The South Loop is green. Greener, perhaps, than most other neighborhoods. Perhaps even the greenest community in the city. Thanks to a neighborhood organization--Alliance for a Greener South Loop, headed by neighborhood stalwart Gail Merritt--that aims to keep the recycling bins filled, the energy consumption down and the rain barrels and compost heaps at their level best.
For years, the organization has given out Green, Greener and Greenest awards to neighborhood homeowners associations and businesses for outstandingly doing their share. But this year the rules have changed--and only one lucky competitor will be given $1000 for the most "engaging and green" community project.
I did think of entering this contest. Just for finagling my new blue recycling cart--which was unceremoniously delivered to the front gate of my house on State Street at Roosevelt--through the neighborhood, around to the alley and back up against my garage where it belonged. A Herculean feat, if I ever accomplished one.
I also encouraged my bf Bruce to get the board of his Prairie Avenue District condo association to enter, since they've spent a lot of time recently having energy studies done and implementing a number of energy saving protocol around his building--from light sensors in the garage to reconfiguring building ventilation fans that are now topnotch green-friendly.
But, sigh, never got around to it. And herein are the actual finalists competing for the award:
-Ride Your Bike for a Week – by Delia Bleahu and Kelly Smoots of Youth Guidance of South Loop Elementary
-One Step Closer to Zero Waste (Composting) – by Jennifer Cheung, 1322 S. Wabash
-Recycling Cork and Clothing – by Kevin Horwitz, Community Specialists/600 S. Dearborn
-LED Lighting for Dearborn Tower Condominiums – by Tifanni Sterdivant of DK Condo/1530 S. State St.
-Save the Caps (Bottle Cap Repurposing/Recycling) – by Milesh Jain of Ghabit
The winner will be announced tomorrow night at a free get-together at the Daystar Center at 6 PM at 1550 S. State. Light refreshments will be served. Sponsors are Environmental LEEDers: Daystar Center (in-kind donation); Draper and Kramer/DK Condo; and Forth Group Real Estate Management Company.
Come on down to the greenest time in town!