Tomorrow Night 10.26: Exciting Conclusion to 2010 GreenWorks Competition

Join leaders in Green Building, Green Business and Community Environmental Leadership at the GreenWorks Fast Pitch, where you will experience Chicago’s sustainability elite competing for top prizes in the 2010 Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Awards.

Join the Chicago Climate Action Plan team next Tuesday, October 26 at the Merchandise Mart Conference Center to play your part by voting for the Audience Choice Award winners in the Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment and Innovation in Green Business categories.

And the nominees are……

Sustainable Innovation in the Built Environment Award
2010 Green Bungalow Block: Greener Homes for South Shore by the Historic Chicago Bungalow Association
Advanced Technology Center by S&C Electric Company
Chicago Park District Fieldhouses – Prototype 1 by Booth Hansen
CNT Energy Savers by CNT Energy
The Joy Garden at Northside Preparatory High School by Urban Habitat Chicago
Lakefront Comfort Stations by Muller & Muller Ltd.
Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo
Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons by Solomon Cordwell Buenz
Sankofa House by Harley Ellis Devereaux

Innovation in Green Business Award
Carbon Day Automotive
Consolidated Printing Company
Earth Wind And Solar Energy, LLC
Farr Associates
Green City Market
Hannah’s Bretzel, LLC
I-GO Car Sharing
John G. Shedd Aquarium

Community Leadership Award
Allison Shaewitz, Ecominders, LLC
Bronzeville Community Garden Leadership Team, Urban Juncture Foundation
Dr. George P. Nassos, Illinois Institute of Technology, Stuart School of Business
Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project Partnership
Elise Zelechowski, ReBuilding Exchange
Friends of Lincoln School
LaManda Joy, The Peterson Garden Project
Marilyn Engwall, City of Chicago
Seamus Ford and Amy Beltemacchi, Root Riot Urban Garden Network

The competition will begin at 6 p.m. followed by a reception with the judges, Fast Pitch presenters, and past Awards winners.
For more information, visit the Mayor Daley’s GreenWorks Awards 2010.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn about the best climate action efforts going on in Chicago.

We hope to see you there!

Don’t Feed the Bag Monster

Andy Keller, environmental activist, is on a nationwide tour to create awareness about the waste and pollution caused by plastic bags. The tour is coming to Chicago next week!

Event Details:

Don’t Feed the Bag Monster!

Date:                     Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time:                     1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Location:              Richard J Daley Center

50 W. Washington St.

Chicago, IL 60602

Come out and see the Bag Monster and his giant nest of 45,000 single-use disposable plastic bags, what the average American uses in a lifetime. The Bag Monster will try to convince you and 70 or so of your friends to dress up and become a Bag Monster too. Come on out and help the Bag Monster with his goal to cover the world with plastic bags – or kick him out of your town! This is a highly interactive traveling exhibit and should not be missed. Visit for full details, or contact Wes at for a press release.

Thank you for your time and your efforts to raise awareness about environmental issues.

Earth Wine and Fire: Earth Day benefit party Fri April 23

Earth, Wine and Fire is a charity event intended to benefit the environment. It will occur on Friday April 23, 2010, the day after Earth Day, from 5-11PM (a movie screening of No Impact Man starts at 5:00; the party kicks off at 7:00). We expect it to be a fun party hosted by a small group of community folks who banded together to create an enlightened evening with a purpose. We intend to educate, incite action and enjoy. Buy your tickets in advance for a discount. $25 now; $35 on the day of the event. Includes: Entry, 3 tickets that can be used for drinks or the raffle, appetizers, music, entertainment and full access to all Nature Museum exhibits! Additional beverages available for purchase. Children 12 and under are free. Join the party! Buy your tickets at!

Environmentally Responsible Economic Development

Jason Hernandez sends this, about a web telecast tomorrow, called Seeing the Green: Bolstering Economic Development Strategies with Environmental Responsibility.

I just wanted to let you know about this telecast being organized by the Economic Development Association, which is part of the US Commerce Department.

Ted Wysocki is President and CEO of Chicago’s Local Economic and Development Council (LEED). He spearheads a lot of great work for projects like the new Chicago Green Exchange, so I figured you might be interested in posting details about the telecast on your website. I absolutely understand its short notice…but I figure your organization would like to hear about it anyway.

