How does my lifestyle impact the environment?
You can calculate your individual “ecological footprint” by answering a few short questions at the following link: http://www.myfootprint.org/
Where can I find my local recycling center?
Visit www.earth911.org and enter your zip code. From there, you will find extensive information on your local recycling services. The site also provides tips on what to do with used batteries, electronics, motor oil, and more. The Chicago Recycling Coalition also has extensive listings of City of Chicago drop-off sites and privately operated recycling centers: www.chicagorecycling.org
Where can I find locally grown food?
The following link gives you a quick and easy way to track down a farmers’ market, family farm, or co-op by location: http://www.localharvest.org/
How can I cut back on my fuel consumption?
You can buy “carbon offsets” to help make up for the fuel used in heating homes, driving cars, and traveling by plane. Visit the following link to learn more about reversing CO2 emissions through the funding of sustainable energy projects: http://www.climatecare.org/
Where can I talk “green"?
At Chicago Green Drinks (www.chicagogreendrinks.org) events you can listen to panel discussions, watch provocative documentaries, and drink delicious spirits-all in the name of sustainability, of course. You can also find environmental advocacy groups active in your community through online social networking sites.
The following site will put you in touch with like-minded individuals in your area. It provides both an interactive online forum as well as the opportunity to meet up in person at events scheduled through the group’s personal Web space: http://www.meetup.com/
NEW: More Green Links
How can I get around Chicago without using the CTA?
Besides walking, riding your bike, or hopping into a carriage for a jaunt along Michigan Avenue, the best way to get around town is through I-GO Car Sharing. I-GO promotes a low-carbon lifestyle by letting Chicago residents check out communal cars whenever they need them. All this means lower car costs, less traffic, fewer parking headaches-and fresher air (except for the horse-drawn)!
Where can I learn more about green development?
With news and discussion, GreenBean will keep you in the know when it comes to sustainable building projects, both past and present, throughout the Chicago area.
Where can I find green supplies for building or renovation projects?
With Greenmaker, it’s easy to build or remodel your personal space using green technology. At Greenmaker’s colorful showroom, customers will find non-toxic paints and stains, as well as eco-friendly flooring, cabinets, and countertops-even toilets!
Where can I donate unwanted home goods?
ReStore in Elgin accepts donations of new and gently used home materials, including furniture, appliances, and kitchen cabinets. ReStore then sells the items at discounted prices, with the proceeds going toward Habitat for Humanity building projects for the underprivileged. Visit the Web site below for a listing of accepted items, hours, and location.
How can I save energy in my home or office?
The city hosts an educational site through the Department of Environment’s Chicago Center for Green Technology to teach homeowners and professionals about the cost-saving, earth-loving benefits of new technology.
You can also check out a more comprehensive list of resources-including how to get money for your own green project or how to collect rainwater from your rooftop-at the Department of Environment’s main Web page.
Are there any other ways to offset my energy consumption?
Yes! For only $7.50 a month, a household can offset one-quarter of its energy consumption with wind power. Visit The Northwest Passage’s Web site to learn more about this exciting offer for Illinois residents.
Have a useful green link for Chicago? Let us know.