Swag and swagger!

Swag and swagger!

Someone will be going home with both at the end of the Veggie Chili Cook-Off competition on Monday, March 31. Will it be you?
This Monday – March 24 – is the last chance to register your chili entry!

Besides bragging rights, winners of the Judges’ Choice and the Peoples’ Choice awards will be taking home an amazing artisan-made prize and either a Native Foods’Celebrations cook-book or $50 gift card. Plus, just like every other person who registers for the event – either with a chili entry or as a chili eater – they will be entered in a raffle for prizes donated by our 2014 MMM! participating restaurants. You don’t need to be a culinary expert to enter. Just someone who isn’t shy of a little challenge in the kitchen, and who likes fun with friends and neighbors. Don’t miss the chance to be named the maker of the best veggie chili and take home all the swag and swagger! Register your killer veggie chili for our Veggie Chili Cook-Off, now! Then, let your friends and neighbors know – so they can register, too. Every registered chili eater gets a vote in the Peoples’ Choice chili competition and entry into the raffle.

Veggie Chili Cook-Off
March 31, 6-8pm
Daystar Center, 1550 S. State St.
Join friends and neighbors as we cook, taste, and crown the best vegetarian chili in town. We’ll have beer on hand and raffle prizes from the South Loop restaurants participating in MMM!
Best of all, the proceeds will go toward a South Loop community garden.
Everyone who registers – as a chili entry or eater – is entered to win raffle prizes donated by our 2014 MMM! participating restaurants.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for details and to register.
Chili entry registrations due Monday, March 24.
Chili eater registrations due Sunday, March 30.end Event

Why a veggie chili?

Lots of people don’t know that eating less meat is a great way to be kind to the environment. Better than recycling, even. When we eat less meat we help reduce our carbon footprint, we help reduce our dependence on fossil fuel, and we help reduce water usage.  So eating less meat? Good for us; Great for the environment!

Action Opportunities in this Edition

Earth Hour: Saturday, March 29
South Loop Composting, April 3
2nd Ward Spring Clean and Green, April 26
Chicago River Day, May 10

Earth Hour 2014: Saturday March 29, 8:30pm

New this year. Turn off your lights for one hour on March 29 at 8:30pm AND contribute to projects that are delivering tangible results.
The aim of Earth Hour has always been to go beyond one hour. This year the program is introducing Earth Hour Blue. It is all about the collective effort of individuals around the world getting together to help fund or add their voice to support on-the-ground environmental and social projects – that deliver real, tangible outcomes. Take one of the actions below to get involved:

South Loop Composting
April 3, 6pm

Join friends and neighbors in the South Loop to learn how we can bring composting to our buildings and community. Please email us to let us know you are interested. We’ll be in touch with you about details.

2nd Ward Spring Clean and Green
April 26, 2014  9am/12pm 

Ready to pitch in to make our community a little cleaner and a little greener? Ald. Fioretti’s office would love to hear from you. Contact  Marcia Travlino, 2nd Ward Volunteer, at 312-263-9273.

22nd Annual Chicago River Day
May 10, 2014 9am/12pm 
Join Friends of the Chicago River for the 22nd annual Chicago River Day!  Everyone can help out!  Friends welcomes individuals, families, schools, corporate teams, scout troops, community and conservation groups to take part in Chicago River Day.

Signing up is as easy as 1-2-3
1. Go to the Chicago River Day site registration
2. Pick a site near you or one of particular interest
3. Register for your site online by clicking on the registration button for your site

Then show up the morning of May 10 with a smile and ready to get a little dirty making the river a lot cleaner.

February Newsletter


Ready to leave our weird wintery weather behind? Let’s have some fun going greener, together.

It’s Around the Corner…MMM!

Meatless Mondays in March…MMM! 2014 promises ways to have more fun while eating less meat. More than just the month has changed in this year’s program to help South Loopers be nicer to the environment by eating less meat. This year you can…
– Join community outings organized for different Mondays in March (for example, GSLA’s Neighbors Night Out event on March 10, at Artists Cafe, with $1 off the Hummus Veggie Wrap…mmm!)
– Go mmm! at local restaurants, institutions, or at home on any Monday in March. NEW THIS YEAR: When you share shots of your favorite meatless dishes and tag them #mmmsouthloop, we’ll enter you in a raffle for MMM! prizes.
– NEW THIS YEAR: Enter your killer veggie chili in the Alliance for a Greener South Loop’sVeggie Chili Cook-off, MARCH 31. Register entries online by March 24, 2014! (General admission registration ends March 30)
Go to GreenerSouthLoop.com for participating restaurants/institutions, community event details, and to register for the Chili Cook-off.
NOTE: A $5 early-bird discount is available for Chili Cook-Off registrations by March 10 – for chili entrants and the general public.

