We rarely make the connection between green-living and an urban lifestyle. As Chicagoans, we’re surrounded by myriad reminders of traffic, fast-food, garbage cans overflowing with potential compost material, and a cramped sense of concrete enclosing in on us.
But look closer and you’ll realize there are hundreds of small (and large) eco-friendly initiatives sprouting up around the city—hundreds of individuals who’ve changed a few of their habits. There’s the vertical garden on your neighbor’s back porch. There’s that compost pile that’s found a home in an old protein powder canister on your patio (yes, it smells, but it also saves you about 21 pounds of garbage per week and multiple trips down that four-story walk up). And thanks to some environmentally conscious citizens, there are urban gardens popping up all over Chicago and serving some of the city’s largest food deserts.
But what does this mean for us, the average city dweller? Yes, we try to recycle. Yes, we buy organic when it’s on sale. Yes we support local breweries because they’re delicious. But inconvenience has too often been associated with eco-friendly options. Many of us shy away from green habits because we’re under the impression that they “take too long” or “cost too much money”. Our eco-unfriendly habits are simply that, though—learned patterns that can be replaced, which is a powerful realization.
What we need is a little education, practice, and a habit shift, all of which can be found at this year’s Envisioning a Green World Transformed, hosted by Greenheart International. This event will serve as an opportunity for the Chicago community to come together and learn from one another about practical and sustainable solutions for living an eco-friendly lifestyle. Exhibitors and presenters will share their expertise from a wide background of green ventures including zero waste initiatives, responsible travel, health and well-being, as well as sustainable fashion, urban farming and community advocacy. The common thread woven throughout each demonstration and discussion will be a focus on realistic and useful tips to practicing a green lifestyle in an urban setting.
The event will highlight the ventures of Jamie Hayes, owner and designer of Production Mode, a fair trade clothing company, committed to reducing its environmental impact; Emmanuel Pratt, Director of the Aquaponics Center at Chicago State University; and Ken Dunn, Founder of The Resource Center and City Farm. Guests will also have the opportunity to hear from Founder and President of Greenheart International, Emanuel Kuntzelman, and learn from exhibitors such as Sandwich Me In, a local restaurant with a zero-waste initiative. Sweet Beginnings, an organic body care line with a passion for community advocacy will share a demonstration on DIY body products, and Chicago Conservation Corps will present on at-home worm composting. Working Bikes will also be in attendance to explain how they’re making a difference in renewable transportation both locally and globally. To round it out with the thread that connects us all, the day will be catered by local restaurants and food vendors committed to organic and healthy cuisines.
When it comes to the environment most of us are trying to balance convenience with our carbon footprints. Envisioning a Green World Transformed will provide the answer to some of your convenience questions as well as a way for you to become a part of a growing green movement in this city. We learn from one another, and we make changes one habit at a time.
For more information, please visit http://www.greenhearttransforms.org/