Whatever brought you here to our website—whether it’s an interest in getting involved or just looking for inspiration on how to become a better steward of our shared environment— we hope you find what you’re looking for. If not, please drop us a line.
We are an all-volunteer group, advocating for environmental stewardship and sustainability in Winnetka, Illinois. Go Green Winnetka is a member of the larger regional network of Go Green groups, through Go Green Illinois. As a member organization we support collaborative environmental justice efforts across the region and state. Go Green Winnetka holds regular meetings that are open to the public.
Our vision is for all members of the Winnetka community to work together as stewards of our shared environment, ensuring clean air, clean water, and natural green spaces for the health and well-being of generations to come. To achieve this vision, Go Green Winnetka operates under three branches:
Events, Education, Website, and Social Media
Energy, Land, Mobility, Zero Waste, Water
Fundraising + Collaborations
Native plants provide habitat for the insects, birds, and pollinators that are integral to our ecosystem. Join us September 9, 2023 for our third Fall Native Plant Sale.
Our popular Yards That Work tour showcases the many ways Winnetka residents are turning their yards into spaces that work for the environment.
The Tour features homes in Winnetka with solar installations whose owners are familiar with the process, incentives, and logistics unique to Winnetka.
Since inception, Go Green Winnetka has worked with individuals, public and private groups, and events to reduce and divert waste, specifically food scraps, from landfill.
In collaboration with other local groups, Go Green Winnetka meets periodically to beautify our community. All it takes is a pair of gloves, a bucket, and a desire to make a difference.
It's not just about the noise. While that is a big concern, gas-powered leaf blowers have no pollution controls and emit far more pollution than a passenger vehicle. Check out our blog on gas-powered leaf blowers on our Home Page.
Go Green Winnetka works to educate and advocate for the need to reduce use of single-use plastics and to use reusable, recyclable, or compostable items instead.
Plastic waste is one of the greatest sources of pollution and dangers to the health of the planet. Go Green Winnetka works to increase awareness of this dangerous trend and advocate for policies that protect the health of our communities.
Go Green Winnetka-Northfield began when the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District brought together a consortium of local organizations and community members to promote environmental awareness.
Modeled after and working in conjunction with Go Green Wilmette, this new entity aimed to introduce community members to easy ways for implementing green living at home and in our community. The entity’s inaugural event, the Go Green Winnetka-Northfield Environmental Fair, was held in conjunction with the Sidewalk Sale that summer.
About a year later, Go Green Winnetka-Northfield, the Winnetka Public Works Department, and the Winnetka Environmental and Forestry Commission (EFC) started collaborating on various environmental initiatives. While working on a longer-term project around recycling, the three groups found an unexpected opportunity to divert polystyrene from landfill.
For two weeks over the holidays, a collection was started for polystyrene foam (often mistakenly referred to as Styrofoam, which is actually a brand of polystyrene, just as Kleenex is a brand of tissues), which arrives in abundance in our homes generally, and especially during the holiday season. Signs were placed around the Village, a collection bin was placed in the lobby of the Public Works building, and the polystyrene collected was delivered to Abt Electronics, who processes and sells the material for reuse in the manufacture of other products.
In 2013, the Public Works building drop-off became a standing collection expanded to include both block-style and food-service polystyrene, offered in collaboration with Dart Container Corp. That collection is still ongoing, but it shifted in the spring of 2021 to a weekly drop off collection from 1 - 3pm on Mondays.
While setting up the polystyrene recycling program, the three groups continued their collaborative efforts around recycling. Working together to gather data, reviewing prior recycling proposals, and presenting to the Village Council resulted in the installation of 25 pairs of combined refuse and recycling bins throughout Winnetka’s three business districts in the summer of 2014. That collection is also ongoing. In 2019, three additional pairs of combined bins were installed around the business districts.
In early 2016, Go Green Winnetka-Northfield evolved to become Go Green Winnetka, and Go Green Northfield was formed later that year. Go Green Winnetka became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and continues to expand its educational work and advocacy.
In addition to the specific initiatives referred to above, Go Green Winnetka has worked since inception to educate, engage, and coordinate with individuals, schools, businesses, and other organizations regarding ways to reduce consumption and waste and mitigate and adapt to climate change through monthly newsletters, regular movie screenings, educational presentations, book discussions, clean-up events, and other gatherings and activities throughout the year.
Erin Maassen and Kathy Hargrave—Winnetka-Northfield librarians who initiated the first fair and group
Laura White, Mary Mollman, Jeanie Frye, Earl Frye—Original board members
Terry Dason—Emeritus member
Rebecca Knohl, Jessica Bollhoefer, Craig Witty, Teri Cross—Current board members and exec committee
Steve Juliusson—Original web developer