formerly citizens' greener Evanston

In a very short time we must rapidly accelerate progress on two huge and intertwined challenges:

Minimizing Greenhouse Gases
Maximizing Ecological Abundance

We Evanstonians are building on our town’s record of leadership in tackling these challenges.

Our Programs

We at Climate Action Evanston help speed progress through our programs. 

Beyond Waste Program symbol

Beyond Waste

In nature there is no waste: outputs from living things circle back to become useful inputs to other living things. This program works to speed up progress in extending the useful life of items and making more of Evanston's outputs valuable inputs.

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Edible Evanston Program Symbol

Edible Evanston

Regenerative agriculture practices produce an abundance of nutritious foods, sequester carbon in soil, and heal ecosystems degraded by industrial agriculture. This program creates local community around adopting these practices and equitably sharing the resulting bounty.

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Energy Program symbol

Energy

Greenhouse gas emissions are reduced through improved energy efficiency, reduced fossil fuel consumption, and the use of renewable energy. This program works to speed the transition to more efficient use of electricity to cook food, heat spaces, heat water, dry clothes, and power vehicles.

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Environmental Justice Evanston

The harms caused by climate change and ecosystem degradation and the benefits derived from taking action to address them tend to be unfairly distributed. This program seeks to make them accrue equitably throughout Evanston.

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Natural Habitat Evanston

Conventional lawns and garden practices waste water, emit carbon and poison birds and pollinators whose populations are in dramatic decline. Natural Habitat works to return vibrant, buzzing life to Evanston public and private-owned landscapes.

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Upcoming Events

North Shore Mosquito Abatement District meeting

NSMAD Board Meetings, unless otherwise noted, take place on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at our office, located at 117 Northfield Road, Northfield.

More InfoMore Info
Jun 8
Thu
7:00 pm
8:30 pm
117 Northfield Road, Northfield

Reception for Mural Ask me about Buckthorn

ASK ME ABOUT BUCKTHORN RECEPTION Bring your friends and neighbors – shop native plants from Shady Grove Wildflower Farm.

More infoMore info
Jun 10
Sat
3:00 pm
6:00 pm
Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central St., Evanston

North Shore Mosquito Abatement District meeting

NSMAD Board Meetings, unless otherwise noted, take place on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at our office, located at 117 Northfield Road, Northfield

More InfoMore Info
Jul 13
Thu
7:00 pm
8:30 pm
117 Northfield Road, Northfield

North Shore Mosquito Abatement District meeting

NSMAD Board Meetings, unless otherwise noted, take place on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at our office, located at 117 Northfield Road, Northfield.

More InfoMore Info
Aug 10
Thu
7:00 pm
8:30 pm
117 Northfield Road, Northfield

You're Needed! Here Are Some Involvement Opportunities

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Volunteer

Our programs are always seeking volunteers. Visit their home pages to learn more about the opportunities they offer.

Although we’re a volunteer organization, we have expenses. Increasing our revenues allows us to budget to do more. Help us build the capacity to better support all our programs, or target your donation to a specific program.

More About Us

Climate Action Evanston volunteers collaborate with the City, local businesses, faith communities, and residents to accelerate climate action throughout Evanston, Illinois. Formerly Citizens' Greener Evanston, we started in 2008 and worked with the City on its first climate plan.

Some Successes

Our Board of Directors

Karen Bireta

Beyond Waste Program Lead
Lives in Ward 9
Karen Bireta
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

Attending an Earth Day event in 5th Grade, we simulated an oil spill and explored ways to clean it up. That was the day I realized I wanted to focus on the environment and find better solutions for our planet.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

Interested in getting more involved with our local community of climate action champions and bringing the vision of a Circular City to Evanston.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

Launching composting for my condo building. It started with just a 5-gallon bucket for my family and over time successfully expanded to a 32-gallon tote for our entire condo building!

Jessy Bradish

Lives in Ward 3
Jessy Bradish
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

I have been a climate activist since college, because I believe it’s our generation’s responsibility to do everything we can to be good stewards and protect a liveable planet.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I believe new ideas are best developed locally, and Evanston is a wonderful place to enact bold environmental policies. Evanston committed to climate action when we passed CARP. Now it’s time to make the plan a reality!

