Image: Senator Simmons helping clean up the Chicago River near Foster Avenue with Friends of the Chicago River this spring!

 

Dear Neighbor,

I wanted to send you an eco-newsletter that highlights organizations in and near our district that you should know about, and ways you can contribute to taking care of our environment. Recently the City of Chicago released its 2022 Chicago Climate Action Plan, and many constituents have contacted me to advocate for the importance of taking immediate and everyday action against climate change. I am most proud that I represent several miles of shoreline of Lake Michigan across our district, and it is an enormous responsibility to safeguard such a precious treasure. As a lifelong cyclist, avid walker, and person who uses and relies on public transit, I appreciate hearing from our neighbors who put our planet first and I wanted to help others who may want to do more for our environment. This Spring, I received a 100% scorecard rating by the Illinois Environmental Council, and will continue to support and advocate for legislation that rapidly advances clean energy, requires big companies to clean up their pollution, and prioritizes our planet and advances sustainability in all policies and systems.

It’s also important that everyone does their part on an issue as systemic as this, so I wanted to share some ways that YOU can get involved too! This newsletter will highlight businesses and organizations, both in my district and beyond, that are committed to taking action against climate change and making sustainable practices accessible to everyone. Check out the many ways that you and your family can get involved:

Organizations & Businesses

The 9 Best Composting Services of 2022

WasteNot Compost provides a compromise-free composting solution to over 5,000 Chicagoland members seeking clean and convenient composting. WasteNot utilizes a 100% electric fleet to provide its doorstep compost collection service. Every Fall and Spring, its members are able to receive back the finished compost that they helped create.

WasteNot Compost began in 2012 as a hobby for then high-schooler Liam Donnelly. Donnelly was working at a local Northside cafe and saw firsthand just how much food waste one business created. He began on a bike & trailer, collecting food scraps from WasteNot’s members across Chicago. Surging demand coupled with rapid service area expansion required a transformation from the bike operation to something more capable. Liam chose to bet on EVs and got his first electric step-van in 2017. Going electric so early has had its challenges, however, Donnelly began growing the fleet quickly and was determined to continue to compost without compromise™ . Today, with over 30 all-electric collection vehicles, Donnelly has transformed WasteNot into not only the first all-electric compost collection company in the U.S., but the nation’s largest EV waste management fleet.

Image: Senator Simmons with Congressman Quigley and Alderman Martin at Eco-Fest in Welles Park this summer!

Composting is a simple habit that can have massive implications for our home planet. Not only does composting reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, but it also accomplishes the following:

  • Prevents compostable waste from ending up in landfills, where it produces methane
  • Provides soil with needed nutrients that would otherwise be lost & reduces the need for synthetic & chemical fertilizers
  • Reduces soil erosion due to the retention of moisture & the suppression of plant diseases/pests
  • Significantly reduces the amount of landfill waste you dispose of on a daily basis
  • Keeps you aware of your waste habits & impacts your grocery runs

Events
 — Reduce Waste Chicago

Reduce Waste Chicago
Are you curious about how to reduce waste, but don’t know where to start? Interested in more resources to help you on your journey? Reduce Waste Chicago is a nonprofit, volunteer-run program that bridges the gap between residents and meaningful landfill diversion, and raises awareness about the waste we produce and ways to reduce it.

RWC hosts Reuse & Recycle Pop-Up events, where residents can drop off materials from an accepted items list that are not accepted by the city’s Blue Cart program. They also host the Sustainability Market, featuring the Reuse & Recycle Pop-Up, retail vendors, artists and exhibitors focused on environmental sustainability.


The next market is Sunday, September 18th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Northcenter Town Square. Volunteer today and help make a difference!

North Center Neighbors Association - The
 Sustainability Market

Eco & the Flamingo

Volunteering Opportunities

Image: Senator Simmons and team participating in Earth Day activities this spring! 

 

Interested in getting involved? Become a volunteer today! With this many wonderful organizations, it’s difficult to decide which one (or more) to get started with. To further discover what these organizations stand for and the amazing work they do, check out their websites using the links below!

Image: Senator Simmons visiting West Ridge Nature Preserve in our district last weekend!

Image: Senator Simmons grabs a photo of a duck family at West Ridge Nature Preserve 

Friends of the Chicago River
Friends of the Chicago River is the only organization solely dedicated to the Chicago River system. Since 1979, Friends has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people and wildlife and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region.

Alliance for the Great Lakes

The Alliance for the Great Lakes is a nonpartisan nonprofit working across the region to protect our most precious resource: the fresh, clean, and natural waters of the Great Lakes. Learn more about threats to the Great Lakes and how you can make a difference.

Image: Composting pumpkins!

A Just Harvest
A Just Harvest’s mission is to fight poverty and hunger in the Rogers Park and greater Chicago community by providing nutritious meals daily while cultivating community and economic development and organizing across racial, cultural and socioeconomic lines in order to create a more just society.

Edgewater Environmental Coalition

We are a coalition of community members and environmental stewards, rooted in Edgewater, empowering people to build and maintain a more sustainable future through action, organizing, education, and advocacy.

Image: Senator Simmons joins neighbors in planting marram grass on our shoreline with the Edgewater Environmental Coalition last fall

Legislative Action
As we enter into the next legislative session, I want to hear from YOU about what environmental initiatives the state of Illinois should take in the future and how the district can respond to the Chicago Climate Action Plan. If you are passionate about the environment and have ideas that you would like to share with me, click on the Google form here: Environmental/Climate Action Responses.

Sincerely,

Mike Simmons

State Senator | 7th District

 
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Office Info

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-1717

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
M115 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

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