Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category

Make your own takeout

January 15, 2009

Treehugger has links to great recipes for familiar takeout dishes that you can make at home, like pad thai, burritos, and General Tso’s. Not only are you saving money and energy, but you can make your favorites even tastier – maybe tonight I’ll make some ultra-spicy Thai…

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Tree recycling in Chicago

January 5, 2009


Don’t add your beautiful Christmas tree to an area landfill – give it new life by having it recycled. The City of Chicago is offering free recycling at parks all over the city through January 16, so load up your ole tennenbaum in an I-GO truck or SUV and drop it off – these sites are taking trees 24 hours a day:

Bessemer Park
8930 S. Muskegon Ave.

Clark Park
3400 N. Rockwell

Forestry Site
900 E. 103rd St.

Garfield Park
100 N. Central Park Ave.

Grant Park
900 S. Columbus

Humboldt Park Boathouse
1369 N. Sacramento

Jackson Park
6300 S. Cornell

Kennedy Park
11320 S. Western

Kelvyn Park
4438 W. Wrightwood

Lake Meadows Park
3117 S. Rhodes

Lincoln Park
Cannon Dr. at Fullerton Ave.
(Parking lot east of Cannon Dr.)

Margate Park
4921 N. Marine Dr.

Marquette Park
6700 S. Kedzie

McKinley Park
2210 W. Pershing Rd.

Mt. Greenwood Park
3721 W. 111th St.

North Park Village
5801 N. Pulaski Rd.

Norwood Park
5801 N. Natoma

Portage Park
4100 N. Long

Riis Park
6100 W. Fullerton

Rowan Park
11546 S. Avenue L

Sheridan Park
910 S. Aberdeen St.

Warren Park
6601 N. Western Ave.

Wentworth Park
5625 S. Mobile

Green Parent Chicago: winter activities for the kids

December 22, 2008


Not sure how to keep the little tykes busy this holiday season? Check out Green Parent Chicago’s helpful list of ideas on ways to keep the kids entertained- away from the tube. Ever think you’d go snowshoeing in the city? Well, there’s a first time for everything!

The Key to Successful Living

December 18, 2008

There’s a very cool article about WPA posters at ReadyMade. You can even download and print them out for your very own. My favorite:


You know what… pop this guy in a frame and you got a great looking yet affordable last-minute gift for a friend or colleague who has all the Go Bucks he or she can use…

You don’t have take to the sky (or go to the mall) for a great present

December 16, 2008

Unlike a lot of people, I really dig airports and airplanes. Along with the herds of people to watch at the airport and the excitement of careening through the air in a metal tube on a scientific principle I never really understood, I really enjoy window shopping the SkyMall. SkyMall is the catalog in the little seat pocket that sells adult-sized footie pajamas, dangerous collector swords, and every almost-useful iPod accessory you could sort-of want. Oh, if I were a rich man…


Aaany way, in these times, our loved ones will surely appreciate gifts that will make their lives greener and easier rather than more wasteful and ridiculous. In my opinion, there is no greener or more useful gift than an I-GO membership – parents, coworkers, friends, siblings, cousins, etc. – anyone in Chicago who needs to get from one place to the other can do so more cheaply and easily if they don’t have to worry about gas, parking, or insurance.

Just get them some GO Bucks, which can be used for an existing membership, or if your people are already savvy, the bucks can be used for driving credits.

Also remember that suggesting GO Bucks to Grandma is a good way to head off a puffy-painted sweatshirt before it goes in the mail…

Cure December blues at an organic Christmas tree farm outside Chicago

December 9, 2008

Are you suffering from grinchitis? Are you hating December, with its wetness, coldness, manufactured nostalgia and hyperconsumerism?

Maybe you need to grab a friend or two, hop in your I-GO car, and head to Ben’s Tree Farm in Harvard, Illinois for some corny old-time fun. You can take a horse-drawn carriage ride to pick out an organically-grown Christmas tree that is fun to decorate and will make your apartment smell better. While you wait for Ben’s staff to bail your selection for free, you can hang out in the Warming Barn and enjoy free hot cho.

A road trip out to the country to escape the ads and icy sidewalks for a while and do some old-school holiday stuff might help bring you out of a Winter Funk – just be sure to drive safely.

Trees start at $19.95 and are totally Green as well as green – Ben’s has some tips for keeping it nice. The farm is open Weekends from 9 am-4:30pm, and Thursdays & Fridays from 11:00am-4:30pm until Sunday, December 21st. Here are some directions.

Easy Going: Tips to keep kids cool

October 23, 2008

Kids get pretty bored in the car, especially kids who aren’t used to staying put in the back seat for two or three Cosby Shows (the time increment used in the car when I was a wee one). When kids get bored, they get ornery – best to keep them occupied before mom or dad Needs To Stop This Car.

Travelhacker has posted 27 Free Games to Keep Your Kids Entertained on a Road Trip, which is a great place to start – from the classics I Spy and Slug Bug, to more outside-the-box ideas like that second grade favorite, the paper fortune teller.

These games result in a lot less tears and screams than my favorite car game as a child, Not Touching You Can’t Get Mad.