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Eco-conscious consumers beware: All sorts of companies slap a “green” label on their product or service and call themselves a “green business.” The financial industry is no different, with some banking conglomerates equating paperless statements with green banking. Such a bank, while commendable, is not necessarily green.

A true example of a green bank was formed 35 years ago in Chicago’s South Shore community. The Illinois Neighborhood Development Corporation (INDC) bought the South Shore National Bank, now called ShoreBank (www.sbk.com).

INDC became ShoreBank Corporation, America’s first community development and environmental bank holding company. It provides individuals and businesses in underserved urban neighborhoods with access to the resources that stimulate economic development, reduce energy consumption and serve as a catalyst for positive social change.

Brian Berg, vice president of marketing, says, “ShoreBank has invested more than $3 billion in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. It has created more than 11,000 jobs for residents and financed the renovation and purchase of more than 49,000 affordable housing residences.”

In 2006 ShoreBank opened a branch in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood, on Howard Street at California Avenue. Fast forward to the buzz on green-collar jobs and a company named Indie Energy, located in downtown Evanston. Indie Energy designs and installs geothermal-based clean-energy building systems that deliver dramatic energy savings, reduced carbon emissions and healthier indoor air.

One of its projects, Evanston’s Church Street Village town homes, was among the first planned unit developments to adopt geothermal technology for 100 percent of its heating and cooling energy. Indie Energy also did the Boocoo Cultural Center, where geothermal was chosen because it keeps operating costs low and helps promote the center’s sustainability mission.

In September 1995 another group of forward-thinking bankers opened First Bank & Trust in downtown Evanston. From its inception, the bank has forged a strong connection with the community.

“Each August we host an orientation luncheon for staff of School District 65,” said Jill Schoenwetter, vice president. “We offer mortgage assistance to the District’s staff so that more of them can afford to buy homes in Evanston.” The bank has “adopted” the District 65 Bessie Rhodes Magnet School in Skokie and provides financial support for the school’s activities.

“First Bank handled the construction loan for the JRC’s new synagogue,” said Ms. Schoenwetter. “The building earned LEED Certification at the Platinum Level, the highest level for green architecture.”

The bank’s not-for-profit account was developed to help community organizations achieve their goals. It clusters a number of services that meet the needs of associations, charities, schools and other non-profit organizations that need to keep their money working toward their programs. That translates into no monthly fees for a group’s corporate accounts, and also means salaried employees of a non-profit organization are eligible for traditional checking accounts with fees waived for basic service charges.

First Bank has a speakers’ bureau made up of bank officers who can talk to groups about identity theft, fraud protection, money management and other relevant topics. Three of the bank’s facilities offer the use of conference rooms to qualified community groups. Last, First Bank’s website, www.firstbt.com, features a Community Guide to which local non-profits are invited to post their events to reach a wider audience.

Green is much more than a color; it is an attitude. When choosing a bank for a loan, a checking or savings account or another financial need, think “community” and know there are two nearby banks that practice green values.

Contact Eco Gal at ecogal247@yahoo.com or info@evanstonroundtable.com.

By Mayre Press

Eco-conscious consumers beware: All sorts of companies slap a “green” label on their product or service and call themselves a “green business.” The financial industry is no different, with some banking conglomerates equating paperless statements with green banking. Such a bank, while commendable, is not necessarily green.

A true example of a green bank was formed 35 years ago in Chicago’s South Shore community. The Illinois Neighborhood Development Corporation (INDC) bought the South Shore National Bank, now called ShoreBank (www.sbk.com).

INDC became ShoreBank Corporation, America’s first community development and environmental bank holding company. It provides individuals and businesses in underserved urban neighborhoods with access to the resources that stimulate economic development, reduce energy consumption and serve as a catalyst for positive social change.

Jeff Berg, vice president of marketing, says, “ShoreBank has invested more than $3 billion in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. It has created more than 11,000 jobs for residents and financed the renovation and purchase of more than 49,000 affordable housing residences.”

