Monthly Archives: March 2016

Asbestos Awareness Week is April 1-7th.

Posted on March 31, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

Asbestos Awarenes WeekAsbestos Awareness Week is April 1-7th. The purpose of the week is to raise awareness of the prevalence of the mineral asbestos worldwide. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was used through the 1970’s in many consumer and commercial applications as an insulating material.

It is a known cause of an aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. While this mineral was found as dangerous and cancer-causing many years ago, there is still no global ban on its production and use. It can still be found in many older homes, buildings and antique consumer goods such as crockpots, hairdryers and even fake snow.

Asbestos becomes dangerous when it is airborne so if you think that there may be asbestos in your home, consult a professional before touching it. Take part by educating yourself and others about the dangers of exposure to asbestos.

For more information about asbestos and mesothelioma, visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance. We thank them for the graphic and info!

5k EcoRun

Posted on March 30, 2016 by - Community Events

Proceeds benefit McHenry County Conservation District, Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, and Woodstock Morning Rotary Foundation

Competitive and recreational participants welcome at this chip timed certified event.

Register online www.Rotaryecorun.org before April 20, $25 (includes T-shirt)

Race day check-in: 8:15–9:30 a.m.
Race start time: 10:00 a.m.
Rain or Shine! Awards in eight age bands immediately following race.

Parking and free shuttle from:
Faith Community United Church of Christ, 2023 IL Rt. 176, Crystal Lake

Earth Day Celebration 2016

Posted on March 30, 2016 by - Community Events

hosted by the Conservation District and Environmental Defenders of McHenry County

Saturday, April 23 • 11:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake

The event is held both indoors and out and will go on rain or shine!

Live Musical performances by: Ken Lonnquist with Dave Adler at 11:30am & 2:00pm

Guided Nature Hikes Games and CraftsPuppet ShowsOver 20 Environmental Exhibitors
Food & Beverage Vendors on site: Toasty Cheese & Pop’s Premier Kettle Corn; or bring your own “No waste” picnic lunch.
Carpool to the event with friends to enter the raffle for a free picnic shelter reservation.

HOUSEHOLD RECYCLING DROP OFF: A variety of items will be accepted for recycling including athletic shoes, batteries, fluorescent tubes and polystyrene foam. Check back prior to the event for a complete list of accepted items and any associated drop-off fees.

CCL’s 50-Letter Challenge

Posted on March 28, 2016 by - Community Events

The McHenry County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby is undertaking a 50-Letter Challenge where we are trying to get at least 50 letters to deliver to Rep. Randy Hultgren in April. These letters will express our appreciation for his years of service, but also express our concerns about climate change.

Below is a form letter that you are invited to write what you are most concerned about regarding climate change and return to the McHenry County Chapter of CCL.

You can do this by either printing out the letter, write your answer to the statement “I am concerned about climate change because… and then snail mail to EDMC, Or

You can print out the letter, write your answer to the statement, then scan your completed letter and email it back to EDMC.

Please help us achieve our goal of receiving and delivering at least 50 letters to Rep. Hultgren from his constituents who are concerned about climate change. Our goal is to complete the Challenge by Saturday, April 30.

If you have any questions, please let me know.   Thank you.

Pat Dieckhoff and Lois Johnson, Co-Liasions for Rep. Hultgren
McHenry Co. Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby
50-Letter Challenge

Healthy Candlelight

Posted on March 24, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

What could be better than candles burning on a cold winter’s night? I invite you to indulge yourself with soy or beeswax candles. But for indoor air quality, I suggest you avoid the easier-to-find paraffin variety.

Paraffin vs Soy or Beeswax:

Research at South Carolina State University in 2009 compared emissions from paraffin wax and soy candles, all of which were non-scented, non-pigmented and contained no dyes. Researchers explained that paraffin candles produced significantly more soot than others, and found that paraffin candles emitted sharp peaks of hazardous chemicals such as benzene and toluene. Soy and beeswax candles did not emit significant levels of these chemicals.

