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

Myth: An Apple a Day Still Keeps the Doctor Away

With apple season in full force, and dreams of cider, pie and other fall favorites dancing in our heads, we wanted to know:is the crunchy fruit still a healthy pick? In this era of pesticides, does “an apple a day” still keep the doctor away? Some argue no, at least when it comes to apples … Read more

Chicago’s Own Big Thirst

Thanks to Friends of Debra Shore for providing this information. The Big Thirst was here! Charles Fishman, author of this landmark book on water, culture, and scarcity, visited the Chicago area this past weekend. Big thanks to Debra Shore, an EcoMyths Alliance advisory board member and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater … Read more

Myth: Getting Outside Is Fun But Not Fundamental

 Dear Nature, you were a great fling, but now that winter is here, I’m thinking I’ll stick to the inside world. —Sincerely, Your Summer Romance When you think about it, nature can really seem like the perfect commitment-free relationship: no matter the season, you can have fun together whenever you want, for as long as … Read more