- Living & Visiting
- Environmental Sustainability
Environmental Sustainability in Northbrook
Northbrook's Climate Action Plan
Northbrook's Climate Action Plan (CAP) is Northbrook's mission to reduce carbon emissions and foster a sustainable community for all. This is a Village-wide goal of 35% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and 80% by 2040, in alignment with LEED for Cities. The Village Board adopted the Climate Action Plan and established a Sustainability Commission on August 10, 2021. Learn more.
Leaf Blower Regulations Working Group
The Village of Northbrook, along with neighboring municipalities, participates in a Leaf Blower Working Group to study the impacts of gas-powered leaf blowers, alternative technologies, and how communities can mitigate the impacts of these devices. Click here for more details.
Timely Tips for Going Green: Spring 2023
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 https://bit.ly/40viHyn
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 https://bit.ly/3Zddv0S
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 arborday.org/TreeCityUSA
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 https://skokielibrary.info/.../geothermal-heat-pumps-for... to learn more and register.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
SAVE MONEY & LIVE MORE SUSTAINABLY
Do you want to do your part to reduce greenhouse gases? It is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
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.
Food waste is an area where we can all take action in our personal lives to reduce our environmental impact! Not only does wasting food lose us money, it wastes the energy and other natural resources that went into growing or making it. Additionally, most food waste ends up rotting in landfill, producing huge amounts of greenhouse gases! In Northbrook, you can combat food waste by composting with Waste Management. Learn more at https://www.northbrook.il.us/829/Refuse-Recycling-Services.
In anticipation of Earth Month in April, the Village reminds all residents that Northbrook is a member of the NSEA Consortium which provides electricity bill savings and easy access to community solar farms. Solar farms are single installations that are shared by many subscribers. Each subscriber receives credits that reduce the amount of electricity they are charged for each month. The average Northbrook resident saves $194/year through this program while benefiting the planet!
Join the waitlist for enrollment at northshorecommunitysolar.com.
Timely Tips for Going Green: Winter 2023
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.
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.
January 5 is National Bird Day! Northbrook is lucky to receive visitors from beautiful and rare birds due to our mature tree canopy and forest preserves. A great way to celebrate birds is to volunteer with the Somme Woods Community for ecological restoration. They host volunteer events almost every day – even during the winter months. Email email@example.com to get involved.
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.
From Tuesday, December 27 until Friday, January 6, Waste Management will place a dumpster in the Fleet Maintenance Garage (1227 Cedar) parking lot behind Village Hall. This dumpster is for cardboard only. If the dumpster is contaminated with other materials, the cardboard will be taken to the landfill as “contaminated” recycling. Please flatten all cardboard before emptying it into the dumpster. Residents are responsible for removing items from their vehicles.
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.
Keep an Eye Out: Updates from MC Squared Energy. During the week of December 19, 2022, MC2 will mail letters to roughly 2,000 households. Letters will be sent to those that recently moved to Northbrook, or now qualify for the program based on electricity use patterns. If you receive an opt-out letter, no action is necessary, and you will be automatically enrolled in the program. MC2 will not solicit door to door or initiate a phone call about this matter. Do not give your ComEd bill to anyone at your door. Call MC Squared Services at (855) 697-0286 for more details.
Looking to dispose of the packaging from your holiday purchases? The Village has you covered! If you cannot find ways to repurpose the materials yourself, see below for a Northbrook specific guide on the “do’s and don’ts” of disposal for common package types.
As your holiday gatherings begin, see below for tips on how to recycle your gift wrapping! Gift wrap is only recyclable when it is made of 100% paper. To determine whether your gift wrapping is coated with plastic, try a rip test. If you can’t easily rip through the paper, then it is most likely made with plastic. If it does rip easily then it is probably glossy paper, and can be disposed of through regular recycling collection.
