Thank you Crystal Lake Trash Talk Participants

Thank you for coming to the Crystal Lake Trash Talk Event, Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Many great conversations took place regarding how to start a recycling program; what to research before starting a program; how to contact a hauler; what equipment is available and needed; and how to obtain additional recycling sources.

The Trash Talk events are an opportunity for businesses to sign up for a complimentary solid waste audit from the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and Ecossential Solutions ( or 847-651-0429).

Congratulations to the winners of the Get Started! Door Prize: Lloyd’s Paint & Paper Shop and our newest Environmental Defender Business Member, Countryside Flower Shop & Nursery!

Thank you to our Sponsors who made this event possible:

Downtown Crystal Lake / Main Street

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County

Ecossential Solutions, Inc.

Star 105.5 McHenry County

City of Crystal Lake, IL

McHenry County Department of Health

Chicago Logistic Service

Waste Management

Rock River Environmental Services

Duke’s Alehouse and Kitchen

Marvin’s Toy Store

Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters

Wickham Interiors Inc

Interstate All Battery Center of Fox River Valley

Akasha Yoga Center

Kitchen Outfitters

Material Girl Crystal Lake

We have created a survey and ask you to fill it out as soon as possible to help us decide how to best follow up with each of you,

Again, thank you all for participating in our event. We look forward to working with each of you to get recycling started at your business.

Movie Night: “Merchants of Doubt”


October 27th – Come join the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and the Citizens’ Climate Lobby as well as MCC’s Sustainability Center in a Movie Night. Doors will open at 6:30 for a 7:00 screening of “Merchants of Doubt” which covers how a group of scientists ran campaigns to deny established scientific fact for decades leading to a misunderstanding of some of the most pressing health and environmental issues of our time, including climate change! The screening will take place at MCC’s Luecht Conference Center.

Bakers Wanted!

You, too, can put your baking skills to good use! Once again our culinary creations will be used to raise much-needed funds for the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. For those of you new to this, a dedicated group of volunteers bake as many cookies, bar cookies, or brownies as they can and package them up for sale at the Pioneer Tree Farm, where other volunteers are busy serving cocoa and coffee and selling Christmas trees. Sales are always great so the more you bake, the more money is made. Start now and you can freeze your creations for when you don’t have time.
WHAT: Cookies, brownies, and bar cookies.
WHEN: November 27th, 28th & 29th (bring to office by 3 pm on 11/25)
December 5th & 6th (bring to office or Green Spot by 3 pm 12/4)
December 12th & 13th (bring to office or Green Spot by 3 pm 12/11)
HOW: Package ALL baked goods in $1 lots (2 cookies of 2” diameter or greater – 3 cookies if they are smaller, 2 small bite sized brownies or 2 small bite sized bar cookies).
For sanitary and display reasons, all must be covered in plastic. The zip lock type sandwich bags or snack bags work great. Regular plastic wrap comes undone when people root through the packages but the “press to seal” wrap works. Cookies must be packaged at home due to Health Department rules and should be labeled with the type (especially if they contain nuts) either with a slip of paper inside or write right on the package with a felt tip pen. Unfortunately, cupcakes and other frosted goods do not hold up well with people rummaging through the goods so please do not bake this type of product.
Please call or email the office to let us know which weekend you can provide goodies and where they will be delivered. This saves us time trying to call you at home and is very much appreciated. You can take the cookies straight to the Pioneer Tree farm (4614 Pioneer Road north of McHenry off Rt 31) or bring to the Defenders office or the Green Spot between 11am-3pm. If neither of these options work – Call to make other arrangements.

Bats are a Big Deal

Come October, many people start to think of bats as keeping company with witches and ghosts. But in reality, bats have a lot more to do with the foods of Halloween, like candy corn, than the spooky spirit of the holiday.

Bats provide important pest control services for many of our agricultural crops including one of Illinois’ most important crops, corn. A recent study funded by Bat Conservation International confirmed that bats play a significant role in combating corn crop pests, preventing more than $1 billion in crop damages worldwide every year.  Did you know that one little brown bat can eat 60 medium-sized moths or over 1000 mosquito-sized insects in one night?

Knowledge of how it all works together is important so we can encourage harmony and health in nature.  So this Halloween consider building a bat house or two, and hanging them at least 9 feet off the ground in a location that will get the morning sun.