The telecast is hosted by Benjamin Erulkar, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of commerce for economic development; Paul Farmer, Executive Director and CEO of the American Planning Association, and Nancy McKeever, Sustainable Energy Program Manager for the California Energy Commission.


Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 2:30pm EST (1:30pm Central).


-The role of environmental sustainability and its impact on economic development
-How U.S. economic regions can strengthen competitiveness through innovative and green sustainable development strategies
-The costs and benefits of green building as well as how the private sector can successfully invest in and profit from green development projects
-The increasing number of green jobs and how communities can attract these new green industries

The telecast is open to everyone. To register, visit

DOE News and Opportunities – June 2008

Department of Environment News and Opportunities – June 2008
- June 7: Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility Open
– June 9-11: NeoCon at Merchandise Mart
– June 13: Bike to Work Day Rally
– June 21: Environmental Resource Event at U.S. Cellular Field
– June 30: Registration Deadline for Solar PowerUp! for Kids
– Alert: Protect yourself and your family from West Nile Virus

Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility Open

– Saturday, June 7, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
– 1150 N. North Branch St.

Celebrate summer by ridding your home of unwanted chemicals, paints, and computers. Bring in your old computers, monitors, cell phones and household chemicals this Saturday to the City’s permanent facility at 1150 N. North Branch St., 2 blocks east of the Kennedy at Division St. for proper recycling and disposal. For a complete list of accepted materials, visit and click on “Household Chemicals & Computer Recycling Facility” on the right-hand column.

– Monday June 9 – Wednesday June 11 at the Merchandise Mart
– Hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

At NeoCon® World’s Trade Fair, discover thousands of innovative products and resources for corporate hospitality, healthcare, retail, government, institutional and residential interiors from more than 1,200 showrooms and exhibitors. Stop by the Chicago Center for Green Technology’s booth to learn about their programs and check out green product samples. For more information on NeoCon, visit

Bike to Work Day Rally
– Friday, June 13, 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
– Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Riding your bike can help displace more than 238 million gallons of gasoline annually and reduce the amount of volatile pollutants, such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, released by vehicle emissions. Choose the healthy alternative and become a bike commuter. The Bike to Work Day Rally challenges commuters to put down the keys, step off the bus and bike their way to work! Join fellow cyclists, local media celebrities, live bands and the City of Chicago at Daley Plaza for a day full of activities from 7:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Cyclists will enjoy live music and receive a free continental breakfast and T-shirt while supplies last. For more information, visit or call (312) 744-3315.

Environmental Resource Event
– Saturday, June 21, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– U.S. Cellular Field, 333 W. 35th St.

Be Safe at Home: Exchange household hazards for environmental resources. Participate in the Department of Environment’s second Environmental Resource Event of the year. Take this opportunity to:
– properly dispose of your household hazardous waste
– recycle your old computers, monitors, laptops and cell phones
– keep medicines out of our water system by bringing them for proper disposal
– pick up a free compact fluorescent light bulb (limit one per household)
– drop off your old gas-powered lawn mower and receive a $100 rebate towards an electric or push mower
– reduce your landfill waste by purchasing a $30 outdoor compost bin and reuse rain water by investing in a $40 rain barrel (both are available to Chicago residents only, must pay with check or money order, limit 1 per household)

Questions? Call the Chicago Department of Environment at (312) 744-7606.

Chicago Solar Powerup! For Kids
– Session 1: July 14- 18; Session 2: July 21-25. Hours are from 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.
– Registration ends June 30

The Chicago Center for Green Technology wants future scientists, engineers, and designers for the 3rd annual Chicago Solar Powerup! Solar Powerup gives students ages 9-11 the opportunity to design, build, and race model solar cars while learning about renewable energy sources. Students are give instructions in various design factors and then work in teams to build their car. Following testing, these workshops culminate in a series of one-on-one races in a tournament on Daley Plaza on Wednesday, July 30, to determine champions.

Please note: Registration is limited to 20 students per session and will be admitted on a first come, first serve basis. Spots may only be reserved by the receipt of payment ($75, check only) no later than 2 weeks prior to the first class. Before mailing in payment, please call (312) 746-4155 for availability. Limited scholarships are available.

