Combating Climate Change: What Can You Do?

Our region continues to face serious consequences of climate change.

“Cook County must take action as responsible stewards of Cook County’s public resources and must pay attention to our most vulnerable neighbors who will feel impacts of this environmental crisis most acutely.” – Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle

Cook County has set the following goals for County-owned buildings and developed a Clean Energy Plan in order to meet these goals, released in July 2020: 

  1. Carbon emissions reduction of 45% by 2030 from a 2010 baseline;
  2. Carbon neutral by 2050;
  3. 100% renewable electricity by 2030.

Cook County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability supports residents by providing resources to help them become more sustainable in their everyday lives. It is through this effort that we have created the Conserve Cook County pledge, which focuses on simple actions that everyone can take to curb emissions by reducing plastic waste and energy use. By using fewer resources, we create fewer emissions.

Small actions add up. Please take the Conserve Cook County pledge here. En Español aquí.

Energy Used in our Homes

In the Chicagoland region, 38% of our stationary energy emissions come from electricity and natural gas consumption in residential buildings. Taking simple actions to make your home more energy-efficient can have a big impact. Making your home more energy-efficient makes it more comfortable, saves you money on your bills and reduces emissions –  a win for everyone.

Plastics

More than 11 million pounds of plastic ends up in Lake Michigan each year. Reducing single-use plastics can have a real impact on the health of our lakes, rivers and streams and their ecosystems in addition to reducing the amount of energy--and emissions-- needed to make single-use products.

*Check back periodically for new pledge items. Also, there are many other areas where you can make positive changes to impact the climate beyond the items in our pledge. For example, see below for ways to reduce your transportation emissions. 

We want to support your community!

If you are interested in having Cook County’s Department of Environment and Sustainability provide information to your group or organization, please contact us here.

If you are interested in a presentation about ways residents can save energy and money on their utility bills, please contact us here.  

Resources from Cook County:

Energy Efficiency: Resources for Saving Energy at Home

Solar Energy

Waste Reduction

  • Check out our Green Guide Library to learn more about reducing, reusing and recycling various materials in Cook County. 

Additional Resources:

Determine your carbon footprint

Solar Energy: Solar for All

Transportation

Green Infrastructure