The Illinois Green Alliance is Paving the Way to a Smarter Future

The Illinois Green Alliance is a membership-driven non-profit organization that is focused on creating sustainable communities and educating Illinoisans about green living. We sat down with Liz Wimmer, Program Manager at Illinois Green Alliance to learn more about how IGA is paving the way for a more educated and energy-efficient future in Illinois.

Can you tell me more about the Illinois Green Alliance and about your roles?

The Illinois Green Alliance is a membership-driven nonprofit with 500 members from a diverse group of backgrounds like architects, engineers, designers, utilities.

We host about 70 events a year and work with the local government, and engage with volunteers. We also do the GreenBuilt Home Tour August 3rd-4th where we feature newly constructed homes or major renovations that are going through green certifications. People can come and view green building strategies and action and chat with the builders or homeowners about the green initiatives within their project. This year we are piloting a track for existing homes, however, there aren’t too many certification programs for existing homes so we are focusing on local programs around energy efficiency.

Tell me a bit more about your current incentives. 

The other exciting thing is that we have built out an energy efficiency program for people to test out new ways to save energy, and in turn, they can share the information in their communities. Even to take it further, last summer we tested out the ambassador program with a local nonprofit that works with youth and this year we will be working with 3-5 high schools to take them through training.

Green Apple Day of Service has hundreds of volunteers who are dedicated to improving the community. Can you tell us a bit more about how it got started?

We are a local chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council so it’s a national event and some international cities do projects as well. Essentially, we are reaching out to schools and helping them identify a low or no cost way to have a more sustainable learning environment. Our volunteers have the expertise to help coordinate some of these projects.

Your goal of having a Carbon Free Chicago by 2050 is one of the most ambitious green projects in the United States. Do you envision Chicago as a national leader in green energy?

Definitely. We have a strong network of professionals that are passionate about the work they do. Illinois is already a leader in green building space and we are a leader in LEED-certified buildings. Also, with new legislation, there’s a lot of opportunity with renewables.

What kind of projects are your volunteers working on, and how can we help? 

We have volunteer orientations that we host every quarter where people can learn about how to get involved with The Illinois Green Alliance. Attending training is a great way to learn more. Also, you can reach out to us to see what opportunities fit your skillset.

Learn More about the Illinois Green Alliance and get involved in their projects:

Illinois Green Alliance

GreenBuilt Home Tour

Energy Efficiency Ambassadors

Youth & Green Schools Initiatives

Impact Map with IGA Strategic Plans & Goals

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Images Courtesy of Illinois Green Alliance.