Environmental Sustainability Task Force, Hyde Park

presented by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference, its Sustainable Environment Task Force and website hydepark.org.

Join the Task Force or contact the task force chair Vicki Suchovsky. HPKCC. Join the Conference, support our work.

Quality of Life Hot Topics. HPKCC program home. Committees. About HPKCC.

Visit the Sustainable Environment Documents and New Initiatives, Recommendations page and the Conference's Green Hyde Park page, including more practical tips, issue discussions and links to many environmental and sustainability websites.
home. Parks/open space website links. Gardens. Hyde Park Garden Fair. 61st Street Community Garden.

Learn about Chicago Climate Action Plan and CMAP's greening of the 2040 regional planning vision.
Find out about the Low Carbon Diet program we are engaged with, visit http://www.empowermentinstitute.net/lcd/.
On beach pollution and swimming bans and how to find out if your beach is open today.

Link to University of Chicago 2011 Earth Day programs. http://sustainability.uchicago.edu/news/apr2011/earthweek2011.shtml.


Welcome to the webpage of HPKCC Committee, Environmental Sustainability Task Force. Interim facilitator Gary Ossewaarde. The committee and conference thank Vijayarani Fedson for starting the committee and giving it vision and direction, rolled out at the July 3 2007 HPKCC board meeting, and to Vicki Suchovsky for continuing it. Core members include Mark Granfors, Bill Morrisett and David Nekimken. This website will have articles giving practical advice and calling attention to the issues and needs.

Meetings, forums etc. are in the Green Hyde Park page.

The Task Force is suspending meetings while we do more consideration of objectives, gauge interest, and reach out.

A broad coalition is seeking to have everyone turn off or dim their lights for an hour starting Saturday, March 28, 8:30 pm, to ilustrate concern and possibly what specific small steps can do.

Projects in motion: Note: We are in process of establishing mission, objectives and actions, so expect that below to change shortly. To see DRAFT of what we are or were working on, visit wiki url: http://chicagolandsfuture.org/mwiki/index.php?title=HPKCC_-_Sustainable_Environment_Task_Force.

Here is where we were in early July, 2008. We welcome comments and suggestions, to hpkcc@aol.com.

Mission Statement

To promote an environmentally sustainable economy and lifestyles in the Hyde Park and Kenwood community area.


1. Partner with local government, schools, businesses, community organizations, and residents.
2. Help solve the problems of global warming and climate change by promoting carbon footprint reduction. This applies to individuals, businesses and organizations.
3. Promote recycling.
4. Promote the use of public and alternative modes of transportation
5. Promote energy efficiency and clean energy sources in residential and commercial buildings.
6. Promote the availability of food grown in the community and midwest region.

Future Considerations

The following are candidate additions to the goals list:

1. Promote and support implementation of he Chicago Climate Action Plan. This plan is due to be released in the near future. See Chicago Climate Strategy2007 (http://chicagoclimatestrategy2007.pbwiki.com/).
2. Promote and support implementation of the CMAP (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) GO TO 2040 regional vision. See http://www.goto2040.org/.

Action Items

We are in the process of developing an actions list. Here are a few starter ideas.


From the May meeting ideas list

The committee is pleased that local food providers are starting to swing around to more regional and genuinely organic offerings. Farmers markets such as 61st, Harper, Bronzeville at 45th and Cottage and new produce stores and cafes about to open-- Zaleski and Horvath MarketCafe and a new produce market in the 1600 block of E. 55th will feature regional products and foods.

Other actions under consideration, from past meetings:

1) Setting up teams under the low carbon diet/sustainable life "cafe" program. Bill Morisette.
2) Distributing to businesses for display a flyer with recommendations for "Recycle, Reuse, Avoid".
3) Reviewing the City of Chicago Sustainable City plan and agenda, and bringing it to the community in an educational and review forum in the fall that we hope will lead to ideas and actions for local implementation.

