It all began with the block party in the summer of ’06. My husband and I had recently seen “An Inconvenient Truth” and I was revved up about the movie, the planet and the “what-can-we-as-individuals-do?” Several neighbors pulled up their lawn chairs and we talked into the darkness about the environment, the movie and our mutual desire to “do something.”

That led to a Green Living block group that meets informally to exchange ideas. This group enjoyed a visit from Mike Iversen, an Oak Park architect who consults on sustainability, and the leader behind “Green Tuesdays.” Green Tuesdays has been the five-week session (April into May 1) at the library that is designed to help residents develop energy-reducing, environment-friendly plans for their individual blocks.

And then there was an invitation by my neighbor, Dan Haley, to do a “green blog” which he envisioned as “local, personal, and practical.” What a great chance to “do something” ?#34; small though it might be, to help disseminate information, participate in a dialogue and keep the momentum of the film going, I thought. I’m still a beginner in the green movement, but I cannot think of a more all-encompassing issue that will ultimately affect all of us. So let me know what you think, and help me learn along with you (the true experts) about how we can have a greener village.

Three green things to do this weekend?

? Catch the last days of the exhibit by sculptor Margot McMahon and her artist-father Franklin McMahon at the Oak Park Public Library. In association with Green Tuesdays and Earth Day, the exhibit features Margot’s work titled “The Land.” Franklin McMahon’s artwork looks at another aspect of “environment” when the “times were a-changing” including civil rights, political conventions, Vatican II and landscapes from around the world.

? Trade-in your gas lawnmower for an electric or cordless battery-operated model, get a rebate and a chance to reduce both emissions and noise pollution. Gas-powered chainsaws, leafblowers and weed-wackers can be turned in too. Triton College, 2000 Fifth Avenue, River Grove, Saturday April 28 from 9:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

? After you trade-in your mower, drop in on the 15th Annual Green & Growing Urban Gardening Fair sponsored by GreenNet, Chicago’s Urban Greening Network this Saturday, April 28, 2007 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park, Chicago. Demos, exhibits and parking are all free!

This blog is designed to talk about what’s going on in the village, our block and my house. I hope you’ll react and respond with your ideas and suggestions.

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