Blogs & Videos: Sustainability

Two women wearing green shirts reaching into large blue recycling bins

No Napkin Left Behind: Why Zero Waste Matters

In December, we hosted the first-ever Chicago Community Climate Forum. This event, which took place on the eve of the North American Climate Summit, brought together nearly 1,500 community members and 70 organizations under one roof—an encouraging sign of Chicago’s commitment to take action against climate change.

Two images, one of a man with braids in a chef's coat plating several identical dishes; and several cobs of corn of different colors laid out flat

The Sioux Chef: Reinvigorating Indigenous Food Systems

Images: Sean Sherman by Rina Oh for the James Beard Foundation; corn cobs from Cottonwood Canyon, Utah, in the Museum's collection.  By Monica Rickert-Bolter, volunteer for the North American Anthropology Program People are growing more concerned with what they put into their bodies, and it’s not just because they’re trying to keep the pounds off. Americans constantly debate which foods should be restricted and which are acceptable to consume to remain healthy.

Recycling at The Field Museum

Perhaps you’ve noticed the blue recycling carts around The Field Museum, the customized recycling bins in the Field Bistro, Explorer Café and the Siragusa Center, and if you are here on Members' Nights, a variety of other recycling containers in the halls behind the scenes. If so, we hope you’ve found them easy to use! The Field Museum diverted 53% of its waste from landfills in 2016, with 31 tons of that amount being captured in the blue carts.

A bright orange and black butterfly on a purple flower with yellow center

Every Flower Counts: Five Reasons to Add Native Plants to Your Garden

There are easy and specific things everyone can do to help out the monarch butterfly and other native pollinators. One action you can take is to beautify your yard: plant native plants, especially milkweeds, in your garden or in containers.

A firefighter spreading controlled fire in a prairie with tall grass

Restoring Plants With Fire in Calumet

This post was written by Iza Redlinski, a Conservation Ecologist in the Keller Science Action Center. She participated in this recent prairie burn. You may not think of winter as a time to prepare for spring flowers, but our ecologists are working hard to hopefully see some native plants emerge in a few months! 

From Alaska to Argentina: ReCycling through the Americas

Cyclists Yana Melamed and Vyacheslav (Slav) Stoyanov, who hail from Bulgaria, will call North and South America home for the next two years as they make an exceptional journey from Alaska to Argentina. Slav originally conceptualized their campaign, Cycle 4 Recycle, to highlight the impact humans have on the Earth. The pair will travel 60,000-kilometers (38,000 miles) by bicycle through 26 countries in (they hope) 731 days. On their way, they will experience climates ranging from the bitter cold of the mountains to the damp heat of the rainforests.

Born from the Ashes

You know that part in Game of Thrones where the dragon eggs hatch when they’re put in fire? This is like that, but with a super-endangered flower. Illinois’s only native wildflower, the Kankakee mallow, has been missing from this state for years—it was presumed extinct in its native habitat. But this year, Field Museum scientists and volunteers from the Friends of Langham Island group were able to bring it back. Their secret? Setting fire to the ground where the plants once lived.

Paradise Lost is Found in the Mountains of Peru

  Nestled deep within the Escalera Mountains of Peru lies a piece of paradise that has awaited exploration by scientists for hundreds of years.  Until now, scientists have been unable to set foot there due to the severe and isolated terrain: cloud-shrouded cliffs rise out of the Amazonian lowlands far from the main Andean range, crisscrossed with mountain creeks and waterfalls topping out on 7,500-foot ridges.

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