From our partner, Columbia College Chicago

e-Waste (and small appliance) Collection Drive
March 7-8, 9am-5pm
Columbia College Chicago
Arcade Gallery
618 S. Michigan, 2nd Floor

Columbia College Chicago currently has an exhibit with an environmental message:Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics. In it, artists explore the result of planned obsolescence and abundance of out-dated electronica.To help bring the exhibit to a grand conclusion, the Alliance is partnering with Columbia and Kristen Kula, the exhibit curator, to host an e-waste collection. There is an elevator to help you get things up to the gallery.
PLEASE NOTE: Small household appliances will be accepted. Many people have asked us about recycling small appliances, so this is a great opportunity. Please visit our website to see the complete list of what will, and will not, be accepted.

Screening of Revolution (documentary film)
Wednesday, February 26, 6:30pm
Columbia College Chicago
Film Row Cinema, 8th Floor
1104 S. Wabash

The One Earth Film Fest is partnering with Columbia College Chicago’s sustainability program, Sustain Columbia, for a showing of the documentary Revolution, directed by Rob Stewart (who also directed Sharkwater). Revolution tells the story of the beauty and natural wealth of the oceans and the power of the human spirit in the fight to save them.

Register for Tickets: https://oneearthfilmfest2014.eventbrite.com
View the event on Columbia’s Event Calendar.

About One Earth Film festival: The fest runs from the weekend of March 7-9 with 7 pre-screenings around the city. The festival showcases eco-friendly films as an avenue for discourse, informing actions and solutions around environmental concerns in our community.

September Newsletter

Here we are in September –  the start of fall, the start of a new school year, the start of our new newsletter format – the start of so many things!
Including the PR for a new contest for greening the South Loop. See details below for the South Loop | Greener Together Contest.

Also in this issue:
Resources for Going Greener
Green Apple Day of Service
Bike the 2nd Ward

South Loop | Greener Together Contest

The search for the most engaging and green community project for the South Loop

Are you always looking for ways to go greener by … riding a bike more? Recycling more? Composting? Using more energy efficient fixtures?

Do you wonder if you might be able to do more if you combined your efforts with your friends, neighbors, or co-workers?

Have you had an idea scratching at the back of your mind of something fun to do with them – to all go greener together?

If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, the Alliance for a Greener South Loop has just the incentive to help you take a next step in going greener:


This year, for the 5th anniversary of our Greener South Loop Awards, we will be awarding a $1000 cash prize to implement a winning plan that engages folks to go GREENER TOGETHER in the South Loop.

The South Loop | Greener Together Contest will award the money to winner of the most engaging and green community project design for the South Loop. Let’s break that down. . .

  • What’s “engaging?” – a project that lots of folks will actually participate in
  • What’s “green?” – a project that makes an environmental impact, by contributing to the City’s Sustainability Plan.
  • What’s a “community?” – any group of folks who have something in common: living, working, going to school, or playing. Work in the South Loop? It’s your co-workers. In school in the South Loop? It’s fellow students (or their families). Play in the South Loop? It’s your gardening club or softball team members (for example). Live in the South Loop? It’s your neighbors, members of your condo or town home association, etc.

To sum it up, contenders for the prize will be project designs that engage folks in the South Loop to work together on a project that contributes to the City’s Sustainability Plan. The winning project will have a clear environmental focus, a way to actively engage community members, a budget, and a four-month implementation timeline. The winning prize of $1000, funded by our contest sponsors, will be awarded to help implement the project.

The contest will launch in mid-October, but we wanted to give you a heads-up so you can get yourGreener Together ideas churning. How can YOU use $1000 to go greener, together?


Resources for Going Greener

Looking for ideas and inspiration for ways to go greener, together?

Alliance member Roosevelt University is hosting their second annual Great Lakes Bioneers Chicago event, November 1-3. According to participants, last year’s inaugural event was both inspirational and practical, the best kind of event. Click here to learn more about this year’s event.

ALSO: Check out our Resources page on our website for a directory of organizations and businesses that can inspire, guide, and support your efforts.