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

Climate action work is always a successful way to connect with passionate people working to make the world better. I recently loved participating in the intergenerational climate strikes in Evanston and Chicago which also received lots of positive press coverage. Now is the time to succeed on climat

David Cook

Lives in Ward 7
David Cook
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

I have witnessed the unsustainable and harmful spread of waste throughout the United States. I became involved in climate action because I want to work with leaders who help others learn how to sustainably reduce waste, protect the environment, and live more equitably.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I realized that Climate Action Evanston is one of the leading organizations in Evanston which advocates for the environment. Their members not only talk the talk, but take significant actions to improve the environment in Evanston, all while advocating for climate justice throughout the community.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

I do not have a green thumb but, I changed some of my lawn into a pollinator garden. I dug up the grass and planted indigenous plants that harbor pollinators. Thankfully, the plants grew well with little care. During the summer my garden now comes alive with all sorts of butterflies and pollinators.

Joel Freeman

Energy Program Lead
Lives in Ward 7
Joel Freeman
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

My involvement with building energy efficiency began in the 1980s. Reducing building energy was primarily an economic consideration then, along with resource preservation. The connection of buildings to GHG emissions and global climate change made water, energy, and grid use an elevated priority.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I participated early in the predecessor organization, Network for Evanston's Future, and was co-chair of the Mayor’s Climate Action and Resilience Plan Working Group that produced the CARP document. Climate Action Evanston was a natural fit to continue the pursuit of Evanston's climate action goals.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

To my home I've added attic insulation, new windows, rooftop solar, and electric cooking appliances. Heat pump water and space heating soon to follow. I initiated use of a composting service at home and at my work place. Owned hybrid cars for 13+ years. Work project energy savings received awards.

Jerri Garl

Environmental Justice Program Lead
Lives in Ward 8
Jerri Garl
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

The future of my children and grandchildren has always been my motivation to fight for change. Throughout my career as a state and federal regulator, I worked to shape environmental policies that support climate mitigation and resilience.  It's the most important challenge of our lifetime.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

EJE is committed to bringing a climate equity lens to improve the quality of life in our community and to advance opportunities for full public engagement in local decision-making, especially in under-served neighborhoods, which are hardest hit by climate change.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

As a former member of the Environment Board, we helped get the Climate Emergency Resolution passed by City Council. This resolution underscored the importance of environmental equity and environmental justice in CARP implementation, to ensure the future health and well-being of future generations.

Chuck Heisinger

Treasurer
Lives in Ward 2
Chuck Heisinger
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

There are many issues to be addressed in this world, but this one stands alone because it threatens our very existence. Rich, poor, white, black—we are all threatened by a climate spiraling into dangerous territory.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

In my case, “What” is “Who” — my wife. She has watched me care for the Evanston YMCA Camp Echo orchard for 20 years and she knows what I do for a living—financial consulting, so she suggested this as a natural fit. She was right.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

I am a newcomer, but my contribution has been to provide insight for the board on how the organization’s money is received and spent.

Jerry Herst

Lives in Ward 8
Jerry Herst
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

I was at the first Earth Day in 1970, became involved in Outdoor Education. I discovered the beauty and intricacies of the natural world and our connection to it and learned of threats posed by climate change. I have been involved in climate activism ever since.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

In 2001, my wife and I organized the Green Team at our synagogue, JRC, affirming caring for the earth as a Jewish value. I served on the building team and, in 2008, JRC became the first House of Worship ever to earn LEED Platinum Certification! In 2015 I was invited to join the CGE board.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

HOME 2006-solar thermal hot water; 2013-Energy Star certificate insulation; 2019-solar PV; 2022-heat pump replaced gas furnace; 1989-2022-landscaped with native plantings. WORK insulating window coverings for cold in winter/heat in summer. PLAY co-steward, Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary.

