GCC's April eNews:  BYOB; Julie Moller, Bag Monster!; Taking Determined Steps to Lower Your Carbon Footprint; Upcoming Events.

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In this issue...
Green Living: Break your Bag Habit
Community Profile: Julie Moller, Bag Monster!
Connect to Action: Taking Steps to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
Upcoming Community and Regional Events



Break Your Bag Habit

If you've driven down the Eisenhower Expressway recently, you know where I'm going with this. After the snow melted, six months of buried trash was suddenly exposed all along the highway. And it's the bags, fluttering in the wind, skittering across the lanes that grab attention and demonstrate their own polluting wastefulness.

Hopefully the city will send out work crews soon. In the meantime, we want to encourage you to break your bag habit. Reason #1 is to help a good cause. We  are happy to announce that the River Forest Whole Foods has chosen Green Community Connections as the recipient community group for their "One Dime at a Time," bring-your-own-bag donation program through June.

Can humor help us kick the bag habit?


Julie Moller, Bag Monster & Founder of Recycling Extravaganza 

When Julie Moller showed up as the Bag Monster last year at our One Earth Film Festival, we knew we had connected with someone special. As facilitator for the film Bag It at the River Forest Public Library, she came in a handmade costume consisting of hundreds of plastic bags.  Needless to say, she attracted a lot of attention. And, she still gets  use out of that costume.

"I've worn that costume to the science fair at my daughter's school, a girls scouts event, and on Earth Day. My kids are used to it," she laughs. But her commitment to waste reduction doesn't stop there. As founder of River Forest's Recycling Extravaganza--this year's runs on May 3 from 8 am to 1 pm at River Forest United Methodist Church -- she mobilizes hundreds of people to divert carloads of stuff from the landfill and get these materials into the hands of people who can reuse them.

 We talked to Julie about the event and what motivates her. 
Read our interview with Julie.

Taking Determined Steps to Lower Our Carbon Footprint


The report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), reported on in the New York Times on 3/31/2014, warned of climate risk and the impact on human society in the coming decades.  â€œNobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change,” said the chairman of the IPCC, at the news conference.

As I struggled to think about how to respond to this report, I found myself drawing on the concept of “active hope” conceived by authors of the book, Active Hope, Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone.

In their book the authors state, â€œActive Hope is a practice, like gardening or yoga.  It is something we do rather than something we have.  It involves identifying the outcomes we hope for and then playing an active role in bringing them about.  We don't wait until we are sure of success.  We don't limit our choices to the outcomes that seem likely. Instead we focus on what we truly, deeply long for, and then we proceed to take determined steps in that direction.”

Read on for 5 determined steps that you can take right now to reduce your carbon footprint . . . and develop a sense of active hope. 
Click for the 5 steps!

Upcoming Community and Regional Events

The Great Paint Exchange Sat., Apr. 12, residents can drop off unwanted, latex paint from 9 to 11 a.m. and get free paint 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Oak Park Public Works Building, 201 South Blvd, Oak Park.

Citizens Climate Lobby, Chicago West Chapter Meeting: Sat., Apr. 12, 11:30am - 2pm, Maze Branch of the Oak Park Public Library, 845 Gunderson Ave, Oak Park.

Wild Ones Program:  Butterflies of the American Prairie: Sun., Apr. 13, 2:30 - 3:30pm, The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W Division, River Forest.

Fabulous Frogs:  Sun., Apr. 13, 1pm (pre-register by 4/10), learn about the life cycle, ecology and identification of native frogs.  Then visit our pond to look for frogs.  Adults & children, ages 8 and up.  708.366.6530 Trailside Museum at Thatcher Woods, River Forest.

Green Tuesday Series: Tuesdays in April, 7:00pm, Oak Park Public Library. Free.
  • 15th - Mike Iverson:  State of the Environment 2014:  Village of Oak Park
  • 22nd - Greening Oak Park:  Karen Rozmus on residential waste diversion rates, and Skyler Larrimore on how residents can make their homes more energy efficient
  • 29th - Green Campuses:  Models for Green Cities - Cynthia Klein-Banai, UIC - Using greenhouse gas inventory and ecological footprint to measure progress towards sustainability goals.
Oak Park EarthFest: Sat., Apr. 26, 10am - 2pm, the Village of Oak Park’s fifth annual celebration of green living. Oak Park Public Works Building, 201 South Blvd, Oak Park.

Recycling Extravaganza: Sat., May 3, 8am - 1pm, River Forest United Methodist Church, 7970 Lake Street, River Forest.

25th Annual Plant Sale: Sat., May 3, 8am - 4pm and Sun., May 4, Noon to 3pm,
 Oak Park Conservatory, 615 Garfield St, Oak Park.

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