 The Green Apple Day of Service, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, gives parents, teachers, students, companies, and local organizations the opportunity to transform schools into healthy, safe, and productive learning environments through local service projects.Although no South Loop school is registered officially for this event with the U.S. Green Building Council-Illinois, we wanted to use The Green Apple Day of Service idea to invite you to reach out to a South Loop school, to volunteer to help with one of their “green” projects.
Or let us know where you might volunteer, and we can put you in touch with the right person(s):
Daystar School, 1550 S. State Street
Jones College Prep, 700 S. State Street
Old St. Mary’s, 1474 S. Michigan
Perspectives Charter, 1930 S. Archer
South Loop Elementary, 1212 S. Plymouth Court
South Loop Early Childhood Learning Center, 1915 S. Federal Street

Bike the 2nd Ward with Alderman Fioretti, Sunday, September 29, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

Alderman Fioretti will lead riders on a 17-mile leisurely bike ride to see scenic and historical sites in the current and new 2nd Ward.

and End Point: Fairlife, 1001 W. Adams Street.

Ride Begins: 9am sharp, please arrive no later than 8:30.

Biking in the South Loop

5 June: Bikes!

If you live, work, or play in the South Loop, you probably have a pretty good idea of how getting around on a bike would make life so much sweeter (not to mention increasing your “friend of the environment” quotient exponentially).
Going north AND south, on wheels, on Dearborn Street? Sweet!
Not dealing with Jewel’s or Whole Foods’ parking lot congestion? Sweet!
Getting to the lakefront and having lake breezes cool you off? Sweet!
But lots of things can get in the way of taking maximum advantage of biking fun in the city.
Now is a great time to be – or become – a Chicago biker.

Bike-to-Work Week 2013: June 10-13

Join thousands of others on a bike commute to work, during Chicago’s annual Bike-to-Work week. Riding with others is more fun than going solo, and also helps alleviate some of the anxieties of city biking, if you are not a regular bike commuter. Check out this website for more information about how you can join a team or create one to have some friendly competition during the week.

The Alliance is partnering with Roosevelt Collection to support bike commuters at the South Loop pit stop,150 W Roosevelt Road – Center Plaza. We’ll be passing out goodies, encouragement, and Alliance information while being part of a rolling good time. The pit stop is open from 6am-9am, Monday June 10. Please roll by to join in the fun!

DIVVY Bike Sharing comes to Chicago!

Have you signed up for Chicago’s new bike sharing program? Bike stations are scheduled to open this month, and there is one near you. Really. It’s easy to sign up and it’s easy to find a bike station, many in the South Loop. For those of us that live, work, and play in the South Loop, and don’t have a bike, it will be so easy to become a regular biker on our community’s new bike lanes! When will YOU ride south on Dearborn Street on a Chicago city-blue DIVVY bike?

MMM! Thanks

Thanks to our participating restaurants that helped make the 2nd annual Meatless Mondays in May a success:
* Amarit Thai, 600 S. Dearborn
* Brasserie by LM , 800 S. Michigan Ave.
* Cafecito, 26 E. Congress Pkwy
* Curry House, 899 S. Plymouth Ct.
* Epic Burger, 517 S. State St.
* Flacos Tacos, 725 S. Dearborn St.
* Hackney’s, 733 S. Dearborn St.
* SRO – Standing Room Only, 610 S. Dearborn St.
* Tapas Valencia, 1530 S. State St.
* Zapatista, 1307 S. Wabash

Recycle Your Old Cell Phone for Earth Hour in the South Loop

Dare the World to Save the Planet. Hundreds of millions of people around the world turn off their lights for one hour on the same night, to focus on the one thing that unites us all – our planet. Join us for this year’s Earth Hour challenge, March 23rd, 8:30pm. (www.earthhour.org)

I Will

The Alliance for a Greener South Loop will bring your old computer/cell phone to Chicago’s Computer Recycling Depot for you

If You Will

Turn your lights off for one hour on March 23, 8:30pm and drop off your old computer/cell phone to Overflow Coffee Bar, 1550 S. State St. , from March 9-22.

Take the pledge

That’s it. It’s that simple. Drop off your computer equipment and we’ll bring it to the recycling depot for you. But just for these two weeks. And if you turn off your lights for Earth Hour, March 23, 8:30pm.

Email info@greenersouthloop.com or call  312-504-3538 if you have any questions.

Accepted materials at Chicago’s Computer Recycling Depot are:

  • all computer related equipment (monitors, mouse, hard drives, CPU’s, computer cables, keyboards, laptops, etc.)
  • cell phones
  • fax machines
  • scanners
  • printers/copiers
  • DVD players
  • MP3/digital music players
  • PDAs
  • VHS players
  • Video game consoles
  • Zip drives
  • Computer cables

Chicago ’s Computer Recycling Facility
1150 N. North Branch St.

