Tips to Go Green

The Village of Winnetka’s Environmental and Forestry Commission (EFC) encourages residents to think and act in a “green” manner in order to reduce our environmental impact and plan for the future.

As part of the EFC’s environmental initiatives, the Tips To Go Green page was created as a resource and education tool for residents and visitors alike. On this page you will find collective tips and materials about methods to reduce consumption, promote recycling and encourage energy conservation. They are arranged by season as well as by topic.

  1. Go Green by Season
  2. Go Green by Topic


  • Install compact florescent light bulbs in your home as old incandescent bulbs burn out.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible to save money and energy on heating water.
  • Install a low-flow showerhead. Relatively inexpensive, it will reduce water consumption and quickly pay for itself.
  • Plant native plants in your yard that require minimal watering. Find out which plants occur naturally in our area (PDF) here.
  • Consider planting a garden in your backyard. Not only will this reduce resources used in food transportation, but provide you and your family with locally grown produce.
  • When possible, consider visiting your local farmers market for fresh produce. View local farmers' markets in the area.
  • As you are cleaning out your home, electronics can be recycled at the Public Works building.


  • Use re-usable water bottles whenever possible. Buying bottled water is not only expensive, but generates large amounts of waste.
  • Limit air conditioner use as much as possible. Instead, open multiple windows to increase airflow throughout your home to allow for a breeze.
  • Limit using a dryer to dry clothes. Instead use a drying rack or an outdoor clothes line.
  • If possible, walk or bike to work to reduce fuel consumption and improve your health. As a very bike friendly community, view the Winnetka Park District’s bike route map.
  • Reduce energy use and costs in your home, school, and office by air sealing and insulating, installing ENERGY STAR doors and windows, using lighting controls, and weather stripping doors and windows.
  • Reduce energy use and costs in your home, school, and office by turning off the lights, unplugging electronics, using LED lights (for the holidays and all-year round), and adjusting blinds and curtains.
  • Appliances and electronics draw power even when they are not on. Unplug these items when they are not in use to save electricity and money.
  • The sun should be the focus of temperature control in your residence throughout the year. Open your south-facing window coverings during winter days to bring free heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.
  • Use ceiling fans strategically to achieve better airflow. Counter-clockwise pushes hot air up in the summer and clockwise pushes hot air down in the winter. Use a low setting to push hot air back down gently.
  • If sealing your driveway, use non coal tar based sealants
  • Review the EFC's Stormwater Best Practices document for information on how to moderate the effects of stormwater during rainfall events.