Get Involved

Sustainability Commission

Get involved in Northbrook's Sustainability Commission! The Sustainability Commission's mission is to focus on issues including air pollution, solid waste disposal, resource recycling, and other environmental quality problems as well as advancing sustainability goals and programs within the Village's adopted Climate Action Plan.

For more information, click here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Grow Northbrook Garden

All are welcome to visit the Grow Northbrook demonstration garden, located between Village Hall and the Library. The garden is open to the public at all times and fully ADA-accessible. The Village partners with local business The Organic Gardener to promote growing healthy food using sustainable practices. Sign up for an educational workshop: participants can take home fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies, and all leftover produce will be donated to the Northfield Township Food Pantry. Register at

Litter Free Supply Station

The Northbrook Public Library makes it easy to host your own litter cleanup event through the Litter Free Supply Station. Supply stations contain all the tools, supplies and information you need to run your own cleanup. There are about 10 litter grabbers, 5 buckets, plenty of bags and gloves, along with a Litter Free Toolkits which give guidance on safety, planning and executing a litter cleanup. 

Monarchs, Milkweed, and More Somme Prairie

Monarchs, Milkweed, and More is a Northbrook-based nonprofit that promotes native plantings to enhance habitats for monarchs and all wildlife through education, community programs, and collaboration. Reach out:

Somme Woods

Somme Preserves is looking for volunteers to help collect seeds, cut brush, monitor rare plants and wildlife, maintain trails, protect oaks, study parts of the ecosystem, and more! For more information, visit the Somme webpage.

Village Initiatives

Community Solar

A community solar project is a single site solar installation that is shared by multiple subscribers in the community. Community solar allows “subscribers” to receive net metering credits on their electricity bill and support the development of new renewable energy resources without needing to install equipment on their property. For more information, visit the Community Solar webpage. 

Green Business Program 

The Village recently launched the Northbrook Green Business Program to celebrate local businesses who have made efforts to become environmentally sustainable. If you or someone you know may be interested in participating, visit the Green Business Program webpage.

Pollinator Habitat Signs

Grab a sign for any pocket of greenspace can serve as vital habitat for wildlife! Free yard signs are available at Village Hall (1225 Cedar Lane) on the second floor in the Department of Development and Planning Services. Refer to this webpage for more information.

Rain Barrels

The Village is offering rain barrels for purchase at a discounted rate for residents ($25 for each 55-gallon barrel, maximum two barrels per purchase). Purchase from the Finance window at Village Hall. For more information, visit the Water Conservation webpage. 

"Sustainable Northbrook" Map

The Village would like to feature residents and businesses that lead by example in adopting sustainable practices like native planting, composting, rain barrels, etc. We are compiling a list of sites to educate the community on environmentally-friendly practices being done in Northbrook. If you would like to participate, reach out to

Northbrook Farmers Market

The Northbrook Farmers Market officially opened for the season on June 21st. Stop by the corner of Cherry Land and Meadow Road on Wednesdays from 7am to 1pm to grab fresh produce and other amazing goods! For more information, visit the Farmers Market webpage

Go Green Northbrook

Go Green Northbrook, Inc. is a local sustainability group that aims to promote environmental sustainability through education, community programs and collaboration with local governmental entities. For more information and to get involved, visit the Go Green Northbrook webpage.

Community Events: Fall 2023

National Drive Electric Week, Sep 22-Oct 1, 2023, is a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. Are you considering going electric? RSVP for an in-person or online event to learn from owners who have done so:


Farmers Market Native Shrub Giveaway: October 4, 7am-1pm, Corner of Cherry and Meadow. Fall is for planting! The Village is proud to create sustainable habitats for pollinators and wildlife by incorporating eco-friendly landscaping and native plants. Join us at the Farmers Market on October 4 from 7 am to noon, where we'll be giving away native shrubs to residents. Let's make our community bloom with life and support our precious pollinators! 

Tree Giveaway

Timely Tips for Going Green: Summer 2023

Air Quality Alert! 
Wildfire smoke from Canada is bringing poor air conditions to the Cook County area.
* If you can, stay inside and keep windows closed.
* Limit time outdoors
* Wear a quality mask if you have to go outside
* Seek medical attention if you experience shortness of breath
The North Shore Mosquito Abatement District (NSMAD) has found the first West Nile virus positive mosquitoes to occur in their traps in Northbrook, Niles, and Glencoe this year. While the risk of being infected with West Nile virus remains low, it is increasing.
The NSMAD recommends that residents take personal protection measures to minimize mosquito bites. For more information and mosquito control tips, read the press release at

Solar Power Hour

At 7PM on August 14th at the Northbrook Public Library Pollak Room, the Village will be partnering with the Library and Solar Switch Chicagoland to offer a Solar Power Hour. In this hour-long presentation you’ll learn the basics of solar, how it can save you money, and how the solar group buy discount program works. At the end of the presentation, participants can receive a free assessment for their property to get the ball rolling on going solar. Register at

Grow Northbrook Garden

Join the Village of Northbrook and The Organic Garden at 1201-1225 Cedar Lane on July 18th/August 15th at 2:30PM for hands-on workshops at the Village’s new demonstration garden! Participants will have the opportunity to take home fruits and veggies, and all leftover produce will be donated to the Northfield Township Food Pantry. All ages and abilities are welcome. Register at For more information, visit our Community Gardening webpage. 

