May 2021 Eco-Extraordinaires

Apr 29 2021

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Check out this month’s local leaders in green.

Do you know a local organization or person that deserves some green kudos? Email [email protected] to explain who you think should be one of our next Eco-Extraordinaires.

Cantigny Park Awarded Water Quality Flag by DuPage County and SCARCE

On Earth Day, Cantigny Park in Wheaton was awarded the Water Quality Flag for their efforts to protect clean water and reduce flooding. Their environmentally friendly practices include rain water harvesting, maintaining 151 acres of land as naturalized areas, monitoring water quality of streams on their property, and designing their landscapes with stormwater absorption and retention in mind. The flag was presented by DuPage County Stormwater Chair Jim Zay and SCARCE Founder Kay McKeen. They were joined by DuPage County Environmental Chair Sheila Rutledge, McCormick Foundation’s Lou Marisco and Cantigny’s Matt LaFond and Scott Witte. Well done Cantigny!

Wheaton Christian Grammar School Awarded National Green Ribbon Award by U.S. Department of Education

On Earth Day the U.S. Department of Education announced Wheaton Christian Grammar School in Winfield as one of their national Green Ribbon Award winners! They were chosen along with 26 other schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions from across the country. Wheaton Christian was the only Illinois organization honored with the national award. The US Green Ribbon Schools award recognizes schools for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.  Wheaton Christian was also recently awarded the Earth Flag by SCARCE and DuPage County for their many environmental initiatives. Congratulations!

DuPage County Sheriff Goes Styrofoam Free

In April the DuPage County Sheriff’s Office made the transition away from Styrofoam disposables and is now nearly 100% Styrofoam-free, except for limited needs in the county jail. Styrofoam is made from non-renewable materials and has been shown to leach harmful chemicals, such as benzene, into food and beverages. The Sheriff’s Department now uses Sustainable Forestry Certified paper cups, a renewable and healthier alternative. Way to go!

Sheriff James Mendrick shows the new Styrofoam-free cups.

Pleasantdale Middle School Awarded the Earth Flag

Pleasantdale Middle School in Burr Ridge was awarded the Earth Flag in April by SCARCE for their environmentally friendly accomplishments. The effort to earn the Earth Flag was spearheaded by Principal Griffin Sonntag and students in the Principal’s Environmental Action Team (PEAT). In addition to providing education for staff and students, the PEAT began special recycling collections for plastic caps and lids, cell phones, ink jet cartridges, bread tags, markers and more. In addition, Pleasantdale swapped out their Styrofoam lunch trays for cardboard trays. The PEAT also successfully worked to remove plastic straws from the school lunch silverware packets. Furthermore, the school recently upgraded their lighting to energy-efficient LED fixtures with motion sensors. Way to go Pleasantdale!

Scout Troop Collected Over 38 Pounds of Keys and Almost 4 Pounds of Bread Tags for Recycling at SCARCE

In preparation for a visit to SCARCE’s Environmental Education Center, the 1st graders from Girl Scout Troop 75596 from Liberty Elementary in Bolingbrook and Eichelberger Elementary in Plainfield decided to run a few special collections for SCARCE’s rescue projects. Together with the 5th graders in Troop 75134 they collected bread tags and keys – neither of which can be recycled through a typical curbside recycling program. Altogether, they collected a whopping 38.5 pounds of keys and 3.7 pounds of bread tags. What a haul! What happens next? The metal keys will be recycled as part of our #KeysforConservation project, which raises funds to support our Reuse Center for teachers and non-profits. The bread tags will go to SCARCE recycling partner Danielle Cares for Chairs to purchase mobility equipment for kids in need. Way to take action to conserve resources and make a difference!

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