Under 1), the committee is considering hosting a new kind of citizen's education and support group called the World Cafe initiative (see http://www.worldcafe.org). Under the city's Chicago Conservation Corps (GreenCorps), volunteers from various neighborhoods are trained to hold "low carb(on) diet" "cafe's" (like tupperware parties) to sign neighbors as teams to commit to specific steps and point check offs for greening their lives , domiciles,and surroundings-based on the workbook Low Carbon Diet by David Gershon. The first teams, which will meet with a commitment to a certain number of hours a month, are already being recruited.

Our Task Force invites you to join us in developing action and information-sharing strategies that will help people in our neighborhood live in ways that are more sustainable and nourishing of the planet.

We have met several times, and have selected these strategies:

Help us refine and these and put these into practice.


Other opportunities, others' meetings

Get rid of your e-waste on campus May 13! through the U. of C.'s Sustainability program!

The Main Event is Friday, May 13, 8 am to 1 pm, at the Kimbark Gravel Lot on Kimbark between 60th and 61st St.
There are also drop-off locations on the U. of C. campus where items can be left between now and Friday. For more information, see:

accepted all week long:

Air conditioner
Boom Box
CD Player
CD Walkman
Cell Phone
Computer Speaker
Copy Machine
Cords and Cables
Desktop Copy Machine
Desktop Plotter
DVD Player
Fax Machine
Ink/Toner Cartridges
Mainframe Cabinets
MP3 Player
Stand Alone Plotter
Stereo Receiver
Tape Walkman
Video Game System
Small UPS

Additional recyclable materials include:
Scientific equipment (e.g. microscopes, oscilloscopes)
Electronic medical equipment (non-hazardous)
Anything that has a significant metal component (e.g. aluminum shelves, furniture with metal frame, filing cabinets)
Items also accepted but only at the Friday event:
Light bulbs (compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), fluorescent tubes of all lengths, incandescent, etc.)
Functional computers and associated peripherals (e.g., mice, keyboards, monitors), which will be refurbished and distributed to local schools by Computers for Schools
Still have questions? Contact Colleen Lanier Christensen

Bring us your e-waste and other items May 13th for FREE recycling!


OIKOS environmental religious consortium in Hyde Park.

Neighbors are banding together in equivalent of block clubs to take advantage of the new programs that give you points for the recylable waste in your blue carts (single dwellings so far and in local pilot). The points can be convertible to coupons for stores et al-- or be donated to schools-- Ray School has done quite well from the program (schools have to apply). Visit http://www.recyclebank.com, for schools part add /greenschoolsprogram.

UC Civic Knowledge - Sustain Partners. Their expanded website: at: http://civicknowledge.uchicago.edu/sustainability.shtml.

The University of Chicago's Civic Knowledge Project affords a number of free and highly practical opportunities for Chicago Public Schools to develop programs and resources recommended by the CPS Environmental Action Plan. The CKP opportunities include: 1. Free, hands-on workshops (for parents and teachers) on site at your school on Sustainable Savings: How Going Green Can Save Your Soul and Your Money; 2. Tree In tours to help your school learn about and appreciate the ecological role of the trees in your neighborhood; 3. School garden consultations, offering user-friendly, step by step help planning your school garden and networking connections to relevant experts at the University of Chicago; 4. Creative ideas for getting your school Green Club going and making its activities relevant to many different areas of the curriculum--e.g. by hosting an Enviro-Bike Club, or an Environmental Advocacy public speaking program. Please visit the CKP's Partnering for a Sustainable Chicago network at http://civicknowledge.uchicago.edu/sustainability.shtml for more information about our various programs and activities. We make the humanities real!

