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CHICAGO'S O'HARE AIRPORT GOES GREENER WITH THE WORLD'S FIRST VERTICAL FARM

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Published on Oct 18, 2011

Airports and fresh produce are traditionally not two things that go hand in hand. Between all the fast food joints, sustainable or locally grown food is not on the list of dining options in major travel hubs in the United States.

GOING GREEN TAKES OFF...

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport is looking to change that with the world's first vertical farming garden. Deputy Commissioner of Sustainability Amy Malick has helped make this possible.

"The garden came to be under Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino and she got the idea from a TV program that she saw."

It produces more than 40 types of pesticide free, organic vegetables and herbs for some of the airport's restaurants.

"Our passengers deserve more in the way of fresh and healthy food."

Habanero peppers, cilantro, thyme, oregano and green beans are just a few of the many crops that grow here. HMSHost Assistant General Manager Brad Maher explains how they can mature in as little as four weeks.

"We plant seedlings and how it works....So there's no soil involved in this."

Aeroponic gardening provides food year round and requires no weed pulling. Going green has not only taken off at the Chicago airport but right here on the Columbia College campus.

"We have a green roof on 33 East Congress and at the new MPC building on 16th and state."

Rooftop gardens and farms reduce energy consumption, reduce carbon emissions and provide sustainable food supplies for less.

"They do farm on them and can take things and eat. It's all wildflowers found in Illinois so that it's better for the environment and for the ecosystem."

Another way to help get greener, save money and conserve resources is to attend Columbia's sustainability meeting on Thursday, October 21st at the Conaway Center. There will be one from 10am --11:30am and another from 2pm- 3:30pm.

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