The Environment



  • Global climate change and the Paris Accord
  • Evolution of clean energy technology and industry
  • Exploitation of public lands for natural resources
  • Recent legislation to remove protective regulations from the coal and petroleum industries


Meatless Monday

Want to eat healthier and save the planet, too? Join our Environmental Team’s Meatless Monday Initiative. To start you off, we have many tasty, family-tested recipes here.


ACE Focus on the Environment

Our May 2018 ACE meeting featured a Focus on the Environment, which included Jeff Gahris from the Sierra Club and the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Steve Jones and ACE member Pete Fales who retrofitted our meeting space to be more energy efficient, Tim Banas, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Harry Ohde of IBEW.  To see photos from that meeting, check out our Photo Gallery.

ACE Environmental Team Styrofoam Recycling Program


In 2018, ACE started to piggyback onto the existing Styrofoam recycling program at First Congregational United Church of Christ Naperville where we hold our monthly meetings.

What Can Be Recycled?

  • #6 food service foam (cups, to-go containers, egg cartons, ice chests, and meat trays), protective packaging foam (frequently used to protect electronics during shipping), and other foam with the #6 inside the chasing arrows triangle.
  • Food service containers must be clean and rinsed. No straws or lids.
  • No packing peanuts. Check with shipping businesses, they will usually be able to use them.
  • No foam insulation.
  • No #6 clear hard plastic.

Bring your cleaned and rinsed food service foam and/or packaging foam to the monthly ACE meetings in a paper or plastic bag.

A team of volunteers from ACE will work with the existing church recycling program to get your donation sorted and delivered to the Dart drop-off recycle location in North Aurora. Dart operates two wash and dry facilities that clean dirty foam so it can be recycled. Once processed, the material goes to a manufacturer that will use the material to make other materials, such as premium picture frames and crown moulding.


Illinois Clean Energy Bill Would Prevent Unprecedented Rate Hikes

David Kolata, executive director of the Illinois Citizens Utility Board, discusses how the Clean Energy Jobs Act could prevent a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ruling that would slam northern Illinois with up to $864 million a year in higher power bills. Read more here. Posted 3/12/20.

Rising Water, Rising Concern

Environmental concerns of flooding, more heavy downpours as the average temperatures rise in the Midwest. Read more of this article from the Chicago Tribune here. Posted 3/21/19.

Ruined Crops, salty soil: How rising seas are poisoning North Carolina’s farmland

The Washington Post reports on the affect of climate change on farmers in North Carolina. Read more here. Posted 3/21/19.

Toxin Hit Peak Levels Near Sterigenics

U.S. EPA recorded highest concentrations of cancer-causing gas in month before shutdown, according to this article from the Chicago Tribune. Posted 3/11/19.

Comprehensive Report on Public Health Impact of Sterigenics Plants in Willowbrook, Waukegan, and Gurnee 

Read about the EPA warning for exposure to ethylene oxide (EO), a chemical used to sterilize surgical instruments at local suburban plants. The Chicago Tribune article from 12/23/18 is posted here.

Casten Ousts Roskam on a Platform of Climate Change

Read about Democrat Sean Casten’s victory over Republican Peter Roskam in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District and how climate change played an integral part in his campaign here. ThinkProgress also weighs in on this issue in “Key Races Upend Conventional Wisdom, Reveal Climate Action is a Winning Issue.”

From Soot to Solar: The faster that Illinois can retire its aging, inefficient coal plants, the better

Clean energy is poised for growth in Illinois. Thanks to legislation passed in 2016, the state enjoys strong renewable energy policies, and boasts an enviable 4,464 megawatts of wind power—the sixth most in the nation. Click here to read a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Posted 10/25/18.

PBS News Hour presents a series on plastics in the environment 

Plastics are durable and last longer than a lifetime. That’s the problem according to a special PBS report. To see how plastics are impacting our environment for the very long term, click here. Posted 10/11/18.

Solar Farms Set to Sprout Up Around Illinois

Chicago Tribune reporter Robert Channick examines the “Battle for the Rural Farm.” Posted 7/31/18.

How Do You Know What’s Really Organic?

What’s the difference between organic, cage-free, and free range? This article in the Chicago Tribune by Debbie Carlson offers advice on how to be smart when buying organic products. Posted 7/31/18.

Two High School Students Want Baltimore to Get Over Plastic

The Sierra Club Magazine profiles two young environmentalists who are working on legislation to get rid of plastics in their area. Posted 7/31/18.

What’s the True Cost of Carbon in Our Environment?

Discover magazine discusses this issue here. Posted 7/31/18.

Energy Sprawl

Growing energy demand could threaten 20 percent of the world’s remaining natural land by 2030. But one TNC scientist has a vision for getting the energy we need without sacrificing nature. Read about this potential solution here. Posted 7/31/18.

Ten Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

ACE-Naperville’s Environmental Team offers ten strategies to make our planet more healthy. Click here to read the full article.

78 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump

The list in this New York Times article names dozens of rules Trump’s EPA is easing or getting rid of altogether, many of which benefit the fossil fuel industry. Posted 3/22/18.

‘This is among the most dangerous actions that the Trump EPA has taken yet against public health…’

According to the National Resource Defense Council, the EPA is to allow greatest rise of hazardous air pollutants in U.S. history. Read the entire statement here. Posted 1/29/18.

How a Coal Baron’s Wish List Became President Trump’s To-Do List

Ever wonder why Trump insists on trying to revitalize the coal industry? This New York Times article explains how the president seems to be following the coal industry’s blueprint. Posted 1/9/18.

Trump’s Energy Team Speaks Bluntly…and It Isn’t Good News for the Environment

Looks like they intend to make federal parks more friendly to oil-and-gas companies seeking to operate in federal lands and waters. Read more about it here. Posted 9/26/17.

National park ban saved 2m plastic bottles and still Trump reversed it

Ignoring environmentalists, the ban on water in plastic bottles in national parks ended in August. Here’s The Guardian article that discusses it. Posted 9/26/17.

In Illinois Lagging Economy, Clean Energy a Rare Bright Spot

Future energy jobs could boost Illinois’ economy in nearly every part of the state. Read more here. Posted 8/30/17.

Illinois Starting to See Benefits of New Energy Law

Illinois utilities and regulators are putting into motion plans for community solar programs under the state’s Future Energy Jobs Act that passed last year. Click here to read morePosted 8/30/17.

Al Gore’s Town Hall with Anderson Cooper on CNN 

If you missed it, click here to see the YouTube presentation of the CNN show in 11-15 minutes segments. In his response to one question, Mr. Gore cites and praises the message in Pope Francis’s encyclical on the care of our planet, Laudato si’ (May 24, 2015). The full text is available here.

JULY SPEAK OUT: Deregulation Plans Will Devastate the Environment

Dale Bryson, former senior manager of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, discusses the new White House EPA deregulation plans and the terrible impact they will have on the environment. Click here to read the post. Posted 7/24/17.

Talking about Climate Change with Al Gore

Top NY Times reporter, Coral Davenport, interviews Al Gore extensively on climate and energy.  Watch the video of the interview. Posted 7/19/17.

EPA Chief Scott Pruitt has worked to roll back regulations more widely than at any other time in the agency’s 47-year history.

This NY Times article explains that while Trump’s agenda is going nowhere, Scott Pruitt is moving effectively to dismantle the regulations and international agreements that are part of the Obama legacy. Read more by clicking on this link. Posted 7/1/17.


Read what former EPA senior manager Dale Bryson has to say about proposed cuts to that agency in Guest Speakers.


Click here to read the report from the New York Times. Posted 5/18/17.