2011: The Year in EcoMyths

by Katie Casas, Director of Public Outreach, EcoMyths Alliance We hope you have enjoyed our environmental myth-busting this year as much as we have! As we celebrate the beginning of 2012, here are the highlights of 2011’s EcoMyths: Myth: The Chicago River is Mostly Toilet Water. The Chicago River is famously known for being green…as in … Read more

Starved for Outdoor Fun?

Getting outdoors is fundamental as well as good fun, as we explored in a recent myth-busting article. But there’s no need to be literally starved for outdoor fun.Starved Rock State Park celebrated both its 100th anniversary and a record number of visitors this year, according to a recent article in the LaSalle News-Tribune. With 2,181,083 … Read more

Greening Chicago One Block at a Time With The Field Museum

Living in the city, it’s easy to feel like high rises outnumber trees and people are more numerous than plants—but that doesn’t mean we can’t create sustainable communities to reduce our impact on the environment. Four Chicago neighborhoods are trying to prove that with the help of the Field Museum’s Making Climate Change Local initiative. … Read more

Put On Your Sunglasses: Solar Energy’s Bright New Future

Information originally published by Northwestern University Initiative for Sustainability and Energy, an EcoMyths Alliance Partner. The future looks bright to researchers and scientists working with solar energy at the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern. Imagine being able to save serious money on your energy bill simply by installing shingles painted with photovoltaic paint … Read more

Myth: Switching Out Incandescents Isn’t Worth the Effort

The Bright Stuff: Keeping Your Cool in the Lightbulb Aisle These days, walking into the lightbulb section at a home goods store is like entering an alternate reality, one filled with strange futuristic shapes and a head-reeling supply of options. How do you navigate the extreme selection without mental overload? Allow us to light the … Read more

Myth: Feeding Birds Is for the Birds

Hunger Games: Bird Feeding Edition We all know we’re not supposed to feed wild animals (for those who don’t, here’s why)…but do the same rules apply to birds in our backyards? We chatted with a couple of Chicagoland’s foremost ornithologists for their take on using bird feeders, and turns out, they both give them a … Read more

On the Air: Talking Native Plants on Worldview

With spring gardening season in full effect, we thought we’d dive into the topic of native plants. During the first EcoMyths segment on Worldview, Kate Sackman and Jerome McDonnell get the dirt from DePaul University ecologist Dr. Liam Heneghan, and Dr. Andrew Hipp, curator of the Morton Arboretum. And for more fun-filled info, read the … Read more

Seed the Day: Popular Native Plants for Chicagoland Gardeners

With close to 2,000 species native to the Chicago region alone, choosing the best ones for your garden can seem overwhelming at best. A few pieces of good news: Gerould Wilhelm, author of Plants of the Chicago Region, says only about 100 of those will actually do well in the typical garden (for more on … Read more

Shop Around: Where to Buy Native Plants Around Chicagoland

Feeling inspired by all the good buzz around native plants? (For more on that, read the myth!) We’ve rounded up your best bets to pick up new seeds and seedlings now, from plant sales through the spring, to actual stores specializing in native plants open year-round. Arbor Day Plant Sale at Morton Arboretum April 27-29 … Read more

Myth: There’s No Special Benefit to Growing Native Plants

So You Think You Can Plant: The Native Gardening Routine When it comes to plant shopping, competition is stiff. Thousands of varieties vie for your attention, wooing you with color, texture, hardiness—whatever it takes to please the judge, aka, you. These plants have to be both visually pleasing and succeed in your space, be it … Read more