Thursday, January 16, 2014

NNA's First Xmas Tree Recycle Project was a HUGE Success!

On January 12, 2014 the Tree Recycling Sunday was a huge success! Spearheaded by NNA member, Kathleen Abbott, 178 trees were saved from the landfill and chopped into mulch.

Abbot and a hardy crew of volunteers — husband Stephen Waguespack, Mark Buban, Will Hobert and George NiƱo, and NNA board members Susan Reed Schwartz, Karen Carter Lynch and Julie Hobert — combed North Center's alleys for trees and responded to requests from neighbors for pickup.

What kind of project would you like to suggest this year? NNA will support you and make that idea come to life. or

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Great Lakes Bioneers Chicago - Celebrating Community Resilience

If you are planning on attending this year’s Bioneers event at Roosevelt University on November 1-3, now is the best time to buy your early bird tickets (Oct 3rd).  For information and tickets go to  This is an event that strongly reflects the environmental committees values!

Elizabeth Wenscott (head of our Environmental Committee) has been hard at work with the Bioneers core team putting together a program that we think will strongly resonate with the folks living within the borders of NNA and beyond. For three full days we will be bringing together leading innovators from all walks of life to exchange ideas, build networks and inspire a shift to live on the Earth in ways that honor the web of life, each other and future generations.  This is a fun, action-oriented gathering for people of all ages and experience levels who want to learn more about taking care of our planet. 

The program will include:

• A main stage with 7 nationally recognized keynotes speaking on topics ranging from hydraulic fracking for natural gas to saving honey bees and stopping violence in our city.

• Over 30 workshops, interactive panel discussions and skill-shares on topics including time-banking, workplace democracy, renewable energy and healthy food.

• Six world cafe sessions on FOOD, WATER, WASTE, ENERGY, SHELTER and COMMUNITY RESILIENCE hosted by our keynotes and Chicago area environmental leaders.

• Organizing sessions on tar sands, hydraulic fracking and coal extraction in Illinois

• An interactive discussion on creative methods for non-violent direct action, featuring: Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Non-Violence; Savitri D of the Church of Stop Shopping; Greenpeace activist Kelly Mitchell; and Debbie Southorn of AFSC.

• Friday evening reception with ecologist, cancer survivor and activist Dr. Sandra Steingraber and music by our own Rhapsody Snyder

• Performances by Capoeira Angola; Alex Yoffe on the Javanese gamelan; the women’s African drumming ensemble Sheboom; and our own Wellington Avenue UCC choir, leading the audience in “Sing for the Climate”.

• Sunday closing celebration that includes Nathaniel Braddock and members of his Occidental Brothers Dance Band International.

Please join us for this exciting weekend and pass this message on to anyone whom you think might like to attend!

White lined sphinx moth

If you have been to Montrose Green community garden after dusk, you have probably seen this moth. It is often misstaken for a hummingbird.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Earth Day - 5 Tips

Hello NNA members,

By Michael Askenasi

In anticipation of Earth Day on April 20th, we offer you these 5 easy tips to help the environment through the spring/summer months:

1) NO IDLING – Idling is a huge waste of gas and studies have shown that even in winter, cars only need up to 20 seconds to warm up. So for example, the next you’re waiting to pick up you child from school, turn the engine off while you wait.

2) PROGRAM YOUR THERMOSTAT – Programming your thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save on your electric bills in the summer and your gas bills in the winter. Let’s say you normally like the house at 70 degrees when you’re home in the summer, but work from 9:00-5:30. You can program your thermostat to let the temperature rise up to 80 degrees while you’re gone, and at 5:00 the program can start to bring the temperature back down before you get home at 6:00.

3) DROP THE SHADES – Sunlight coming through your windows heats up your apartment or house quicker, making you use more A/C through the summer. When you’re not at home (or even when you ARE at home), draw your shades or blinds to limit the heat streaming into your home.

4) A.M. GARDENING – Morning is the best time for watering your lawn and plants. If you water in the afternoon or even early-evening, the ground will still be hot and water will evaporate quicker. Do your part to conserve water by scheduling your watering in the mornings.

5) PUT OFF LAUNDRY ANOTHER DAY – The average washing machine uses 41 gallons of water per load. Doing a small load uses extra water AND electricity, so wait until you have enough laundry for a full load. And if it might be time to replace that old washing machine and/or dryer, consider getting a more energy-efficient replacement."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

February 6th and March 6th (NEW INITIATIVES DAY)

Environmental Committee meetings take place on the first Wednesday of the month (unless otherwise noted), 7 pm at Paul Revere Fieldhouse.

February 6th and March 6th  (NEW INITIATIVES DAY) 

Have you been wanting to join NNA's exciting Environmental Committee? Then all that is required is that you first become a member of the Northcenter Neighborhood Association.  Once you are a member then you can attend any of the upcoming Environmental Committee meetings and participate!

