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Energy Efficiency

1. Green roof

2. Insulating a home

6. Programmable thermostat

4. Energy efficient boiler

5. Residential home with window awnings

8. Clothesline

3. Low-flow toilet

7. Outdoor lighting fixture with CFL bulb

9. Residential home with window shades/curtains


CAPTIONS

QUESTIONS:

1. Green roof: Green roofs help to reflect the sun’s heat back into space, and provide insulation for the buildings they sit on. Roofs like this one on Chicago’s city hall also absorb rain water and help bring nature into the city.

What can be done to make our buildings more eco-friendly?

Image: Courtesy of The City of Chicago

2. Insulating a home: It takes less energy to heat and cool are home when they are well-insulated. The worker in this picture is laying insulation into an attic where it will reduce heat loss in winter and keep the heat of the attic out of the house in summer. Image: Courtesy of Simon Williams

3. Low-flow toilet: How much water do we use every time we flush a toilet? Low-flow toilets like this one are made to help us conserve water, by allowing us to tailor our flush to the type of waste that is being removed. Older water saving practices include not flushing for every user. Image: The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

4. Energy efficient boiler: This boiler both heats the home and provides hot water for its residents. It is about 20% more efficient than regular heaters, a fact which helps the homeowners save money and reduces their environmental impact. This family received energy credits for installing the boiler which then allowed them to afford an energy saving washer.

What do you do to save on heating, cooling, or electrical use in general in your home or business? Think about everything from plastic on the windows in winter to cooking and eating outside in the summer to avoid using more AC. What do you see others doing to save energy?

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

5. Residential home with window awnings: Blocking the sun is an old fashion way to keep our homes cool during the summer months. When the sun is lower in the sky in winter it will strike these windows more directly when the light and heat will be welcome in the home. In these ways the sun can replace air conditioning, heating, and lighting without having to install an expensive, modern solar system.

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet?

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

6. Programmable thermostat: Every degree on the thermostat matters! Lowering the thermostat by a few degrees is an easy way to save money and make our buildings use less energy. Programmable thermostats like this one can automatically raise or lower the temperature during the time of day when a building or home is typically empty, or people are sleeping, and adjust temperature to an optimal comfort level during periods of greater use. Image: Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

7. Outdoor lighting fixture with CFL bulb: Compact florescent lamps (CFL) give off the same amount of light as incandescent bulbs, but they use less power and have a longer life. CFL bulbs, like the one in this picture, are an easy and popular way to reduce the carbon footprints of our homes and workplaces. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

8. Clothesline: Hanging the clothes out to dry used to be the only way to complete our laundry. The practice is still popular in some circles, with people hanging their clothes sometimes inside, sometimes outside. Air drying provides an easy way to save money, use less energy, and harness the air around us for an everyday purpose. Image: The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Hannah Porst

9. Residential home with blinds and curtains on the windows: The blinds and curtains in this picture show an easy step people can take to insulate their homes. This simple practice reflects heat back out of the house in summer and cuts down on cold drafts in the winter, reducing the need to use air conditioners and heaters. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Rosa Cabrera

Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you? What have been the barriers to getting started?


Improved Transportation Options

3. Fuel efficient “car sharing� vehicles

1. Clean air hybrid CTA bus

2. Walking

4. Commuter train

5. Biking

6. Carpooling

7. CTA train stop


CAPTIONS

QUESTIONS

1. Clean air hybrid CTA bus: Riding the bus allows you to read, rest, save money on gas, and not contribute to gridlock. With its new diesel-electric hybrid buses, using the Chicago Transit Authority is better for the environment than ever. These hybrid buses have a 20% greater fuel efficiency than standard diesel buses.

What are some eco-friendly ways to travel through the city?

2. Walking: There is no better way to get around a neighborhood than walking. It is the oldest form of transport and a healthy form of exercise. Walking creates zero air pollution. Except during the coldest part of the year, people all over the city enjoy walking to their local stores, restaurants, and attractions.

How do people get around the city and neighborhood?

3. Fuel efficient “carsharing” vehicles: Not everyone who drives has to own their own car. For some people it is enough to have a car just for a few purposes they really need it for. More and more people are sharing cars through companies like I-go and Zipcar. These companies make energy-efficient vehicles easily available across the city, reducing the number of cars on the road and the amount of space needed to park them. Fewer cars means less pollution for everyone.

