Vote!

Posted on October 24, 2016 by - Environmental Tips

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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.

Make a Difference Day – October 15

Posted on October 11, 2016 by - Community Events, Member Events

On Saturday, October 15th, you are invited to “make a difference” for monarchs and other pollinators by helping with restoration efforts at two roadside prairies in the county as part of the national “Make A Difference Day” celebration.

Volunteers will be removing invasive species and collecting trash at the O’Brien Road Prairie at the corner of Hwy 47 and O’Brien Road, Harvard, and at the Triangle Prairie at the corner of Lake Street and Hwy 14 in Woodstock.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. and conclude at 5 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to wear work clothes, gloves and boots and to meet at the O’Brien Road Prairie at 2 p.m. The event will shift to the Triangle Prairie once work is completed at the O’Brien Prairie.

All necessary equipment, water and snacks will be provided. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Nancy Schietzelt at 815-356-1710.

The Defenders have taken on the care of these prairies once again after planting thousands of native plants at these sites many years ago. As part of the statewide initiative to increase habitat for pollinators, we once again planted hundreds of natives at these sites in the Spring. Now it’s time to cut out invasive species in these roadside prairies to allow the natives to thrive. Come help us make a positive difference in our environment and enjoy some time outdoors!

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Free-For-All Used Books – Sunday, Oct 9 Only

Posted on October 8, 2016 by - Community Events, Member Events

Holy Cow! You’ve been waiting for this! Environmental Defenders still has lots of books left over from our Big Fall Book Sale, and we would rather give them away than recycle them.

Free-For-All Used Books

Sunday, October 9, starting at 10am
Algonquin Twp Road District, 3702 US-14, Crystal Lake. Last garage on the right.

Books! Books! Books! More Books!

Giveaway starts at 10am – don’t be late – we start boxing them up to go to the recyclers around 11am! (yes, you can still go through what’s on the tables after that, but if it’s in a box, you have to take the whole box! :) )

What should I put in the recycling bin?

Posted on October 3, 2016 by - 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.

Some Other Ways to Cut Down on Plastic

Posted on September 26, 2016 by - 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.

EDMC Seeking Support to Reopen Styrofoam Recycling Sites

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

WOODSTOCK – In July of 2016, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County reluctantly ended their Styrofoam recycling program and closed their many drop-off sites. The increased popularity of the program resulted in rising costs due to greater and greater quantities of collected material. Additionally, the Defenders were limited in the number of responsible recyclers that would accept the material. Thankfully, the Dart Corporation recently reached out to them to provide logistical support once the Styrofoam is collected. However, financial resources are still needed to provide transportation and labor getting foam to and from collection sites, once they are reestablished. This is the reason the Defenders just launched a fundraising campaign called “Cloud Based Styrofoam”. They are seeking donations to fully fund three to five years of the collection program, to reopen local sites and to expand efforts into neighboring communities. Read more about the campaign at Generosity.com or by clicking this link: https://goo.gl/ygPa6s

With the news attention being given to the plight of the program through the Chicago Tribune and Northwest Herald newspapers, by WBBM radio and, recently, through a story aired on WGN’s 10:00 news, the Defenders are looking forward to catapulting the Styrofoam recycling campaign forward. If you have questions, please contact the Environmental Defenders office at 815-338-0393, or Ken Santowski directly, at 847-910-2985

DEFENDERS’ RECYCLING DRIVE – Richmond, September 10th

Posted on September 7, 2016 by - Community Events, Member Events

On Saturday, September 10th, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County (EDMC) will conduct a recycling collection, which is open to everyone in the county and beyond, from 9am until noon at Richmond City Hall, 5600 Hunter Dr, Richmond, IL. They continue to collect certain items which are not usually accepted by curbside programs, and which would be harmful to the environment if put in a landfill.

The group will NOT be accepting Styrofoam at this time because there is nowhere to recycle it. EDMC is continuing to look for alternatives.

Because of the costs to get these items properly disposed of, a monetary donation will be requested, with specific fees for fluorescent bulbs, batteries, monitors or televisions.

-Fluorescent tubes (50¢ to $1 each)

-Batteries (household, rechargeable, car, and button) (50¢ per pound of household batteries.)

-Cloth items—clothing, linens, or just plain rags, clean and in a bag. You can also bring shoes, tied together by their laces and placed in the bag.

-Re-useable bubble wrap

-Electronics – televisions, computers, phones, printers, electronic toys, microwaves, etc. (most anything that plugs in or runs on batteries) TVs and computer monitors (50¢ per pound up to maximum of $40 per set)

-VHS & cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs, etc.

-Aluminum cans

Donations and fees offset the costs of transportation and proper recycling. EDMC is a local non-profit, and receives no government funding to offer this service to the community.

Environmental Defenders’ recycling drives are held on the second Saturday of each month, at various locations in the county. For information about the recycling schedule and types of materials accepted, visit the group’s website at www.mcdef.org/recycling or find it on Facebook at facebook.com/EnvironmentalDefenders.

An alternate site for electronics (including televisions & monitors) & batteries is Chicago Logistic in Elgin 847-429-1926.

The Environmental Defenders of McHenry County is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the environment. The group provides the community with educational programs and volunteer action on pollution prevention, sustainable land use and energy and natural resource conservation. Donations are encouraged and are tax-deductible as charitable contributions.

EcoFilm Screening – “The Burden”

Posted on September 7, 2016 by - Community Events, Member Events

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On Wednesday, September 21, EDMC with co-sponsor Citizens Climate Lobby, will present the documentary “The Burden”.

Doors will open at 6:30 and program begins at 7:00.

Retired Navy Commander Cliff Lee will address the audience after the screening and will take questions.

The documentary addresses the issue of fossil fuels/climate change and effects on national security. It also looks at what the military is doing to become more energy efficient.