Jack Jordan

Lives in Ward 1
Jack Jordan
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

As part of Gen Z, the climate action has always loomed large as both the crisis and opportunity of my lifetime. Challenging as it is, imagining and creating a more just world for all living things gives life tremendous purpose. I intend to accelerate action today, tomorrow, and the rest of my life.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I learned about CAE as an undergraduate at Northwestern where I studied Environmental Science and American Studies. In my senior year, I worked with CAE to write my thesis on the history of resident activism and climate action planning in Evanston. I am thrilled to be involved!

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

I develop utility scale solar and wind projects in my day job, but I am most proud of my volunteer efforts to plan the Generations of Environmental Justice Earth Day event in 2022, and my senior thesis, which helped the City of Evanston dedicate funding for more sustainability staff.

Ken Kastman

Edible Evanston Program Lead
Lives in Ward 6
Ken Kastman
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

My training as a Geotechnical Engineer has always connected me to the earth. The focus on soils morphed into Environmental Engineering as damage to the earth and the climate became apparent, and new engineering solutions and actions were needed.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I was a member of Edible Evanston, spawned from the “Ten Big Ideas” initiative from the Evanston Centennial Celebration in 2013. Edible Evanston’s mission dovetailed well with CGE, the predecessor organization of Climate Action Evanston, and we were accepted as a formal program.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

Along with four other co-leaders, Edible Evanston has created the Eggleston Park Food Forest, taking a half-acre grassy field into a permaculture-based perennial orchard and food forest. The food forest demonstrates how people can help mitigate climate action and be more resilient.

Peter Laundy

Lives in Ward 3
Peter Laundy
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

Concern that we humans are acting too slowly to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss, and hometown pride in Evanston's leadership in taking action.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

Encouragement to join from the founder of its predecessor organization, its mission, and seeing it as a way to fulfill my desire to get off the sidelines and take action.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

Winning a unanimous City Council vote to overturn the denial of solar panels on our home's rooftop, leading to rewritten historic district rooftop solar rules. Also our lawnless garden. It's low maintenance, and integrates habitat value and landscape architecture.

Catie Lott

Lives in Ward 6
Catie Lott
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

After years of complaining about why people weren't doing something, I decided to put my money where my mouth was and focus on sustainability.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

I was looking for a volunteer opportunities to help birds, bees, and butterflies and stumbled upon Natural Habitat Evanston's Facebook page. I began volunteering with NHE and couldn't get enough of decreasing lawns and increasing wildlife habitat.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

By creating native Prairie in my yard, local park, schools, and encouraging others to do the same, I feel a sense of hope. We can eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and use plants and soil to draw down atmospheric GHG. And the side effects are a healthier planet for all beings.

Jean Saunders

Lives in Ward 4
Jean Saunders
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

When I was 12, my father gave me Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.  Learning about the damage chemicals like DDT (once considered harmless!) did to wildlife and birds sparked my environmental passion.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

CARP. Evanston Climate Action and Resilience Plan and an interest to work on the implementation of the plan.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

We try to take more and more small steps - eliminating driving trips, composting more organic waste, and being mindful that more than just Monday can be meatless.

Leslie Shad

Natural Habitat Program Lead
Lives in Ward 3
Leslie Shad
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

When I realized around 2008 how climate change impacts the chemistry of the ocean, it brought home how far-reaching climate chaos is to ecosystems and all species.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

A friend invited me to a rain garden discussion in her home, followed by engaging me in building weatherizations and then starting Natural Habitat Evanston.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

My husband agreed to our converting our yard to native grasses and pollinator plants. I am happy whenever I am in our garden.

Chuck Wasserburg

Co-lead
Lives in Ward 2
Chuck Wasserburg
What moved you to get involved in climate action?

I grew up in Southern California where smog was thick, so I knew what pollution could do, and there was no way to avoid that humans caused it. At the same time, I could backpack in the foothills, so, even though I scoffed at tree-huggers, I got a good sense of my place in the natural world.

What led you to Climate Action Evanston?

While I appreciated what national and global groups were doing to raise awareness and combat the issue, the scope of the problem seemed too huge for me to make any difference. So I set out to learn about groups in Evanston that were trying to have an impact locally - and found out about CGE.

Any personal success in climate action you'd care to share?

We installed rooftop solar and heat pumps in our home and have composting service. While living in a condo here, I successfully advocated to get composting service for the entire building.