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Open thread: What are some simple ways to help keep Chicago clean and green?

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How do you plan on giving back for Earth Day?

Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/MIlosh Kosanovich

Welcome to Open Thread, wherein we pass the mic to readers to speak up about topics of interest, distress, horror, etc. Have something you want discussed? Let us know.


With Earth Day quickly approaching, it’s time to consider how we can help improve our neighborhoods and the city as a whole. The City of Chicago has very recently committed itself to the ambitious goal of transitioning all publicly-owned buildings to 100% renewable energy by 2025, and it has (along with numerous partner groups and agencies) also taken great efforts in cleaning up the Chicago River.

But what can we—as residents and neighbors—do to help make our city a greener place? After all, Chicago’s official motto, “Urbs in Horto,” officially translates to “City in a Garden.” Many neighborhood groups organize so-called clean and green efforts where residents convene to pick up garbage from streets and sidewalks. And generally after the winter months, there is plenty of refuse floating around in Chicago alleys and thoroughfares.

But what else can we do? What are some simple ways we can give back? Please let us know by leaving a comment or sharing an image. We will round up the responses and share them with readers tomorrow afternoon.