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Photo from the Green Festival website

We’ve been waiting for this – the moment when the Green Festival rolls into town!

This weekend we will be attending the eco-extravaganza that is hailed as one of the top green events to hit Chicago. Last year we learned about conscious non-profits, scoped out some fun vegan tees and jewelry, loaded up on holistic body care samples, and tasted some incredible local cuisine.

The event is also sprinkled with children’s activities, green-living workshops, presentations, and more! Check out A Fresh Squeeze’s Insiders Guide” before heading out and print out a free pass!

What: Green Festival

Where: Navy Pier

When: Saturday, May 22nd 10-7 and Sunday, May 23rd 11-6

Cost: $10 or free if you ride your bike!

by Lydia Krupinski

With the unseasonably warm weather we are having it’s the perfect time to take a Sustainable Spring Break! What do we mean by sustainable? Low environmental impact. When planning any trip, near or far, it’s important to gauge your footprint. How far will you travel? Where will you stay? What businesses will you support?

These questions were on our minds as David and I planned a weekend getaway to our fair northern neighbor in Wisconsin: Milwaukee. We wanted to take a trip that would be easy on both the environment and our pockets. So if you’re hoping to get away for a few days, read on for our Milwaukee trip suggestions!

Travel

Amtrak: Traveling by Amtrak is a great alternative to driving as trains have a lighter carbon footprint and are relatively inexpensive. Trains leave from Union Station daily and the trip is quick – only an hour and a half!

Carpool: Believe it or not – you can hitch a ride to Milwaukee from Chi-town – and legally! Check out websites like eRideShare.com and catch a commuter heading North.

Bike: For the bicycling enthusiast you can take the eight hour ride North via the Lakefront, North Shore Channel, Robert McClorey, and Oakleaf trails. This is not for the faint of heart – so please research the ride before taking off. The Wisconsin Bicycle Routes website provides some great information on how to take the trails. And then there’s always the newly launched Google Bike Maps as an added resource.

Lodging

Couch Surfing: That’s right! There’s nothing more sustainable than crashing on someone’s couch! No daily cleaning, turn down services, and harsh chemicals. Check out couchsurfing.org for trustworthy hosts and more!

Eco Hotels: Are you too high maintenance for surfing? Then consider a green alternative – Hotel Metro. Milwaukee’s first eco-certified hotel boasts local foods, eco-friendly appliances, complimentary bicycle rentals, and a bio-diesel powered cab. Sound swanky? It is – and the rates show it!

Attractions

Milwaukee Art Museum: This museum stole our breath away! They have an absolutely incredible collection, beautiful architecture, and an eco-friendly cafe too! 700 Art Museum Drive

Future Green: The destination for sustainable housewares, fair-trade accessories, and organic body care. They even sell solar panels! 2352 S. Kinnickinnic

Sparrow Collective: Adorable handmade clothing, jewelry, and accessories! 2224 S. Kinnickinnic

Tip Top Atomic Shop: Affordable and fun vintage clothing store. 2343 S. Kinnickinnic

Milwaukee Public Market: One of my favorites! This incredible market boasts local foods and dining accommodations with a rustic charm! 400 North Water Street

Yellow Jacket Vintage: A Chicago transplant, this boutique has some incredible vintage finds. 1237 E. Brady

Project M Boutique: This newly opened handmade fashion boutique has indie designers, charm and affordable prices. 801 E Center Street

Riverwest Co-Op and Grocery Fresh locally grown foods and a scrumptious lunch cafe. 733 E Clarke Street

Chartreuse: Minimalist and modern eco clothing boutique. 1224 East Brady Stree

Is there something missing from our list? Tell us by leaving a comment!

I’ve been following news about the Haiti crisis on the BBC all week. Like many of you I want to help in any way possible.  I was brainstorming how to go about raising funds without having to simply ask for donations. So starting this weekend I am going to donate 50% of all my Pierogi Picnic purchases to the Red Cross Haiti Relief fund. Take a peek in my Etsy store and shop for a good cause this weekend!

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