Posts By: Christy

Greening at the office, continued

Posted on March 6, 2017 by - Environmental Tips

In many ways “going green,” or being sensitive to the use of our natural resources, is about efficiency. Being conscious about behaviors and having monitoring efforts in place help to hold us accountable.

Here are a few tips to put those ideas into action:

Update mailing lists to avoid sending out unnecessary letters, thus saving the paper, printing, and postage.

Monitor the use of supplies.

Keeping tabs on how much is being spent and used can make us more careful about what’s being wasted.

Set a company policy that disallows the use of screen savers, and set monitors to power off after a time.

It’s that easy.

Greening at the Office

Posted on February 27, 2017 by - Environmental Tips

Did you know that the average U.S. office worker goes through about 10,000 sheets of paper a year? 

Reduce that number by getting into the habit of printing on both sides of the paper.  Also, use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and print in draft mode whenever feasible.

Make it a policy to buy chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content. Also consider switching to a lighter stock of paper or alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, or kenaf.

Recycle toner and ink cartridges and buy remanufactured ones. According to Office Depot, each remanufactured toner cartridge “keeps approximately 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic out of landfills and conserves about a half gallon of oil.”

SILENT AUCTION ITEMS NEEDED FOR OUR ANNUAL MEETING!

Posted on January 13, 2017 by - Member Events

Silent Auction

We believe that ALL of our members are talented in some way! Maybe you are an artist, maybe you are a baker, or maybe you are just willing to offer a strong back. Over the years, the fundraising committee of the Defenders has asked for donations for the Silent Auction held as part of the Annual Meeting on March 12, and you have come through with some awesome pieces of art, glassware, books, crocheted blankets, etc.

This year we’d like to try and focus at least half of our offerings on services to encourage more interaction between our members and to reduce the amount of “stuff” in our lives.  We will still accept donations of plants, artwork, food items, etc. but we would like you to consider donating your time, experience, and/or knowledge as your donation.

Many of our members are not as strong as they used to be and would love to hire some “brawn” for an hour to complete a nagging project, or maybe they would bid on a couple of people to work together  on one of those projects! Your donation of time can be limited by weight restraints, location, time of year, etc.

For example, if you are an artist, you could donate a piece of your artwork, you could pair it with 30 minutes of your time to help the buyer find the best lighting in their house to hang the piece, or you could offer your artistic approach to decorating/ rearranging a room in their house, or even offer a 1-hour consultation and let them come up with a way to use your different perspective to their advantage.

If you are one of the people who could use the brawn, maybe you could offer a donation of fresh baked bread or pies for a special occasion, calligraphy for wedding invitations,  Sunday breakfast in your backyard, review of a will, or a shoreline fishing experience if you live along a river.

What about loaning out your guide services on the Nippersink since you have an extra kayak, driving to O’Hare or Midway for someone who has a small vehicle with no space for luggage, fixing one small electrical appliance to keep it out of the landfill, sewing on missing buttons or hemming a pair of pants, or knitting a pair of mittens to match their favorite coat?

The ideas are endless!  It’s possible that your donation will not be bid upon at this event but are appreciated nonetheless and maybe we will be able to come up with another way your skills can benefit the Defenders.

We would like to have all items and/or descriptions of services (and if you can create a flyer about your service donation, that would be great!) at the office by Monday, February 27th so the committee has time to organize.

Environmental Defenders’ to co-sponsor talk by local educator on a scientific expedition to Antarctica: HOMEWARD BOUND: Our Planet. In Your Hands.

Posted on January 4, 2017 by - Community Events, In the News, Member Events

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, McHenry County College Sustainability Center and…invite the public to a special presentation by Betty Trummel, retired District #47 educator, who has just returned from Antarctica.  On December 2, Betty and 75 other women in science from around the world set sail on a three-week science and leadership expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.  The expedition, called Homeward Bound, took place on board a ship named Ushuaia, named after its home port in Argentina.

Betty will provide us the exciting details about the challenges and rewards of participating in science research and expeditions in the Earth’s southernmost continent and ocean.  She will talk about the role of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) in working in this remote, harsh and unique environment and will also discuss how the Earth’s Polar regions are important areas for the study of climate change and how the ecosystems on both land and water are impacted by a warming Earth.  In addition, Betty will share a bit about her research and student trip to Arctic Svalbard this past summer.  She will have traveled from 79 degrees north to 65 degrees south in a matter of months!

When: Tuesday, January 24 at 7 PM.   Doors open at 6:30.

Where: Luecht Conference Center, McHenry County College, 8900 U.S. Highway 14 in Crystal Lake.  Event is free to the public, but donations appreciated.

It’s Not Too Late to Make a Year-End Charitable Contribution!

Posted on December 30, 2016 by - Community Events, In the News, Member Events

You can make a donation right now through PayPal or mail a check before the end of the year to:

EDMC
110 S Johnson St, Ste 106
Woodstock IL 60098
 

Greetings to all of you!  Whether you have been with us for decades, years or are new to our organization, know that each & every one of you is an essential part of the work & successes of the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.  You are the energy & force that keeps our organization going!  Thank you for all that you do.

As members & volunteers, you commit daily to protecting & preserving our natural world & educating our community about the value of a healthy environment.  Because of that commitment, we have an influential voice out there in McHenry County.  To take advantage of this, we have been busy growing & changing to make our efforts more impactful. In addition to the annual events that we do such as our Earth Day Celebration, documentary screenings, County Fair booth, It’s Our River Day, fundraising & member events, & many more, we have some big accomplishments to highlight.  We ask for your continued support through an end-of-the-year gift to help us keep building on these accomplishments.

