WBEZ | environmentalism http://www.wbez.org/tags/environmentalism Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Earth Day event roundup http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/chicago-earth-day-event-roundup-106696 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmmarshall/3455778225/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/fotp%20cleanup.jpg" style="height: 429px; width: 610px;" title="Friends of the Park members lead a clean-up of Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary on Earth Day in 2010. (Flickr/Marshall Rosenthal)" /></a></div><p>Since Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson <a href="http://www.epa.gov/earthday/history.htm">proposed the first Earth Day more than 40 years ago</a>, the day of environmental action has morphed into something quite different &mdash; not unlike the environmental movement itself.</p><p><a href="http://inhabitat.com/top-five-dumbest-greenwashed-earth-day-gimmicks/">Greenwashing</a> is ubiquitous year-round, but it&rsquo;s especially in bloom around April 22. Take the particularly brazen example of <a href="http://fs.ogm.utah.gov/PUB/DOGM/Earth_Day/EarthDayPosterContest-OfficialRules2013.pdf">an Earth Day poster contest in Utah</a> that asked schoolchildren to <a href="http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/56024796-78/contest-petroleum-poster-oil.html.csp">sing the praises</a> of oil, gas and mining. It&rsquo;s enough to turn some off to the idea entirely, as it has for writer Marc Gunther:</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>So why do I hate <a href="https://twitter.com/search/%23EarthDay">#EarthDay</a>? Stupid email pitches, companies patting themselves on the back, sustainability by anecdote.</p>&mdash; Marc Gunther (<a href="http://twitter.com/MarcGunther" target="_blank">@MarcGunther</a>) <a href="https://twitter.com/MarcGunther/status/322014915672043521">April 10, 2013</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>With the <a href="http://grist.org/climate-change/2011-12-05-the-brutal-logic-of-climate-change/">brutal logic of climate change</a> staring down society, we&rsquo;re in bad shape if environmental action remains merely a holiday ritual like pumpkin carving.</p><p>If Earth Day <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-04-12/news/chi-taking-earth-day-one-step-further-20130412-barr_briefs_1_earth-day-carbon-pollution-planet">compels you to do more</a> than talk, you can <a href="http://earthdaychicago.blogspot.com/">join a political rally</a> against hydraulic fracturing and oil sands pipelines. Or <a href="http://www.epa.gov/gogreen/">follow EPA&#39;s advice</a> on how to reduce your personal impact on the environment.</p><p>But there&rsquo;s still something affirming about a day of service (<a href="http://www.earthday.org/">more info here</a>), or even just a bit of time set aside for personal reflection or a hike.</p><p>Here are a few events around town:</p><p><a href="http://www.earthdaychicago.com/">Clean up with Friends of the Parks</a> in <a href="http://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/events/humboldt-park-earth-day-/">Humboldt Park</a>, <a href="http://luc.edu/communityrelations/llnlsc/earthday2013/">Edgewater</a> or elsewhere. <em>April 20, 9 a.m. &ndash; 12 p.m. </em>Check your neighborhood park.</p><p><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/481475695238973/">Learn to garden with PERRO</a>, the Pilsen Environmental Rights and Reform Organization. <em>April 20, 11 a.m. &mdash;&nbsp;2 p.m. </em>1423 W. 17<sup>th</sup> St.</p><p><a href="http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/illinois/picnic-for-earth-chicago.xml">Picnic with The Nature Conservancy</a> in Millennium Park if you&rsquo;re downtown.<em>&nbsp;April 20, 11 a.m. &mdash;&nbsp;3 p.m. </em>Millennium Park, Chase Promenade South Tent.</p><p><a href="http://www.slowfoodchicago.org/index.php/2013/04/07/preserve-garden-workday-2/">Sow seeds with Slow Food Chicago</a> at PreSERVE Garden in North Lawndale. <em>April 20, 10 a.m. &mdash; 12 p.m. </em>12<sup>th</sup> Place and Central Park Avenue.</p><p><a href="http://www.earthday5kchicago.com/">Run a 5K for Earth Day</a>. The fourth annual race partners with GreenChoice Bank, <a href="../../blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/rolling-out-green-carpet-legally-speaking-105010">the state&rsquo;s first benefit corporation</a>, and Gobi Project, a mobile DJ booth powered by solar panels.<em>&nbsp;April 27, 9 a.m., Humboldt Park</em>.