Fine Particulate Matter:

Fine particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air which are small enough to penetrate the respiratory system further than larger particles. Fuel combustion, including candle-burning, can create fine PM. The US EPA explains that a well-designed and maintained candle emits negligible fine PM because almost all the particles are consumed by the flame. But poor candle composition and design, wick length or drafty air can lead to smoldering, which can create PM beyond ambient air quality standards. In addition, blowing out candles can instantly create a large amount of PM. The EPA recommends extinguishing the flame with a wet cloth, scissors or a snuffer.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons:

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAs) are products of incomplete combustion. Indoor sources include candles and incense. A study by the Centers for Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research found that five-year old children exposed to high levels of PHAs scored 4 points lower on standardized intelligence tests than less exposed children.

Shopping:

Soy candles are easier to find these days, including at stores such as Target. Beeswax candles require a little more effort to find, but there are plenty of online sources. While beeswax candles tend to cost more than others, they burn much longer. And they emit a natural, warm honey smell. So, enjoy soy or beeswax candlelight tonight!

Birds on the Wing

Posted on March 24, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

Birds may be the most welcome harbingers of spring. Colorful to see, a delight to hear, birds lend grace and beauty to our surroundings and provide natural insect control. To make your residence or neighborhood an inviting sanctuary for birds, create places for them to nest, feed, drink, and wash. Add to your yard or landscape a birdhouse or two, feeders, and birdbaths.  Welcome spring with sights and sounds.  

Green Drinks – April 6, 2016

Posted on March 23, 2016 by - Community Events, In the News

Join us at April’s Green Drinks as we celebrate Earth Day! April 6 from 5-7, at Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen, 110 N Main Street in Crystal Lake. We’ll focus on trees and the services they provide for us. We’ll have some local tree seedlings free for the first folks who arrive, thanks to the Arbor Day Foundation and a generous donation.

Our program will be provided by Ed Weskerna, who is the District Manager of the McHenry – Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (MLSWCD). Ed attended Western Illinois University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy in 1978. Ed has been with the MLSWCD since March 1984.

SWCDs work to sustain natural resources to meet the needs of a growing population. For example, for the past 50+ years the McHenry –Lake SWCD has promoted trees as means of increasing wildlife habitat, reducing soil erosion by wind and water and conserving energy by promoting residential and farmstead windbreaks.

Green Drinks is sponsored by the Environmental Defenders and Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen.

Recycle Those Political Signs!

Posted on March 17, 2016 by - Community Events, Environmental Tips, In the News

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County is collecting political signs and sending them to New Vision Renewable energy, www.nvre.org.

New Vision Renewable Energy, a nonprofit organization based in Philippi, West Virginia., has distributed solar LED lights in over 28 countries around the world. Ruston Seaman, president and CEO of New Vision Renewable Energy, noted that the light panel is created, in part, from recycled political signs and assembled by disadvantaged students in West Virginia. We hope you will take a look at their website to get a more complete understanding of what New Vision Renewable Energy is about.

If you do not plan to re-use your signs following the election, we hope you will consider making them available to donate to this organization.

Your signs may be brought to the Defenders Recycling Drive in Woodstock on April 9, from 9 AM to Noon, at the Soil and Water Conservation District building, located at the southeast corner of Route 14 and Dean Street.

If that opportunity does not work for you, signs may be delivered to Chicago Logistic Service, 501 Davis Road, Elgin, Illinois, any time at the back of the building.

We will also be able to accept them at the Earth Day event, at Prairieview Education Center in Crystal Lake on April 23, from 11 AM to 4 PM.

Movie: “This Changes Everything”

Posted on March 15, 2016 by - Community Events

Mark your Calendars! EDMC is showing the documentary “This Changes Everything”, based on the book by Naomi Klein, at the MCC conference center on Wednesday, March 23 at 7pm. Doors open at 6:30.

“What if confronting the climate crisis is the best chance we’ll ever get to build a better world?

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.”

Read about the movie HERE.

A Green Tip for Election Time

Posted on March 10, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

As our population and industrial activities increase, more pressure is placed on the environment that sustains us. We must elect leaders who will ensure that development does not come at the expense of nature.  Translate your opinion into action and cast your vote for a candidate that has a healthy environment as a goal and priority in their campaign.

If a healthy environment is important to you, show it in your vote, talk about it, and make the environment a priority with your action.  Finally, support organizations that fight for policy that protect our natural world locally, regionally, nationally, worldly.