Environmental Improvements

Environmental Improvements

Our son is nonverbal, but by his body language, we gather that he is proud, happy, he feels accepted and important, and that he belongs to an extended family – Rimland. Rimland nurtures his self-esteem, structures his daily activities, and installs goals. He used to be crabby, but now we often see him smile.

— The Crisostomos Family

Environmental improvements to our Residential locations is also a commitment we make to our community

In the beginning of 2013 Rimland installed our second solar thermal system on one of our group homes in Evanston. Our first solar thermal system was installed on another group home in Evanston in the spring of 2013. As a non-for-profit organization Rimland is continuously seeking ways to conserve and reduce our energy output for the purpose of reducing our ecological footprint as well as a method of conserving costs. Rimland is a growing organization that has provided unique support to individuals with autism since 1970. Currently Rimland operates sixteen group homes. As we expand our organization we feel it is necessary to do our part to support an ecologically friendly environment for the community where we operate. The installation of both solar thermal systems was made possible through a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The Rotary Club of Evanston contributed towards the first solar thermal system while The Niles Township Government provided assistance for the second solar thermal system.

Our specific goals for this project are centered on reducing our energy output, providing practical information to local non-for-profit organizations regarding benefits of ecological conversion and seeking to save funds on our energy costs especially as time goes on and we continue to equip our homes with more energy saving products. Our goal is to make the group homes we operate as friendly to the environment as possible. We will install a solar thermal system or other type of solar environmentally friendly system in one of our group homes each year. Rimland is confident that our efforts will demonstrate the importance of energy conservation to other non-for-profit organizations supporting individuals through community integrated living arrangement services which is our key demographic; however, our project model would be applicable to any non-for-profit organization in both small and large settings.  Every six months Rimland will evaluate our energy bills from the previous years when the system was not installed to evaluate our cost savings and then each year to evaluate our continued cost savings. Since both systems were installed less than two years ago, we have seen a slight reduction in therms and costs on our energy bill. The solar hot water heater saves energy costs throughout the year but it is easier to notice during the summer months. We will continue to monitor the therms conserved and dollars saved and share our results.