In 2006 ShoreBank opened a branch in Chicago’s West Ridge neighborhood, on Howard Street at California Avenue. Fast forward to the buzz on green-collar jobs and a company named Indie Energy, located in downtown Evanston. Indie Energy designs and installs geothermal-based clean-energy building systems that deliver dramatic energy savings, reduced carbon emissions and healthier indoor air.

One of its projects, Evanston’s Church Street Village town homes, was among the first planned unit developments to adopt geothermal technology for 100 percent of its heating and cooling energy. Indie Energy also did the Boocoo Cultural Center, where geothermal was chosen because it keeps operating costs low and helps promote the center’s sustainability mission.

In September 1995 another group of forward-thinking bankers opened First Bank & Trust in downtown Evanston. From its inception, the bank has forged a strong connection with the community.

“Each August we host an orientation luncheon for staff of School District 65,” said Jill Schoenwetter, vice president. “We offer mortgage assistance to the District’s staff so that more of them can afford to buy homes in Evanston.” The bank has “adopted” the District 65 Bessie Rhodes Magnet School in Skokie and provides financial support for the school’s activities.

“First Bank handled the construction loan for the JRC’s new synagogue,” said Ms. Schoenwetter. “The building earned LEED Certification at the Platinum Level, the highest level for green architecture.”

The bank’s not-for-profit account was developed to help community organizations achieve their goals. It clusters a number of services that meet the needs of associations, charities, schools and other non-profit organizations that need to keep their money working toward their programs. That translates into no monthly fees for a group’s corporate accounts, and also means salaried employees of a non-profit organization are eligible for traditional checking accounts with fees waived for basic service charges.

First Bank has a speakers’ bureau made up of bank officers who can talk to groups about identity theft, fraud protection, money management and other relevant topics. Three of the bank’s facilities offer the use of conference rooms to qualified community groups. Last, First Bank’s website, www.firstbt.com, features a Community Guide to which local non-profits are invited to post their events to reach a wider audience.

Green is much more than a color; it is an attitude. When choosing a bank for a loan, a checking or savings account or another financial need, think “community” and know there are two nearby banks that practice green values.

Contact Eco Gal at ecogal247@yahoo.com or info@evanstonroundtable.com.

 

Free Bulk Trash
Pickup Days

The City offers the free removal of six cubic yards of bulk garbage twice per year.

The following Fridays are the bulk-pickup days for Spring: If your regular pickup is Monday, the bulk pick up will be April 10; if your regular pickup is Tuesday, the bulk pick up will be April 17; if your regular pickup is Wednesday, the bulk pick up will be April 24; and if your regular pickup is Thursday, the bulk pickup will bse May 1.

All trash must be out by 7 a.m.; City crews will not return for late set-outs. If crews are unable to complete routes on Fridays, collection will continue on Saturdays. Crews will only remove bulk items; no garbage carts will be emptied. Citizens with larger debris removal needs can call the City to request a special pickup at 847-866-2940. This alternative involves a charge.

Bulk trash guidelines:

• Aggregate bulk must be less than 6 cubic yards per household; roughly equivalent to two couches OR four chairs OR one mattress and box spring, OR 25 medium garbage bags. Quantities that exceed six cubic yards will be tagged for a special pickup and a fee will be assessed.

• Bulk must be placed out in an orderly fashion, i.e. bagged, contained or bundled, no loose garbage. Crews cannot go on private property. No hazardous materials, such as batteries, gas, oil, asbestos, medical wastes or paint will be picked up.

• Glass should be broken up, boxed, taped and labeled as glass.

• Trash must be placed on the alley line or parkway. Crews will not remove items from private property.

• Absolutely no construction material will be picked up.

• No tires or appliances will be picked up. Please call the Department of Streets & Sanitation, 847-866-2940, to arrange for the free removal of these items.