It supports much, has short courses for non profits, and is starting a series of environmental and sustainability courses with the Graham School. Here is a description of part of these, as known in July 2008:

Dear Sustainability Partners--I would like to mention that I have been working on developing a new Environmental Studies program at the Graham School of General Studies, which is the University's adult continuing education program. We are hoping that in due course this will become a certificate program that will help people develop greater expertise in the environmentalist areas of deepest concern to them. Please do check out the website at: https://grahamschool.uchicago.edu/php/noncredit.php?sc=ENV Just scroll down until you see the various course titles on the right hand side. We have some great folks involved in this program: Ted Steck, Justin Borevitz, Pamela Martin, Naomi Davis, Martha Boyd, and many others. Please do contact me if you would like to know more about this program. Best, Bart

Bart Schultz
Director of the Civic Knowledge Project
Senior Lecturer in the Humanities
and Special Programs Coordinator at the Graham School of General Studies
University of Chicago

Sust-partners mailing list

Dear Sustainability Partners--I am very pleased to report that the Woodlawn Youth Solutions program--our collaboration with the Brickyard Garden, architreasures, After School Matters, and the Christ's Way MB Baptist Church--is going extremely well. We have a very talented group of young people working on some perfectly wonderful beautification projects that will make a lasting contribution to the Woodlawn community. And they have come up with a spectacular logo

Green Campus Initiative. visit http://envirocenter.uchicago.edu/gci.


First and Third Fridays, 3:30 pm. Bi-weekly Religion and Environment Initiative (REI) business meeting is this Friday, October 3 from 3:30 - 5:00 pm at Fleck House, 5700 S. Woodlawn Avenue (Fleck House). We will continue to plan activates and projects for the year. All are welcome to attend. Please contact Scott at rei@meadville.edu <mailto:rei@meadville.edu> with any questions or ideas. Scott. May be cancelled due to holiday, but it meets every other week and growing fast. Largely faith-based groups but now reaching out. See near top of opportunities section for what they are doing now.

Open at Museum of Science and Industry opens Smart Home: Green + Wired. See article in Green page; visit www.msichicago.org. Closes -Jan. 4 then next spring.

On the city website: The City of Chicago Sustainable City plan

Farmers Markets: Bronzeville Sundays 4400 block of Cottage Grove (reopened June 6 8-1 through Oct. 30, Hyde Park Thursdays in Harper Court 5200 block Harper, 61st Blackstone-Dorchester Saturdays reopened May 16, South Shore 71st Jeffery lot Saturdays?

Report, findings, tasks from the December 14 2008 committee meeting. By Vijayarani Fedson.

post-oil planet

"the post-oil economy: after the techno fix"

fluorescent lighting problems

this one sums up non-health-related problems

" Federal regulations mandate recycling of fluorescent lighting, while exempting households and other small users. Some states, however, are strict. For example, California no longer allows anyone to throw CFLs in the trash, while Massachusetts requires manufacturers to implement recycling programs and meet certain targets.
As technology advances, however, mercury could become less of an issue, at least as far as light bulbs are concerned.
Last month General Electric Co. said it was working on doubling the energy efficiency of incandescent lights and eventually developing versions comparable with CFLs. These bulbs, which the company hopes to begin marketing in 2010, will cost less than fluorescent's but they won't last as long." Mercury in Energy-Saving Bulbs Worries Scientists March 28, 2007 — By Lisa Von Ahn, Reuters. I can't access the article from the link below, but I've got it copied in MS Word.


Those suffering from lupus also cannot tolerate fluorescent lighting

In the UK these suggestions for cutting down on the amount of electric power used have been advocated by environmental groups. Use lights only in rooms in which are occupied. Office buildings should turn lights off at night. Computers in offices - except for mainframes - should be turned off when the offices close. Stand-by modes for tvs, vcr's, and other gadgets, should be abolished, instead they should be turned off. In the UK, there are switches at every wall-plug, which makes this easy to do. Stop using electric blankets, and many other electric gadgets.

In addition I think that street lighting should be cut down, as was done in Rome last fall and lighting for decorations forbidden, especially the profligate lighting in this season. It's beautiful, but wasteful and unconscionable. Rationing, with extremely high rates for high consumption should be introduced. This last by itself, will cost nothing, and bring down power use considerably.
On this, we will as individuals, of course, do what we believe, based on information which we are persuaded by.
As long as I chair it, I will recommend that this taskforce not endorse compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Meeting on 14 Dec 2007
Decisions taken

We decided to approach 10-12 businesses, as a start, on 53, 55 and 57 Streets, to ask if they would post our flyers, going in teams of two.

