Chicago is at the core of the green movement. Learn more about
closing the loop in your home, business and community at one of
these state-of-the-art facilities:
Chicago Center for
Green Technology, located on the West side, is double platinum
LEED certified and the most comprehensive green design educational
resource in the Midwest. You can take a tour or attend a variety of
courses and seminars. 445 N. Sacramento Blvd., Chicago.
The Green Exchange,
in Logan Square, is a business and retail space devoted to green
living. Workshops and events are also available. 2545 W. Diversey
Sure, we recycle newspapers and cans to help save the
planet. But raising today's green child not only focuses on
environmentalism, but on altruism as well.
There are endless ways to repurpose items. Check out these
ideas where green = good. Some are unexpected; others offer a twist
on an original. The important thing is to skip the landfill,
promote awareness and help lead your child toward a life of
Cooperative gives "new life to old bikes and independence to
those who ride them." Each year, 5,000 bikes are diverted from
the waste stream and rehabbed for local and international
distribution. Five hundred bikes and wheelchairs go directly to
Chicago city programs, refugees and day camps. You can make a
purchase, donate old bikes or volunteer. Drop off at one of the
city and suburban locations or at its warehouse/store, 2434 S.
Donate your gently used shoes to benefit children and adults in
the world's most impoverished areas. Numerous Chicagoland drop-off
boxes available or go to Share Your Soles, 900 E.
103rd St., Chicago.
Shoes too worn to wear? Through Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe
program, they can be recycled into Nike Grind, a material used
to help build sports surfaces and playgrounds. One local example of
this technology can be seen at Chicago Public Schools' Hanson
Hand-me-downs and Goodwill donations promote sustainability, but
what if you have a denim dilemma? Jeans that are too worn and,
ahem, on their last legs, can find new life and be recycled into
insulation for homes and businesses. How cool is that? Check out BondedLogic.com for more
Looking to retire your business attire? Dress for Success offers
career wear to low-income women to assist in their search for
employment and self-sufficiency. Two Chicago locations.
Donate your old formal and bridesmaid dresses to Chicago high
school students who can't afford a prom dress. The Glass Slipper
Project also provides accessories for the perfect ensemble.
Sales of your donated books can help promote literacy programs
for Chicago students of all ages. CDs and DVDs in good condition
also accepted. Open Books
is located at 213 W. Institute Place, Chicago.
Visit the Bookmobile at the City of Chicago's North Park
Village Recycling Station, 5801 N. Pulaski. You can make donations
and take or leave a book seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5
Have a green thumb? Go beyond your backyard and get involved at
one of Chicago's more than 600 community gardens. The Peterson
Garden Project (at Peterson and Campbell in North Park) is located
on land from an original World War II Victory Garden. As Chicago's
largest community-allotment vegetable garden, there are more than
157 plots tended by community members. Volunteers and students also
tend several garden plots and donate their produce to local food
pantries and homeless shelters. Learn more at greennetchicago.org.
A new cut for you can help provide a hairpiece to a financially
disadvantaged child suffering from long-term medical hair loss from
any diagnosis. Visit LocksOfLove.org for more
Hair is a "booming" business with its natural, organic
fibers that collect oil. Help protect the shorelines and local
waterways. Donate your hair to Matter of Trust, which is
made into booms for containing and collecting oil spills.
Be a champion again. Awards
Mall offers a trophy recycling program to benefit charities. It
will refurbish the trophy, re-engrave the plate and supply them to
nonprofits for their deserving athletes.
As of December 2012, Crazy
Crayons has saved more than 86,000 pounds of crayons from
landfills and employed developmentally disabled individuals through
this recycling program. Find one of the drop-off bins or mail in
broken and unused crayons (you pay shipping and handling).
Organic and rich in nitrogen, coffee grounds are an ideal
way to fertilize rose bushes and other vegetation. Sprinkle on base
of plant, tree or lawn and water area.
Have something not on the
Excess Access links
surplus with needs. If you have something specific to donate,
they'll find a home for it.
Lucy Latourette is a freelance writer, native of Chicago and mother of two.
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