How about folks without cars like kids or people with disabilities?

4. Commuter train: Chicago has more than one rail system. Metra provides an easy commute for thousands of people who travel daily to and from Chicago’s outlying suburbs. It is another great way to reduce traffic congestion and gas consumption, save money, and help improve our region’s air quality.

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet?

5. Biking: Chicago is one of the most bicycle friendly large cities in the country. Every day Chicagoans ride their bikes to get to work, run errands, exercise, or just have fun. The city has created hundreds of designated lanes and paths to make biking safer for all in an effort to significantly reduce fuel emissions and congestion on Chicago’s roads.

Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you?

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Hannah Anderson

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Cyrus Hester

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

6. Carpooling: Driving is often the quickest way to get around in Chicago, and for some people it is the only way. Yet when we drive, we do not have to drive alone. Often we can coordinate our driving with a family member, neighbor, coworker, or friend. Sharing rides is a great way to share the expense of driving and reduce both traffic congestion and air pollution. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

7. CTA train stop: The ‘L’ (short for elevated) train is one of Chicago’s most unique features. This rapid transit rail system extends across the city, offering millions of people a convenient, environmentally sound way to get around while getting out of traffic. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

What have been the barriers to getting started?


Environmentally Friendly Practices: Land

4. Beekeeping

5. Raising chickens

2. Prairie restoration

7. Studying plantlife

1. Biking in Cook County Forest Preserve

3. Children playing in tree

6. Urban community garden

Conventional lawn treatment with turf grass on the left, next to a yard with a tree and plants on the right.

8. Yard with turf grass next to yard with tree and plants

9. Native plants and species

10. Rooftop garden


CAPTIONS 1. Biking in Cook County Forest Preserve: Exercise, clean air, and energy efficiency are all direct benefits of a ride on the bike trails. It’s also another way in which we can interact with and enjoy our natural resources. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Josh Ostergaard

2. Prairie restoration: Burning off non-native vegetation makes way for the return of native prairie plants that are adapted to fire conditions. Native prairie has deep roots that helps absorb and hold both water and carbon, even if the tops get burned off routinely. Image: Courtesy of Openlands

QUESTIONS What are people doing to respect the land around them? What do you do on really hot summer days?

3. Children playing in a tree: Nature has been a caregiver and playground to us for millennia. Outdoor activities that don’t require fuel or electricity don’t directly contribute to climate change while still fostering love for the outdoors and promoting inquisitive minds, physical coordination, and an appreciation for life.

What do you do to deal with the coldest days in winter?

4. Beekeeping: Bees are a critical component of a healthy environment. They help many species of flowering plants to pollinate, and thereby reproduce. Flowering plants, called Angiosperms, include many of the fruits and vegetables on which we depend.

How does your community respond to crisis created by the weather?

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Jennifer Hirsch

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Hannah Anderson

5. Raising chickens: Hens not only make great pets, but they are a source of free and renewable food (eggs). They can save you money, while reducing the number of trucks transporting eggs to local stores from distant sites of mass-production. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Sarah Sommers

6. Urban community garden: A community garden provides many benefits to its caretakers. It can produce fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as beauty and community pride. It also allows gardeners to save money and directly control the amounts of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizer that go onto the food they’ll eventually eat. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Hannah Porst

7. Studying plant life: Environmental education is a key to helping all generations understanding the need for conservation and even restoration. Strong education programs teach the difference between a collection of beautiful plants and a healthy local ecosystem that can sustain a web of life, including ourselves. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Jennifer Hirsch

8. Yard with turf grass: Green lawns may be popular, but they are a lot of work, often require fertilizer and lots of water, and don’t offer much in the way of shade, a windbreak, or variety. Trees, however, shade a house in summer and can slow the winter wind, saving homeowners on their energy bills in both seasons. Many plants, in particular native prairie plants, have a better ability than a lawn to soak-up and hold water. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Hannah Porst

9. Native plants and animals: Native flowers and trees require less water and fertilizer than most non-native varieties and provide food and shelter to native animal life, creating a vibrant and beautiful landscape whether in a yard or preserve. Image: Courtesy of Chicago Widerness, Photo by Dick Todd

10. Rooftop garden: Rooftop gardens capture run off, reflect heat, and offer insulation all year round. Planted with native species they can increase shrinking prairie habitat even in the city. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Alyssa Pfluger

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet? Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you? What have been the barriers to getting started?


