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Earth Day celebrated throughout Chicagoland

Planting party celebrates Earth Day
April 22, 2008 8:51:03 PM PDT
Just like on St. Patrick's Day, green was the theme for Earth Day in Chicago. In Lombard, families used other modes of transportation, getting out the message to reduce pollution from car emissions.

Residents posted signs throughout the neighborhood and commuters were praised for their efforts to save the planet.

And there are other things we can do too, like switch it off.

A screen saver doesn't save energy. Shutting off your computer will reduce its carbon emissions by a whopping 83 percent.

And you can also switch it out.

If every home in the U.S. replaced five traditional bulbs with energy-saving bulbs, it would be like taking 8 million cars off the road.

And next time you are asked paper or plastic, choose none of the above. Bring your own bag. Plastic takes 1,000 years to biodegrade in landfills and paper requires trees.

"Everyone is now aware of the enjoinment, it's on the agenda of every state of the world and that's cause for optimism," said Wade Davis, environmentalist.

At the Museum of Science and Industry they threw a party to raise environmental awareness in the city.

The Museum of Science and Industry celebrated Earth Day by holding a planting party. Twenty master gardeners from the University of Illinois extension prepared the grounds and planted a sustainable vegetable garden with eatable flowers for the museum's upcoming exhibit.

"We sure can do an awful lot to help where we don't have to buy so much from the store and not have to use so many vegetables being flown in from around the world," said Susan Grupp, University of Illinois Extension.

The exhibit showcases a three-story sustainable green home and explores the possibilities of a permanent vegetable garden, rain garden and green rooftop gardens.

"We have a cistern coming that will collect the rain water, and we harvest it and use only that water to water the garden, again, to minimize impact on Lake Michigan water," said Grupp.

The gardeners also built their own compost bin to store landscape waste that can be reused the following year.

The garden is filled with 21st century technologies and a variety of environmentally friendly materials. Anyone can have a garden on their deck or patio and even in their home with earth boxes.

"It's a self-contained growing unit. You have your soil here, your fertilizer is down the middle. You put it down one time so you don't have to constantly fertilize. It holds three gallons of water in the bottom of this," said Ron Wolford, University of Illinois Extension.

"We are so privileged to have a private park on a museum property that we felt we would take advantage of the opportunity to build a fully functioning home. The whole park is a story. It's not just the story of the home but also the landscaping," said Ann Rashford, Museum of Science and Industry.

All exhibits open May 8 with a tour of the smart home and gardens.


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