Do It Yourself Projects

April 13, 2012 10:05:49 AM PDT
Just ahead of Earth may be surprised at just how many eco-friendly and money-saving projects you can learn to do on your own. Delta's Institute's ReBuilding Exchange is right here in Chicago. They are hosting a "Do it yourself" workshop this weekend where you can learn how to make everything from shoes to beer. Elise Zelchowski from Delta is here to show us how.

Elise Zelchowski runs the Delta Institute's ReBuilding Exchange, a 60,000 square foot warehouse where pieces of old homes that were "deconstructed," i.e. taken apart piece by piece, and their furnishings, are stored and sold for re-use. This keeps hundreds of tons of construction waste out of landfills, and allows those renovating a building access to some very unique materials -- including very dense wood from Chicago's old-growth forests.


1. When remodeling, always consider incorporating *used* materials. Not only does this "green" option help reduce the amount of discarded material going to landfills, used materials are often more economical and frequently of superior quality as compared to new items. One place to source these items is the ReBuilding Exchange in Chicago:

2. Save old coats and skirts to re-make into bags, belts and more. The projects will be fun, creative, eco-friendly, and give you a sense of accomplishment. Learn more at

3. If you haven't already converted to energy-efficient lightbulbs, do so now, and there's an App for that! Light Bulb Finder, is a free app that helps you choose the right bulbs for your needs, and makes it easy for you to find a convenient place to purchase them.

4. Low-to-moderate income homeowners who qualify can receive up to $4,700 in services to weatherize their homes under the Delta Weatherization Energy Efficiency Program. For more, visit . The City of Chicago and State of Illinois provide funding for this program.

5. Illinois residents can no longer discard electronic items, such as cell phones or old VCRs, in the regular garbage. Be sure you find out where your community accepts these items and drop them off at those locations, or at Delta's ReBuilding Exchange, 2160 N. Ashland at Webster, in Bucktown.

Boot Camp For Weekend DIY Warriors?
Delta Institute Fair Helps the Do-It-Yourself Crowd Do It Greener, Easier

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Weekend DIY warriors now can now make their lives much easier -- and greener.

The Delta Institute will bring together experts on a variety of do-it-yourself techniques and practices to give average homeowners the "411" on greening their homes and improving their lives. The experts will share the secrets needed for successful and eco-friendly gardening, composting, weatherizing, bicycling and even chicken-keeping, home brewing and beekeeping.

It happens during the second annual "Going Against the Grain: a DIY Fair for Enthusiasts" on April 15, 2012, from noon -- 5 p.m. at the Delta Institute's ReBuilding Exchange, 2160 N. Ashland (at the corner of Webster) in Chicago.

"More and more Chicago-area residents are 'going against the grain' in seeking more sustainable ways of maintaining their homes and eating locally-grown foods. This fair will help them understand how to do all of that," says Delta CEO Jean Pogge. In addition to having a positive impact on the environment, the experts' techniques and practices will be fun for homeowners to use and will save them money, she says.

Delta offers a marketplace for attendees to pick up some of the materials they may need to complete their DIY projects.

The Delta Emerging Leaders, an auxiliary board of Delta Institute and ReBuilding Exchange that engages young professionals interested in sustainability issues, will host this event.

The family-friendly event is free, but a $5 donation is suggested.

The Delta Institute gratefully acknowledges the support of New Belgium Brewery, a leader in sustainability, and sponsor of Going Against the Grain: a DIY Fair for Enthusiasts.

About the Delta Institute: The Delta Institute is a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to leading the charge in transforming the Great Lakes Region into the vital center of the green economy. Founded in 1998, Delta creates, funds and implements innovative programs that promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and thriving, vibrant communities -- blazing a trail for the green economy that others can successfully follow. For more information, visit or call (312) 554-0900.

About the ReBuilding Exchange: The mission of the ReBuilding Exchange is to divert building materials from the waste stream and make them accessible to the public for reuse, protecting community health, creating jobs and saving resources. The ReBuilding Exchange, founded in 2008, is a project of the Delta Institute.