Alert: Protect Yourself and Your Family from West Nile Virus

This information bulletin is an advisory to assist members of the public in taking precautions to minimize their risk of exposure to the West Nile Virus (WNV). WNV infection is an illness conveyed to humans primarily by mosquitoes. In most cases, people infected with WNV either show no symptoms or have very mild flu-like symptoms, called West Nile fever. WNV is an urgent issue that needs to be taken seriously in the Chicagoland area every summer. Since WNV can affect anyone, we ask that the following steps be taken to prevent or minimize any chance of mosquito bites:

Get rid of sources of stagnant or standing water in your backyard or neighborhood, as mosquitoes can reproduce in standing water that exists for more than 4 days.

– Call 3-1-1 immediately to report any stagnant or standing water than needs to be removed – it is important to provide the location and number of days that the water has been there.
– Protect your skin by wearing protective clothing such as long pants, shirts with sleeves, and socks.
– Use insect repellants containing the active ingredient DEET (chemical name, N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Products containing DEET are available in various liquids, lotions, and sprays and do not present a health concern as long as the product labels are read and directions are followed. DEET has been approved for use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA).
– For more information, go to the Chicago Department of Public Health’s webpage that can be found under the City Departments link at and look for the West Nile Virus information under the Infectious Disease link.

DOE News and Opportunities, May 2008

Department of Environment News and Opportunities – May 2008
- May 10: Smart Home Green + Wired
– May 10: Green Your Closets and Drawers
– May 15: Daley Plaza Farmers Market
– May 17: Clean and Green
– May 17-18: Green Festival
– May 17-18: Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

Smart Home Green + Wired
– Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
– Museum of Science and Industry, 57th St. and Lake Shore Drive

Check out the Museum of Science and Industry’s 3-story modular sustainable home, learn about the Chicago Green Home Remodeling Series and pick up a free compact fluorescent light bulb, while supplies last. For more information on the Smart Home Green + Wired, visit

Green Your Closet and Drawers
– Saturday, May 10, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– Donations accepted at: Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.; North Park Village Nature Center, 5801 N. Pulaski Rd.; St. Ailbe’s Church, 93rd and Stony Island.

Bring in your used clothes and eyeglasses to be reused by the Lion’s Club and the Salvation Army and receive a green gift, available while supplies last.

Daley Plaza Farmer’s Market
– Thursday, May 15, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
– Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Fill your produce bags with fresh fruits and vegetables at the first Daley Plaza Farmers Market of the season. For more information, visit

Green Festival
– Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
– Navy Pier

Come celebrate what’s working in our communities, hear from environmental speakers and check out vendors for the latest in the green movement. Visit the Chicago Department of Environment exhibit to learn how you can reduce your environmental footprint. For more information, visit

Great Chicago Places and Spaces Tour

– Saturday, May 17 – Sunday, May 18
– Locations throughout Chicago

Come explore Chicago’s rich heritage in architecture and design during the 10th Annual Great Chicago Places and Spaces celebration. This is a weekend dedicated to architecture and design that offers more than 200 free tours of Chicago and it’s neighborhoods given by prominent architecture, design specialists and community leaders. Most walking tours are outside, please dress accordingly. For more information, visit

Mayor Daley’s Clean and Green

– Saturday, May 17
– Locations throughout Chicago

Community groups throughout Chicago can make an immediate difference in their neighborhood by volunteering for Mayor Daley’s Spring Clean & Green Day. For the past 20 years, Chicagoans like yourself have teamed up with community groups and the City of Chicago to help beautify your communities by cleaning up and recycling accumulated litter and trash. The City provides materials. For more information or to register, call 3-1-1.

A Smarter Season, November 27, 2007

Dear C3 Community,

I was a Spring 07 C3 trainee and am happy to announce that I have planned my project and would love for you to join me! This September I opened Pivot – Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion. It’s been wonderful introducing people to fabrics such as organic cotton, bamboo, soy and others. I hope that reaching people through fashion/lifestyle choices can lead them to think about other steps they can take in their daily lives to live a more sustainable life.
I will be hosting a holiday event at Pivot and I will be featuring “stations” throughout the boutique that give guests tips on how to make their holiday season more eco-smart. From where and how to recycle Christmas trees and recycling old phones & gadgets when new ones are received, to gift wrapping using recycled materials. Event details are below. Thanks so much and I hope you are all doing well!