Renewable Energy

1. House with solar panels and wind turbine vents

3. Solar powered emergency phone

2. Rooftop wind turbines

4. Solar powered lawn lights

5. Solar trash compactor


CAPTIONS

QUESTIONS

1. House with solar panels and wind turbine vents: On a home that is otherwise well designed to be energy efficient, modern solar panels can provide for most of a household’s electric energy needs. In this Southside Chicago example, the architect paid attention to the relation of the house to the sun and provided features like wind driven exhast fans to take heat out of the top of the house in summer. This approach has high upfront costs, but saves the homeowner dramatically on utility bills over the long-run, and helps our city become less dependent on fossil fuels.

How can the sun and wind help power urban living?

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

2. Wind turbines: This Chicago building shows how modern windmills are not limited to being giant fans on a stick. Low profile turbines on rooftops can still catch the wind to generate electricity without looming over the urban landscape around them. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Lisa See Kim

3. Solar powered emergency phone: The sun’s energy can be used to make our city a safer place to live. Emergency phones like this one show how a small solar panel can be just the right thing to power communication between residents and emergencyservice providers. The fact that solar panels can power batteries for low electrical use devices makes them very appealing for powering dispersed communications networks where utility grids may not exist. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Hannah Porst

4. Solar powered lawn lights: No need to string cable, bury it, or worry about getting a short in the line when a solar cell on each light can provide the power to illuminate a walkway or entryway. Another simple way to use renewable energy instead of finite and polluting fossil fuels. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

5. Solar trash compactor: The city can even use the sun’s energy to reduce the frequency of trash pick-up, as shown by these public garbage cans that use solar power to compact their contents. Less frequent pick-up reduces fuel use, air pollution, and potentially payroll. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Johanna Wawro

Do you use the sun, wind, or even the earth to control the temperature in your home or business? To heat water? To generate electricity? Have you seen anyone else doing these things in creative ways?

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet? Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you? What have been the barriers to getting started?


Waste Reduction

1. Swap meet/ flea market

2. Rain gutter emptying into lawn

5. Youth door to door recycling program

4. Clothing donation boxes 3. Permeable driveway 8. Recycling bin

6. Bottles reused as vases

7. Recycling used motor oil

9. Rags

10. Compost bin


CAPTIONS 1. Swap meet/flea market: Reduce your demand for natural resources, save money, reduce waste, support local business, and find lost treasures - these are all benefits of refurbishing and redistributing used goods. You can also visit local thrift stores, garage sales, or just exchange with family and friends. Image: © The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Lisa See Kim

2. Rain gutter emptying into lawn: Why worry about the water bill when nature’s giving it for free? Diverting rain to water your lawn or garden makes smart use of a valuable resource and reduces the threat of flooding. Try collecting rainwater in a barrel for greater control over when and what you water with it. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Mario Longoni

3, Permeable driveway: This checkerboard drive is more than visually interesting. It reduces runoff from rainfall by allowing it to be absorbed on site. This water can support nearby vegetation, rather than overflowing local storm sewers and carrying toxins like oil and antifreeze into our water supply. Image: Courtesy of Jeremy Reding

QUESTIONS How are people reducing the amount of waste they produce? What do people do with things like clothes, containers, furniture, etc. that they don’t have a use for anymore? Do things get reused in your home, or the community for other purposes?

4. Clothing donation boxes: Donating clothes and other items which you no longer have a need saves the energy and resources associated with manufacturing more new items, generates local jobs, and helps people fill their needs and find treasures on a budget. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

5. Youth door to door recycling program: By picking up recyclable materials from homes and curbs, these youth stewards are working to beautify their neighborhood, reduce waste, and save natural resources.

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet?

6. Bottles reused as vases: Wine bottles come in all shapes and sizes. So do flowers. This clever decorator has found a new use for old materials. Can you think of an example of a creative application that reduced waste or re-purposed a used item in your life?

Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you?

Image: Courtesy of Hubert Newkirk

Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Hannah Porst

7. Recycling used motor oil: Advertisements and mechanics advise us to change our oil every 3,000 miles. But, what should we change it into? How about more oil! Taking your old oil to a local recycler (usually shops that offer oil change services) allows it to be cleaned and re-used, reducing waste and keeping out of our water and soil. Image: Courtesy of Stephen Dowie

8. Recycling bin: Recycling can be made even easier when your community offers a recycling option in addition to regular trash collection. Taking advantage of recycling typically results in fewer truck trips to landfills and less energy devoted to the manufacture of new products. Image: ©The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Sarah Sommers

9. Rags: Reusable cleaning cloths save the energy and resources that go into making and disposing of paper towels after just one use. Rags made from worn out clothingrequire the least energy to manufacture because they are repurposed from discarded clothing. Image: © The Field Museum, ECCo, Photographer Lisa See Kim

What have been the barriers to getting started?


Environmentally Friendly Practices: Water

1. Parking lot bioswale

6. Restored wetland

2. Fishing

4. Storm sewer sign: “Dump no waste-- drains to river�

3. Permeable concrete

5. Assessing stream health

7. Picking up litter

8. Enjoying the beach


CAPTIONS

QUESTIONS

1. Parking lot bioswale: A clever use of vegetation and absorbent soils means that this small portion of the parking lot can absorb excess runoff; thereby preventing flooding and an accumulation of waste water in nearby drains. Bioswales can be planted with native prairie plants, helping to maintain our endangered local ecosystem.

How are people protecting and managing the water in our environment?

Image: Courtesy of Center for Neighborhood Technology

2. Fishing: Whether our motivation is subsistence or relaxation, enjoying the bounty of nature helps us to realize that we are part of it. Many anglers work closely with conservationists to ensure that the resources they enjoy are used responsibly; so future generations can share our joy. Image: The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Jennifer Hirsch

3. Permeable concrete: Permeable concrete lets rain water pass through. This not only reduces flooding caused by overloaded storm drains but eliminates standing water that can be a breeding ground for insects that might carry diseases, a problem that is expected to get worse as warmer temperatures allow tropical insect borne diseases to come further north.

How do you deal with heavy rainfall? High winds? How does your community respond to crisis created by the weather?

Image: Courtesy of Michael Wolcott

4. Storm sewer sign: “Dump no waste-drains to river�: Colorful signs alert potential polluters to the immediate impact of convenient dumping. Reminders that our actions have consequences in our environment, such as the neighboring river, have the potential to make us more mindful of our impact in the world. Many cities have programs for garages to accept used motor oil for recycling, eliminating the problem of do-it-yourselfers not knowing what to do with used oil. Image: The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Jennifer Hirsch

5. Assessing stream health: In this picture, environmental stewards uses inventories of fresh water clams to assess the habitat quality of a stream. In a time of rapid change in our environments, tracking habitat conditions can be a key to slowing degradation and guiding restoration work. In this way, human insight and hard work can help nature adapt. Image: Courtesy of Openlands

6. Conserving wetlands: Wetlands provide an array of ecosystem services for local communities, and the planet as a whole. From water filtration to carbon storage and support for a diverse web of flora and fauna; conserving native habitats is essential to the long term health of our planet and species. Image: Spears Woods; Photo by Mike MacDonald

7. Picking up litter from the river: A paddler takes part in a clean-up event on a Chicago area river. It only takes a handful of us to make public areas a beautiful landscape to enjoy or just another dump. Image: Courtesy of Openlands

8. Enjoying the beach: We all depend on our environmental resources, even in some very urban areas. Enjoying outdoor activities, such as a day at the beach helps us to connect with nature and our community. Safe and health beaches depend on all of us properly disposing of trash and food that can attract unwanted animals and foul the beach. Image: The Field Museum, ECCO, Photographer Hannah Anderson

Anything you think or dream about doing that you see in the pictures but have not done it yet? Why do you think the idea of doing XX appeals to you? What have been the barriers to getting started?

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9. Residential home with window shades/curtains5.Residentialhomewithwindowawnings 2. Insulating a home 3. Low-flow toilet 6. Programmable th...

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