With spring in full bloom, it’s a great time to think about how green initiatives and sustainability impact our urban environment. So, in honor of spring and Small Business Week, which begins May 5, let’s take a look at a few green business and green jobs that exist right in our own city.
You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I've noted if an article is available freely on the web.
“Best New Event Spaces: The Eco-Innovator” by Molly Each
Crain’s Chicago Business, March 19, 2018 (also available on the Crain’s Chicago Business website)
In the Back of the Yards neighborhood, The Plant houses 20 sustainable-food businesses ranging from urban farms, a bakery, a brewery and beekeeping, among others. It's a zero-waste facility that uses the waste from one business to power others. The building is also available for eco-friendly private events.
“Urban Farmers Forced Off Land Find New Ground to Grow” by Louisa Chu
Chicago Tribune, July 17, 2018 (also available on the Chicago Tribune website)
Three urban farms strive to operate within Chicago’s neighborhoods and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs and for-profit business alike, but obstacles abound in these local green businesses including lack of funds, lack of available land and constantly changing public policy.
“More Buildings Are Going Green. Literally. 'Biophilic' Designs Incorporate Elements of Nature Both Outside and Inside. It's Aesthetically Pleasing--and Makes People Feel, and Perform, Better” by Ken Wells
Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2018
In Biophilic building designs, “going green” takes on a new meaning. Rather than increasing energy efficiency or producing less waste, these new on-trend buildings incorporate green spaces such as waterfalls or living green walls into their design. There’s even a Chicago-based company, Sagegreenlife, that specializes in installing living green walls in area businesses.
“When Farm to Table is Just a Few Blocks Away” by Ben Feldheim
Crain's Chicago Business, September 21, 2017 (also available on the Crain’s Chicago Business website)
In the Bronzeville neighborhood, Legends Farm has replaced a public housing project and offers apprenticeships in urban farming, jobs for ex-offenders and a community garden. And this incubator for smaller urban farms sustainably grows food for local restaurants and businesses.
“Chicago's Uncommon Ground Named 'Greenest' Restaurant in America”
PR Newswire, December 12, 2011 (also available on the PR Newswire website)
With locations in the Lakeview and Edgewater neighborhoods, Uncommon Ground proves that good food, brews and music can be friendly for both a restaurant’s bottom-line and the environment. After being in business for over 20 years, Uncommon Ground has incorporated several sustainable practices to run the business including growing their own food on a rooftop garden, using old fryer oil to power their vehicles and using solar energy to boil water.