On Saturday, 19 January, if weather permits, we'll meet at the Café in Borders at 1 pm and start the distribution.
If the weather is inclement, we'll meet on 26 January.

Between 1 January and 15 January, we'll find out what schools are doing on environmental issues, especially in connection with climate change. The Env Dept of the city offers programmes to schools. We'll go in pairs to the schools, set up meetings with the Principal or Vice-Principal, and find out what they are doing.
At the end of January, 28- 31, a programme, Focus the Nation, is being sponsored at the University level, with a teach-in, distribution of kits, etc. High schools and Elementary schools are encouraged to participate.
Find out if local schools are going to be involved in this, what the U of C is doing.

Hyde Park Academy - Morrisett
Kenwood High - Nekimken and Suchovsky
Lab - Fedson

We'll report on this at our Friday evening meeting on 25 January.

Morrisett will also find out in general what Chicago Public Schools are doing.

For February and March
Approach multi-family dwellings. Give presentations at their Board meetings. Get a list of these buildings.

I hope to get the Co-op booked for the meeting on Friday, 25 January.

Since the Co-op Market has been cut down, we'll have to find another place to meet after January. I'll see if we can get the Historical Society building.

Report for the January 2007 HPKCC board meeting.

During the first half of January, we'll be getting in touch with local schools to find out what sort of programs they have to raise awareness of environmental issues among their students, what specific actions they have instituted, and whether they will be participating in the Focus the Nation environmental awareness initiative, scheduled for the end of January, which is aimed at the University level, but which encourages school participation.

In the latter half of the month we plan to go in teams of two to twelve businesses on 53d, 55th, an 57th Streets, to ask if they'll post our flyers on a kind of permanent display.....



Rollout announcement from the August, 2007 (No. 2) The Conference Reporter:

HPKCC Forms Environmental Task Force

by Rani Fedson

As a new committee of HPKCC, our goals are to educate the community about various environmental issues, to seek opportunities for community involvement and outreach on environmental issues, nd to foster and solicit commitments from the members of the community to adopt a sustainable lifestyle.

We meet on the last Friday of every month (except in December, when we will meet on the second Friday) in the Meeting Room in the basement of the Co-op.

We shall be asking businesses in Hyde Park to display a flyer [immediately following] on their premises to keep some of these issue in mind. we are discussing other possible projects.

If you have suggestions or tips on this subject, or on community involvements on this issue, please do send them along to the Conference.

Recommendations for green living:





Tips for sustainable Gardening: Use-Conserve-Avoid

Brought to you by Hyde Park-Kenwood Community Conference Environmental Sustainability Task Force.





Book citations courtesy of Anna Viertel, Coordinator of School Gardens, Chicago Botanic Garden

Permaculture Websites:

http://www.sustaincup.blogspot.com (posts events and seminars)

Courtesy of Bill Morrisette


From Civic Knowledge Project: (HPKCC Committee is a partner)

Dear friends of Civic Knowledge Project and our new network, Partnering
for Sustainable Chicago,

As you may know, we are trying to create a formal network that connects
the many interested parties of environmental and social action
initiatives in Chicago. In addition to the listhost, we are currently
working on creating a website that will have an electronic calendar
where we can all post upcoming events, a blog where we can discuss
current issues and initiatives, useful website links and finally a
directory that we can use to learn about each other and the many groups
operating in Chicago.

If you or someone you know would like to have your contact information
in our directory, simply fill out the attached form and email it back to
me or one of my colleagues, Clare Johnson at claremjohnson@gmail.com or
Dave Aftandilian at daftandi@bsd.uchicago.edu. Or, feel free to give us
a call at 773-834-3929 ex.5 (I must warn you, however, we will be out of
the office until January 7th).

We look forward to learning more about you and working with you to make
a sustainable Chicago!