Timely Tips for Going Green: Fall 2022
Are your Jack-O-Lanterns no longer looking gourd-geous? Don’t send them to the landfill! This spooky season, stop by the Village’s Pumpkin Smash event on Sunday, November 6, from noon-3pm at Northbrook Court's parking lot. Community members can toss pumpkins for composting, play games, meet some creepy crawlers, and learn about the benefits of organic waste recycling. Snacks will be provided.
Are you uncertain about what is recyclable and where to recycle it? When done properly, recycling helps to conserve resources and protect the environment.
At the October 19 “Recycle Right” webinar, representatives from Waste Management and the Village of Northbrook will provide information and answer your questions. Register now: https://visit.northbrook.info/event/6716457
Timely Tips for Going Green: Summer 2022
Use the arrows to scroll through most recent social media posts pertaining to sustainability in Northbrook.
The Village has launched a voluntary Lights Out Northbrook campaign where community members commit to leaving their lights off after 11pm each night from now until November 15. Participants will receive a free native seed packet by registering with the Village Sustainability Coordinator.
This movement is part of a larger effort to protect the rare migratory birds that pass through Northbrook during fall, such as the ones pictured. Researchers believe that exterior lights on buildings confuse the navigation systems of birds leading them to circle buildings repeatedly and die of exhaustion or collision.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your address to collect your free native seed packet. Call 847-664-4134 with any questions.
Have you heard that it uses more fuel to turn your engine off and on compared to letting the car idle for a short period of time? This myth has been debunked!
The US Department of Energy reports that idling for over seven seconds uses more fuel and produces more emissions that contribute to smog and climate change than stopping and restarting your engine does. So next time you’re waiting in a school pickup line or stopped in the drive-thru, please don’t idle! Poor air quality caused by tailpipe emissions can contribute to asthma in adults and especially children, whose lungs are more susceptible to damage.
West Cook Wild Ones is offering a free trade-in for Cook County residents that have invasive shrubs growing on their property! If you’re looking to replace invasive plants like Buckthorn or Barberry with a native shrub species, take photos for documentation, cut it down, and apply. Find more information and the online application here.
Interested in installing rooftop solar but don’t know where to start? The Village is partnering with the Library and Grow Solar Chicagoland to offer a virtual Solar Power Hour on Thursday, August 25, at 7pm. In this hour-long presentation you’ll learn the basics of solar, how it can save you money, and how the solar group-buy program works. At the end of the presentation, participants will be eligible to receive a free, no-obligation property assessment for a custom quote from competitively-selected solar installers. Register now!
Let’s get connected! Metra’s new $100 “Super Saver” monthly pass and $30 Regional Connect Pass are available for purchase starting today in the Ventra App and Metra ticket sales agents! Unlimited rides and connectivity services on all three systems for $130 a month (Metra, Chicago Transit Authority, and Pace Suburban Bus). Riding public transit in and around Northbrook just got easier. Learn more: https://metra.com/regional-connect-pass
Trying to conserve water this summer? These free water-saving kits from Nicor Gas offer products that can help, including low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and a shower timer. For details or to order, visit http://nicorgas.com/.../free-products-and-services.html
Are you interested in electric vehicles? Starting today, Illinois residents can apply for a $4,000 rebate after purchasing an electric vehicle. Learn more about the program here: https://www2.illinois.gov/.../Electric-Vehicle-Rebates.aspx
Greenest Region Compact
When Northbrook signed on to the Greenest Region Compact in September 2018, the Village agreed to achieve green goals in collaboration with other municipalities across the Chicagoland region. Through the Greenest Region Corps, Northbrook receives an Americorps volunteer to serve our community as a Sustainability Fellow. With the GRC agreement, the Village tracks progress in 10 key sustainability areas:
- Economic Development
- Municipal Operations
- Sustainable Communities
- Waste & Recycling
In 2013, the Village and Northbrook Park District partnered to create the Strategic Sustainability Plan, which outlines improvements and initiatives in energy, material management, natural resources, community development and transportation for a more sustainable future.