The Benefits of Sunlight

Posted on March 18, 2015 by - 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!

“The Ethics of Fracking” EDMC’s EcoFilm Series

Posted on March 11, 2015 by - Community Events

Tue, March 31, 7pm – 9pm, Luecht Conference Center at MCC, 8900 US Hwy 14, Crystal Lake 60014 
Explore the spiritual, medical, educational, scientific and political points of view of natural gas extraction, also known as fracking.The documentary, The Ethics of Fracking, also looks at the advertising relied upon by the natural gas industry.
Please join The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, with co-sponsors The League of Women Voters and Citizens Climate Lobby, and host The Sustainability Institute of McHenry County College, for a screening of The Ethics of Fracking on Tuesday, March 31, 7pm at Luecht Conference Center at MCC. Panel presentation to follow, including a firsthand account of a “fracked” property.
Doors open at 6:30, free to the public, but donations are always appreciated.

Make Room for Spring

Posted on March 10, 2015 by - 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.

Cheap Ways to Stay Warm and Save Energy

Posted on March 4, 2015 by - 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.

Algonquin Talks Trash this Earth month!

Posted on March 4, 2015 by - Community Events

April 30, 2015   5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Ganek Municipal Center 2200 Harnish Drive, Algonquin 

This event focuses on the impact recycling can have for your Algonquin business and the local community. From saving money to creating a more positive public image, this event is a can’t miss opportunity for your business! Information is also provided for businesses to start a recycling program in Algonquin.

Putting Paper in Perspective

Posted on February 5, 2015 by - 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.

WRAP CREATIVELY
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.

Avoid Unnecessary Engine Idling

Posted on January 28, 2015 by - 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.

Peace – in honor of MLK

Posted on January 22, 2015 by - 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

Woodstock Talks Trash meeting

Posted on January 12, 2015 by - Community Events

Wednesday, January 28 at 5:30pm – 7:30pm, at Mixin Mingle,124 Cass St, Woodstock

Come together as a community for an evening of discussion on the impact commercial recycling can have for Woodstock’s small businesses. We will highlight strategies to help save money through efficient waste management practices.

The event will include:

Review of resources that can cut waste management costs for a small business, Interaction with a panel of industry leaders regarding the pros and cons of business recycling, Receive a session with an Environmental Consultant from Ecossential Solutions, Network while enjoying food and beverages, Receive a free entry ticket to the Woodstock Small Business Raffle, with a chance to win a free Individual or Business Membership to the McHenry County Environmental Defenders!

Check out the event at: http://ow.ly/H6ROq