Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Evanston Gets Silver Rating Just For Being Green

By Megan CrepeauThe Daily Northwestern

Evanston’s efforts to improve air quality and raise environmental awareness have won the city a higher level of recognition from a Chicago-based organization working to reduce pollution.

Clean Air Counts has designated Evanston a “silver” community. Governments, businesses, developers and homeowners that “commit to reduc(ing) emissions through simple measures to improve air quality” can apply for silver status , according to the group’s Web site.

Carl Caneva of Evanston’s Health and Human Services department said the city is trying to become more ecologically friendly, and its relationship with Clean Air Counts is “just another component in (Evanston’s) want to be sustainable.”

Caneva credits the city’s lawn care rebate plan and gas-can exchange program, both implemented last May, as the most important measures involved in getting Evanston its silver status.

Under these programs, residents were encouraged to bring in their energy inefficient lawn care tools, such as gas-powered lawn mowers, and exchange them for a rebate of up to $150 to buy more ecologically sound garden care machines.

Residents also brought in old gas cans to exchange for newer cans that do not leak harmful pollutants into the air. Clean Air Counts paid for all of the lawn care day, which cost $2,200. The group’s support made the program easier to implement, Caneva said.

Other efforts were made to bring Evanston to silver standards, including a proposal to improve bicycling conditions within city limits.

Evanston also expanded its awareness efforts, posting more public notices on its Web site in addition to the posts that allowed Evanston to receive a bronze standing in 2005.

There are currently 30 Clean Air Counts-certified Clean Air Communities, most of which are at the bronze level, where the community pledges to raise public awareness of environmental issues.

The 7-year-old group is backed by federal and state environmental protection agencies, the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus and the City of Chicago.

Caneva said the city will continue to raise public awareness about ecological issues and sponsor more programs like the gas can exchange and rebate program in order to achieve the Clean Air Counts gold status. Research for biodiesel retrofits also is underway.

Reach Megan Crepeau at [email protected].

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Evanston Gets Silver Rating Just For Being Green