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the magic of making light up the lake carbon neutral 1

Nov. 26, 2021

The Magic of Making Light Up The Lake Carbon Neutral

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If you haven’t put a visit to Navy Pier’s Light Up the Lake on your calendar yet, here’s another reason to come out to the festivities. Green Mountain Energy will be making the entire event 100% carbon neutral, as well as sponsoring the event’s Magical Light Garden. This wonderous display features the area’s largest indoor light show and boasts a 40-foot tree, 60-foot light tunnel and oversized sculptures — all lit by more than 600,000 LED lights!

As a carbon neutral company that powers homes and businesses with 100% clean electricity, Green Mountain walks the walk when it comes to protecting the planet. They’ll be purchasing renewable energy credits to offset ALL of Light Up the Lake’s electricity usage for the entire length of the event. With a carbon footprint of zero, the holidays at Navy Pier just got a lot more eco-friendly.

Creating a carbon neutral event perfectly aligns with Navy Pier’s ongoing 30-year “Sustainable Master Plan.” In 2020, Navy Pier was awarded Silver Certification by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). In addition to building green, Navy Pier is dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint with environment-friendly tools and practices focused on water, waste, transportation, and of course, energy. Some major goals of the plan have already been achieved, such as using reclaimed wood and steel for seating areas, installing a new stormwater management system with underground cisterns, and creating the urban oasis that is Polk Bros Park.

You can get in on the sustainable action, too, this holiday season. Here are a few simple green-living tips to try at home:

  1. Cook with care. Use kitchen appliances that don’t consume a lot of energy. Microwaves, air fryers, slow cookers and pressure cookers all use small amounts of energy, compared to ovens and stovetops.
  2. Light with less. Holiday lights with LEDs use a fraction of the electricity that traditional incandescent light strands do, which shrinks your carbon footprint. A quality strand of LEDs should last for several years and will provide an eco-friendlier option for your festive décor.
  3. Heat with intention. Turning your thermostat down 2° can conserve energy and help you save on your electricity bill — without sacrificing your comfort. (We think it also makes snuggling up with a nice, warm blanket even more satisfying.)
  4. Gift with purpose. Think about how each holiday gift you give affects the planet. Consumable items, experience gifts and energy-efficient technology — from smart plugs to Energy Star® appliances — will delight your loved ones and have eco-friendly components.
  5. Wrap with reusables. Instead of single-use wrapping paper (which often can’t even be recycled), switch to items like tins, cloth totes, decorative boxes and gift bags, which can all be reused many times over. For even more sustainability, you can upcycle old greeting cards into unique (and free) gift tags.

Want to know one of the easiest ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Choose electricity that comes from clean, renewable sources like the wind or the sun to power your home — no equipment or installation required. Green Mountain Energy offers 100% renewable energy plans for Illinois residents who want to do their part to create a brighter tomorrow. Shop for plans >

We can’t wait for you to join us at the zero-emissions Light Up the Lake and see the impressive Magical Light Garden presented by Green Mountain Energy. The family-friendly event runs November 26 through January 2 at Chicago’s iconic Navy Pier. See you there!


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