People’s Choice Winner

Our Veggie Chili Cook-Off was really fun. We came, we tasted, we savored and we supported the environment. Here’s one of the winning recipes, Gail Merritt’s 3-Bean Chili, People’s Choice


Gail’s 3-Bean Chili

Better if made 1 day before serving

Ingredients (approximate). Go organic if you can. ;]
Olive oil for sautéing
2 onions, chopped medium-fine
2 carrots, chopped medium-fine
5 cloves garlic, smashed+minced fine+smashed to paste with salt
4 Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled, chopped medium
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1.5 qt vegetable broth
3 c. each: (cooked) cranberry beans, kidney beans, black beans
Spices (salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, curry powder)Process:
Sauté onions, carrots, garlic over medium heat until cooked.
Add to large pot: vegetable broth, tomato paste, tomato sauce, stir until well-mixed
Add veggies, beans, fresh tomato
Add spices to taste.
Slow simmer to thicken up/cook fresh tomatoes.

Mango Chutney Garnish

 (adds heat, color, sweet)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped fine
Equal part red pepper, chopped fine
Equal part red onion, chopped fine
Equal part green onion, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced superfine/smashed with salt
Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
2 cups mango, peeled, chopped medium
Lemon juice


The 4th Annual Greener Award Event is this Thursday

Reminder, the 4th Annual Greener Award Event is just a few days away. Come join us to recognize, celebrate, and share the South Loop’s efforts to go greener.
This year the Alliance is:
  • Launching a new award called the Green Hero.
  • Hosting a panel discussion entitled “The Journey of Going Greener”.
  • Offering a tour of Roosevelt’s just-certified LEED Gold building. Tour begins at 5:15pm
  • Featuring a raffle. Sign in and get one raffle ticket. Bring your own name tag made of reused materials, and we’ll give you an extra raffle ticket.
WHAT: 4th Annual Greener Awards Celebration Event
WHEN: Thursday, 29 November, 6pm
WHO: All nominees, applicants, and the general public
WHY: To celebrate and share greener practices that make a difference. Food, drink, and fun included!
WHERE: Roosevelt University, 425 South Wabash Avenue, Room 418 (4th floor)

Please join us in celebrating and recognizing the greener practices that make a difference.

Community Kick-Off Event for Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

Sample meat-free fare from local restaurants and learn how you can get involved at the community kickoff event for Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

South Loop Community Church;  1347 S. State Street, on March 24, 2012, from 12p to 2p.

In addition to sampling meatless menu items from participating South Loop restaurants, participants will:

  • Hear performances by the Jones College Prep High School jazz band and the South Loop Elementary School choir
  • Learn about the environmental benefits of eating less meat and how to get involved in this earth-friendly campaign.
  • Win great, green raffle prizes, such as I-Go Car Sharing certificate, Kill-a-Watt Energy Meter, CTA One-Day Transit Cards, Bicycle Helmet, Bicycle Air Pump, Bicycle Lights, Herb Garden Starter Kits, and more!

RSVP is required and participants are asked to bring a food donation for the church’s food pantry.

Invited guests include Alderman Robert Fioretti and Alderman Pat Dowell.

Mmm! Meatless Mondays in May

Did you know that eating less meat is a great way to be kind to the environment? In fact, it is better than recycling!

The Alliance for a Greener South Loop is working with member organizations and others in the South Loop on a new campaign that will be good for the environment and good for South Loop restaurants: Meatless Mondays in May….Mmm!

Meatless Mondays is a national education campaign that we are adapting to make something fun and engaging for everyone who eats in the South Loop.

Want to learn more? Sample meat-free fare from local restaurants and learn how you can get involved:

Meatless Mondays in May Community Kick-off Event

Saturday, March 24, 12-2pm

South Loop Community Church*

1347 S. State Street

*Please bring a donation to the church’s food pantry program.

At the meeting, we will be challenging each other to come up with lots of creative ways to make this campaign fun and engaging.

