This page lists local and national resources that can help with recycling, upcycling, buying greener products or learning more about how to be greener.

Have a green resource that you’d like to add to the list? Email Ben.

CGTA Laundry List of Questions and Tips to Post at Your Theatre
Sustainable Alternatives to Lauan Plywood
Better Choices Quiz – An extremely useful tool in assessing the relative environmental friendliness of the products you use at your theatre. Developed by CGTA from the Mo’Olelo Scorecard.

COMPOSTING + FOOD

Chicago City Markets – Sell fresh seasonal produce, flowers, prepared foods, unique Chicago-made products and rare finds – at dozens of community markets in neighborhoods across Chicago.
City Farm Chicago –  Turning vacant lands in urban areas into vibrant organic farms using compost created through Resource Center’s compost collection service.
Collective Resource – Diverts thousands of pounds of waste by composting at your home, school, work place and more. Serving over 50 communities throughout Chicago and suburbs.
Green City Market – A nationally recognized marketplace model for distributing, promoting and educating about local sustainably-grown food.
Healthy Soil Compost – A hybrid hauling solution to organic waste. We partner with licensed organic recyclers to process local, organic waste back into nutrient-rich energy for increasing soil health and community urban farming.
Illinois Food Scrap Coalition – Advancing diversion and composting of organics in Illinois through advocacy, program implementation, market and business development, policy, and outreach.
The Urban Canopy Compost Club – Our mission is to grow food,  sell it to our neighborhoods and gather intentional compostables from neighbors to more grow more food in a locally, sustainable way.
WasteNot Compost – Located in Lincoln Square, WasteNot Compost is Chicago’s first zero-emissions compost collection service for homes and businesses.

ENERGY

Elevate Energy  – Offers programs that reduce costs, protect people and the environment, and ensure the benefits of clean and efficient energy use reach those who need them most, including free energy audits for non-profits.
ComEd Energy Assessments -​Save energy and money by taking advantage of their offerings and tools for your home and business.

REUSE + RECYCLING

City of Chicago Recycling Resources
Chicago Recycling Guide
Chicago Recycling Quiz
City of Chicago Blue Cart Recycling Program

Batteries
Battery Solutions – Recycle any Battery. Anywhere in North America. Every chemistry, every type, every volume, every battery ever made. Large and small
The Big Green Box – A nationwide program that offers companies, consumers, and other generators an easy, low cost way to recycle their batteries and electronics.

E-Waste and Printer Ink Cartridges
Office Depot – offers a range of options for recycling everyday office items like ink & toner cartridges, batteries, light bulbs and technology.
Staples – Recycle your old, unwanted technology at your local Staples® store. We’ll responsibly and securely recycle them at no cost to you — any brand, any condition, even if you purchased it somewhere else.

Materials
CGTA Facebook Group – Online group for Chicago theatre artists and theatres to seek or share set, prop or costume & other materials for reuse.
Chicago Creative Reuse Exchange – Committed to the creative reuse and redistribution of surplus materials for arts, non-profit, education in the Chicago-area.
Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse -Shop, donate, deconstruct, divert donated materials from renovation projects, new construction or basement cleaning projects.
Freecycle -A nationwide, online community of re-users. There is a Chicago chapter. You can acquire or divest all kinds of things FREE.
Habitat for Humanity Restores -Non-profit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price
Rebuilding Exchange -A non-profit social enterprise that diverts materials from landfills and makes them accessible for reuse through their retail warehouse.
Terracycle – Their purpose is to eliminate the idea of waste by creating national recycling systems for previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste.
Zealous Good – Connects people looking to donate items with non-profit organizations.

Bulbs
Bulbtronics – Source for lamps, LEDs, batteries and lighting-related and electrical products for the Stage/Studio

Corks
Cork Club – Objective is to grow wine cork recycling by collecting your corks and donating money to help preserve the Earth.
Recork – An alliance of businesses and individuals who work together to create environmental change by collecting and repurposing natural wine corks.

Program Books
Footlights – The in-theater program for more than 140 theatres in Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison. Program stock contains 10% post-consumer recycled fiber. It is part of FSC (Forest Stewardship Council – The independent assurance for responsible Forest Management)

Textiles
Chicago Textile Recycling – Provides textile recycling outlets and fundraising opportunities for area organizations, businesses and municipalities.
TDF Costume Collection – In operation for over 40 years, the Rental Program offers costume rentals to film, television, digital media, art, dance, theatre, and cultural productions.
ThredUp – They’ll pay you for your extra clothes or you can donate them and have the proceeds go to charity. What they can’t resell they send to a textile recycler.
Yerdle – Helps people give things away that they no longer want, particularly clothing. You earn credit that allows you to exchange items with other Yerdlers.

TRANSPORTATION

 Active Transportation Alliance – A coalition of people who are working to make biking, walking and transit safe and easy options for getting around Chicagoland.
Chicago Transit Authority – Chicago’s public transit system.
Divvy Bikes – Chicago’s bike-sharing program.
Ventra – Contactless and convenient way to pay for transit on CTA and PACE trains and buses.

GREEN THEATRE ORGANIZATIONS

Broadway Green Alliance – An industry-wide initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire theatre community and its patrons to implement environmentally friendlier practices on Broadway and beyond.
Julie’s Bicycle Sustainable Production Guide – London based charity that supports the creative community to act on climate change and environmental sustainability.
Materials for the Arts – New York’s premiere reuse center, providing a way for companies and individuals to donate unneeded supplies to thousands of nonprofit organizations with arts programming and public schools.
Philadelphia Green Theatre Alliance – An industry-wide initiative that educates, motivates, and inspires the entire Philadelphia theatre community and its patrons to adopt environmentally friendlier practices.

GREEN THEATRE REPORTS

Greening Chicago Theatres -Need, Existing Practices and the Possibility of a Chicago Green Theatre Alliance. A graduate thesis by Nan Zabriskie
London Green Theatre – The Green Theatre Programme for London is the Mayor’s response to the overwhelming concern of the theatre sector to reduce any negative impact on the environment.

LOCAL GREEN ORGANIZATIONS
Growing Home – Inspiring healthy living, economic opportunity, and community empowerment in Englewood
Plant Chicago – Equipping people and businesses with the tools to live more sustainably through community-driven, hands-on programs and innovative tech demonstration projects.
SCARCE -An environmental education non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable communities.
Sustain Chicago – Connecting residents with local resources to build a more sustainable Chicago.
Zero Landfill Chicago – Upcycling program held seasonally that supports the supply needs of local artists and arts educators while reducing pressure on local landfill capacity.
ZeroWaste Chicago – A grassroots environmental organization on a mission to connect Chicagoans with the resources they need to reduce the amount of trash they make.

NATIONAL GREEN ORGANIZATIONS
Earth 911 – A community that helps consumers adopt environmentally sound practices and drive impactful environmental changes.
Environmental Protection Agency – Mission is to protect human health and the environment.
Natural Resource Defense Council – Works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.