovative curriculum design.

Five of the school’s sustainability and wellness initiatives will be highlighted at the Pivot event, including an organic garden, solar energy installation, yoga, nutrition education, healthy breakfast and lunch. Guests will have an opportunity to learn more about sustainability and how to support the school’s initiatives. 15% of the evening’s sales will also be donated to the school.

When: Wednesday, February 27, 6 pm to 9 pm
RSVP: or 312.243.4754

Where: Pivot, 1101 West Fulton Market (corner of Fulton Market & Aberdeen)

Opportunities and grant programs in Illinois

Illinois Rain Garden Initiative
The Illinois Rain Garden Initiative is designed to empower students and communities to confront local flooding concerns, restore native Illinois prairie habitats, and learn about green solutions to storm water management. The Lieutenant Governor’s Office will award 22 grants of $500 each to plant rain gardens. Eligible organizations include public institutions, non-profit groups and schools. * Applications are due February 29.*

Playbook for Green Buildings and Neighborhoods
The Playbook, a web-based resource, provides strategies, tips, and tools that cities and counties can use to take immediate action on climate change through green building, green neighborhoods, and sustainable infrastructure. The Playbook is designed both for communities that are considering making the first steps toward these, and for those who want to take existing efforts to a new level.

Illinois Recycling Grants Program
The Illinois Recycling Grants Program helps communities, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations collect and process materials for recycling through both, technical and financial assistance.

Illinois Zero Waste Schools Grant Program
The Illinois Zero Waste Schools Grant Program is a funding opportunity for K-12 Illinois schools to implement or expand recycling and waste reduction programs. The purpose of the grant is to assist Illinois schools in achieving zero waste status, thus increasing the amount of solid waste diverted from Illinois landfills. Zero Waste Schools Grant funds may be used to purchase project-related capital equipment such as collection containers, reusable cafeteria utensils, and erasable classroom slates. * **Applications
are due February 15.*

Recycling Expansion and Modernization (REM) Program
The REM Program awards matching grants to Illinois organizations and businesses to accomplish recycling market expansion and waste reduction goals, while demonstrating public economic benefits. * **Proposals are reviewed on a rolling basis.*

Pro Bono Green Purchasing Assistance from RPN
The Responsible Purchasing Network, at the Center for a New American Dream, is offering pro bono assistance to five state and local governments committed to harnessing institutional procurement as a means of reducing waste, achieving greenhouse gas emissions goals, limiting toxic and hazardous substances, and improving community health. * **Proposals are due March 10*.