MMMM! The last Monday in May

With Memorial Day upon us, we have MMMM! Meatless Memorial Monday in May.

For those of you who took the challenge to join the South Loop’s MMM! campaign and found it challenging: Thanks for trying. That alone makes a difference. And you’ve almost made it! Just one more day to go and then you can say that you went meatless on Mondays in May!

For everyone who signed the pledge, we’ll be celebrating your commitment to the challenge by entering your name in our raffle. Prizes have been donated by a number of South Loop restaurants that participated in MMM! Winners will be selected at random on Thursday, May 31.

Thanks again to the South Loop restaurants that participated in Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

We hope you continue to patronize these businesses that signed up to support the environmental and community benefits of this campaign. If you consider making a habit of going meatless on Mondays year ‘round, you will be joining thousands of others around the world. These restaurants are great places for you and your friends to go.

Amarit Thai, 600 S. Dearborn*

The Burger Point, 1900 S. State St.

Bar Louie, 47 W. Polk

Cafecito, 26 E. Congress Pkwy*

Chicago Curry House, 899 S. Plymouth Ct.

Chutney Joe’s, 511 S. State St

Custom House Tavern, 500 S. Dearborn St.

Donna’s Cafe, 1255 S. State St.*

Epic Burger, 517 S. State St.

Flo and Santos, 1310 S. State St.*

Jimmy Green’s, 825 S. State St.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, 805 S. State St.*

Native Foods Cafe, 218 S. Clark St.

Pauly’s Pizzeria, 719 S. State Street.

SRO: Standing Room Only, 610 S. Dearborn St.*

Tamarind, 614 S. Wabash

Tapas Valencia, 1530 S. State St.

Zapatista, 1307 S. Wabash*

* Tasty THANKS to our MMM! campaign sponsors.

In addition to our restaurant sponsors, we also thank Alliance members who contributed to the success of this campaign: Columbia College Chicago, Grace Place Episcopal Church, Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, and South Loop Neighbors.

Making a Difference, One Green Habit at a Time

Now it’s time to end the suspense for readers who voted in our online “What Do YOU Think?” poll about what makes a difference in terms of mitigating climate change. Just where does eating less meat rank in the scheme of things we can do to make a difference? It’s better for the environment than most people think. The list of things in the order that they actually make a difference:

  1. Drive a more fuel-efficient car
  2. Improve home insulatio
  3. Eat less beef
  4. Drive less
  5. Recycle
  6. Use more energy efficient appliances
  7. Adjust our thermostats
  8. And Fly less

Looking for ways to support green businesses as one of your own green habits?
GHabit is a new app developed by South Loop’s own Milesh Milan that will help – and reward – you for doing just that! About a month ago, Ghabit won the Loyola University’s Sustainability Competition. and a few weeks ago the app went live on iTunes. The Android version will be available mid-June. To learn more, visit: http://ghabit.com/how-it-works/

Next up?

With our MMM! campaign winding down, we are looking at a few projects to wind up:
1. A letter writing campaign to the City of Chicago to urge them to open a site that will receive old appliances that are not accepted at the City’s Electronics/Hazardous  Waste materials recycling center. These old machines do not belong in any landfill! Get your pens – electronic or ink – ready! We’ll be sharing words for you to use. Let’s keep those old microwaves, washing machines, toaster ovens, and all other dead appliances out of the landfill.

2. 4th Annual Greener South Loop Awards. Looking to get involved? Here’s something you can jump in on. Email us to learn how.

3. Green Gardens committee of private citizens continues its good work of keeping public gardens in great shape. Join the fun! Email us to get the schedule and timetable.

19 March Newsletter: Going Green in March

Greenness All Around

This weekend, the community was alive with folks wearing green and having a great time. Let’s build that same camaraderie and exuberance focused on the other kind of green!

Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

Ready to learn about one more way you can make a difference fighting climate change?  Come to our Meatless Mondays  in May community kick-off event. …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.

Can you help spread the word about the event? Visit our blog posting to share and “like”. THANKS!

What do YOU think are the Top 3 Things we can do to mitigate climate change? Take our online poll. Come to the event to learn what really makes a difference!



The South Loop is springing into life all over. Please check out the events hosted by our Alliance members and partners.


