Posts Tagged ‘Sustainable’

Safari Lake Geneva

If you live in the Chicago area and you find yourself looking for a fun day-trip you might want to check out Safari Lake Geneva. It’s an easy 1.5-hour drive from Chicago and you’ll get to spend the day up close with some amazingly beautiful animals.

Safari Lake Geneva is situated on 75 acres of pristine safari-like land just outside of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. They feature over 50 varieties of animals from 5 continents, most of them in need of conservation due to nearing extinction, including the scimitar-horned oryx, which is actually now extinct from the wild of North Africa. Fortunately, they’re still in existence thanks to conservations like Safari Lake Geneva. Other animals include watusi cattle from east Africa, camels, bison, antelope, zebra, and ostriches. They also have more common animals like goat and sheep that greet you at the entrance as a sort of petting zoo, although they differ from petting zoos in that Safari Lake Geneva gives them plenty of space to roam off on their own if they’re not interested in being pet.

My 10-year-old daughter was totally happy just hanging out with the goats and sheep. They seemed to like her just as well. Just watching the llamas standing around was a pretty good time for my kid. I had to push a bit to get her to go on the guided tour of the property to see the rest of the animals, but once we got going she had no regrets.

The main feature of the Safari is the guided tour led by Jay Christi, aka Jungle Jay. As the wagon ambles along, each visitor gets to offer the animals a cup full of feed while Jay rattles off lots of info and answers questions about each of the animals. There was also a young camel that seemed to want to lead the tour around the property and Jay had to make sure the zealous creature stayed a safe distance from the tractor. It was really awesome to see how excited the camel was, like a little kid that wanted to show his friends the coolest place ever. You’re probably thinking he just wanted the food, but he stayed at the front of the tractor most of the time, well away from where the food was being spilled.

Out on the plain, Jay would stop the tractor every once in a while to let the animals approach if they wanted to. Unlike a zoo, Safari Lake Geneva puts you in the ‘cage’ and lets the animals decide if they want to interact with you or not. Some do and some don’t but it was beautiful seeing them up close or far off, laying in the grass. All those different species hanging out peacefully together was something I’ll never forget. It was probably the closest I’ll ever get to know what it’s like to be on the savannas of Africa.

For more information visit Safari Lake Geneva

Video provided by Luminist Films.

Posted on: July 4th, 2018 by Gette

Chicago To Include Home Energy Cost in Home Listings

Gas chart

Forgive me, I’m in no way a reporter but for the following news item I was pretending to be one! It’s something I’m probably going to do from time to time, FYI.

If you’re looking to buy a home in the Chicago area you’ll be happy to know that the energy cost of homes on the market will now be included in the MLS info. The City of Chicago will be the first in the nation to include the annual and monthly gas and electric information on home listings. This is great info for anyone in the market for a home and especially those looking for one that’s sustainable and energy efficient.

“Chicago is leading the nation in using data to promote energy efficiency and create green jobs,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This innovative tool will allow residents and homebuyers to factor energy costs into their buying decisions and streamline the 25-year old paper-intensive process for realtors and utility companies, allowing them to focus on their customers. It is a win-win that will create a better marketplace and opportunity in our neighborhoods.”

This is expanding on the cities Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership, a program that helps homeowners make energy efficient upgrades to their properties by offering free items or rebates for appliances and insulation. For more information check out Retrofit Chicago Residential Partnership or call 855-9-IMPACT. Also, check out Peoples Gas for other rebates and free offers!

For more info:

Posted on: July 9th, 2013 by Gette

Chicago Sustainable Backyards Program

rain barrels

The City of Chicago has what looks like an amazing program to help you maintain a sustainable yard. They offer residents up to 50% back on local purchases of trees, native plants, compost bins and rain barrels (up to certain amounts). See the website for downloadable rebate forms, participating garden centers, a list of educational workshops and resource links (such as the beautiful “Shedd Aquarium’s The Care & Keeping of Worms Guide”)!

I’ve never used this program (I’m an apartment dweller with nary a yard), so if you have please leave a comment to let us know how it worked for you.

Posted on: May 1st, 2012 by Gette

Buy Bulk

Buying from bulk bins is one of the best ways to manage a sustainable lifestyle. Try to bypass the plastic bags and containers that stores offer when buying in bulk and bring your own reusable containers or bags. You may need to stop at customer service first but BYO (bringing your own) shouldn’t be an issue. Check out the GreenSourceChicago map for places near you that offer bulk bins.
Bulk Bin Map

Posted on: March 6th, 2012 by Gette

Make Your Own Yogurt

Do you love yogurt but hate plastic? I know I do! My new years resolution was to stop bringing plastic into the house…it seems impossible since it’s used to package everything and it’s a shame that yogurt is practically a packaging monster.

I decided to try making my own not so much to save money, but because I just didn’t want my yogurt packaged in plastic and also because I like knowing what’s in my food.

After doing some reseach I decided to use the thermos method. So, instead of needing any fancy equipment or even an oven, once your mixture has cooled to the correct temp (about 80-90 degrees) you put it in the thermos to incubate for about 7 hours.

Get the recipe from Babble

Posted on: March 5th, 2012 by Gette