Earth Day celebration recognizes city's environmental leadership in Chigago (2)

11:29, April 23, 2010      

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In front of the booth of NGO Partners for Clean Air, an eye-catching "Super-man" generated some buzz on site. Chris Kostro proudly represents the Breathe Easy Man for the organization.

Kostro exclaimed, "I am the Breathe Easy Man who is dedicated to improving Chicago's air quality. We in Chicago have been fighting for a while to make our air as clean as possible. Everyone wants to breathe better air and want to be able to go out and run by the lake."

Right by the clean air booth is Energy Star. Audrie Washington, Energy Star program manager, was busy demonstrating to visitors how energy efficient the light bulbs from Energy Star can be. "By changing to energy efficient light bulbs, we can save tremendous amount of electricity," she explained.

During Thursday's celebration, Chicago students were awarded prizes for developing the most creative, 90-second videos that illustrate how they are taking part in one or more of the Plan's 35 mitigation or adaptation strategies.

"I am so proud of our students," said Suzanne Malec-McKenna, commissioner at Chicago Department of Environment. "Their participation in this important initiative helps to raise awareness about climate change and what they can do to protect our city and our planet."

Student submissions were reviewed by an elite panel of judges including Ginger Zee, meteorologist, NBC Chicago; Terri Hemmert, host of WXRT Radio; Andres Hernandez, director in art education program (MAAE) at the Art Institute of Chicago; Debbie Hammond, director of environmental health and safety, Abbott Fund; and Pete Leki, Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Conservation Club leader.

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