Reasons to Join the Chicago Conservation Corps

If you want to help transform the city of Chicago into a more sustainable and livable environment, there’s a place for you in the Chicago Conservation Corps (also known as C3). Administered by the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, the organization is dedicated to leadership development, educational outreach, and hands-on community improvement in the city. With dedicated partners such as the Chicago Parks District that help support C3’s projects and programs, it’s a worthy organization to get involved in. Local moving company Cheap Movers Chicago (website here) is on a mission to spread the word about C3 and get volunteers to sign up. These movers love our city and want to make sure it’s preserved for generations to come. For more reasons to join C3 today, read their helpful guide below:

Leadership Training Program

C3 has an outstanding Leadership Training Program that can sharpen your strengths and abilities. This eight-week event educates participants on how to tackle the environmental challenges that the city faces and focuses on water, energy, green space, green health, waste, and community organization.

Once you’ve completed the training, you’ll be ready to develop a service project in your community with the help of C3 volunteers. And after you’ve completed a project, you can continue to advance in leadership within the organization.

Explorer Environmental Service

If you’re interested in C3 activities but are too busy to commit to the Leadership Training Program, try getting involved in the Explorer Environmental Service. The program provides volunteer opportunities for one-time service, and you can choose whichever projects interests you and commit to dates that fit with your schedule.

The Explorer Environmental Service is also a great way for you to learn about the health, energy, and natural resource issues that are having an impact on Chicago. And you may find yourself using what you learn to save energy or reduce waste in your own community or workplace.

Student Clubs

Are you a teacher for students in grades 8-12? If you are, our Student Clubs are another excellent way that you can get involved in C3. After-school clubs for public school students can give them an early start in developing leadership and team building skills with an environmental awareness. The clubs also teach students how to focus on their school environment and explore different conservation practices. This thinking process can help students find creative solutions for saving water, increased recycling, and adding green spaces to their community.

Join C3!

Chicago is a great city and you can help keep it that way! C3 can teach you about the delicate balance between nature and city living, as well as leadership skills that can serve you throughout your life. Get involved today!

The Five Best Public Parks in Chicago

The city of Chicago is known for its stunning architecture and top-notch urban planning, and it’s no surprise that the town is home to some truly beautiful parks. For the best patches of green that the Windy City has to offer, here are the five best public parks in the Chicago area.

1. Millenium Park

Located in downtown Chicago, Millennium Park has become one of the most visited and iconic parks in the city. The park includes many modern art installments throughout its grounds and includes the famous Cloud Gate (commonly referred to as “The Bean”). Tourists also love visiting the impressive Jay Pritzker Pavillon, the Great Lawn, where concerts are held throughout the summer months, and the iconic Crown Fountain, a one-of-a-kind video sculpture that includes moving faces on its massive LED display.

2. Grant Park

Often referred to as “Chicago’s Front Lawn,” Grant Park is the city’s top outdoor civic center. Established back in 1844, Grant Park has played a key role in many historic Chicago moments, such as Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession, the protester/police clashes during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and more recently, the Chicago Cubs’ rally to celebrate their long-awaited historic World Series win.The sprawling park also hosts of many of Chicago’s outdoor festivals, including Lollapalooza and Taste of Chicago, and contains the Buckingham Fountain, one of the world’s largest fountains.

3. Lincoln Park

As the city’s largest park, Lincoln Park spans across many neighborhoods and is largely nestled between Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive. Some of its most notable areas include the free Lincoln Park Zoo, Oak Street Beach, and Montrose Harbor. And with several nature reserves, pavilions, and recreational areas, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon with family and friends.

4. Jackson Park

Jackson Park dates back to 1893 when it was created as the home site for the Chicago Columbian Exposition (also known as the World Fair). Located on the south side of the city, Jackson Park is home to a lovely Japanese garden, the Chicago Lakefront Trail, and several bird trails.The park’s Wooded Island is even listed as one of the “150 great places in Illinois” by the American Institute of Architects and is also the future site for the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

5. Washington Park

Washington Park is a beautifully maintained public space on Chicago’s near north side. In past years, the park was the top open-air free speech civic center in the nation and was a major tourist attraction in the city. Today, it’s part of the Washington Square Historic District and is still a popular meeting spot for speeches and public debates. Many visitors still come to the park for a glimpse into Chicago’s history and to imagine what it was like back in the days of soap-box orators and large public meetings.

14 Ways to Go Green in 2017

Making an effort to green your lifestyle can reduce our carbon footprint and positively impact the earth’s environment. And to find more ways to go green in 2017, here are 14 useful tips that we recommend trying out today.

1. Flush Less

Although this idea may sound gross, toilets are actually the biggest water waster in the household. Try following the old rule of thumb, “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown…” well, you know what to do!

2. Join a Composting Service

So much of the waste that we throw away (mostly into plastic bags that are likely bound for a landfill) could be composted instead. Check out Chicago compost services such as The Urban Canopy or Healthy Soil Compost to see if they service your area.

3. Attend Local Events

The city of Chicago is doing a great job of supporting sustainability, building a better urban environment, and spreading environmental awareness. Help the city by attending events such as the 2017 Clean & Green to get involved in your community.

4. Recycle Well

Stop throwing electronics in the trash or washing household chemicals down the drain. Chicago offers a service that recycles harmful trash such as household cleaners, oil-based paints, solvents, cell phones, compact fluorescent light bulbs, computers, and more, and is a better method of getting rid of waste.

5. Invest in a Bottle

Instead of buying countless plastic bottles of water or juice, buy a reusable bottle instead. You can filter your own water and make juice at home, saving both the environment and your wallet at the same time!

6. Unplug Electronics

After using electronics such as a hairdryer, power cord, or phone charger, make sure to unplug it from the electrical socket. This will cut down on energy costs and help eliminate wasteful energy.

7. Buy Fewer Belongings

Before buying something new, think about how long you’ll need or use it for. Most of us tend to buy new things and get rid of them quickly, causing unnecessary clutter and trash. And instead of buying more household items, think about borrowing or cutting down on things that are needed around the home.

8. Take Public Transit

If you’re not using it, start today! Transportation contributes to 21% of Chicago’s greenhouse gasses, and it’s best to trade the driver’s seat for a greener alternative in the long-run.

9. Find Green Companies

Businesses can often make poor choices that negatively impact the environment. And to purchase goods from green companies, use the National Green Pages to find environment-friendly businesses in your area.

10. Use Alternative Cleaning Products

Make your own natural cleaning products to reduce your use of toxic chemicals. Try out these alternative dryer sheets to help you get started!

11. Donate Newspapers

Animal shelters are always in need of unused newspapers, and instead of throwing your morning paper away, consider donating it to a good cause once you’re through with reading.

12. Purify Your Air

Get a new house plant to filter and purify the air you breathe. Not only will your home’s air quality improve, but a plant can also brighten up a living space!

13. File an Electronic Tax Return

There’s nothing more certain than having to pay your taxes, but they don’t have to be printed on environmentally detrimental paper. Instead, try using an E-file with your regular tax consultant or use a free service such as Free Tax.

14. Stay in the Know

Keep up with environmental news going on in the state. Follow organizations such as the ELPC to stay up-to-date on what’s going on in local and state legislature, and make your voice heard whether you agree or disagree with a cause.