  • Recycling: We organized drives around the county keeping tens of thousands of pounds of waste out of the landfills, including electronics.
  • Water & Natural Resources Protection: We planted hundreds of plants for monarchs & other pollinators this year at four sites in the county.  We also advocated for a Water Resources Specialist position at the County level & educated our governmental bodies about the dangers of coal tar sealants.
  • Styrofoam Recycling Project: The technology for Styrofoam recycling changed quickly, so our efforts had to shift quickly as well.  We began a crowd sourcing program to raise money to continue our successful Styrofoam recycling project.
  • The Green Spot: Our little store has done big things this year, collecting & reselling books to raise thousands of dollars to help keep our lights on & computers humming to make sure we can communicate our work to you & the public.
  • BYOBag: Our efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags has gone big too, helping 20 municipalities & the county spread the word about not using paper or plastic when shopping, & helping the City of Woodstock to celebrate BYOB for a whole year!
  • Strategic Planning: This year we wrote a 3-year Strategic Plan that includes the hiring of a Part-Time Executive Director.  This is a big step for our organization, as it will allow us to have someone specifically designated for public outreach.

As you plan for your year-end giving, please consider a generous donation to the Defenders.  We are asking for your financial help to move us along in our goals.  Please let your dollars follow your heart!

And to keep abreast of all that your donation is accomplishing, please “Like” us on Facebook, read our quarterly newsletter – “EarthConnect”, check out our eNews in your inbox every Wednesday, & visit our website at www.mcdef.org!

Surround yourself with the beauty of the winter night sky!

Posted on December 7, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

In the United States, December has more hours of darkness than any other month, and it’s also the most overcast time of year in many places, which means we may not see much of the sun. With the winter solstice on December 21, long nights will rule. So let’s embrace the darkness and take the opportunity to appreciate the night sky.

 

Protect this view by learning about light pollution, which is a side affect of industrial civilization and can have serious environmental consequences.  Value the dark sky, considering that if we don’t, there may one day be children who will never see the Milky Way.  

Climate Advocates to host viewing party for ‘Years of Living Dangerously’

Posted on November 29, 2016 by - Community Events, In the News, Member Events

On Thursday, December 8, Citizens’ Climate Lobby will be the focus of the acclaimed National Geographic series “Years of Living Dangerously,” which has helped to focus national attention on climate change and the organizations working on solutions that individuals, communities, companies, and governments can use to address it.

The McHenry County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby will celebrate this recognition with a public viewing party, to be held at McHenry County College, Room 166-7, from 7:00pm-9:00pm. The public is invited to the screening, which is offered free of charge.

“At a time when many Americans despair about the partisan gridlock in Washington, CCL volunteers provide hope by bringing Republicans and Democrats together to work on climate solutions,” said Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby. “This episode of ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ highlights the work of Jay Butera, one of those amazing volunteers.”

Citizens Climate Lobby works to build the political will for climate change solutions such as a national, revenue neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system. Since the organization’s 2007 founding, it has empowered ordinary citizens to hold direct meetings with congressional representatives, local officeholders and business leaders, and other influential stakeholders as they make the case for fair, effective climate action.

The episode will be preceded by a message from special guests, including members of the “Years of Living Dangerously” cast.

Local sponsors include Citizens’ Climate Lobby, the McHenry County College Sustainability Center, The McHenry County League of Women Voters, and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.

Members’ Night & Volunteer Appreciation – November 25

Posted on November 16, 2016 by - Member Events

The Environmental Defenders will once again welcome members for hot drinks and treats during the Woodstock “Lighting of the Square” event to kick off the holiday season on Friday, November 25, 2016.

All members are invited to stop in at the Defenders’ office, 110 S. Johnson Street on the Square, between 5:30 pm and 7 pm. Our Green Spot used books and more store will be open until 7 pm as well so you can come in and browse for early holiday shopping and gift ideas.

This is a members’ only event, but if you know others who would like to join, please bring them along and we can sign them up on the spot to join in on the fun.

This year, we will once again include a special Volunteer Appreciation Event during the open house. All those members who have volunteered during the year (Green Spot, tabling events, office help, recycling, clean-up events, book or garage sales, County Fair, etc.) are especially encouraged to stop in and collect a gift bag to thank you for all your service.

Join us for a festive evening!

Members’ Tour – Pleasant Valley Conservation Area

Posted on November 10, 2016 by - Member Events

pleasant-valley

You Are Invited!

Behind the Scenes Tour for Defenders’ members
Pleasant Valley Conservation Area
13315 Pleasant Valley Road, Woodstock

Sunday, November 13, 2-4 pm

Please join on this special tour for Defenders members. McHenry County Conservation District Ecologist John Peters and Site Steward Greg Rajsky will lead us on a tour of this beautiful 2000 acre site. Use the main parking lot next to the restrooms. We will meet there at 2 pm.

Please RSVP by email ASAP if you plan to join us so we can let John and Greg know how many will be on the tour.

DEFENDERS TO COLLECT POLITICAL SIGNS

Posted on November 8, 2016 by - Community Events, Environmental Tips, In the News

campaignsigns

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County is again collecting political signs.

If you do not plan to re-use your signs following the election, signs can be brought to the Defenders’ warehouse, care of Chicago Logistic Service, 501 Davis Road, Elgin, Illinois. There will be a bin at the back of the building, available any time. You can also bring them to the Defenders Recycling Drive in Woodstock on December 10, from 9am to noon, at the Soil and Water Conservation District building, 2222 S Dean Street. (southeast corner of Route 14 and Dean Street.)