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Who We Are

Green Community Connections provides a place to tap into conversations about sustainability issues and to identify concrete steps you can take. We believe change is both necessary and possible and the best way to get there is together. Learn more About Us.

Indoor Winter Farmers’ Markets Begin


Grace Lutheran Church and School in River Forest is co-hosting one of Faith in Place’s itinerant indoor Winter Farmers Markets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 10. The market is free and open to the public. These markets move from one location to another each weekend to provide more communities with access to local foods and give vendors the chance to meet new customers.

At a time of year when most summer farmers markets have closed for the season, this market will offer attendees the opportunity to purchase items such as meat, eggs, honey, salsa, jam, bread, pastries, seasonally-available produce, and more.

Farmers and vendors at the market will sell seasonal foods grown or produced within 250 miles of Chicago. By purchasing locally-grown food, consumers reduce the carbon footprint of their food, and support local farmers who use sustainable growing methods during the slower “off-season.”

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Think Like a Food Waste Warrior!

Evgeniya Pautova and Look Studio/Shutterstock

Saving food starts with your mindset. It’s a skill, as well as a passion. Like a muscle, it strengthens as you use it!

Green Community Connections is joining with the Interfaith Green Network and PlanItGreen to study the problem of food waste in our community. We are leading off by reaching out through social media, newsletters, block party show & tell events and sharing resources and videos to make us all more aware of the problem. Please take 3 minutes to watch this important video that highlights some of the problems and potential issues related to food waste.

We can make a big difference by becoming food waste warriors!  We don’t usually think of food being a major source of greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but according to research published in 2017 in the book, DRAWDOWN, edited by Paul Hawken, “reduced food waste” was ranked as the 3rd most effective of the 80 solutions that could actually reverse global warming.

Yet a third of the food raised or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork. That number is startling, especially when paired with this one: Hunger is a condition of life for nearly 800 million people worldwide. And this one: The food we waste contributes 4.4 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere each year. . .  A fundamental equation is off-kilter: People who need food are not getting it, and food that is not getting consumed is heating up the planet.  – DRAWDOWN, p. 42

As the holidays approach this is an important time to pay particular attention to avoiding food waste. Here are some basic strategies that you can try:

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Isaiah Mākar: Spoken Word Artist and Entrepreneur

Isaiah Mākar

At the closing celebration for the One Earth Film Festival, Isaiah Mākar presented his Spoken Word piece, “Earth’s Breakup Letter: Please Don’t Leave Me for Mars,” on March 11, at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Recently, he answered a few questions about his journey from a shy kid to a Spoken Word entrepreneur. This interview is followed by his Spoken Word poem from the closing celebration.

Q: Why do you call yourself Isaiah Mākar instead of the name you were born with: Jamael Clark?

From elementary school through college, I always wrote my name as “Jamael I. Clark,” hiding my middle name, Isaiah. Someone asked me, “Why don’t you write out your middle name? It’s powerful.” I used to have low self-esteem and was extremely introverted. Super shy. I would hide a lot about myself, including my middle name.

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Forest Bathing 101: No Rubber Duck Required


Practicing self-care is essential in 2018. It’s been a year of soul-crushing news about the climate, the state of our democracy, and #metoo. If you enjoy walking, you might try forest therapy. Called forest bathing (shinrin yoku) by the Japanese, this beautiful practice combines mindfulness and a slow stroll in nature, under the direction of a certified guide, often in the company of others.

“Forest therapy is a wellness practice that focuses on sensory connections with nature through easy-paced, short-distance walks,” says Kim Ruffin, a certified forest therapy guide. Typically, it takes about one to three hours to complete a one-mile walk. During a walk, Kim offers “invitations” or prompts to do sensory activities. She might say, “Hold a leaf and experience the shape of it.”

These invitations slow the pace of the walk, ask you to contemplate the beauty and wonder around you, and hopefully keep your mind off your to-do list. It’s all about slowing down and experiencing this particular moment.

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Creating an Oasis for Birds

American Hazelnut, also known as American Filbert

Jim Gill and Elaine Petkovsek are creating an oasis for birds in their backyard. Directly underneath the overhead bird feeder, they will plant an American Hazelnut which will be visible from their patio table (behind).

Says Jim: “With only a feeder in place so far, the primary birds frequenting our yard are house sparrows, robins, cardinals, and an occasional mourning dove. In time, by adding the right mix of feeders, cover foliage, and a solar powered bird bath, we hope to attract goldfinches, jays, nuthatches, and an occasional downy woodpecker.”