Go Green Wilmette is participating in Shedd Aquarium’s Shedd the Straw campaignto reduce Chicagoland’s use of plastic straws that harm marine life and contribute to pollution and landfill waste. Americans use about 500 million straws a day – the same weight as 1,000 cars! Since plastic straws do not biodegrade and are nearly impossible to recycle, almost every straw that has ever been used still exists on the planet. You can help by not purchasing straws for home use and telling your server that you do not want a straw when you order a drink. Ask your favorite restaurant to join Shedd Aquarium’s Shedd the Straw campaign. Learn more here:
Go Green Wilmette focuses on walking and biking issues in May and June. In May, we helped with school bike trainings and bike hikes, planned the Roll and Stroll to Worship Weekend, offered a guided bike ride to the Chicago Botanic Garden, participated in the Park District’s Bike to the Center Challenge and worked with the Village on bicycle and pedestrian issues. In June, we’ll celebrate Chicago Bike to Work Week, organize the Roll & Stroll to Town event and work to promote more walking and biking in the Village.
Chicago Bike Week is June 16 – 23. Learn more about the weeklong celebration here.
Go Green Wilmette participates with the Bike Wilmette (formerly the Wilmette Citizens for Active Transportaion) to make Wilmette a better place to bike and walk. We work with residents, schools, the Park District and the Village to improve the safety and accessibility of active transportation in our community. You are invited to participate by sending feedback and/or volunteering. To learn more, visit Bike Wilmette. You may also join your school’s Civics and Safety Committee by contacting your PTO.
In 2013, the Village of Wilmette agreed to participate in the League of American Bicyclists’ Bike Friendly Community (BFC) program. In order to become a bike friendly community, our Village must show initiative in each of the League of American Bicyclists’ “Five E’s:”
- Engineering – “creating safe and convenient places to ride and park”
- Education – “giving people of all ages and abilities the skills and confidence to ride”
- Encouragement – “creating a strong bike culture that welcomes and celebrates bicycling”
- Enforcement – “ensuring safe roads for all users”
- Evaluation and Planning – “planning for bicycling as a safe and viable transportation options“
In October 2016, nationally recognized active transportation expert Mark Fenton presented to 100 representatives from 16 northern suburbs on the human health and environmental benefits of smart planning that promotes walking and biking. He also conducted five community walk audits with 80 participants in Wilmette, Skokie, Park Ridge, Glencoe and Highland Park during the three day Active By Design Summit sponsored by Illinois Bone and Joint Institute and Go Green Wilmette.
We also collaborate with North Shore Cycling Advocates (NSCA). The purpose of NSCA is to mobilize cyclists of all stripes — competitive, recreational and local — in order to bring the cyclist’s perspective to governmental decision-makers across the north suburbs of Chicago. For more information, contact [email protected].
Want to help make your community a better place to walk and bike? Start considering walk and bike safety as you drive around town and let your elected officials know active transportation is important to you.
Go Green Wilmette has many resources available to homeowners who want to focus on natural landscaping and create healthy yards. Check out our website for many tips on lawn care that is healthy for you, your family and your pets. Click here for an excellent guide to healthy, natural yards. Talk to your lawn care provider to reduce or eliminate fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Attend the many programs available at this time of year to guide you.
Did you know? The gas-powered leaf blower ban is in effect from May 15-September 30th. Learn more about why Wilmette restricts the use of these loud, polluting machines during the summer months.
Do you have a pesticide and herbicide free yard? See a sample sign at beyondpesticides.org.
- Plant native trees and have your trees inspected by an arborist.
- Participate in our Village’s tree planting program and plant an oak tree as they are the most important native tree species to promote in our area.
- Learn about the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Trees for 2050.
- Water your trees adequately (but not over-watered by a sprinkler system.)
- Protect tree trunks from weed-whacker damage. (Look for cuts and scars on the base of the trunk.)
- Avoid mulching to close to tree trunks.
- More resources
Go Green Wilmette is concerned about stormwater management, conserving water resources for future generations, maintaining water quality in the era of growing pollution and preserving Lake Michigan for recreational purposes. As a result of conversations with elected officials, water experts and local residents, GGW created two summaries: Water Summary for Property Owners and Water Summary for Policy Makers. The reports focus on current water management challenges in Wilmette and include useful recommendations for ways that Village and residents can work together to be better stewards of our water resources.
Take a few minutes to read these reports to become engaged with this topic, to learn the impacts on our community and why finding good solutions is important for our future needs.
In 2016, Go Green Wilmette partnered with the Wilmette Park District and the Ouilmette Foundation to create the first phase of bird habitat at Gillson Park. Migrating birds rely on the lakefront for rest, food, and shelter on their long journey north in the spring, and back south in the fall. The best habitat contains a variety of structures — tall trees, medium-sized shrubs, and native wildflowers to attract the insects they eat. We are working to bring more of this kind of structural diversity to Gillson and Langdon Parks, focusing on areas that already contain trees and thus can be the building blocks to better habitat. Read about the recent work done in the fall of 2016 in this Chicago Tribune article
Go Green Wilmette works to improve Wilmette’s air quality by helping to make residents and lawn care companies aware of Wilmette’s ordinance which does not allow the use of gas-powered leaf blowers on residential property from May 15 – September 30 (ozone season.) You can help by making sure to remind your lawn care company of this ordinance before May and throughout the summer. You may also hand our bi-lingual flyer Leaf blower ban flyer for yard crews to lawn care companies you see violating this ordinance.
According to the EPA, the use of gas blowers during the hot summer months contributes to ground level ozone when ozone reaches its highest level, aggravates respiratory conditions and sends noxious substances into the air including fertilizers, pesticides, and fine particulate matter which can lodge in the lungs and do irreparable harm. This is dangerous for all of us, but particularly for young children who are closest to the ground.
This effort helps keep Wilmette’s air cleaner and helps protect the health of all its residents. It also supports the Village of Wilmette’s green initiative, “Clean Air Counts.”
Learn more about the harm gas-powered leaf blowers can create by reading this FAQ .
Go Green Wilmette works to reduce idling in our community. The purpose of the Idling Reduction Campaign is two-fold – to save energy and to reduce air pollution.
There are NO IDLING signs posted at Wilmette’s Metra train station, the Wilmette Park District’s Community Recreation Center, Centennial Park and Recreation Center and at local schools. The Village of Wilmette has a no-idling policy for all city vehicles.
We have two large “No Idling” signs that are available on loan at no charge to any school, church, temple, business or group that wishes to organize an idling reduction campaign. Many local schools have made use of the signs. We have handouts available to share with drivers to encourage them to turn off their engines. Contact us for these materials.
WHY TURN OFF YOUR ENGINE?
- Idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
- Frequent restarting has little impact on the car battery or starter.
- Idling can increase your fuel consumption by 4 – 5 percent.
- Idling for 2 minutes is equivalent to driving one mile.
- The EPA recommends that you turn off your car if you plan to idle for more than 30 seconds. Some sources say just 10 seconds.
Please consider turning your car off and contributing to this community effort to reduce global warming.
We occasionally offer programs on food related issues that help people choose local, organic and sustainable foods for a healthier body and planet. We stress the benefit of eating a diet rich in plant foods while reducing consumption of animal proteins to maintain strong health, reduce carbon footprint and minimize environmental impact.
Go Green Wilmette also helps people navigate complex and timely topics such as the safety of pesticides and herbicides, genetically modified foods and other current issues. We also organize local garden tours, field trips to urban farms and advertise annual events in the Chicago area pertaining to food issues. Learn more…