By Anna Lothson
The Oak Park Development Corporation is assisting 23 businesses from the Oak Park-River Forest business community to 'Grow Green," according to a news release.
With funding support from both the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation and the Village of River Forest, OPDC is rolling out a green business initiative focused on encouraging sustainability-related investments and improvements that align with the goals of Plan It Green, Oak Park's community sustainability plan, and strengthen a business' bottom line.
Businesses participating in this one-year program will receive two free audits, five educational seminars, free products and installations, networking opportunities, and a marketing kit to announce "greening" efforts to consumers. Participants will also learn about efforts that other local businesses have made in sustainability areas of waste and recycling, energy, food, transportation, and water.
The inaugural class of businesses 'greening' their practices and properties includes: Wonder Works, Magical Mind Studios, West Cook YMCA, Scratch 'n Sniff, Pumpkin Moon, Nevin Hedlund Architects, Ten Thousand Villages, Kinderhook Tap, Green Home Experts, AltCare Health Center, Little Bits Workshop, Oak Park Dental Studio, Sugarcup Trading, Takara Designs, Takara Home, Serenity Partners, Sirius Cooks, Lake Theatre, Carleton Hotel, Barclay's American Grille, Eyrie Restaurant, Sun Star Dental, and the River Forest Community Center.
Businesses have attended seminars on recycling and energy and several businesses have completed their initial energy audit, according to the release.