Monthly Archives: January 2016

To Heat or Not To Heat

Posted on January 27, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

Maintain a constant indoor temperature and you’re heating not just your home but also the great outdoors. Heat is constantly lost, especially through doors and windows; the warmer it remains inside, the more heat escapes. It’s a law of thermodynamics, the same principle that makes tank water heaters less efficient than on-demand models.

This is why it takes less energy to reheat a house in a short time than to keep it warm all the time, and why energy-conservation organizations like the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy estimate a 2% savings on heating bills for each degree you lower the thermostat for eight hours at a time.

Washing Dishes – By Hand vs the Machine

Posted on January 14, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

Assuming that you use appropriate cycles and only run the machine when it’s full, the dishwasher wins. This is true even if you include the energy used in the production of the dishwasher in the first place.

To maximize the benefits, choose a model that will last and then look after it. Try to run it fully loaded, use the economy setting when possible and – for maximum green points – use the timer setting to run the dishwasher in the middle of the night. This way you’ll be using the grid at a time of low demand which means the least efficient and dirtiest power stations won’t be running, and as a result, each unit of power will have a slightly lower carbon footprint.

If you have to hand wash, please don’t let the water run.

From the Prairie to the Tundra – Take a vicarious journey!

Posted on January 13, 2016 by - Community Events, Member Events

Join fellow Defenders’ members on a cold February afternoon for a road trip from Illinois to the tundra! Defenders’ member, Neill Sachs, will be taking us vicariously on a journey that he and his wife, Margaret, took from Illinois to Alaska. Along the way they passed through several ecological zones – from prairies to mountains to boreal forests to tundra. Through wonderful photos Neill will take us along on this trip while discussing highlights of various environmental issues in each region.

The Membership Committee will be hosting this free event at the Soil and Water Conservation District Building on the corner of Dean St. and Hwy. 14 from 2 – 3:30 p.m. on February 21st. Cookies and warm drinks will be provided. RSVP’s at envirodefmc@gmail.com are not required, but would be welcomed to help us plan for refreshments. Hope you can join us for the trip!

 

ACTION ALERT!

Posted on January 7, 2016 by - Community Events

ACTION ALERT!

With the rising costs of electronic recycling and a limited labor force, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County (EDMC) may no longer be able to accept electronics at the monthly recycling drives.

Do you want a convenient, electronic recycling drop-off site in your city or township? Call your local government official!

A proposal to establish electronic recycling drop-off sites has been hand-delivered to your local representative. It needs your support! An electronic recycling drop-off site is an unrestricted place for residents of a municipality or township to responsibly dispose of all electronics (including TV’s).

These collection sites can be set up any way a municipality or township sees fit with costs possibly as low as $1 per household per month.

We need your support! Contact your local municipality or township official and ask them to provide a solution for electronic recycling:

Municipal representativehttp://bit.ly/CityVillageContact or

Township representative: http://bit.ly/TownshipContact

Easy Ways to Be Green in 2016

Posted on January 4, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

Share resources, reduce consumption, and be a good steward of the earth by practicing healthy habits and being an example for others to follow, including the kids.

  • Choose three food items and commit to buying them organic.
  • Make a change to natural skin moisturizers like coconut oil.
  • Trade your bottled water habit for an at-home filtering pitcher.
  • Brew your own Fair Trade coffee and carry your own cup.
  • Remember your reusable bags.
  • Turn off the water when you shave and brush your teeth.
  • Cut back on paper towels and use cloth napkins instead of paper.
  • Become a weekend vegetarian or a Monday night vegetarian.
  • Commit to learning more about green power:  solar and wind.
  • And don’t forget the kids!  Donate or consign toys and clothing they’ve outgrown.