National Park(ing) Day, September 19th


I was looking at the Chicago Conservation Corps website today, and thought that your organization might be interested in participating in or promoting National Park(ing) Day 2008, an annual event, happening in Chicago on September 19th, which celebrates parks in cities by creating temporary parks in public parking spaces. National Park(ing) Day is an all-volunteer event, and any participation is welcome. One can, build his or her own park, help others build parks, or simply visit Park(ing) Day parks throughout the day. Look at for details, a how-to manual, photos and videos, or to connect with participants near you.

Nathan Tone

Join the 2008 Bicycle Commuter Challenge, June 7-13

How green is your workplace? The 2008 Bicycle Commuter Challenge is now open to all companies who want to compete to be the most environmentally friendly company in Chicagoland. Sign up now at

Companies competing in the Bicycle Commuter Challenge strive to earn the highest percentage of employees biking for part or all of their trip to work during Bike to Work Week, June 7-13, hosted by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

“Bicycle commuting transforms the atmosphere at work – it boosts the health and energy of employees, encourages team spirit, lowers costs, and builds the organization’s reputation for being green,” said Rob Sadowsky, executive director of the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

For organizations and companies raring up to compete in the annual Challenge, designated Team Leaders get their office excited about commuting by bike. They recruit co-workers, track team-members’ biking trips, and offer tips on making bicycle commuting easy and fun.

Plus, team leaders distribute discount member cards to participating employees, which provide Bicycle Commuter Challenge participants the same discounts as Chicagoland Bicycle Federation members from May-July.

Participants can bike for all or part of their trip to work. They can also stop for a quick snack and tune up at Bicycle Commuter Stations located around Chicago and at suburban Metra stations.

Teams face off against companies of similar size and type, i.e. public agency, business, non-profit and bicycling-related business. Winning Bicycle Commuter Challenge teams receive fabulous prizes and are honored at a luncheon.

“Public esteem is a big incentive in this competition. It’s a sign of the vitality and vision of the organization when employees compete for health instead of parking spots,” Sadowsky said.

Register your company or organization at or by calling (312) 427-3325. Individuals can also register in the Commuter Challenge.

Learn how to ride safely and comfortably to work at

C3 Events and Opportunities – March 2008

Call for volunteers
– March 27: Resource Center Fundraiser
– April 22: Logan Square Earth Day

Events and opportunities

– March 15: Chicago Green Homes Fair
– March 17: Rogers Park Green Corps ‘Greening Your Home’ Workshop
– March 29: Earth Hour

Resource Center Fundraiser

– Thursday, March 27 6:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
– Caro d’Offay Gallery, 2204 W. North Avenue

The Resource Center is looking for volunteers for its March 27th Fundraiser. The fundraiser will be a cocktail hour/art installation and mingling event. Volunteers are needed for various tasks including front door check-in, food/bar, runner, set-up, and tear-down. If you are interested in lending a hand, email C3 Leader, Emily Rothenberg at or call (312) 404-0716.

Logan Square Earth Day
– Tuesday, April 22

C3 Teacher, Jaime Yuhas of Kelvyn Park High School is organizing an Earth Day Festival in Logan Square and needs your help advertising (through English and/or Spanish outlets); brainstorming and reaching out to get booths for the festival; and participating on the day of the event (i.e. staffing a table for C3). Please email Jaime at if you would like to help or get more information.

Chicago Green Homes Fair
– Saturday, March 15, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
– Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Come explore how you can create a more environmentally-friendly home for you and your family. Whether you’re planning to remodel or just want to learn what’s new on the green building scene, spend some time meeting vendors and retailers with sustainable products to help you make a greener home. To learn more about green remodeling, attend one of our free classes offered that day:

Historic Chicago Greystone Initiative: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Learn to make your historic greystone more energy efficient, address indoor air quality and other health issues, and how to incorporate sustainable building materials into home improvement projects.

Green Home Remodeling Guides – An Overview: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. This series of guides offers information on how to hire green professionals, paint and remodel kitchens, baths & laundry rooms, and how to salvage and reuse materials. This seminar is for the homeowner looking to create an environmentally-friendly remodel.

For more information on the Fair or other classes offered, call (312) 746-9642 or visit Admission is free and guided tours of the Chicago Center for Green Technology will occur throughout the day.

Rogers Park Green Corps presents Why Green Matters: Simple Things You Can Do to Green Your Home
– Monday, March 17, 6:30 p.m.
– Loyola Park Fieldhouse 2nd Floor, 1230 W. Greenleaf at the Lake

Save money and go green! Affordable do-it-yourself ways to green your home and an introduction to the products available for homeowners and renters alike. This workshop is co-presented by C3 Trainee and Green Corps Action Team member Dane Watkins and Claudia Regojo, owner of Greenmaker Supply.

Earth Hour
– Saturday, March 29, 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
– Chicago and other worldwide cities are participating

On Saturday, March 29, turn out your lights to show your support and commitment toward taking action to combat climate change. Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 and this year cities across the globe, such as Tel Aviv, Bangkok and Copenhagen, are taking action. Join Chicago area residents, businesses, and organizations as they flip the switch. Enjoy the skyline as never before when skyscrapers, landmarks and shops along Michigan Avenue go dark. For more information on Earth Hour, visit

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*.