Do you have an idea you would like to share or want to lead your own initiative? Would you like to help other already established initiatives grow? Then we need YOU! 

Ongoing Active Initiative Include:
  • Parkway Corner Initiative
  • Community Garden Initiative
  • Green Lawn Initiative
  • Tree Initiative
  • 6th Annual Garden Walk 
  • Lectures and Field Trips
  • and more...
Join us on February 6th and/or March 6th and present your ideas!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Save Energy this Winter: Take these Small Steps

$       Lower Your Thermostat.
$       Set Your Thermostat to 65 Degrees (or lower) at Night instead of 70 Degrees.
$       Switch to a Programmable Thermostat so Heat can be Turned Down Automatically at Night or While you are at Work.
$       Get Your Heating System Tuned Up by a Service Professional Annually.
A service professional will know how to keep your heating system running most efficiently, saving you money on your utility bills.
$        Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly or When Dirty. 
$       Keep Doors Leading Outside Closed As Much As Possible.
This will help maintain the warmth in your house by reducing cold air coming inside.
$       Use Window Treatments to Help Keep Your Home Stay Warm.
Curtains and blinds add an extra layer of insulation around your windows.  Closing them at night will help keep the warm air in; opening them during the day will allow the sun to warm your home.
$       Close Your Fireplace Flue when You're Not Using It.
            This will help eliminate drafts and keep the warm air inside your home.
$       Install and Use a Ceiling Fan.
Ceiling fans set at a low-speed in a clockwise direction circulate warm air away from the ceiling and move it around the room.
$       Lower the Temperature of Your Hot Water Heater. (110 degrees or lower)
$       Switch to Real Time Pricing for Your Electricity. 
See or call 1-877-WattSpot 
$       Monitor Your Energy Use.
Join Citizens Utility Board (CUB) Energy Saver to track your energy use and earn reward points for savings.  Points are redeemable at many national retailers.  See 
$       Get a Home Energy Audit.
        Have a BPI or RESNET certified expert identify your biggest opportunities for improvement before you start investing in expensive items around your home—this can save you thousands of dollars and years of frustration.
$       Seal Air Leaks Around Your Home, Particularly Your Windows, with Caulk or Weather Stripping. 
Install weather stripping to alleviate air leaks around windows and doors located between heated and unheated areas.
·      Air leaks around the window and door trim should be caulked, as well as around cove and baseboard molding on exterior walls.
·      Insulated covers should be installed on electrical outlets and switches located on exterior walls.
·      Plastic film insulation can also be applied on windows and sliding patio doors that won't be used in the winter.
·      If window unit air conditioners cannot be removed, they should be covered with plastic and air leaks sealed with foam rope and removable caulk.
$       Air Seal & Insulate Your Attic.
It's one of the most cost-effective savings measures you can take, and you may be able to do it yourself!  Crawl spaces and walls are other key areas for air sealing and insulation.
$       Upgrade to a High Efficiency Gas Furnace or Boiler.
Replacing your old furnace with a more energy efficiency one can save you hundreds annually. 
Get a rebate for $600 for boilers, $500 for furnaces and $100 for boiler reset controls through November 30, 2012—see  Federal tax credits may also be available on boilers and furnaces.
$        Insulate Your Exterior Walls. 
This will help to maintain a consistent temperature in your home, keeping it warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
$       If you are Having Trouble Paying your Utility Bills, Contact The National Energy Assistance Referral Project.

The National Energy Assistance Referral Project is a free service for people who are interested in applying for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which may pay a portion of the energy bills of eligible low-income persons.  Call 1-866-674-6327 or email

Monday, Nov 26th, Sulzer Library - An Evening with Your Drafty House

Chicagoans vote yes on municipal aggregation, provoking cheers and skepticism

Chicago voters have approved a ballot referendum authorizing the city to move forward with municipal aggregation, wherein the city will buy electricity on behalf of close to one million residents.
City officials had promoted aggregation primarily as a way to save money for ratepayers, compared to the rates they would have been paying to get electricity through the utility ComEd. Meanwhile popular support for aggregation was driven largely by the hope that it will facilitate the purchase of more renewable energy and ideally the creation of new renewable generation.
Unofficial returns from the Chicago Board of Elections show the measure passing with 56 percent approval.
Voters in 221 Illinois municipalities also faced ballot referendums dealing with aggregation Tuesday.
Electricity aggregation referenda were also on the way to passing in a number of Chicago suburbs, including the south and west side working class suburbs of Hillside, Chicago Heights, Country Club Hills and Calumet City; and well-off northern suburbs including Glenview and Inverness. The vote was close in other Chicago suburbs, including the south side towns of Blue Island and Dolton.
Since the state legislature passed a law allowing municipal aggregation in 2009, more than 250 communities have taken that route.

Read More For the Next steps!!!!