Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chicago Magazine Announces Fifth Annual Green Awards

Chicago magazine is pleased to announce the recipients of its fifth annual Green Awards, honoring Chicagoans who are pioneering smart, new environmental ideas. This year's honorees are architect Nathan Kipnis, restaurateurs Dan Rosenthal and Ina Pinkney, fashion designer Lara Miller, activist Kimberly Wasserman, and city worker Matthew Stewart. The six winners are profiled in the magazine's April 2011 issue, which hits newsstands Thursday, March 17th.

These remarkable Green Awards honorees were selected from more than 150 nominees suggested by readers, community leaders, and Chicago magazine staff. They will be congratulated at a reception at the Shedd Aquarium on March 30th.

"We are delighted to recognize such an illustrious group for our fifth annual Green Awards," said Richard Babcock, the editor of Chicago magazine. "This year's winners are truly changing Chicago and beyond for the better. They have big ideas, and are making an even bigger impact."

Nathan Kipnis: Architect Nathan Kipnis has earned the praise of fellow architects for rooting his aesthetic in sustainable principles. Using wisdom of the pre-light-bulb-era, Kipnis designed a home with two roofs that mimic a funnel, collecting rainwater that can nurture a roof garden below. Meanwhile, solar thermal panels harness energy when the sun is at its height. Kipnis's homes boast contemporary touches, too, such as high-efficiency furnaces, radiant floors, and low- to no-emission finishes, which don't give off harmful fumes. For the past few years, Kipnis has been laying the groundwork for the first Midwest offshore wind farm. The proposal has sparked controversy, but Kipnis, working pro bono with Citizens' Greener Evanston, thinks the farm's potential to passively power every household in Evanston, and then some, offers a monumental opportunity.

Dan Rosenthal and Ina Pinkney: He is a 40-year veteran of Chicago restaurants and she is the proprietor of Ina's in the West Loop, and together they formed the Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op. The open-membership collective helps makes green purchases affordable and includes nearly 450 restaurants and suppliers. In just a few years, The Green Chicago Restaurant Co-op has become an information clearing-house and vetting agency for goods and services and a buyers' club that negotiates deep discounts for members looking to stock green products or replace equipment and appliances with energy-efficient models. Education is a growing part of its mission, too. Last year the co-op introduced Guaranteed Green, a local stamp of recognition for restaurants that have been certified as environmentally responsible through one of two national organizations (Green Restaurant Association and Green Seal). Today, there are 23 Guaranteed Green establishments, and Rosenthal and Pinkney hope to double that number by the end of the year.

Lara Miller: Lara Miller is a School of the Art Institute grad and internationally recognized fashion designer whose stylish and sustainable garments have been worn by Sarah Jessica Parker and Emily Deschanel. She meticulously traces the origins of her raw material and employs a trusted local knitter to handcraft every garment in her Wrigleyville studio. Focusing solely on knitwear, Miller designs architecturally inventive cardigans and dresses that can be reversed or rewrapped to create more than one look per garment. The lifelong Chicagoan also serves as executive director of the Chicago Fashion Incubator, a Mayor Daley-backed endeavor created to foster emerging local talent and keep them in Chicago.

Kimberly Wasserman: Kimberly Wasserman is a pioneering member of the Chicago Clean Power Coalition. The alliance, which now has over 50 participating organizations, is the result of grass-roots environmentalists coming together to lobby for shuttering a pair of outdated coal plants that are having a detrimental effect on our health. With the support of Alderman Joe Moore, the coalition introduced an ordinance in April 2010 calling for an emissions reduction at the coal plants. Despite the backing of 17 aldermen, the ordinance has now stalled in City Council, but the coalition anticipates a fresh start following February's council election.

Matthew Stewart: Matthew Stewart is leading the city's efforts to minimize the carbon footprint of its municipal fleet. In 2010—with millions in additional federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—Stewart bought more than 300 new police SUVs that run on ethanol. Stewart also applied Recovery Act grants to retrofit 200 garbage trucks and salt spreaders with a supplemental engine and heating devices to help reduce fuel usage. This year, Stewart seeks to boost the number of alternative-fuel cars and trucks and pieces of heavy equipment in the fleet, either by buying new or retrofitting the old with clean exhaust control systems and idle-shutdown timers.

No comments:

Post a Comment