Open Book Peace Project

C3 Trainee, Catherine Trzybinski is organizer of the Open Book Peace Project. Visit the website to find out more

The Open Book Peace Project (OBPP) is a grassroots effort to create an ongoing international dialogue about peace among diverse individuals and communities. The project gives individuals the chance to have their voices heard and their minds known. The project presents millions of people with the opportunity to participate as co-authors in a collective work — an experience that can, in itself, promote the spread of peace in the world.

Videos by C3 Leader Robert Aguilar

Check out Fall 2006 C3 Leader Robert Aguilar’s video projects at the sites below.

This is the submitted video for the contest.
– What Can Regular People Do About Global Warming?
– Carrying Power: Solar Energy On The Go

This submitted version is broadcasting on CurrentTV.
-Sun Powered Purses

This is a submitted shorter version that is in a contest for Current
– What Can Regular People Do?

You can still help vote for Robert’s video! Congrats Robert on these inspiring projects!

Looking for Educational Programming in Chicago?

Educational Programs: A list by the Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI)

The Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI) lists several educational programs on its website – click “Education”. The Calumet Stewardship Initiative envisions a Calumet region marked by vibrant communities and cultures, healthy natural areas and a strong economy. Toward this end, the Calumet Stewardship Initiative engages residents and member organizations in partnerships that advance nature education, environmental stewardship, scientific discovery, cultural understanding and economic growth.

Please feel free to distribute and post this link for anyone who might be interested. Thanks!

More on Food Safety

Emily Rothenberg posted this in an earlier comment thread about taking action on food safety:

Worked on a campaign called BioETHICS2006 last year, all about food policy around GMO’s and genetically-engineered meats and dairy. It’s so scary that they’ve done that – what a step backwards, gosh. Feel free to visit if you are interested in more info. about how to take action against GE food. There is also a national org. “The Campaign” — the Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Food — which offers template petitions, etc.

Not in Your Food?

C3 Leader Elizabeth Wyman says:

Whether you eat meat or not, here’s a little something you may want to read this from the Consumers Union (Consumer Reports).

In late December, the FDA decided that milk and meat from cloned animals and their offspring are safe to eat. This means that within a few months, FDA could tell the livestock industry go ahead and start selling cloned meat to your local grocery, without any label to let you choose whether you want to buy it.

I’ve just signed a petition urging FDA to keep the moratorium on meat and milk from cloned animals and their offspring in food and to require labeling of such products if FDA does allow them on the market. Sign the petition now by clicking here:

Great Website About Home Rain Water Solutions

168 Elm Ave. – One Drop at a Time

This Web page describes the principles of innovative and responsible treatment of rain water in and around the home garden. The treatments are organized into seven subjects or stations: 1) the green roof, 2) the rain barrels, 3) the porous pavement, 4) the rain gardens, 5) the gravel grass, 6) the cistern, and 7) the bioswale.

These seven stations take you on a virtual tour around the house, explain the rationales of the applied sustainable practices and explore the opportunities that present themselves to combine the beautiful and useful. You will also find information on the clay soils of the pilot project site and their infiltration capacity, how much the runoff quantity was reduced, and thoughts towards the larger cumulative effect and the probable positive impact on the local waterway (in this case Salt Creek).

Online E-Conference: 14-30 April 2007

Carla Winterbottom shares this chance to chat more globally…

From Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism: Making the Shift

You are invited to EcoRes Forum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the free exchange of knowledge and ideas concerning society and climate change, invites you to join us for the first in a series of online e-conferences focusing on the ethical, political and socio-cultural aspects of climate change. The series, which will be offered free of charge, starts off in April 2007 with a two-week dialogue on a topic of increasing urgency: expanding and accelerating an ecocentric philosophy among societies around the world.

The need for such a shift has long been recognized. At the November COP gathering in Nairobi, Kofi Annan cautioned, “The question is not whether climate change is happening but whether, in the face of this emergency, we ourselves can change fast enough.” As US political hopeful Al Gore observed, based on the UN’s Rio Declaration of Environment and Development, “Our challenge is to accelerate the needed change in thinking about our relationship to the environment in order to shift the pattern of our civilization to a new equilibrium — before the world’s ecological system loses its current one.”

There is an impressive line-up of panelists and, I hope, equally impressive opportunities for online conversations with many people from everywhere.

learn more…

Sprouting: The Winter Garden

Home tip from Living Gently Quarterly:

When the price of head lettuce climbs to $2.50 or more per head and the frigid arctic winds are rattling the windows, you can still enjoy freshly grown produce. And, you don’t even have to leave your home. It doesn’t require long-range transportation from warmer or tropical climes nor energy-intensive greenhouses. What is this wonder? One that has been around for thousands of years: sprouting — the growing of edible plants from seed.


Green Infrastructure Map
Check out these online maps that you can use to search through 20 counties in the Chicago region, including Wisconsin and Indiana, and compile layer upon layer of useful information. The map is highly customizable, so you can choose an area by zip code, municipality, county, state or even watershed. Then you are able to choose what layers of data you want to see about that particular area, including floodplains, soils types, conservation easements, streets, wetlands, trails, and greenways.

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.