Nalika Vasudevan
Civic Knowledge Project Intern and Partnering for Sustainable Chicago


Civic Knowledge Project to address sustainability in HP [and South Side]. Experimental Station, DuSable Museum are [initial] venues

Hyde Park Herald, January 2, 2008. By Georgia Geis

University of Chicago's Civic Knowledge Project (CKP) has launched a new environmental and social action initiative, Partnering for Sustainable Chicago, with an email mailing list and two winter courses. They are also working on a website that will feature a calendar of all relevant events, links to local organizations' websites and a blog to discuss local environmental issues.

"There is so much people can do in their own backyards -- plant trees or turn vacant lots into play areas," said Bart Schultz, director of CKP. "We want to make the expertise available and affordable.

Schultz said the event that spurred this program was the tremendous response to a September visit by the Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. Maathai, who spoke to a captivated audience at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave., was born in rural Kenya in 1j940 and went on to become the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in East and Central Africa. She was also the first woman to head an academic department at a university in Kenya, Veterinary Anatomy at University of Nairobi. In 1977, she founded the Green Belt Movement, which aided in the restoration of forests throughout Africa while also paying rural women to plant trees in their villages. [Ed. The movement was also a major spur to both democracy and women's rights and empowerment, all being intimately linked in Wangari's worldview. Her action is now worldwide.]

"We have really been inspired by Maathai and her Green Belt Movement," said Schultz. Individuals and groups filled out surveys at the Maathai event to guide the CKP in establishing the initiative, including the courses offered through the Graham School of General Studies at the U. of C.

One of the two courses, which begins Jan. 12 and runs through Feb. 16. focuses on Maathai's book titled "Wangari Muta Maathai: Her Life and work." The class, taught by Lisa Biggs, will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays at the Dusable Museum of African American History, 740 E. 56th Pl. Biggs, w ho is completing a Ph.D. in performance studies at Northwestern University, wil lead the class to study all facets of Maathai and translate her work into community organizing that can happen on the South Side.

The other course is essentially a series of workshops, "Chicago Dialogues on Urban Ecology and Local Infrastructures: Looking Downstream," led by Martha Boyd, the urban initiative facilitator for the Angelic Organics Learning Center based in Hyde Park. The discussion for this course will focus on water -- both uses and waste. This class will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on thursdays at the Experimental Station, 6100 S. Dorchester [Blackstone] Ave. The course begins Jan. 10 and runs through Feb. 14. Goth classes will feature guest speakers. The cost of a class is $255. Schultz said no one should be discouraged by th cost and that there are subsidies and financial aid available for those who cannot afford the tuition. The classes are meant to be discussion courses, so they will be limited to 20 to 25 people. "We can also accommodate groups, giving a group rate for schools and various clubs," said Schultz.

CKP was first established through the Division of Humanities in July 2003 to each out to the community and to offer programming, social initiatives such as the South Side Arts and Humanities [Network], research projects and community partnerships.

Schultz said that just as they discovered many art organizations when they started the South Side Arts and Humanities project, they have found many individuals and organizations on the South Side doing environmental advocacy. "There are a lot of groups that can benefit by sharing a calendar as well as having joint events. We think this is good use of our resources," said Schultz.

There will be more courses offered in the spring, including a class taught by David Aftandilian of the U. of C. Environmental Studies department about religion and the environment. To find out more, call Schultz at 834-3929 or email rschultz@uchicago.edu.

[Ed. New outreach is also being modeled on and collaborated with what is being done at other urban top-rank universities such as Columbia and University of Pennsylvania.] Top

Focus the Nation engaging schools, universities in sustainable efforts, living. Committee supporting. Some links.

Bill Morrisett wrote:

We had discussed visiting high schools in the area. Below is an email
from Focus The Nation. This is the organization I had mentioned that is
initiating a global warming solutions teach-in on Jan. 30 and 31. See
http://www.focusthenation.org for more information. See
http://www.focusthenation.org/actionmap/?type=state&stateprov=il for a
list of organizing committees in Illinois. Focus The Nation has
suggested activities for both colleges and high schools. Note the
references to contests and scholarships.

