Listed below are some our accomplishments over the years, organized under the Four Pillars of our mission.
Pillar #1: Building Awareness and educating all generations.
Going Green Matters – Our annual environmental fair has grown from a few small exhibits in 2007 to become the premier environmental fair in the area. Each year there are more than 100 exhibits and 1,500 guests, volunteers and exhibitors.
Greener Choices Series in partnership with Wilmette Public Library – An offering of more than 60 programs since 2007 featuring films, slide shows, book talks and guest speakers. Topics have included climate change, storm water management, native plants, habitat restoration, butterfly migration, solar energy, plastic pollution and more.
Guided nature outings – Go Green Wilmette leads guided tours of local parks introducing families to trees during our annual tree walks and birds during our guided bird walks in spring. We also offer wildflower walks, kayak adventures and bike rides.
Pillar #2: Taking Action and building community with our neighbors
Waste reduction, food composting and recycling opportunities – We have organized campaigns to increase household and business recycling, reduce food waste, eliminate single use plastics and recycle electronics and Styrofoam. We helped establish food-composting programs at District 39 schools and New Trier High School. We partner with local Boy Scout troops to green their pancake breakfasts. We offer green guidelines for school and community events.
School sustainability support – Members of Go Green Wilmette serve on sustainability committees in District 39 and New Trier High School and advise other school districts. We organized a local school sustainability conference in 2015 bringing in experts to address and advise 13 local school districts. We support and advise school garden programs.
Native plant sale – In partnership with Go Green Glencoe, we have sold almost 4,500 native plants to local residents to increase Wilmette’s habitat for birds and pollinators and to aid in storm water management. Proceeds from this effort are used to further our efforts to raise awareness and education our community.
Programs, activities and habitat restoration – Working with the Park District, we have participated in a variety of activities, from conducting bike tours, developing nature based offerings, and participating in native plant installations.
Pillar #3: Engaging in Advocacy on behalf of the Earth and its people
Wilmette’s ordinance restricting the use of gas-powered leaf blowers – In 2006, we instigated an important ordinance to reduce both air and noise pollution from mid-May through mid-September. This was the issue that brought the founding members of Go Green Wilmette together and has served as a model for other communities. We work with the Village to help enforce the ordinance.
Wilmette’s ordinance banning the use of coal-tar sealants for driveways and parking lots – In partnership with the League of Women Voters of Wilmette, Go Green Wilmette assisted in the process of having our village ban the use of these toxic products in our community. Ultimately, it was the research-based reports from the Wilmette Environmental & Energy Commission that made the ordinance possible.
Wilmette Environmental & Energy Commission (WEEC)– Proposed by GGW in 2006, the WEEC was formed by the Village to provide assistance to the Village Board with well-researched recommendations for environmental policies for the Village.
Active transportation – GGW, in partnership with Go Green Illinois, organized a summit on walk and bike issues featuring nationally recognized leader Mark Fenton. The 2016 event included a presentation for 150 advocates and walk audits in five communities.
Pillar #4: Providing Advice as a trusted resource for our community
Community resource offerings – Go Green Wilmette produces a bi-monthly newsletter that reaches more than 1,700 households. We regularly update our website to serve as a resource for the community. GGW distributes an annually updated recycling guide for residents and businesses alike.
Alternative Yard Tour – Guests take a free tour of private gardens in Wilmette featuring native plants, edible gardens, storm water management and more. We have featured 37 gardens since 2013 and welcomed 800 visitors. Guests are encouraged to walk or bicycle between gardens.
Educational booths at the Farmer’s Market and festivals – GGW volunteers offer information and advice about upcoming programming, environmental issues, educational opportunities and general resources for the community.
Go Green Illinois (formerly CONSEG) – Founded in 2013, representatives from 22 neighboring communities attend meetings six times a year to network about community-based environmental issues. The mission of the group is to help establish Go Green groups in all communities, share best practices and collaborate on issues that cross municipal boundaries. Meetings are held at the Chicago Botanic Garden.