Posted on December 7, 2016 by Christy - 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.
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.)
Woodstock, IL – October 21, 2016- On October 18th, The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County sent information regarding the dangers of coal tar sealants to over 250 establishments throughout McHenry County. Recipients included city/village leaders, Park, Road and School Districts, hospitals, libraries, daycare centers and theaters. Included in the information was a six-page factsheet from the United States Geological Survey, which concludes that coal tar sealants contain extremely high levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds (PAHs), “which have been known to cause cancer, mutations, birth defects or death in fish and other aquatic organisms.” Coal tar is a known human carcinogen and asphalt sealant, therefore, is recommended for sealing paved surfaces.
The Environmental Defenders strongly encourages that our communities cease the use of coal tar sealants on pavement and reports that eight municipal and township members of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) adopted a resolution in January 2016 committing to not purchase or apply coal tar or other high PAH sealants.
Founded in 1970, The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County is a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the environment in McHenry County.
The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County
110 S. Johnson Street, Suite 106
Woodstock, IL 60098.
www.mcdef.org. Like us on Facebook! Twitter
Posted on October 26, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Posted on October 24, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
One of the most important things you can do if you want a healthy natural world is to get out and vote for candidates that have strong environmental values and who will act on those values.
To accomplish the large goals of affecting change when it comes to industrial pollution, preservation of open space, keeping our waterways clear and clean, reducing the impact of fossil fuels, promoting clean energy, and so forth, it can’t be done without political will and strength.
To get help on who to vote for, seek out organizations such as the Sierra Club that endorse candidates with strong environmental records and values. For candidates in local races, have discussions with individuals and friends who are involved in local politics, research voting records and even simply ask the candidates about their positions.
Finally, share your opinion to support the issues and each other, and most certainly cast an informed vote in every election.
Posted on October 3, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
To raise the rate of what gets recycled at curbside, be careful not to contaminate the recyclables in your collection bin.
Here’s what most recycling companies will take for sure: newspapers, paper, magazines and cardboard; glass bottles and jars; plastic containers, such as from soft drinks, milk, ice-cream, margarine and yogurt; aluminum, such as soft drink cans and foil trays; and steel cans. Rinse all containers or wipe them out doing your best to make sure they are free of food.
What can be recycled or reused and but NOT into your curbside recycling bin: plastic bags; plastic wrap; shredded paper (this can go in your garden organics bin); clothes; electronics – anything that plugs in and uses energy, car parts and appliances, paint. Although these things can be recycled, they must go to a recycling center or collection drive for specific sorting and handling.
Toys, clothing, bedding, furniture and other usable stuff can be donated for another use. Don’t throw that stuff in any bin. Check out the McHenry County Green Guide and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County for more help.
Posted on September 26, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Use matches for campfires, candles, etc. over disposable plastic lighters which sit in landfills for years or get eaten by birds and animals leading to their death.
Buy boxes, not bottles of laundry detergent or other cleaners. Cardboard can be more easily recycled and made into more products than plastic.
Reuse glass and plastic containers. Instead of throwing them away or recycling food containers, reuse them for food storage,packed lunches and restaurant leftovers.
Lastly, don’t buy juice in a plastic bottle. Instead, make your own or simply eat fresh fruit. Not only does this cut down on plastic waste, but it’s also better for you because you’ll be getting more vitamins and antioxidants and less high fructose corn syrup.
For a healthier you and a healthier earth, reduce your plastic use.
Posted on September 1, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Check out these numbers:
Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, most of which are thrown away!
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.
A modern glass bottle takes 4 thousand years or more to decompose.
About one-third of an average landfill is made up of packaging material.
We toss out two billion plastic razors, a million and a half tons of paper towels, and 12 billion disposable diapers annually.
The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
Something to think about from the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.
Posted on August 24, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
If you have a bunch of incandescent bulbs you think you should use up before replacing them with LED, think again. Those old bulbs are not worth the electricity they’ll use, so dump ‘em. Unlike compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, they don’t contain hazardous materials. The bulb materials are so low in value that recycling doesn’t help.
One 60-watt incandescent bulb, in a typical 1,000-hour life span, would be responsible for emitting more than 40 pounds of carbon dioxide. And one would emit as much as 90 pounds in places that rely more heavily on coal to generate electricity. An LED producing about the same amount of light emits only a fourth as much CO2 and would be responsible for about just 10 pounds.
Cost-wise, incandescents burn out before you turn ‘em on.
Posted on August 24, 2016 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Need reasons to choose your own reusable bag?
On average, ONE supermarket goes through 60,500,000 paper bags per year!
The U.S. cuts down 14 million trees a year to supply the raw material to make paper shopping bags.
It takes 13% more energy to make a single paper bag than to make two plastic bags.
Paper bag production involves the use of chemicals and high temperatures, and it releases toxins into the atmosphere at nearly the same rate as plastic bag production.
Paper bags weigh almost ten times as much as plastic ones, meaning that more fuel is required to ship them to stores.
Despite being highly recyclable, only 20% of paper bags end up being recycled, while the rest share a fate with their plastic brethren.
Finally, the average reusable bag has a lifespan equal to that of more than 700 disposable bags. One person using reusable bags over their lifetime would remove more than 22,000 plastic bags from the environment. Isn’t that an even better incentive?