Thirty days left to <http://www.focusthenation.org>Focus the Nation ! Still
time to engage another 500 schools. Thousands of high schools in the
country have an Earth Club. It’s not too late to get them on board for a
showing of <http://www.focusthenation.org/2percentsolution.php>The 2%
Solution, on-line
<http://www.focusthenation.org/chooseyourfuture.php>voting on global
warming solutions, and
<http://www.focusthenation.org/greendemocracy.php>critical engagement with
political leaders. PLEASE, pass this e-mail along to every high school
teacher, student and principal that you know. Tell them to sign up. Don’t
take no for an answer. Time is short.

Between 1960 and 1964, Americans moved from fatalistic acceptance of racial
segregation to a solid determination to end Jim Crow. Between now and the
end of 2008, we can move this country from a fatalistic acceptance of
business-as-usual global warming. We can end the paralyzing sense that our
children must accept from us an impoverished planet. We can embrace a
determination to act, and hold global warming to the manageable low end.

Focus the Nation is now the biggest teach-in in history, with more than ten
thousand volunteers building events at over 1200 schools, faith and civic
organizations and businesses. In the next 30 days, help us bring hundreds
of more schools and other institutions to Focus the Nation. Together, we
can make 2008 the year that America woke up, the year that we faced up to
this civilizational challenge.

Working with three partners, Focus is bringing resources to youth climate
leaders. First out of the gate is
<http://www.architecture2030.org/faceit/index.php>Face-It (sponsored by
<http://www.architecture2030.org/>Architecture 2030): $20,000 in prizes for
a one-day design contest held on January 30th. Also-- watch for details
from us later this month about two other amazing opportunities:

*Project Slingshot. Three $10,000 summer scholarships for college climate
leaders, designed to propel into action personal projects for innovative
global warming solutions. Sponsored by Clif
Bar's <http://www.clifbar.com/eat/eat.cfm?location=mojo>Mojo, there will
be grants for artists, outdoor enthusiasts and innovators.

*Poster Contest for High School and Middle School students. What will your
community look like in the year 2050? What will people be doing, driving,
wearing? Where will their water, energy and food come from? Design the
future , and win an outdoor adventure trip. Sponsored by

Eban Goodstein, Project Director
Chungin Chung, Communications Director

*Re:Vision the world! <http://www.urbanrevision.com/>Share your passion for
sustainable design. How can local businesses thrive, along with families,
neighborhoods and communities? How can we share our gifts and talents to
meet our everyday needs?
<http://www.urbanrevision.com/current-contest.php>Re:Store is looking for
ideas to make transactions as good for the soul as they are for the wallet.
How can all trade be fair trade? How can we find healthier ways to make
exchanges in urban settings? More than just rethinking how we buy,
<http://www.urbanrevision.com/current-contest.php>Re:Store is about
rethinking what we’ve bought into about commerce. It’s time that ideas were
the true currency.
<http://www.urbanrevision.com/current-contest.php>Re:Store is your chance
to make change. <http://www.urbanrevision.com/current-contest.php>Learn More!

Focus News:
*Pre-Focus-- $20,000 Design Prize at “Face-it”!
<http://www.architecture2030.org/faceit/index.php>One-day competition on 1/30.

*NCSE Global Warming: Science and Solutions.
<http://ncseonline.org/2008conference/cms.cfm?id=1716>Washington DC,
January 16-18.

HS Teachers—need lesson plans on global warming? Visit

*Green Mountain Coffee Roaster joins Focus as a Sponsor! We are glad to
welcome <http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/>Green Mountain, a pioneer in
producing sustainable, fair trade coffee.

*National Campus Energy Challenge. Join schools across the country and see
what <http://ncec08.org/intro.html>you can save in February!

* Forty Percent of Car Trips are within two miles of your home: Take Clif
Bar’s Two-Mile Challenge and ride or walk instead!
<http://www.2milechallenge.com/ride>Check it out.

*Donate to Focus—Stop Your Junk Mail! <http://www.41pounds.org/>Sign up
with 41 Pounds, and a portion of the income is donated directly to us here
at Focus the Nation.

*The President’s Climate Commitment: Has your University or College
President <http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/>signed on?