</p><p><a href="http://www.nrdconline.org/site/Calendar?id=100581&amp;view=Detail">Raise a glass with the Natural Resources Defense Council</a> at a craft beer tasting to support craft brewers <a href="../../blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/midwest-breweries-lead-environmental-groups-charge-fortify-water-laws">who have pledged to defend water quality legislation</a>.&nbsp;<em>April 22, 6-9 p.m. </em>825 W. Erie St.</p><p><a href="http://earthdatacelebration.eventbrite.com/">Crunch numbers at &quot;Earth Data: A Sustainable Chicago 2015 Celebration,&quot;</a> wherein the city&rsquo;s data folk team up with Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the World Wide Fund for Nature to discuss Big Data and climate change in preparation for a hackathon on April 26. <em>April 22, 6-9 p.m. 78 E. Washington Ave.</em></p><p>Here&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.chicagoparent.com/picks/earth-day-celebrations">a list of family-friendly Earth Day events from <em>Chicago Parent</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Thu, 18 Apr 2013 05:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-04/chicago-earth-day-event-roundup-106696 Evanston solicits first input on bag ban http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-solicits-first-input-bag-ban-86998 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-25/paperbags.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-May/2011-05-25/evanstontownmeeting.jpg" style="width: 402px; height: 201px; float: left; margin: 7px;" title="Attendees discussed at tables the pros and cons of a banning bags. (WBEZ/ Odette Yousef)">Evanston residents and other interested groups had their first chance Tuesday night to weigh in on a proposed ban on single-use shopping bags.</p><p>While opinions ran the gamut - from favorable to opposed - all agreed that they would like to see Evanston become a greener place. Where they disagreed was: how?</p><p>Some City Council members proposed eliminating both paper and plastic at the checkout last month. The idea quickly hit national news, and Tuesday night's meeting drew more than one hundred people who wanted to discuss the details of such a move. Patrick Rita, from the Renewable Bag Council, flew in from Washington, DC, specifically for the meeting.</p><p>"We have not had a locality in any state around the country actually enact a paper bag ban," said Rita, whose organization, the Renewable Bag Council, is made up of brown paper bag manufacturers.</p><p>Rita says while many local governments have banned plastic bags, the furthest any has gone on paper bags has been to charge a per-bag fee. But Ald. Ann Rainey of Evanston's 8th Ward, says a fee won't go far enough to change consumer behavior.</p><p>"Settling for anything less than a ban would be settling for nothing," said Rainey at the meeting.</p><p>Rainey initially proposed the ban, saying it would cut down on environmental waste. Evanston's legal department will compile and present feedback from the meeting to the Administration and Public Works Committee next month, before a new ordinance is drafted.</p></p> Thu, 26 May 2011 04:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/evanston-solicits-first-input-bag-ban-86998 Teens learn about faith through weatherstripping http://www.wbez.org/story/al-gore/teens-learn-about-faith-through-weatherstripping <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/photo 2.JPG" alt="" /><p><div><div>Church elders and environmentalists are working together on Chicago's South Side. They hope to show teens there's a link between faith and saving the earth while helping them grow into responsible men. Their method involved weatherstripping.<br />&nbsp;</div> <div>About 20 young men sat on folding chairs in the fellowship hall at Sixth Grace Presbyterian Church.&nbsp;Tools of the barber trade got more than the traditional use here this cold night. Church elder, Clifton Wilkes, showed the young men how to put plastic on a window frame to keep out cold air. He slowly moved a blow dryer across the plastic, and the teens watched as the wrinkles disappeared, and the plastic became as smooth as glass.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Wilkes passed the pane around so students could get a closer look. He invited them to thump lightly on the surface.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;See how tight it is?&quot; Wilkes asked. &quot;Don't punch a hole in it. Just see how tight it is.