Eco-Friendly Chicago Venues

Happy Earth Day to you! Actually, every day is Earth Day at EC. We’ve been working our tails off to add to and improve our sustainability practices. Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint, as a business, and act as an inspiration for other events vendors in the hospitality industry. We offer compostable serveware and utensils for drop-offs, all of our coffee is certified fair-trade, and we’re all about buying locally and eating in-season. Read more about our mission to reduce our carbon footprint through sustainable practices here. Here are a few eco-friendly Chicago venues we love working with. Let’s go green together!

Recognized as Chicago’s most sustainable wedding venue (and certified by the Green Wedding Alliance), Greenhouse Loft is at the top of our eco-friendly venues list. Located in historic Logan Square, the space is located in a Platinum LEED-certified building, where waste reduction is paramount. The loft features floor-to-ceiling windows, taking advantage of natural light and reducing electric use. Greenhouse Loft’s green practices and amenities include:

  • On-site compost and recycling systems
  • On-site co-op vegetable garden
  • Use of non-plastic utensils
  • Use of non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning supplies

Since 2002, Catalyst Ranch has housed some of the most unique meeting and event spaces in the Chicagoland area. The founders of Catalyst Ranch are as dedicated to designing creative spaces for creative folks, and they understand the importance of making those spaces sustainable. The building uses only LED lighting, and all unserved event food is donated to Pacific Garden Mission, the oldest homeless shelter in Chicago. Other green initiatives include:

  • Use of biodegradable serveware—no plastic or styrofoam allowed
  • Use of energy-efficient LED lighting
  • In-house composting, which is donated to the Pacific Garden Mission farm
  • Furnished almost entirely with vintage or recycled furniture

Lincoln Park Zoo is so much more than a menagerie—with its sprawling lakeside prairie ecosystem, the zoo has been working to protect and preserve at-risk plant and animal species native to the area for over three decades. Nestled into the property is beautiful and romantic Prairie-School-style venue Café Brauer. Lincoln Park Zoo’s conservation efforts include:

  • Establishing wildlife biodiversity monitoring stations across the city and suburbs
  • Maintaining several acres of restored prairie
  • Maintaining a free, non-fishing nature boardwalk for wildlife education and appreciation
  • Evaluating the impact of zoo programs on animal welfare at Lincoln Park Zoo

Loft on Lake is one of Chicago’s premiere loft venues. The space is notable for its big, bright overhead skylight, which bathes the loft in warm sunlight for hours, allowing clients the option of going electric-free during that time. The Loft is conveniently located just off of a CTA train line, and it encourages guests to take advantage of public transit. Other green practices include:

  • Recycling any plastics and metals left over from events
  • Repurposing environmentally-safe products from events
  • Hosting the Great Wedding Recyclery
  • Conserving resources with the light and warmth of the skylight