Jessa Brinkmeyer

Pivot celebrates its first holiday season and we hope you join us!

What: A Holiday Party
When: Tuesday, November 27, 6 to 9 pm
Where: Pivot, 1101 West Fulton Market

Enjoy 15% off all purchases, reusable gift bags, desserts, prizes and drinks. Pick up tips to make your holiday season eco-smart: from unique gift wrapping ideas and LED lights to greener gift ideas … start your season out right with Pivot!

Need Some Gently Used House Parts?

You recycle bottles and cans. And paper. But what about windows? 2x4s? Countertops and cabinets? Gary Zuckerman does it all. He can help you move it, too. Here’s how he describes his business:

Recycle Plus offers resedential, commercial, and industrial recycling services for the public. In addition to this we sell reusable items like moving boxes, furniture, buckets, etc. Recycle Plus also does light moving jobs.

My wife and I are buying an old bungalow and planning renovation. A friend put us in touch with Gary and we’re planning to reuse materials that he collects and resells. It’s going to save money and energy.

Contact Gary at Recycle Plus by phone: 773-761-5937 …or by email:

Wind Power to Provide 30% of Columbia College’s Energy

I wanted to pass along this great news I just read about Columbia College Chicago:

ColumbiaONLINE: Your source for news and information on the Columbia College and community.

February 22, 2007

Wind Power to Provide 30 Percent of Columbia’s Energy

The college has entered into a two-year agreement with Community Energy, Inc. to purchase 4,410 megawatt hours of electricity—approximately 30 percent of its annual usage—as Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) in wind power. Community Energy, Inc. is a nonprofit wind turbine farm developer.

The shift from traditional sources of electrical power to wind-generated power is expected to save the college about $1 million in energy costs over the next two years, in addition to upholding the institution’s increasing commitment to sustainable practices. The purchase also qualifies Columbia for membership in the Green Power Leadership Club, a national initiative of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For a more detailed explanation of RECs and the college’s agreement, see this week’s Columbia Chronicle online.

Convenient Truths: A Green Video Contest

Channel your inner eco-critic. Seventh Generation, Inc. and asked citizens to share their solutions to climate change. Help out our expert judges by watching and rating the submissions.

I submitted two videos to the Convenient Truths: a green video contest.

My first film asks “What can regular people do about global warming? This film takes a look at how average Americans perceive the climate crisis while giving practical, everyday tips toward reducing our Carbon dioxide footprint.”

My second film takes a look at how one business has combined style with sustainability to create solar paneled bags. Its a great way to integrate renewable energy into daily life!

Here are the links…

What Can Regular People Do About Global Warming?

Carrying Power: Solar Energy On The Go


Green Design

C3 Leader Grace Sielaff is looking for volunteers to help recycle water bottles at this year’s Air and Water Show, August 2007.

She is also a professional designer. Her M. Grace Designs business website shows how gorgeous design and green building can come together. Props for featuring LEED and other green building info prominently in her site and her professional practice!

Other World Consulting

C3 classmate Kevin Murphy sez, “I received my regular newsletter from Larry, of Other World Computing, and was delighted to read this at the end of all the sales information and helpful hints.”

While it seems pretty far off now, I know it’s a lot sooner than it might feel that OWC will be in a brand new location. As I mentioned in the prior newsletter, we have found a location and construction on our new facility is expected to commence sometime in Feb or March. And we’ll be doing it right, as one of the first LEEDs certified buildings in the Midwest with the goal also of being the among the first (there are only 103 to date..) LEED building to achieve gold certification as well. Building to LEED qualifications has some up front costs that a regular building would not – but much of that cost is returned in energy savings over the life of the building and you can’t put a price on the environmental impact benefits. We’ve got one world and it’s up to each of us to protect it…

Larry goes on a bit from there, and here on their website. Not your average business, eh?

When I recently had a need for more memory in my laptop, this bit from Larry, via Kevin, got my business. Their prices and service were good, too. So they’ll keep it. Try them out.


