ML - Michigan Avenue

2015 - Issue 2 - Late Spring

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 108 of 139

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES (ELEVATED TRAIN); COURTESY OF AILEY SOLAR (SOLAR PANEL INSTALLATION) CHICAGO REACTS TO CLIMATE CHANGE Since 2012, the action plan Sustainable Chicago 2015 has guided the Windy City's efforts to become a more eco-friendly metropolis. By Carly Dyer In 2012, after research gathered by the Chica- go Climate Task Force indicated a future with severe storms and hotter summers due to the high level of greenhouse gas emissions, the city government created a three-year action agenda called Sustainable Chicago 2015. Broken up into categories ranging from en- ergy effi ciency and economic development to water, parks, and climate change, the plan provides specifi c solutions to improve the city's use of clean energy, broaden access to recycling, strengthen city transit, and more. Since the plan's inception, the city has cut down carbon emissions from buildings and vehicles while creating more power sources from a mix of solar panels, nuclear, natural gas, and renewables. Says Karen Weigert, Chicago's chief sustainability offi cer, "Through two years of implementation of Chicago's road map for a more livable, competitive, and sustain- able city, [we] have made progress across all seven categories of the plan. Our goals mov- ing forward are to continue doing just that." In that same time period, alternate en- ergy sources have generated goals that take advantage of new programs as well as what the city's landscape already offers. Retrofi t Chicago, for example, works to accelerate effi ciency in buildings, historical and new, in the city. Divvy, the popular bike program, has 3,000 bikes parked at 300 solar-powered stations. Chicago is also now coal-free, having closed the city's two remaining coal power plants in 2012. With $5.9 million in energy savings from the Retrofi t Chicago Residential Partnership, 5,400 trees planted last year, and 65 miles of bikeways installed, it's no surprise that the World Wildlife Fund named Chicago the Earth Hour Capital of the Unites States in 2014. To fi nd out more about the city's progress and future goals, visit en/progs/env/sustainable_chicago2015/.html. CLOCKWISE FROM FAR LEFT: The elevated rail over Wabash Avenue in downtown Chicago; workers from Ailey Solar installing solar panels on a house; Being Born, a sculpture by Virginio Ferrari, is part of one of the many expressway greening and neighborhood beautification programs sponsored by Chicago Gateway Green. ACTION ITEMS Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert and Chicago Conservation Corps' Kristen Pratt offer these tips for maintaining a more sustainable lifestyle. - Make your home more energy effi cient with simple changes like turning off lights and lowering the thermostat when not in a room. - Don't use the dishwasher or washing machine during rainstorms, which can cause fl ooding and sewer overfl ows. Faucet aerators are a good way to decrease water usage. - Use city transit (, walk, or Divvy ( rather than driving your own vehicle. Go to to fi nd Divvy stations near you. - Call 855-9-IMPACT to have Retrofi t Chicago evaluate your home's effi ciency and give tips for improvement. - Install solar panels on your home. Visit illinois for a list of installers. - Volunteer for the Chicago Conservation Corps (, Chicago Wilderness (, or the Chicago Botanic Garden ( MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 107

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