Timely Tips for Going Green: Spring 2023

National Bike & Roll to School Day

Registration is now open for the 12th annual National Bike & Roll to School Day on May 3, 2023! Bike & Roll to School Day invites participants to celebrate the joy of active commuting encouraging children and teens to be more active while having fun! Register at 

Bike N Roll to School

Earth Hour

Get ready for Earth Hour! By switching off your lights on March 25 at 8:30pm, you can join millions of others in 190 countries conserving energy in support of our planet. Earth Hour is now one of the world's largest grassroots movements for the environment. Learn more and participate at 

Earth Hour

Northbrook Recognized as 2022 USA Tree City! 

Northbrook has been recognized as a 2022 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation! Northbrook has been a Tree City for 29 years and a Growth Award recipient for 23 years. The Tree City USA Growth Award recognizes environmental improvement and a high level of tree care in Northbrook. More information on the program is available at 

Arbor Day 2023

Geothermal Heat Pumps Informational Session

Learn how geothermal heat pumps can save you up to $1,750 a year on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint by 4.5 metric tons of carbon emissions yearly! Attend a free, public 1-hour informational session at 7 pm on May 23, where you'll learn the basics of geothermal and its financial and environmental implications. Northbrook has partnered with the Midwest Renewable Energy Association to coordinate a geothermal group buy in the Chicagoland area, which can significantly reduce the up-front costs of installing geothermal in your home or business. Please visit to learn more and register. 

Grow Geo

Slow Mow May

Don’t spring into mowing too fast when the May showers let up! During Slow Mow May, Northbrook encourages residents to reduce mowing and support our local ecology. Scientists recommend mowing less frequently (once every 2-3 weeks), allowing early-blooming flowers to become available to pollinators during a time of year when food sources may be scarce. To participate, please register by providing your address to  Slow Mow

Save the date: Celebrate Pollinator Week
Wednesday, June 21 from 7am-1pm @ Meadow Plaza

Pollinators such as beneficial bees and butterflies are declining due to loss of habitat and climate change. Planting native wildflower and grass species can help! For free plants and to learn more, stop by the Village tent on opening day of the Farmers Market. 

Milkweed Giveaway

Somme Woods Volunteers: Thank You!

We're sending a huge thank you to the more than 20 volunteers that came out on April 1 to Somme Woods to kick off Earth Month. The group spent time cutting invasive buckthorn and pole trees in a bur oak savanna restoration area of the woods. 


Northfield Township Recycling Program Opens for the Season April 10.
The 2023 Northfield Township Recycling Program will open Monday, April 10, 2023 through November 3, 2023 from 7am to 3pm, Monday - Friday, excluding holidays, at 237 Melvin Drive in Northbrook.



Do you want to reduce your waste and greenhouse gas emissions? It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
First, join the Waste Management subscription program for yard waste and food scraps by calling 800-964-8988. The cost is about $12 a month depending on bin size. At the same time you can downsize your garbage to the smallest (and cheapest) bin, which is a 35 gallon bin for just under $15.50 per month or just under $14 if you are 65 years of age or older.

Second, stop buying those green yard waste stickers at $2.12 each. There is also no need to buy those paper lawn bags because you can compost food scraps and your yard waste in your new Compost Bin, which is also known as organic collections.

Third, tell your neighbors that you are doing your part to reduce waste going into the landfill and greenhouse gases because landfills are the third largest manmade source of methane, which accounts for 11% of the estimated total global methane emissions. Food discards and residuals that decompose in landfills release methane, a greenhouse gas that is at least 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This fact makes food waste a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. 
Waste Management will resume weekly pickups for yard waste/organics from the start of April through November 30. Yard waste/organics pickups will occur on the same day as the resident’s regular pickup day. Residents can select from two programs, either the year-round Subscription Service or the Seasonal Sticker Program. To sign up or learn more about the program please call 800-964-8988 or visit the Village’s Refuse & Recycling Services page and this composting guide.

Timely Tips for Going Green: Winter 2023

Reduce Your Energy Costs

Save the planet and save money on energy costs!

Families can take advantage of a host of new tax credits that can save them up to 30% off on new solar panels, heat pumps, insulation, windows, doors, and more! Stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer, and do it all with help from the US Department of Energy.

Energy Assessment

Salting Sidewalks 

Over-salting sidewalks is a waste of resources and harmful to the environment. Salt can run off and enter the water environment and impact aquatic life. 

1. Shovel first. Salt should only be used after the snow is removed and only in areas needed for safety.

2. Size matters. More salt does not mean more melting. A 12-ounce coffee mug of salt should be enough for a 20-foot driveway or 10 sidewalk squares.

3. Spread. Distribute salt evenly, not in clumps. Clumped salt is wasted salt!

4. Sweep. If salt is leftover on the ground after the ice melts, then too much salt was used. Sweep up leftover salt to keep it out of local rivers and streams.

Recycling Holiday Lights

Bring any burnt out or unwanted holiday lights to the Village for recycling through January 31. Lights can be dropped off in the Village Hall lobby on weekdays from 8:30am-4:30pm, at the Fleet Maintenance Garage behind Village Hall on weekdays from 7am-3pm, or during regular Electronics Recycling events on the first Tuesday and Saturday of the month. 

cat with holiday lights

Recycling Trees, Wreaths, and Garland

During the month of January, recycle your organic holiday tree, wreaths, and garland by placing it at the curb on your recycling day. Remove all lights, garland, and decorations, and make sure your tree is easily accessible at the curb. Please note that dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in your home or garage or be placed outside against your home.