IllinoisTimes - Environmentally Friendly Thu, 02 Jul 15 00:00:00 -0500 en hourly 1 Every drop counts Every drop counts
CWLP just announced their 2013 Water Conservation Poster Contest winners! Submissions were received from first through third grade students in Springfield schools. The theme was Every Drop Counts. Entries were to demonstrate water conservation in action, highlighting the need for everyone to conserve. Below is the top honor winner given to Dallas Crum of Laketown School. Check out other w...]]>
Get electrified Get electrified
Recently purchased a new battery for my electric lawn mower for about $100 dollars. Definitely worth the price. I've used no gas for the last three years. I haven't had to drive to the local gas station in my car using more gas and worrying the entire drive home that the gas will spill out of the container into my trunk. The mower's cut is just as good as that of my gas-powered mowe...]]>
Hear, hear Hear, hear
Should the film Noise, starring Tim Robbins, be required viewing for all? Well, that might be going a little far, but during this year of compassion in Springfield, Illinois many might benefit to know that there are those among them who are sensitive to or suffer with their noise. In the film, Robbins’ character lives in New York City where he becomes painfully bothered by the city&rsqu...]]>
Trash it right Trash it right
You know those compact fluorescent light bulbs you’ve been buying? Well, they contain small amounts of mercury and should be recycled instead of thrown in the trash such as you would an incandescent bulb. So where to disposal of compact florescent light bulbs? Seriously, supermarkets should offer this service. Everyone goes there regularly. But in the meantime bring them to Ace Hardware,...]]>
Unplugging for good Unplugging for good
Recycle your electronics—computers and all the extras, televisions, cell phones, VCRs, game players, answering machines, calculators, copiers, fax machines, cables, telephones, pagers, typewriters and more. Where: Habitat ReStore, 1514 W. Jefferson, Springfield, Illinois When: Mon-Fri 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Why: The Electronic Waste Recycling Act, Public...]]>
Kudos to the kids Kudos to the kids
Most of my distinct memories from elementary school have stuck with me purely because I was impressed that someone else didn’t cry – that girl who stapled her finger, the boy who knocked out his two front teeth, or my big sister with a face full of gravel after a misguided jungle gym move. But yesterday, as I tore into another six-pack of canned caffeine,* I remembered one very i...]]>
Strategy for the weak-willed environmentalist Strategy for the weak-willed environmentalist
The standard advice for anyone wishing to reduce their energy consumption tends to include turning off the lights, walking instead of driving and turning down the heat. Turning off the lights when I’m not in the room? Check. That one’s pretty easy. Walking everywhere? Wearing five sweaters all winter long? … Fail and fail. Some days I can do it. But on others, it just ain...]]>
Twitter - For the birds. Twitter - For the birds.
No, really, it’s for the birds. For months, my smart phone-, Mp3-, cable-less self was reluctant to join, even explore the world of Twitter. Constant updates on Lindsay Lohan’s latest faux pas? No, thanks. I only signed up for the service in January as a way to keep track of some politicos in the statehouse while I was working there for another publication. But somewhere in my n...]]>
Environmental street art Environmental street art
Sewage. It happens. And, typically, it ain’t pretty. But! Check it out: decorative manhole covers!  A photograph of just one of many artsy manhole covers on Japan’s streets, the image is from Remo Camerota’s book Drainspotting. There are plenty more photos here. I only happened to discover how cool water infrastructure can be because I click on all links/tweet...]]>
Earth Hour is this Saturday! Earth Hour is this Saturday!