&quot;<br /><br />The environment trumped the usual topics of family, school and teen problems here at Barbershop Rap. Teens meet monthly with adult male mentors, who show them how to become responsible men.<br /><br />Wilkes said they wanted to perform a volunteer service for the community. So they partnered with <a title="blocked::http://www.faithinplace.org/" href="http://www.faithinplace.org/">Faith in Place</a>, a group that works with congregations to promote sustainability.</div> <div>Rev. Bernard Clark said they want teens to see how faith is tied to the environment.<br /><br />&quot;God blessed us with the Earth,&quot; Rev. Clark said. &quot;Man, in his infinite wisdom has begun to do things that are destroying the Earth. So what it does is teach the young people how to go green, how to begin to help replenish the Earth.&quot;</div> <div><br />&quot;The ecological divide is wide,&quot; said Veronica Kyle, who's with Faith in Place. &quot;Most people in the African-American community on an average day-to-day basis are not dealing with environmental ecological concerns. People are too busy dealing with the skills of the survival pyramid, you know, 'Let me take care of my family, I'm doing the best I can, yes, Al Gore, what does that mean to me?&nbsp; I'm not gonna have an $80 organic T-shirt, no, I can't afford organic vegetables.' But that's just one sliver of the movement.&quot;<br /><br />Weatherization is another. Kyle wants to show there are ways to save energy and save money for very little cost. She observed as the lesson continued. Several minutes went by, and some teens started chatting and getting out of their chairs. One of the mentors noticed and motioned toward Kyle:<br /><br />&quot;Listen, with you all doing this? Seriously, act like young men, act like young men,&quot;&nbsp;the mentor told them. &quot;Act like you're interested.&quot;</div> <div><br />&quot;As a matter of fact, when I ask the mentors who were the shining stars, it's not just who installed the most kits, it's who had the best attitude, who had the best work ethic,&quot; Kyle said. &quot;Every time we get summer job opportunities, we contact your mentors and say, 'Hey, we have jobs.' As a matter of fact, right now, I have six job openings, right now.&quot;<br /><br />The young men sat up and paid attention.<br /><br />Rev. Clark said weatherproofing will earn them some money. It may change attitudes toward them, too.<br /><br />&quot;This weatherization piece allows these young people an opportunity to go into homes of senior citizens and other adults in the community who otherwise might read the paper, watch the news, and think all young people are thugs, gang bangers, drug dealers, and whatever,&quot; Rev. Clark said. &quot;They're like 'Wow, they're so intelligent, they're so nice, they're so generous'.&quot;<br /><br />The teens put their skills to work several days later. Five of them headed out to work on apartments in the neighborhood.<br /><br />They approached Joyce Williams' apartment, and asked what she needed to be done. Williams told them she had air seeping in around her doors. The young men sealed the gaps.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;See, you can put your hand here, and there won't be no wind coming through,&quot; one of the teens told Williams.</div> <div><br />&quot;Hope I save money on my heat now, that heating bill is (exclamatory sound). It's very high,&quot; Williams said.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>The teens headed out the door toward the next apartment.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>&quot;Thank you all,&quot; Williams said. &quot;Have a blessed day.&quot;</div> <div>&quot;Thank you,&quot; a teen said, adding, &quot;Stay warm.&quot;</div> <div>Williams closed the door behind them, still saying, &quot;Thank you,&quot; and then, &quot;God bless.&quot;</div> <div><br />One of the teens, 15-year-old Darrieon Gunn, said the project has helped him gain job skills and confidence.<br /><br />&quot;It took me to a whole other level, because now I'm feeling so good about myself, me helping other people, me knowing I'm making them happier and I'm making them warm,&quot; he said.</div><div>All together, Gunn and the other teens in Barbershop Rap weatherproofed about 100 homes.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They were part of a larger effort by Faith in Place that weatherized more than 600 houses and apartments. <br /><br />NOTE: <em>WBEZ Pritzker Journalism Fellow Samuel Vega contributed to this story.</em></div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/al-gore/teens-learn-about-faith-through-weatherstripping