GCC's June News:  Caulk Your House; CCL: Locals Building Political Will; Lawn Care ChemicalsUpcoming Events.

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In this issue...


Caulk Your Way to A Lower Carbon Footprint
Insulating and caulking air leaks in your home isn't sexy, but aside from trading your car for a bike or train pass, it could be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reduce your carbon footprint. With savings in reduced utility bills, the payback can be realized within several years, and -- with currently available energy rebates -- even sooner.

Elevate Energy, formerly CNT Energy, is a non-profit that has worked with Illinois residents since 2000 to create and promote programs to help make home energy retrofits even easier. Elevate Energy's mission is to promote smarter energy use ( Skyler Larrimore, local adviser for Elevate Energy, is hosting workshops at local libraries in June and July. 

Read more for a schedule  of local workshops.


Building Political Will for a Livable World  
Local residents are advocating for policy change at the federal level. The mission of the Citizens Climate Lobby ("CCL") is to build political will for a livable world and to empower us as citizens to exercise our personal and political power.   The Chicago West chapter of the CCL, which meets in Oak Park, was established in the summer of 2012. CCL is committed to a respectful, non-partisan approach to working with members of congress to make the case for a national fee (tax) on fossil fuel-based carbon with the proceeds of the tax to be rebated to the citizens -- also known as Fee and Dividend (FAD).

Five Oak Parkers will head to Washington, D.C. in mid-June to be part of the Citizens Climate Lobby’s International Conference. Dick Alton, David Holmquist, Cheryl Pomeroy, John Porterfield and Sally Stovall will join nearly 700 other conference participants to hone their lobbying skills and visit members of congress and their staffers.

Today, there is a buzz building due to a new study, released on Monday, June 9, 2014.  The general assumption, until now, has been that solutions to address global warming will be a drag on the economy and lead to loss of jobs.  The newly released study “turns that assumption on its head.”  The study, conducted by Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI), shows that a carbon tax refunded to household would add 2.1 million jobs over 10 years, and emissions would decline by 33 percent.  13,000 lives would be saved annually after 10 years, with a cumulative 227,000 American lives saved over 20 years.

Read the rest of our article for more information on CCL and a link to the study.


Separating fact from fiction with yard-care chemicals

It shouldn’t be so hard to know what is safe for our families when it comes to caring for our yards.  And yet, we get contradictory messages from advertising and from news stories about scientific research on the safety of common lawn care products.  It's important for us to become informed and make our own judgments as homeowners, parents and citizens. On Monday, June 16 at 7:00 p.m., at the Oak Park Main Library, we will have an opportunity to learn from a scientist who has done research in this area, ask questions and talk to others about what they are doing in their yards.  Dr. Warren Porter, biologist, environmental toxicologist and researcher from the University of Wisconsin, will share research findings regarding the safety of common pesticides and GMO products – in terms that lay people can understand. Continue reading for more information.

Find out more about Dr. Porter and his upcoming talk.

Upcoming Community and Regional Events

Separating fact from fiction with yard-care chemicals  Monday, June 16, 7:00 pm, Oak Park Main Library. Hear from Dr. Warren Porter, who has done research in this area, ask questions and talk to others about what they are doing in their yards.  

An Hour for Home Energy Savings:  Cutting Costs and Boosting Home Comfort  Summer Workshops at local libraries in the area scheduled for June 16th, June 23rd and July 10th.   Click here for detailed locations and times.

Jens Jensen the Living Green, Thursday, June 19th, 8:00pm:  The film Jens Jensen will have its official Chicago debut with showings at the Pritzger Pavillion at Millineum Park and simultaneously on WTTW TV.

Dog Days of Summer Hikes  Bring your well-mannered, leashed dog on a one-hour guided hike on our trails. Family program., Saturday, June 21, 10 am

Oak Park River Forest Garden WalkSunday, June 22, 10:00 – 4:00.  Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Visit twelve fabulous private gardens on this self-guided tour in Oak Park and River Forest. 

Sugar Beet Co-op Pop Up Art Show & Open HouseSaturday, June 28, 2014, 1-4pm, 812 W. Madison Ave. Oak Park, IL:  Meet, mingle and shop for one-of-a-kind art & gifts from amazing local artists, plus enjoy wine samples and chocolate tastings during the afternoon.


What Does the Fox Say?  Sunday, June 29, 1 pm  Bark, scream or cry… discover what the fox really says and visit up close with Trailside’s resident fox. Family program.

Fermented Foods for Health, Monday, July 7, 7:00-8:30 pm, Edible Alchemist, Andrea Mattson joins Dr. Paul Schattauer of The Green Medical Practice to present a workshop about fermented foods and the magic of probiotics in our diet.  $10 members $15 general admission, preregistration required:

Genetically Modified Foods 101, Saturday, July 12, 1 pm  Learn and discuss the pro's and con's of GMO foods.   Instructor: Julie Ann Howlett

Parent/Child Woodland Ramble, Sunday, July 13, 1 pm Enjoy a woodland walk as we look at trees, wildflowers and creatures great and small. Family program, register by 7/11.
Smart City USA Sign-ups:  Oak Park residential property owners should act now to be considered for a pilot project which includes installation of solar panels at no cost to the homeowner.  Link to the online Participant Interest form.

Oak Park Farmers' Market offers high quality, locally grown produce, every Saturday from May 24 through Nov. 1, 2014,  7 a.m. - 1 p.m. The market is held in the Pilgrim Church Parking lot at 460 Lake St.

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