WHO: 3rd Annual Greenest Building Award Winner, State Place Condominium Association

WHAT: Tour of award-winning green building/operations

WHEN: March 21, 1pm

WHERE: 1101 S. State Street

Details: RSVP required


WHO: Ald. Dowell, the Chicago Transit Authority and the Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development

WHAT: Community meeting to discuss the proposed CTA Green Line Station at Cermak

WHEN: Thursday, March 22; 7:00pm

WHERE: Columbia College, 623 S. Wabash in Room 203

Details:   For more information, please contact, James Cox, Project Manager at 312-744-0097.


WHO: Greater South Loop Association

WHAT: Member meeting

WHEN: March 24, 9:30am

WHERE: Community Room, 1st District Police Station


WHO: Overflow Coffee Bar

WHAT: Coffee Tasting | Speed Networking | Fundraising
WHEN: March 31, 6:30-8:00
WHERE: 1550 S. State Street

Details: Help Overflow celebrate their 1-year anniversary! http://overflowcoffeetasting1.eventbrite.com/


WHO: People all over the world

WHAT: Earth Hour
WHEN: March 31, 8:30-9:30pm
WHERE: Your home, our community

Details: Turn off your lights! Show your commitment to taking care of the environment. Turn off your lights for one hour. For more details: www.earthhour.org/



WHAT: Bike pit stops

WHEN: (per location schedule)

WHERE: Check out locations and dates

Details: Help ATA reach the cycling community where it matters most – on the street! Volunteer to help spread the bike love and build momentum for all the protected bike lanes projects coming to Chicago. ATA will be offering free safety checks, passing out information about urban cycling and collecting signatures for the Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign. In addition to being the most direct way of communicating with the cycling community, Bike Pit Stops are a lot of fun.

Email your availability to bikepitstop@activetrans.org.


WHO: The Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance


WHEN: Saturday, April 7, 2012 Rain or Shine

Time: 12:00 noon – 2:00pm – Egg Hunt starts at 12:15pm

WHERE: Participants should come to Chicago Women’s Park – Enter on 18th St. between Prairie Ave & Indiana

Details : $10 per child age 1-10 years old; $3 per person age 11 to adult;  Children 12 months and under are Free

Children MUST be accompanied by an adult – Egg hunt is recommended for ages 10 and under – Children need to bring their own Easter basket

Space is Limited – RSVP / Pre-Payment Required

 CLICK HERE to buy tickets.
For more info email: pdna.chicago@gmail.com


WHO: South Loop Elementary School

WHAT: Campus Clean + Green

WHEN: April 21, 10-noon, rain or shine

WHERE:  1212 South Plymouth Court

Details: The South Loop School’s Green Team welcomes community volunteers to this Chicago Park District-coordinated event. Donations of plants and shrubs would be greatly appreciated. Wear your gloves and bring your tools (marked with your name) to help out.


WHO: South Loop Elementary School Needs Volunteers

WHAT: Volunteers needed for Spring Benefit

WHEN: May 11

Details: Email: slsspringbenefit@gmail.com for more information about volunteering.


WHO: GSLA+Alliance for a Greener South Loop

WHAT: Neighbors’ Night Out at SixPax Core Studio

WHEN: April 26

WHERE: SixPax Core Studio, 1329 South Michigan Avenue 2nd Floor

Details: Stay tuned!

4 March 2012 Newsletter

Spring is coming!

When March arrives, we know spring is not far behind. Here is some Alliance news about upcoming projects that we hope will engage you to spring into action.


New Community Campaign

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 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.

Please RSVP to info@greenersouthloop.com . We don’t want to run out of sample fare!

For more information about the environmental benefits of eating less meat, click here.

To learn more about the national campaign, please visit: www.meatlessmonday.com


Green Spaces | Community Garden?

While our green spaces have been hibernating, the Alliance has been exploring the possibilities of a community garden in the South Loop. As you can imagine, this would be a major undertaking – as most worthwhile efforts are. Let us know if you are itching to dig in your own patch of dirt, and want to work on this with us. We will continue our Green Gardens work when spring is really here. This team of private individuals who care for public spaces welcomes your help, too!


Follow-Up: 2011 Greener South Loop Awards Celebration Event

Back in December, the 3rd Annual Celebration Event recognized the greenest among us and neighbors heard about ways to go greener. Presentation files are now posted online. You can read about the economic and environmental benefits of green buidings from key note speaker Don McLauchlan of Elara Engineering, and 2011 Greenest Awards winners ORA Oral Surgery & Implant Studio / ORA Dental Studio and State Place Condominium Association.


Help make the South Loop the greenest community in Chicago. Join the fun, and spread the word! Share this email, the blog links, or our website with your neighbors.