Posted on May 13, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Did you know that all fertilizer applied by hired landscapers must be phosphorus-free unless you have a soil test showing phosphorus deficiency?
In Illinois, legislation was passed in 2011 to prevent its overuse. This was done because of concern for water quality, and the result of environmental studies showing that excess phosphorus and nitrogen are partly responsible for declining surface water quality. These nutrients have been linked to excessive seasonal algae growth in ponds streams and lakes. These blooms of algae can make the water smell and taste bad and decrease its recreational value. In severe cases, the algae deplete oxygen levels, which may kill fish.
Need more info? Check out the McHenry County Green Guide.
Posted on April 2, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Save water by turning off the lights when they are not needed. And here’s the facts on the why: Water is used in all forms of energy generation. It can take over 4 gallons of water to keep a 60-watt light bulb lit for 12 hours.
Do the same for other electronic devices and units as well. Unplug chargers too, especially when you leave for vacation or go for a short weekend jaunt and save even more water.
Every small effort helps. When added together, its the small things that make a big difference.
Posted on March 25, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Take it outside – Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home and gym exercise machines, take advantage of hiking and biking trails in your area. 100% free and always interesting! Check out the Rails-to-Trails TrailLink database to find the perfect outdoor trail in your area.
Just say no to one-time use plastic water bottles. Commit to using refillable water bottles for workouts and everyday hydration which means less waste in landfills and more money in your wallet. There are even self-filtering models.
This tip brought to you by the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County from Earth Share, a national non-profit dedicated to environmental works
Posted on March 18, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
It isn’t hard to understand the positive effects of sunshine on our mood. When the temperature warms and the spring sun starts to shine, we simply get happier, and that means healthier. Besides the sun helping with depression, here are a few other facts about the power of the sun that might be new to you:
-Sunlight lowers cholesterol. The sun converts high cholesterol in the blood into steroid hormones and the sex hormones we need for reproduction.
-The sun’s rays lower blood pressure. Even a single exposure significantly lowers blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
-Sunlight builds the immune system. The white blood cells, which increase with sun exposure, are called lymphocytes, and these play a major role in defending the body against infections.
Just keep in mind that exposure to the sun should be done SLOWLY! Build up your tolerance by taking in small bits of the sun each day. Happy Spring Everyone!
Posted on March 10, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
While we’ve been piling up the books and stuff during the winter months, as Spring approaches start making piles to de-clutter your home. Organize your thoughts by thinking about what to keep, donate, recycle and repair with the smallest pile being things to toss.
Start with a pile of reusable items, then make that phone call to get a pick up or put that stuff in your vehicle. Detour a routine travel route to pass your favorite donation center and make that drop off.
While spring may mean a fresh start, it doesn’t have to mean new stuff. If it’s not broken, why replace it? If you need to replace, replace with a quality item that has a long life. Spending a little more up front, sometimes means spending less later, and creating less waste for our landfills.
Posted on March 4, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Here’s a few ideas on how to be more comfortable in winter by reducing energy consumption and taking care of your well-being.
- First, stay active and social, and when you do go out, layer up with thin layers first.
- Be good to yourself by eating well. Bake and cook, then leave the oven door open.
- Enjoy a healthy hot drink like herbal teas or hot chocolates.
- Keep all doors closed to unused rooms, then light candles and snuggle up.
- Put down rugs and wear slippers or moccasins.
- Add Humidity. Use a humidifier, or simply leave the door open when you shower.
- Let the sun in during the day, and cover drafty windows at night.
- And, a new old idea that’s making a comeback, heat a water bottle to warm the foot of your bed before going to sleep.
Finally, start warm, and you will tend to stay warm. Happy Winter!
This tip brought to you by the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County. www.MCDEF.org.
Posted on February 5, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
USE ONE LESS PAPER NAPKIN
During an average year, an American uses approximately 2,200 napkins—around six each day. If everyone in the U.S. used one less napkin a day, more than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year. Better yet, use cloth napkins!
USE BOTH SIDES OF PAPER
American businesses throw away 21 million tons of paper every year, equal to 175 pounds per office worker. For a quick and easy way to halve this, set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). And when you’re finished with your documents, don’t forget to take them to the recycling bin.
You can reuse gift bags, bows and event paper, but you can also make something unique by using old maps, cloth or even newspaper. Flip a paper grocery bag inside out and give your child stamps or markers to create their own wrapping paper that’s environmentally friendly and extra special for the recipient.
Posted on January 28, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
Turn off your vehicle engine when parked for more than 30 seconds or waiting in lines or for passengers.
WHY? Idling continues to produce air pollution, smog and global warming, besides being harmful to health. It is more gas-efficient to turn off most warmed-up vehicles than to idle for more than 30 seconds.
Idling exhaust is especially hazardous to children around schools, as parents and buses wait for kids. Carbon monoxide reduces the ability of blood to bring oxygen to body cells and tissues. Children’s asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust.
HOW? A brief warm-up period upon starting a cold car may be necessary, (1-2 mins.) but idling at every waiting location is not. To reduce air quality and health problems, it is recommended that you idle your vehicle no longer than 30 seconds — not only around schools, but everywhere you drive. For more information on cars and buses, see EPA’s anti-idling Web site.
Posted on January 22, 2015 by Christy - Environmental Tips
For Dr. King, basic civil rights went well past freedom, equality, and the end of racial segregation. He was particularly adamant about environmental justice – that everyone has the right to clean air, water, and soil, as well as a right to live in healthy and nurturing natural environments. He believed that urban planning, parks and recreation, schools and education, and democratic decision making are all important civil rights issues. In essence, fair treatment of a person’s environment is tantamount to fair and equal treatment of that person. One cannot be true without the other.
This idea is universal, that all things are equal and important. Take this quote by the great naturalist John Muir. “ When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
“You go into the kitchen to drink your coffee for the morning, and that’s poured into your cup by a South American . . . or maybe you’re desirous of having cocoa for breakfast, and that’s poured into your cup by a West African. And then you reach over for your toast, and that’s given to you at the hands of an English-speaking farmer, not to mention the baker. And before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on more than half the world.” –
Dr. Martin Luther King – 1967 Christmas sermon on peace.
Read more: www.care2.com/greenliving
Posted on December 9, 2014 by Christy - Environmental Tips
The holidays are hard on the environment, but they don’t have to be! There are many things you can do (or not do) to lighten your impact on our planet. Click HERE for some ideas!