Crystal Lake Talks Trash – a Community Recycling Event

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County and Teagen Andrews, Commercial Recycling Program Advocate from Ecossential Solutions Inc., are hosting Crystal Lake Talks Trash, a community event on the benefits of small business recycling.

Crystal Lake Talks Trash
October 20, 2015
Two sessions: 8:00 – 9:30 am & 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Crystal Lake City Hall
100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake IL 60014

These events will highlight strategies to help small- to medium-sized businesses save money with environmentally sound waste management practices. Recycling and reusing materials in a business is an easy way for business owners to cut waste management costs while benefiting the environment.

The branding company, Landor Associates, found that, “77% of consumers say it is important for companies to be socially responsible.” This social responsibility includes the company’s environmental impacts and the steps taken to minimize environmentally harmful operations.

These events are open to all businesses and residents of Crystal Lake and the surrounding communities. We will also be joined by Crystal Lake city officials and waste haulers for a wide-range of dialogue.

Small business owners interested in starting a recycling program will be provided with information on how their business can benefit as well as actionable information for starting a program! This includes the Defenders’ Small Business Recycling How-to Sheet and opportunities for Defenders’ business memberships. Business owners can also talk to a Sustainability Consultant from Ecossential Solutions Inc. for additional information on the pros and cons of commercial recycling.

What else is in store? A review of resources available to cut waste management costs for small- to medium-sized businesses, interaction time with Waste Management and MDC representatives regarding the actual costs of business recycling, community discussions on the benefits of commercial recycling, networking while enjoying food and beverages, and a free entry ticket to the Crystal Lake Small Business Drawing for each attendee.

Come celebrate Crystal Lake’s continued efforts to promote environmentally beneficial business and community goals with the Crystal Lake Talk Trash event!

Eco Friendly Bathroom Tips – or – Change Your Bathroom Habits

For fresh scents without chemical air fresheners, make your own spray in a a dark bottle from essential oils and water.

Use a washable shower curtain.  To clean simply toss into the washing machine with a cup of vinegar and some washing liquid or powder.  To get rid of tough scum, soak first with hot water and vinegar.  Vinegar is a natural mold killer especially when heated.

Use eco-friendly cloths made from natural fibers that are reusable, and invest in brushes and squeegees that are hard-wearing and can be used multiple times.

If you’re really serious about being environmentally conscious in your home, invest in a hand held steam cleaner, a chemical free way to remove built up grime without using harsh erosive products.

These tips help to reduce irritating chemicals in our home and on our skin.  Plus, they help to keep unnecessary packaging out of the waste stream.  They are just some small actions that add up over time.

“Merchants of Doubt” – movie screening

“Merchants of Doubt” covers how a group of scientists ran campaigns to deny established scientific fact for decades leading to a misunderstanding of some of the most pressing health and environmental issues of our time, including climate change.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015. Doors open at 6:30pm, screening begins at 7pm.

MCC’s Luecht Conference Center, 8900 US-14, Crystal Lake.

Make a Difference Day

On Saturday, October 24, you are invited to “make a difference” by helping with restoration efforts at The Defenders’ Kishwaukee headwaters property on Dean Street in Woodstock as part of the national “Make A Difference Day” celebration.

Volunteers will be removing invasive species and collecting trash around the perimeter of our property as well as the Soil and Water Conservation District property. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at noon.

Volunteers are asked to wear work clothes, gloves, and boots and meet at the Soil & Water Conservation District building at 2222 Dean Street (corner of Dean and Route 14).

All necessary equipment, water, and snacks will be provided. If you have any questions about this event, please contact the office.

Come help us make a positive difference in our environment and enjoy some time outdoors!

How to Green Your Cup of Joe

In the US, 83% of adults drink coffee, averaging three cups a day, or 587 million cups.

To “green” your coffee drinking, ditch the disposable cups.  Opt for a reusable mug.  Bonus points if you choose a mug made of ceramic or stainless steel instead of plastic.

Next, buy coffee that carries the fair trade certification.  That means in return for providing good working conditions and just wages, producers get paid more, and when farmers get paid more they will produce less and that means more land is preserved.

Choose 100% Arabica beans, which are shade grown.  That means the coffee comes from plantations with the tree canopy and associated biodiversity still intact.

Finally, cheap coffee might be less expensive, but the same can’t be said of its effects on farmers and the environment, which often take the brunt of the cost in the form of exploitation and deforestation. Shoulder some of the financial burden, and avoid buying coffee from inexpensive sources.