I wanted to share a little action I’ve been doing, so that maybe you’ll want to do it too : whenever there’s significant environmental news, like this:

Warmer ocean waters disrupt Pacific food chain

…I email the title and the link to the ‘contact us’ section on the websites of Ford, GM and Chrysler etc so that they are aware of the latest effects from their products and just maybe they will feel more urgency in bringing about change.

Opening of Eco-Friendly Club

Join hosts Mark Kleman and Charles Shaw as they introduce you to Chicago’s first eco-friendly social club, a beautiful creation by cob artist Miguel Elliot for the opening of the Butterfly Social Club! Also some pre-Valentine’s Day mischief making with aphrodisiac concoctions & live DJ sets by DJs Dojo & The Abominable Twitch.

Thurs, Feb 1st 7-9pm.
728 w Grand Ave, Chicago, IL
Grand Ave Blue Line Stop

18+ event/ BYO. No cover. Donations Appreciated.

Make Your Own Rainbarrel — FREE BARRELS

Here’s a great way to help the River from home – add a rain barrel to your house. Rain barrels help you conserve water, reduce the amount of water going directly to the sewer system and provide water for your garden.

Friends of the Chicago River board member Grant Crowley has a great offer for anyone who is looking to have a rain barrel at their home. Crowley’s Yacht Yard has approximately 25 55-gallon plastic barrels that can be adapted to make rain barrels.

The 55-gallon drums held a non-toxic antifreeze used to winterize boats at the yacht yard. Just rinse and reuse! Grant wants to offer them for FREE to anyone who would like to make a rain barrel. Here is how to make a rain barrel.

CONTACT Grant Crowley. Crowley’s Yacht Yard is located at 3434 E. 95th Street in Chicago. You will need to pick up the barrel yourself.

Going Green with the Sun

The Oct 30th issue of Crain’s Chicago Business reports that Excelon, the Chicago-based utility company, plans to save 10% per year on it’s electricity bill due to green choices made during construction, such as utilizing floor-to-ceiling windows that will supliment or eliminate fluorescent lighting with sunlight.  They’re also relocating most workers to cubicles near the windows with executives going to interior offices.  Excelon’s project aims to be certified as “green space” by the US Green Building Council (USGBC).

Fresh Picks: Local Organic Delivery

The Chicago Tribune did a nice story last week on Shelly Herman (no relation) and Irv Cernauskas, owners of FreshPicks, local organic delivery.

They live in the city and have connected with a number of local farmers. They deliver $15, $25 and $40 boxes of fresh, organic, in-season produce weekly or every other week, to many Chicago zip codes. They allow custom orders for meats, cheeses and some things like organic avocados and oranges that aren’t grown locally.

Visit their site to meet their farmers and learn more about how they can help you eat well all year round. What else you gonna do when the Farmers’ Markets go into hibernation?

The Bleeding Heart Bakery

This post initiates a new category, Green Business. I’d like to start posting not only the names of businesses we think are run in environmentally friendly ways, but also what it is that they are doing that we think is so friendly. We need to define the category, not just fill it up!

So here’s an example:

My fiancee and I had an appointment this morning with Michelle Garcia, European-trained pastry chef, and owner of The Bleeding Heart Bakery, 2018 West Chicago (near Damen) — to order our wedding cake. Here are some of the things she does in her business that make me glad to add her to this Green Business category:

  • Bakes with organic, locally sourced ingredients
  • Uses fruits that are in season, so no raspberry cakes in December!
  • Sells milk from Illinois dairies
  • Buys flowers and other ingredients at local farmers’ markets
  • Helped start the new, Faith in Place organic bread bakery, The Good Loaf
  • Offers lots of vegan pastries
  • Is working on installing the nation’s first solar pastry oven
  • Offered me a glass, not a paper/plastic cups, of water
  • Uses napkins made from recycled paper

These are all things I learned in the course of doing business with her. I never asked her to make her case, these things are just obvious!

Then the bottom line is still taste: she makes incredible little single-serving quiches, phenomenal ginger cookies, and can accommodate special dietary needs in cakes and other things.

I’m hoping to swing by there this Saturday to pick up some samples for our healthy foods potluck class. And very much looking forward to being married, and digging into the wedding cake we ordered!