To learn more about how eating less meat is good for the environment, click here.

To learn more about the national campaign, please visit:

Check back here soon for more details about this upcoming community campaign.


Greener Building Summit Recap

At the Alliance’s 2011 Greener Buildings Summit on April 30, property managers, condo residents and board members heard about the practices that earned Dearborn Tower “greenest” building status in the Alliance’s Greener Awards program last year.  Dearborn Tower property manager Felicia Perkins, building engineer Jerin Washington, and board member John Bosco shared their perspectives and specifics about the projects their building has undertaken to be more green.  Project metrics, communication tips, and referrals all added up to a very informative event!

Joe Leamanczyk added insights from Columbia College’s experience (and provided a great inside peek at LEED Gold Media Production Center).

Enhancing the greenness of the day? Dearborn Tower residents had access to on-site bicycle repairs (provided by On the Fly Bicycle Repair) and a Salvation Army truck for donating reusable items.

Earth Hour – March 26: Let Our South Loop Darkness Shine!

Earth Hour is a global initiative that invites individuals, businesses, governments and communities to turn off Earth Hour Logotheir lights for one hour – 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. Will the South Loop’s commitment to the environment shine through its darkness for one hour?

Initially a single-city initiative in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, Earth Hour has become a global movement in which hundreds of millions of people from every continent join together to acknowledge the importance of protecting and improving the planet. Earth Hour 2010 was the world’s largest global climate change initiative, with millions of participants in more than 4,600 cities across nearly 130 countries and territories.

The Alliance for a Greener South Loop is promoting participation in Earth Hour 2011. We will be in good company; in Chicago, others that will be letting their commitment shine through darkness include our top 15 skyscrapers, 170 buildings, 500 corporations and businesses, and landmarks like the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier and the Marquee at Wrigley Field.

What can YOU do?

  • Talk to your building management about posting a notice to residents to Turn Off Your Lights!  Ask your friends and neighbors to do the same in their buildings. (see attached file)
  • Staying home on Saturday, March 26? Switch off lights for Earth Hour at 8:30 p.m., and celebrate a commitment to the planet with the people of the world;
  • Planning to eat out on Friday, March 26? Call ahead and ask the restaurant if they’ll have lights out and candles on for the evening;
  • Use the logo on your website, blog, or e-mail signature (jpeg attached, or go to
  • Help us document Earth Hour around us. Post before and after pictures of the neighborhood on the Alliance’s Facebook page.
  • The Alliance for a Greener South Loop presents the first annual Earth Hour Tweet-Up: tweet @GreenSouthLoop and tell us where you are and what’s going on where you are during Earth Hour.
  • Sustain environmentally-focused actions beyond the hour and share what you did in the the South Loop at by commenting on this blog post and with the world.
  • Sign up and share stories of actions that benefit the planet on

Do you wonder what good does it do to turn lights off for one hour? Well, besides actually cutting down electric consumption (substantial in the case of major public buildings, like Chicago’s skyscrapers), it’s an easy and graphic demonstration of the power of neighbors acting together.

Since its inception in 2007, Earth Hour’s iconic “lights out” event has seen some of the world’s most recognized landmarks switch off their lights, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Forbidden City in China.

Greener Buildings Summit

Have you wondered how to get your condominium building to go greener? Or if your building has what it takes to earn recognition for the environmental practices it has underway? Join us for the opportunity to learn from your neighbors about how they have accomplished this!
  • 9:30 Networking AM Session; Tour(s) of Dearborn Tower (winner of Alliance’s 2010 Greenest Building award).
  • 10:30 Summit (1 hr Panel presentation/discussion and .5 hr Q+A)
  • 12:00 Networking PM Session; refreshments
  • 12:00 Tour of Columbia College’s LEED certified Media Production Center (subject to confirmation)

REGISTER NOW by visiting Eventbright!  Space is limited