Sustainable Return is divided into six categories: Water, Air, Land, Wildlife, Lifestyle and Special Events.
It has a dual function of increasing awareness
and creating a format for student body at large to jointly volunteer
for environmental causes in the name of the school.
Tai Chi Chuan has its historic origins based in part on ancient Taoist philosophy and longevity practices. Taoism maintains that there is no separation between celestial beings (all that is above), earth (all that is below) and humanity, known collectively as The Three Treasures.
Join us at the Great Lakes Bioneers Chicago conference on November 2nd and learn how to better harmonize your internal world with the natural external world around you. Explore how to see yourself as a modern-day steward, returning to a sustainable lifestyle that values and takes into account all strands to the web of life.
With Elizabeth Wenscott
SATURDAY, November 2, 2013
check schedule for time
For those of you who don't know, water shortages will be one of our biggest concerns in the near future.
Quartet of Volunteers
Alarmed after watching the movie FLOW, four staff members of the Tai Chi Center gathered around the fire (literally) for the first of a series of meetings on water, with the goal of forming a volunteer group. The focus and efforts of this group will become one even as our reasons for doing so are varied.
The Great Lakes are the largest body of fresh water on surface of the earth. We intend to joyfully and jointly volunteer our time and efforts protecting the health of the water in the Great Lakes, as we live, work and practice tai chi within the watershed of Lake Michigan.
We are also interested in volunteering in the care of the Chicago River.
As Hsu Fun-Yuen would say, "One month breathing mountain air equals one year in the city, one day breathing mountain air equals one month in the city, one hour breathing mountain air equals one week in the city, and one minute of mountain air is not enough to live on."
Oxygen is required for the biochemical reactions in the body that provide energy.
Without energy to power the brain and other organs the body dies.
In July of 2008, Elizabeth Wenscott and 6 student members filmed the first half of Tai Chi Chuan in collaboration with 350 whose mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis--to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.
7 people x 50 breaths each (first half of the Tai Chi form) = 350 breaths in total.
350 breaths = only 8 minutes!
350 is the number that leading scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide--measured in "Parts Per Million" in our atmosphere. 350 PPM--it's the number humanity needs to get back to as soon as possible to avoid runaway climate change.
Currently we are at 390.18 Parts Per Million
In 2009, Don Tomei, and Elizabeth Wenscott of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago was invited to participate in Chicago's Carbon Day Festival. The below film was created as a way to express the idea that the ancient art of Tai Chi and Qigong, as a form of exercise, have always had a low environmental impact.
Three Trees Tai Chi
Coming soon. Until then here are some interesting facts about Trees
The Prairie Restoration Project
Prairie restoration is part of the schools ongoing activities within the Sustainable Return. A native plants garden at Angelic Organics, and several sites under the stewardship of the North Branch Restoration Project are just a couple examples of sites we have volunteered for.
Is part of the Northcenter Neighborhood Association (working within the borders of Montrose to Addison and Ravenswood to the Chicago River), which is home to many progressive and forward-thinking families who are committed to lives that make a small footprint on the earth's resources. Elizabeth and Lisa head a team of environmentalist working on several initiatives as well as the Greening of Northcenter Neighborhood Blog that keeps the neighborhood informed on the various environmental efforts taking place within its borders and through out the city.
A few of the initiatives are:
The Green Lawn and Garden Initiative
The Parkway Corner Initiative
The Bee Trail Project
Earth Hour - Candle Power (part of the nationally recognized Earth Hour)
For more information about any of the above initiative, or would like to get involved, follow the links provided above.
Biodynamics for the Backard & Garden
Fall of 2010 and 2011, members of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago learned about the origin and fundamental principles of biodynamic agriculture in both theory and practice. Special emphasis was placed on practical applications for a smaller scale yard, garden or vegetable plot. Liquid treatment was created "stir" to fortify the soil and plants, an application was created to stimulate microbial activity in compost piles, and a poultice paste was created to strengthen and heal a 100 year-old horse chestnut tree. This workshop was lead by Ben Wilson.
WILDLIFE & HABITAT
The Bee Trail Project
In 2009, Elizabeth Wenscott and Lisa Hish from the Tai Chi Center of Chicago joined the growing movement of backyard beekeepers by keeping hives. The goal of the Bee Trail Project is to have as many interested households and gardens within the 3 mile radius from the hives make a changes that support the health of the honey bee.
Year of the Horse - Save the Wild Mustang
On February 8, 2014, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago celebrated the Year of the Horse with a fundraiser called Year of the Horse - Save the Wild Mustang a collaboration between the school and Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, in Hot Springs, SD.
