'Sustainable' screening leads couple to awareness then action

 After attending a Festival screening in 2017, Dennis and Linda Bonner signed up for a commercial composting program in their hometown. And later they became Festival donors. 

After attending a Festival screening in 2017, Dennis and Linda Bonner signed up for a commercial composting program in their hometown. And later they became Festival donors. 

Linda and Dennis Bonner attended a One Earth Film Festival screening for the first time in 2017. They saw the documentary “Sustainable,” which features central-Illinois farmer Marty Travis, at the Lake Theater in Oak Park. While they considered themselves to be pretty up-to-date on environmental topics in general, they were surprised to learn how much they didn’t know about the potential for successfully implementing sustainable farming practices.

“The biggest impact the film had on us was an appreciation of how organic farming could be done on a larger scale, profitably, and with a much greater positive impact on the environment,” said Dennis. “As a result, we are more aware of restaurants that are farm to table, and we try hard to support them whenever possible.”

They were also excited to meet with several Action Partners at the Festival, as well as fellow audience members and One Earth volunteers. After the Festival, they signed up for their town’s commercial composting program to help divert food waste from landfills.

“We have to work together to make change, and One Earth makes it easy to come together and make a difference. “

When it was time for their annual block party, the Bonners chose to work with Green Community Connections to make it a greener party. In addition to having compost and recycling bins out, party organizers encouraged neighbors to choose reusable tableware over the disposable kind. A representative from GCC also visited their block party and gave an interactive demonstration on monarch butterfly gardens, native landscaping and organic lawn care.  

“Being introduced to Green Community Connections and the One Earth Film Festival has been wonderful,” Linda said. “Their staff and volunteers are great to work with, and they’ve helped us think about changes we can easily make in our own lives to be more environmentally-friendly. The block party presentation has us changing our thinking about yard plantings and how they affect wildlife and the urban/suburban ecosystem.”

In November, the Bonners, who chose to contribute financially to the One Earth Film Festival following the 2017 season, attended an exclusive One Earth 2018 Season Kickoff event held at Tesla Chicago.

Dennis, whose career focused on automation and technology, was especially drawn to the Tesla concept. “We were really hoping they were handing out Teslas as party favors, but that wasn’t the case,” quipped Dennis.  “Still, we were excited to get to see the Teslas up close and learn about the amazing technology that’s out there today for cars and for solar roofs.”