Monday, December 28, 2009

New Recycling Containers Arrive

Glen Ellyn's new wheeled recycling containers are being delivered this week. These should reduce blowing litter and be more convenient than the old containers. A number of sources state that by recycling we are reducing our carbon footprint.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Why did Carmel, IN become a Cool City?

Why did Carmel, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis, become a Cool City?

According to a report from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, when asked why he signed on to the Mayors Climate Protecton Agreement, Mayor James Brainard answered: “The answer is pretty simple. I signed the agreement to help establish goals for improved air quality, energy independence and carbon reduction.”

How has your city moved forward to reduce emissions?
“The City of Carmel has built over 50 roundabouts, which reduce gasoline usage by roughly 24,000 gallons of gasoline per roundabout per year. We are implementing a ‘smart code,’ which increases pedestrian connectivity throughout the city with better planning; we have added tens of miles of bike and pedestrian paths; we have increased density to cut down on automobile trips; we have a no-idling policy for city vehicles; we have a requirement that all city vehicles must be hybrids or use alternative fuel; we have replaced incandescent street lights with LEDs; we have created a walkable city center through public-private partnerships that help cut down on car trips; and we have developed a street tree program, which spends approximately $25 per person per year on street trees. Mixed-use development initiatives, especially, cut down on long car trips from commercial to residential zones.”

Which initiative in your city has had the greatest impact on reducing GHG emissions?
“Residents burn an estimated 470,000 fewer gallons of gas when using a roundabout versus waiting at a 4-way stop or traffic light. At $2.50 per gallon of gas, drivers save approximately $1,750,000 per year. Recent studies indicate roundabout interchanges significantly reduce toxic automobile emissions, creating a positive impact on the environment. Analysis performed at the 96th and Keystone intersection in Carmel, using traffic analysis and Environmental Protection Agency software, has indicated that replacing the existing signal at the intersection with a new roundabout interchange will reduce annual carbon monoxide emissions by 42 percent, nitrous oxide emissions by 29 percent, and hydrocarbon emissions by 71 percent. Additionally, studies cited by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that annual carbon dioxide emissions are typically reduced by 37 percent when a traffic signal is replaced by a roundabout.”

Glen Ellyn has at least one roundabout. Do you know where it is?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sustainable wines found at Cabernet & Company and other local stores for the holidays

There is a carbon footprint and an environmental impact associated with any purchase of wine, but wineries are working hard at “sustainability.” What does this mean? Solar arrays are being installed in many vineyards, especially in California, to reduce energy consumption. Organic and biodynamic methods that include more natural approaches to pest control are being employed by vinyards to reduce the need for energy-intensive fertilizers and pesticides. Wineries are beginning to treat their vineyards as unique ecosystems. Another approach for the consumer is to buy local. Illinois makes a few good wines (yes, really). This reduces the energy required to ship it here, although many Illinois wine makers use some California grapes.

According to Alixe Lischett of Cabernet & Co., sustainable practices are being explored widely within the wine industry. She explained many are not yet classified and marketed as “sustainable” because they may want to use chemicals in a bad year to save the crops from ruin, but this is a very rare occurrence. Good examples of sustainable wines found at Cabernet & Co. include selections from Como Sur, Chile (organic); the Glunz Family Winery (local, and in returnable bottles); Ceago Winery (biodynamic); and Ridge Vineyards (integrated pest management). Also found at Cabernet & Co. is an interesting wine is from Basel Cellars “The Earth Series Volume One,” a red wine blend that is made using biodynamic practices that may soon be certified sustainable.

Fetzer Vineyards (uses solar power and other good practices, but finds it necessary to use plastic corks) can be found at Trader Joe’s.

Wines from Frey Vineyards (organic, biodynamic, and promises to be 100% solar powered in a few years) and Parducci (solar and wind power, and “carbon neutral”) can be found at Whole Foods.

Also look for Frog’s Leap, Napa Valley (solar power, geothermal cooling, organic practices); Rodney Strong, Sonoma County (“world’s largest” solar array used at a winery); and Shafer Vineyards, Napa Valley (solar power, shifting to organic wines).