The mission was to learn more about our wild horses, and to receive donated funds from anyone who loves and cares that he/she continues to have a place to live within its natural habitat.
$1,600 was raised to help protect the our wild mustangs!
Year of the Snake - Save the Snake
On February 9, 2013, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago celebrated the Year of the Snake with a fundraiser called Year of the Snake - Save the Snake a collaboration between the school and Midwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation.
The mission was to learn more about our local snakes, and to receive donated funds from anyone who loves and cares that he/she continues to have a place to live within its natural habitat.
Nearly $1,100 was raised to help protect the our local snakes!
Year of the Dragon - Save the Honey/Bee
In celebration of the Chinese Year Dragon (January 23, 2012 - February 9, 2013), the Tai Chi Center of Chicago raised funds to support it's friend the of Honey/Bee! The Chinese Dragon is a mythological creature dating back thousands of years and symbolizes happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. We chose the bee to take the place of our fundraising efforts because bees have a huge impact on our environments and lifestyle. Honeybees pollinate 30 percent of the world's crops and native bees pollinate 90 percent of our wild plants! This year TC3 will support two great organizations, Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary, Floyd VA and Northcenter Neighborhood Associations, Parkway Corner Initiative, Chicago IL.
The mission is to learn more about the both ethe honeybee and the native bees, and to receive donated funds from anyone who loves and cares that he/she continues to have a place to live within its natural habitat. All donated fund will go directly to the "Honey/Bee Fund," operated by Spikenard Farm and Honeybee Sanctuary and the Parkway Corner Initiatives.
$1,833 was raised to help protect the bees!
Year of the Rabbit - Save the Pygmy Rabbit
On February 5, 2011, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago celebrated the Year of the Rabbit with a fundraiser called Year of the Rabbit - Save the Pygmy Rabbit a collaboration between the school and Oregon Natural Desert Association.
The mission was to learn more about the gentle Pygmy Rabbit, and to receive donated funds from anyone who loves and cares that he/she continues to have a place to live within its natural habitat.
$1,200 was raised to help protect the unique habitat that the Pygmy Rabbit lives in!
Year of the Tiger - Save the Tiger
On February 20, 2010, the Tai Chi Center of Chicago celebrated the Year of the Tiger with a fundraiser called Year of the Tiger - Save the Tiger a collaboration between the school and Wildlife Conservation Society.
The mission was to learn more about the magnificent Amur tiger, and to receive donated funds from anyone who loves and cares that he/she continues to have a place to live within its natural habitat.
Nearly $1,500 was raised to help protect the Chinese Amure Tiger!
Bats (the night pollinators) & Chickens also coming soon.
Lincoln Square Community Garden
Early Spring of 2011, 8 members of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago became organic/biodynamic gardeners at the Lincoln Square Community Garden located at Western and Lawrence. Members learn about seeds, vegetables, companion planting, planting seasons, plant rotation and more!
Montrose Green Community Garden
Early Spring of 2012, 7 members of the Tai Chi Center of Chicago became volunteer partners with Northcenter Neighborhood Association's, Community Garden Initiative and the Peterson Garden Project by helping to build a 137 organic community garden, Montrose Green Community Garden located at Montrose and Ravenswood (next to the Montrose Brown Line stop). In addition to building beds, setting up the irrigation system, building a music stage and communication center, the school also took on the ongoing daily care of 20 Grow2Give beds (produce that is donated to the Common Pantry), 1 pollinator bed, 5 volunteer beds, and the Mayor of Chicago's bed (produce also donated to Common Pantry). Members learn about seeds, vegetables, companion planting, planting seasons, plant rotation and growing in bulk!
Community Supported Agriculture http://www.angelicorganics.com Community supported Illinois family farm, growning an astounding array of vegetables and herbs since 1990, farming in accordance with Biodynamic principles.
100% of our website host is powered by Certified Green Renewable Energy Sources.
has taken the initiative of going green by purchasing 100% green renewable energy to power our data center, web servers, office computers, laptops and office space. These energy sources supply HostPapa's entire equivalent energy consumption into the power-grid with certified 100% renewable green energy sources, such as wind and solar-powered energy.
20% of the schools electricity is Green Renewable Energy Sources.
In order to promote an increased usage of renewable energy and the development of renewable products, many states have adopted Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). An RPS is a statewide benchmark for the percentage of electricity that must come from green, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. Continued development of renewable resources is largely driven by the adoption of these standards. As many states continue to work toward green energy solutions and higher renewable standards, Viridian is proud to lead the way with our commitment to 20% green electricity above the RPS in all of our markets.
The school's Lexie Bruce rooftop garden
The school's rooftop garden is watered exclusively by the rainwater runoff captured by our rain barrel.