This year the Winnetka community is encouraged to help save our environment while sheltering at home.

Through May 20, Winnetka residents can submit 3 or more photos or videos of eco-friendly activities to winnetkaearthday@gmail.com. You can choose from below or come up with your own activities. The entries will be posted here and at the Village of Winnetka’s new website. The Village wants to showcase how its community comes together to tackle environmental problems. Each entry will have a chance to win a $10 gift card to Graeter’s or Homer’s Ice Cream, or to Reprise Coffee Roasters.

1. Electricity
–  Turn off electronics at the power strip and lights when not in use.
–  Minimize use of heating and cooling systems by using open/closed windows and
    shades to control the temperature in your home.
–  Buy local from neighborhood stores to cut down on your transportation and shipping
    footprint. Refer to the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce website for
    information on which local restaurants and businesses are open and offering no-
    contact pickup and delivery.
–  Create a screen-free hour (or curfew) in your home. Use this hour to enjoy a family
    or solitary activity, like taking a walk, playing a board/card game, puzzles or baking
    instead of using phones, TVs, and computers.

2. Water
–  Take 5-7 minute showers. Create a playlist the desired length of time in the shower.
    Finish at the same time your playlist ends.
–  Turn water off when brushing teeth, scrubbing hands, and scraping dishes.
–  Run the washing machine and dishwasher only when full.
–  Rather than watering your lawn every day, or a couple of times a week, let it go
    dormant even during dry spells. It will look just fine once the rains start again.

3. Grocery Shopping
–  The Downtown Evanston farmers market is open. You would need to pre-order
    and pre-pay the vendors, and pick up at the market on Saturday.
–  Buy in bulk. Buy minimally packaged items. Buy recycled and eco-friendly items.
–  Use reusable bags. At many grocery stores, you can still use reusable bags for
    grocery shopping if you bag your own groceries. Bagging your own groceries is
    much like pumping your own gas. You can also leave bags or boxes in your car,
    and cart the items to your car to bag.
–  Later, once the Covid-19 pandemic is under control, consider walking or biking to
    the store even if it means more visits per week, if it’s not too far.

4. Trash
–  Pick up trash in the park when taking a walk.

5. Do More to Waste Less

–  Buy less and buy used.
–  Talk about consumption with your family and kids.
–  Turn off or mute ads.
–  Plan meals ahead to minimize food waste.

–  Buy quality items that last.
–  Repair items – keep a toolbox with the basics, and use YouTube to learn how to
    make simple repairs to household items.
–  Darn socks and mend clothes.
–  Donate items for reuse.

–  Recycle more at curbside according to Village guidelines.
–  The drop-off Styrofoam and small electronics recycling is now closed. Later, once the
    lobby of the Winnetka Municipal Facility reopens, drop off your Styrofoam, athletic
    shoes, CFL bulbs, and small electronics there on weekdays, and recycle large
    electronics at the Winnetka Public Works Yards on Thursdays.

–  Compost in your backyard.
–  Use Winnetka’s preferred providers for door-to door service. Please note that The
    Compost Club does not currently service WInnetka.

6. Trees & Gardening
–  Grow native plants, which have extensive root systems that can absorb and reduce
    stormwater runoff.
–  Grow fruits and herbs or perennial vegetables, like asparagus and kale, that don’t
    have to be replanted every year.
–  Not sure where to start? Take advantage of Go Green Wilmette’s Native Plant Sale,
    which will take place this year with online ordering and curbside pickup on Sat,
    May 30 from 9am-noon at the Gillson Beach main parking lot. Pre-order required.
–  Identify the type of trees in your yard or parkway and label with a sign. Hold up your
    sign for the picture.
–  Identify trees in public areas and use chalk and arrow on the sidewalk to indicate
    the type.
–  Remove invasive species, such as garlic mustard, lesser celandine, loosestrife,
    buckthorn, preferable by hand and without using harsh chemicals from your yard.