New Books on Fighting Global Warming

On video: Jon Isham and Eban Goodstein
about their recent books on building the global warming solutions
movement-- <http://www.fightingforlove.com/>Fighting for Love in the
Century of Extinction, and
<http://www.ignitionthebook.com/>Ignition. Other recent books of note:
Gary Braasch’s <http://www.earthunderfire.com/>Earth Under Fire; Laurie
David’s <http://www.scholastic.com/downtoearth/index.htm>Down to Earth
Guide (for elementary school);
and <http://www.billmckibben.com/fightglobalwarmingnow/index.html>Fight
Global Warming Now from Step it Up.

Eban Goodstein
Project Director
Focus the Nation

The above is a mailing of the Rethinking Schools critical teaching and writing listserve. The list is open to all Rethinking Schools subscribers and focuses on teaching and writing for justice in K-12 classrooms.

Check out Rethinking Schools Online at www.rethinkingschools.org.

RS mailing list


News about, events of, ways to learn from innovative green groups

(We can only include a few.)

H2O Soul to perform in Harper Court July 26 2008

From Hyde Park Herald July 16 2008. By Daschell M. Phillips

Alternative hip-hop group H2O Soul is scheduled to perform at the PHLI Block Party in Harper Court on July 26. PHLI, which is a backwards acronym for "I Love Hyde Park," is an urban apparel and shoe store located at 5410 S. Harper Court.

"The event is all about the store--people can come in and check out our merchandise," said Gideon Rice, store manager at PHLI. "There will be graffiti painters, open mic for rappers as well as professional entertainers. In the past we've had artist like Keith Murray, Rhymfest and Kanye West and there will be food so we want people to come out dance, eat and shop.

In addition to performing, H2O Soul wil also spread the word to the community about living "green." "We are past help," said Sunn Child, one-third of the group."The earth is not going to continue to take all of our abuse."

The group, whose members reside in Bronzeville, has decided to decrease their carbon footprint by implementing a "green" marketing initiative. To kick off their commitment to conservation the group has decided they will no longer sell CDs. "Just like we went from records to tapes and tapes to CDs, getting music through digital downloads is the next transition," said MPLI, whose name means More Positively Less Ignorance. "We are not afraid to shed CDs first."

According to the Recording Industry Association of America's 2007 consumer profile report, CD sales dipped from 85.6 percent to about 821.6 percent and digital download sales rose from 6.7 percent to 11.2 percent between 2006 and 2007. Industry reports such as this one give the group confidence that they are trailblazers on an inevitable path.

H2O Soul met during their undergraduate years at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. and formed an on-campus student organization called the Hip-Hop Organization or H2O in 2003 before officially forming their group a few years later. The group has decided to sell their music by digital download to conserve plastic and other materials that are used to create and store CDs and lower the cost to consumers. The group will sell download cards that are made out of recycled materials and allow their fans to download H2O Soul' music from the Internet. "For most people it's been a long time since they've bought a CD," said MPLI. "If they recently bought one it's been a long time before that and there are only certain entertainers that will make people get in their cars and go to the store to buy a CD."

H2O Soul's marketing materials such as flyers, hats and t-shirts will also be made out of environmentally friendly materials. The group is also creating a Web site that will have a section dedicated to "green" ideas and facts. The group is also looking for socially responsible vendors to help them launch their "green" initiative. "We are definitely open to endorsements and sponsorships to help us get the word out," said Clever. "We love giving back to the earth."

H2O Soul's downloadable music is currently available on iTunes and Amazon.com, and download cards are available at any H2O event or performance. The PHLI Block party will be held from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Harper Court.

University of Chicago funds 10 energy initiatives by faculty in July 2008.

Robert Topel, Director to the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, GBS announced these projects designed to promote interdisciplinary research.

University of Chicago's environmental health and safety office wins top program prize from CSHEMA (org of campus safety and envir. offices).

This award, not given the previous two years, is for documentation and developing clear and effective programs to meet stringent standards. The University was audited and so now has further objectives to meet.