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Sustainable DuPage County

Earth Charter

Start by opening your lab book to exercise 30, and skim the directions from page 245-46.   Now, take a look at the Earth Charter initiative.  What guidelines resonate most with you? 

County Data Sources

Now that you've read the Earth Charter Initiative, think about changes the county might be able to make to become more sustainable. Want to investigate some data? The following sources provide some clues that might direct your research:

US Department of Energy: SLED (Stats and Local Energy Data)
This site provides detailed information about energy usage, talks about buildings and efficiencies, renewable power, transportation, etc. You can look up a few cities in DuPage County by zipcode and see what recommendations the Department of Energy might have for the county.

Google Maps will show you a good physical layout of the county, from greenspace to public transportation options to whatever else you might be able to imagine.

Data USA will provide county-level data about demographics such as income, housing, and health. This database draws upon census data and was constructed by MIT.

The Chicago Metropolitan Area for Planning has a lot of good county-level data that you can use to help your county sustainability plan.

The Chicago Tribune Online can also give you clues about local news stories that have run about your topic.

You can also take a moment to look at the DuPage County Government Center Sustainability Best Practices Guide.

Find Solutions

Come across some solutions for your problem in buried in the data you just found? Great! Now it's time to start testing those solutions against research.

On the other hand, if you're not sure where to start to find solutions, start with the DuPage County Government Center Sustainability Best Practices Guide.

Still not sure? Google might be one of your best bets to thinking through the different solutions you can discuss,

  • For example, googling your topic and nonprofit should often bring up a range of groups already working on your issue that you can promote. 
  • You can also try googling your topic and foundation or your topic and grant to see what philanthropic groups may already be tackling your project.
  • Also, return to your original newspaper article: did the journalist who wrote the article highlight any solutions? 

Research Solutions: Find Articles

Now that you know which sustainability initiatives you'll be recommending for DuPage County, find an article that explains how at least one of your changes might make a difference. You'll want to find a source in one of the following databases:

Academic Search Complete has a mixture of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of subjects. You'll want to be sure that you're using a source appropriate for class when searching.

U.S. Major Dailies includes the full-text of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and the Wall Street Journal. It's worth looking for long news articles about your sustainability topic to see what solutions other areas are implementing.

Science Direct is a scholarly journal article database. Use Science Direct to find current research on your topic.

Having trouble reading a scholarly article? Take a look at How to Read a Research Study.

Finding Articles in Full-Text

Find an article that you'd like to read but don't know how to find the full-text?

Enter the Journal Title (not the article title) into the Journal Locator.


Look at the list of results that will tell you if the journal is in our databases, and if so, for what years. If the article you want is available, great! Click the link and search by article title. In the example, we have access to the title in a range of spaces, including print in the library.


If you don't have access to the title, head to the Interlibrary Loan request forms. Copy and paste info about your article into the form and then fill out your contact information. Usually you will get an email with a link to the article in about 5 days.

Confused? Check out this video that shows you how to check to see if an article is in our databases.

CSE Style

First of all, we have a copy of Scientific Style and Format: The CSE Manual for Authors, Editors, and Publishers in the library. You'll want to head to the downstairs reference desk (2nd floor, SRC, to request a copy).

There are also many websites which will help you to format your citations in CSE style. Here are some of the best:

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