Elise Zelechowski

What does sustainability mean to you?

Any system, neighborhood or community that has the necessary resources to thrive today and in the future.

What has been your greatest experience working towards a more sustainable Chicago?

Being part of the founding team of the Rebuilding Exchange was one of the most impactful experiences of my life. Since we started the organization 9 years ago, the community around the Rebuilding Exchange has flourished and the local reuse economy has grown as a result. Today, we have a 25,000 square foot warehouse on Webster Avenue, workshops for adults, kids, and building industry professionals, a line of reclaimed furniture – RX Made, and a job-training program for people with barriers to employment. You can see building material reuse in action all over the city, from park benches to patio planters.