A Green Home Contest for the Midwest

A Green Home Contest for the Midwest

Springtime is the perfect time to go green, so Low Impact Living is very happy to announce a new green home contest for the Midwest. If you live within 300 miles of the Windy City and you live in a green home or want to make your current home greener, you’re eligible to compete. Low Impact Living and the Hotel InterContinental Chicago challenge you to make your home as green as you can!

We’re going to reward the greenest home and homeowners with a luxurious 3-night stay at the LEED-certified, greenest hotel in the Second City, the Hotel InterContinental. In addition, the winner will be treated to an eco-friendly stay in Chicago which includes tasty local cheeses and bio-dynamic wine at the adjoining ENO restaurant, a $50 gift certificate to the green clothing boutique Pivot and a gift from Chicago’s greenest boutique, Green Heart.  More on the hotel and the prizes in a minute!

Low Impact Living will identify the single family home (and its proud owners) that has the lowest Low Impact Living Index (calculated using our Environmental Impact Calculator), and we’re going to share with you what that family has done to get there. Don’t worry if you haven’t done big projects like installing solar panels or a wind turbine – as the calculator shows, many of the best green home projects are simple and inexpensive. We’ll show you how to identify projects to make your home more eco-friendly. The contest will close on June 15, 2009. So you have time to make green changes!

What you have to do to enter

1. Visit our Household Environmental Impact Calculator and calculate your base LILI (Low Impact Living Index). It will only take five-ten minutes to use the calculator and create an account.

2. Once you’ve entered all of your base inputs, move on to the “select projects” page of the calculator. Make sure you only check projects that you’ve finished (or will finish by June 15th) before you log out.

3. Make sure that you log out or save your profile before leaving — if you just move on to another web site without logging out, your inputs could be lost.

4. If you’ve already created an account through our calculator, then you need to return and, log in again. We’ve added some new features recently, and they won’t work unless you refresh your account.

5. We realize the calculator isn’t all-encompassing yet, so there may be projects that you’ve done that don’t show up. If this is true, send us an email at contest@lowimpactliving.com describing what you’ve done. Low Impact Living staffers will review your efforts and award up to a 5% additional deduction for compelling projects.

How we’ll select the winner

The contest closes on June 15, 2009, and we will announce the winner on July 1. This will give us time to check with the finalists to make sure that they’ve completed all of their checked projects. (Past entrants to our green home contests are not eligible.)

If you are a finalist (in our top 10 lowest LILI scores), we may ask you to verify that your projects are actually completed, via photos or receipts / invoices for work performed. We’ll also ask for your address (not to be published!) so that we can verify entered information about your home. If you’re a winner, then you have to be willing to let us share your projects and process with everyone via our blog, and to provide us with the photos and project descriptions necessary to do that. You’ll become a green star overnight!

What you could win!

The greenest homeowner will receive three nights at the luxe Hotel InterContinental in Chicago (valid until May 2010). Chicago’s only Green Seal certified and Energy Star rated hotel, the InterContinental is partially housed in a historic tower built in 1929 and overhauled in 2009 with state-of-the-art, energy-saving appliances and fixtures (talk about recycling!) Located on the city’s Magnificent Mile, the hotel is within walking distance of Lake Michigan, stores, the Loop, and the Art Institute. The hotel’s historic, junior Olympic size pool is recognized as one of the best indoor pools in the U.S. and is included in Chicago’s major architectural tours.

The InterContinental is continuously improving its environmental performance through the development and sharing of best practices, training and recognition of excellence. In addition to utilizing innovative technology to conserve energy as well as reducing and recycling the waste it produces, the property is also committed to promoting effective environmental management to its key vendors and contractors. In addition, the hotel is mindful of purchasing local products and eco-friendly products to reduce carbon emissions.

ENO, the InterContinental’s chic wine, cheese and chocolate lounge, boasts organic and biodynamic wines and local cheeses and chocolates. The winner will experience the unique and artisan offerings of this Second City favorite, merely a few steps from your room.

The winner will also receive a $50 gift card from Pivot Boutique, which opened in September 2007 and is Chicago’s first boutique devoted to eco-fashion. The store’s designers use organic or sustainable materials and processes to create chic clothing, accessories and gifts.

Finally, the prize-winner will also receive a specially-selected gift from Green Heart Shop, Chicago’s only non-profit, eco friendly, fair trade store.

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