Happy Earth Day 2022

The North Branch of the Chicago River at LaBagh Woods.

As you consider ways to celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22, we thought we’d share some helpful ideas and approaches from staff at Friends to help the environment every day.

  • Amy Comstock, Business Office Manager

“Try to eliminate everyday plastics from your life. Use bamboo toothbrushes, reusable silicon bags for food storage, and wax paper instead of plastic wrap. Ask yourself “What do I touch every day that is plastic that I can change to a zero waste earth friendly object?” Amy recommends two helpful resources for sustainable ideas: the Zero Waste Store and Sustainable Jungle.

  •  Mark Hauser, Ecology Outreach Manager 

As the head of our Chicago River Schools Network, Mark will lead an Earth Day litter cleanup with a Chicago elementary school and discuss dam removal in the Chicago River system with students from Northwestern University. Mark recommends a list of eight Earth Day events in the Chicago area that are worth checking out for volunteer opportunities.

  • Becky Lyons, Director of Environment, Equity, and Engagement

“I look for opportunities to walk, bike, or take the CTA to get around instead of driving a car, especially in the warmer weather. This helps by both minimizing the pollution going into the environment, and it gives me the physical and mental benefits that come from moving my body and being outdoors. Consider whether you can bring more people-powered or shared modes of transport into your regular trips. Or plan a special trip to spend time outdoors, for Earth Day or anytime!” Becky suggests the Openlands Get Outside Map for inspiration on parks and natural areas to visit across the city and region.

  • Tim Touhy, Communications Director

“Along with several of my friends and neighbors, I have learned to compost food waste at home. Just keeping a small container on the counter top makes a big difference in collecting food waste that can be easily be transferred to a backyard composter.” Tim said Zero Waste Chicago has helpful information about composting at home as well as compost pick-up services and drop-off locations.

Register Now for Chicago River Day on May 14

And be sure to join the 30th Annual Chicago River Day on May 14 to take part in our largest litter cleanup event. We'll be rolling up our sleeves and picking up trash at over 70 locations. Register now!