December 4, 2016 – Macro-recycling; Micro-universe

On The Mike Nowak Show this week we try to connect the environmental dots–to see how the Future Energy Jobs Bill, which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly this week, ties in to contamination in Chicago’s recycling blue carts and the recently passed plastic bag fee in Chicago. Mel Nickerson from the Illinois Recycling Association and Melanie Eckner from the Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network join us to add some clarity to these issues. Then friend of the show Michele Hoffman Trotter explains why the microuniverse of our oceans holds the key to life on this planet and how she is creating a ninety-minute film to present this story to the world.

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November 27, 2016 – The Good, the Bad & the Weird of Green Holiday Gifts

Just another public service day here at The Mike Nowak Show. Peggy Malecki and I start by giving you the lowdown on some of the best, strangest and most…uh…off-putting (I’m trying to be kind here) green holiday gift ideas we’ve found, with Michelle Byrne Walsh from Chicagoland Gardening Magazine. Then Scott Steward, director of the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, tells us why winter is still a great time to be viewing outdoor plants. And there’s great stuff happening at Conserve Lake County, where friend of the show Sarah Surroz recently became executive director. We expect great things and she’ll tell us all about it.

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November 20, 2016 – The Wilds of Chicago and of Chicago’s Farmers Markets

Mike MacDonald has spent the past year teaching people through photography and prose that the Chicago area has a lot more spectacular nature than they ever imagined. He comes to the studio to talk about his book, My Journey into the Wilds of Chicago. Then Elizabeth Lyon, manager of the Plant Chicago Farmer’s Market, Alex Poltorak, founder of The Urban Canopy, and others discuss how difficult it can be to run a successful farmers market.

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November 13, 2016 – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse, Rethink and Compost!

Sometimes shows come together almost by themselves. Today on The Mike Nowak Show we give you a perfect example. The program is about the stuff we make, the food we eat, and how we deal with all of it before, during and after its useful life. It features artist Mary Ellen Croteau, Food Tank president and founder Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank Summit participant Roger Thurow from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Kay McKeen from SCARCE and Erlene Howard from Collective Resource.

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November 6, 2016 – From Big Marsh, IL to Cannon Ball, ND to the Food Tank Summit

Today we celebrate more successes on Chicago’s southeast side with Tom Shepherd of the Southeast Environmental Task Force, who says that even more progress needs to be made. Environmental Reporter Steve Horn makes his first appearance on the show to talk about his investigative reports about the #NoDAPL movement in North Dakota. The Food Tank Summit comes to Chicago on November 16 and this is the first of two segments devoted to their mission of worldwide food system change.

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October 23, 2016 – Moms Clean Air Force; Smart Pharmaceutical Disposal

Peggy Malecki and I welcome a couple of women who are working to protect out clean air and water from different vantage points. Kelly Nichols is on the activist side, serving as the Illinois Field Organizer for the national non-profit, Moms Clean Air Force. Debra Shore is a commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, whose job is to help maintain the quality of our water. Today she follows up on a pending Cook County ordinance that would regulate the the disposal of pharmaceuticals in our water.

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October 16, 2016 – 30 Days of Doing; Friending 69,000 Acres

This morning on The Mike Nowak Show, Peggy Malecki and I go from food to field in the course of a couple of hours, while welcoming some old friends of the program. We start with LaManda Joy, Breanne Heath and Christina Bello from the Peterson Garden Project, who are here to explain what their “30 Days of Doing” is all about. Then Benjamin Cox of Friends of the Forest Preserves stops by to sing the praises of “our awesome conservation corps programs,” just part of the way that the organization protects, restores and promotes the world’s first and now largest forest preserve district

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