So why does this matter to the wine lover? According to Dr. Dominique Bachelet, The Nature Conservancy's climate change scientist “…by the end of this century rising temperatures across the U.S. could reduce the areas suitable for premium wine production by up to 81 percent.” –

Photo credit: California Public Utilities Commission.

Monday, December 7, 2009

John Huston lecture has moved

News Flash! The Glen Ellyn Public Library reports that the lecture by John Huston has moved to a new location:

LOCATION CHANGE - This program will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church 393 N. Main St. (across from Giesche Shoes) Glen Ellyn. Along with his expedition partner Tyler Fish, John Huston is one of the first Americans to ski unsupported and unassisted to the North Pole. The expedition has been called "the hardest trek on the planet." John will talk about his inspiring and challenging journey and show stunning photos and video from his 55 day journey to the North Pole. Free.

Something to ponder in the meantime: Denmark has reduced its carbon emissions 13 percent while its economy grew 45 percent. Why can't we do that in Glen Ellyn?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Village update

They are harvesting more than corn in Indiana (see photo). But what are we doing in Glen Ellyn? Since our presentation to the Village Board at the end of October, the Village reports that it will have continued U.S. EPA support to help develop a baseline carbon emission inventory. EPA plans to have a new intern on Board in early January to provide labor and resources to finish the job. Once the inventory is done, the Village will have a "better handle on where we stand." As the Coalition would like to see it, that means finding the low hanging fruit for energy savings in our Village. Glen Ellyn is also discussing with College of DuPage how to find a potential intern who could do the internal staff work needed for a Cool Cities initiative. COD itself has an energy managemnt plan, and offers a degree in facility management. The Village shows signs of having an interest in becoming a Cool City, but due to serious budget and staff limitations, it is taking a cautious approach. That suggests we need to continue to develop community support and programs that will lead to a lasting effort to become a Cool City and to implement meaningful programs thereafter. The Chamber of Commerce supports the effort, and we will be seeking more public support. As with any public issue, a committed and informed citizenry is vital.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John Huston, polar explorer

John Huston, a polar explorer - and Glen Ellyn native - will speak at the Glen Ellyn Public Library on December 10, from 7-8 pm. He was part of a 2-man team that was the first American team to ski to the North Pole without external support or assistance. Quite an achievement! The lecture is free but you must register to attend.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Public Meeting on October 29

Cool Cities Meeting, 7:30 pm, in the Glen Ellyn Civic Center


Introducing the Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement to guests.

So we have been introduced to the Glen Ellyn Board of Trustees. Now what? A discussion of Village procedures and strategies.

The Chamber of Commerce has endorsed us. Who else shall we approach in the near term?

Educational program next year? Think big.

Create a video about people (e.g. building managers) who doing good things with building efficiency?

Future meeting locations and times.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

we are part of something big

We are part of something really, really big - check the Web link to the far right and look at images from all over the world showing people speaking out about climate change. The image here was taken at Blackwell Forest Preserve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cool Cities Meetings

This is a busy month for Cool Cities in Glen Ellyn. On Monday, October 26 we are scheduled for a brief presentation to the Village Board at 8 p.m. This is an opportunity to introduce ourselves, to say who we are, and why we think Glen Ellyn should sign the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. To open the Board meeting, the Eco Club of Glenbard West H.S. will lead us in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Also, we had just provided an update to the Environmental Commission, which has been supportive.

On Thursday, October 29, we hold our regular monthly public meeting, 7:30 p.m., at the Glen Ellyn Civic Center. This will likely be the last meeting of its kind this year due to the upcoming holidays. It will be an important planning meeting, but the public is invited to learn about Cool Cities - so feel free to come and invite anyone that you think might be interested.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

New Cool Cities logo

This is a new logo adopted by the Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition - courtesy of Bonnie Gahris of B.G. Design.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Over 1,000 cities have signed

Over 1,000 cities throughout America have signed on to the U.S. Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement. Two Illinois communities, Orland Park and Belleville (near St. Louis) are among the latest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Upcoming Cool Cities events

Let's ride together. On Monday, October 26th, at 8 p.m., we are scheduled to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the Glen Ellyn Board of Trustees meeting and to introduce ourselves to the Village Board. This will take place at the Civic Center on Duane Street.
Also, the next public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 29, for 7:30 p.m., also at the Civic Center.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cool things happen in Glen Ellyn. The Crowne Plaza Glen Ellyn has just received a Green Initiative Award. Stop by the hotel and restaurant and see the interesting design features. See details at
It takes leaders in business to show the way for energy conservation.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Public Meeting at Civic Center on September 24 - 7:30 p.m.

Is Glen Ellyn edging closer to becoming a Cool City? The Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition will meet this Thursday, September 24th, at 7:30 pm. to discuss a presentation we will make to the Village Board in just a few weeks. Short and long term strategy will be discussed.
If you are new to the project, feel free to join us to learn how it works and how you can help. Note the new time is 7:30 p.m.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Individuals and Organizations Urged to Take the Pledge

I (We) believe in the goals of the Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to protect our environment. I (We) support the Village of Glen Ellyn taking the lead by setting goals and implementing action plans for green vehicle fleets, energy efficiency, and renewable energy opportunities. I (We) believe that it is also the responsibility of every citizen to protect the environment. I (We), therefore, pledge to further our commitment to the environment by learning the issues and choosing 3 or more actions each year.
Name _____________ Organization ______________________ Date ____________

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cool news update

The Coalition has been working cooperatively with the Village of Glen Ellyn to find a way to perform a "baseline emissions inventory" for carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to climate change at minimal cost during these austere times. Once this is done, we have a basis for developing plans for concrete and achievable emission reductions in the future. The good news is that the U.S. EPA has made available a summer intern to work on gathering data that is required by an emissions inventory computer model. The intern will run the model free of charge. This is also makes it unecessary for the Village to purchase the computer model at this time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No August meeting

There will be no public meeting this month. We are enjoying the blessings of the late summer. Please stay tuned for latest news.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Public meeting this Thursday July 30

Join us this Thursday, at 7 pm, at the Glen Ellyn Public Library for discussion about opportunities to obtain federal funding, how to use an intern to conduct an inventory, and other new developments. We will have an update on our dialog with the Village. We seek new participants and public endorsements as the momentum builds.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cool Cities Primer

For those eager to know more about what's going on, we are preparing a proposal for the Village to review. Once Glen Ellyn signs on to the U.S. Conference of Mayor's Agreement (see ) we will have access to the resources to get the job done. An important initial step is to perform an inventory to see what Glen Ellyn's impact really is. The idea is to measure improvement so we know how we are really releasing to the atmosphere. This allows us to make an effective plan for reducing global warming gases and to start saving money. This is not limited to Village operations. Your business, residence, and church community can benefit also!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Public Meeting

Check newer posts for the latest news!

The next meeting is scheduled on Thursday, July 30 at 7 pm, Glen Ellyn Public Library. More information to come. Meanwhile, enjoy the 4th of July.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Public meeting: Thursday June 25 at 7 pm, at the Village Civic Center

Welcome to our blog! This will be a place to share information about what we are doing.

The Glen Ellyn Cool Cities Coalition is a group of people involved in various local civic and environmental advocacy groups meeting to discuss ways to reduce Glen Ellyn’s impact on the environment. While people talk about “going green” we are looking for ways to really do it. The biggest item on our agenda is to ask the Village of Glen Ellyn to join more than 900 other communities by signing the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement.

The goal of this agreement is to “enact policies and programs to meet or beat the greenhouse gas emission reduction target suggested for the United States in the Kyoto Protocol -- 7% reduction from 1990 levels by 2012.” That seems like a lofty goal, but we think Glen Ellyn can do it. The Village has already taken steps since 1990 to reduce carbon dioxide missions, ranging to improved lighting, building heating and ventilation improvements, and the purchase of hybrid vehicles. Don’t forget, in the long run this will save tax dollars and allow the Village to provide vital services more efficiently. And we will be part of a national movement to address climate change on a local level.

We meet regularly on the last Thursday of the month at 7 pm.

Next public meeting: Thursday June 25 at 7 pm, at the Village Civic Center.