Just a reminder that Earth Hour is this Saturday from 8:30-9:30 p.m. It's simple: turn off your lights for an hour to demonstrate your support for global climate change initiatives. Last year, over 4000 cities in 88 countries officially switched off to pledge their support for the planet, making Earth Hour 2009. Major landmarks also participated, like the Sydney Harbour B...]]>
Get your craft on: phone book organizer Get your craft on: phone book organizer
It seems like we get a new phone book every month. As a child of the Google generation, I can't remember the last time I even used a phone book to look up a number. Maybe I did it when I worked on Mackinac Island? I have no idea, honestly. Sorry, AT&T Yellow Pages. It kind of bothers me that we're wasting so much paper on people who won't use it. However, this site has a great way to use those e...]]>
Guilty Conscience Guilty Conscience
(Look at this guy! How can you not feel bad for him? He's all sad and factory-ridden. Is it just me? Anyone ... anyone? Fine.) If you're like me, you probably have a lot of Catholic friends/family, and so you know that we're in the middle of Lent. (Or maybe you are Catholic. In which case, I hope you have a good sense of humor regarding the things I'm about to say.) If you know Catholics and...]]>
Wishlist: eco-friendly laptop sleeve Wishlist: eco-friendly laptop sleeve
Given my propensity to break/damage almost everything I own, I should probably own a laptop sleeve. (Seriously - don't lend me anything you love. I get so stressed trying not to break it that I end up accidentally doing something terrible. Self-fulfilling prophecy much?) I love this laptop sleeve from Loopt. Bonus: it's made from recycled wet suits! The yellow color is so great for spring, and...]]>
Stop, drop and roll Stop, drop and roll
Hello! I'm back. I've been spending a lot of time at the Capitol lately, and thus haven't been able to blog. Anyway, I hope some of you have heard this NPR piece about Slow Death by Rubber Duck. If you haven't, here's a quick recap: two Canadian environmentalists spent two years monitoring the amount of chemicals in their bodies after regular use of household products like shampoo, plastic foo...]]>
Change we don't believe in Change we don't believe in
The phrase "climate change" pisses me off....]]>
Green Links 2/12: Dear Livejournal ... Green Links 2/12: Dear Livejournal ...
This week has been crazy! I've been doing a lot of running around and going back-and-forth between our main office and the Capitol. (I also locked my keys in my car yesterday. That turned into a two-hour debacle with lots of ridiculous circumstances and oh god I don't wanna talk about it.) Hence, I haven't had a lot of blogging time. I haven't even had a lot of writing time, just note-taking and i...]]>
All the Small Things All the Small Things
Yesterday, I went to the Compost Symposium at the State Fairgrounds. It was super interesting, and I wish I could've stayed for all the workshops. (Yeah so I like compost and worms and stuff. Deal.) You can read all about it in this week's edition, but I just wanted to share some wisdom from the event's keynote speaker. The speaker was Ken Dunn, founder and director of The Resource Center in C...]]>
Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Five Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Five
I'm not going to lie, I'll probably spend a fair portion of my weekend doing laundry. It may not be glamorous or exciting (as glamorous and exciting as this town gets when I saw a bartender wearing overalls last Friday night - step it up, Springfield!) but I have a pile of dirty clothes that have been lurking in my closet since a few weeks into this internship. It's gotten to the point where I ...]]>
Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Four Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Four
Did you catch my mallards story in today's paper? I hope so. I had a lot of fun writing and researching it. Who knew people studied ducks so intensely? Anyway, here's Tip #4: use a humidifier. As I'm sure you know, everything dries out in the winter: your skin, your sinuses and even the air in your home. While some of us (especially those of us from Michigan - a state where the average July...]]>
Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Three Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Three
Tip #3- Unplug it! Living in a dorm introduced me to the wonderful world of power strips/surge protectors. I wasn't concerned with saving my electronics from power outages as much as I was delighted by the opportunity to plug a million things into one old, tiny outlet. Since I moved away from home, I've lived in a variety of ridiculously small rooms. (I do not exaggerate. I've shared a 10x10...]]>
Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Two Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day Two
Happy Groundhog Day, readers! Here's an appropriately-themed card. Welcome back to Tips & Tricks Week! (Does that sound dirty? I don't mean for it to imply prostitutes and dollar bills in g-strings. Maybe I need a new title.) On day two, let's talk about home energy audits. While green building has become more and more popular, most of us live in homes built before energy efficiency was ...]]>
Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day One Energy-saving tips and tricks: Day One
I'll admit that I'm not perfect. The point of this blog is not to preach at you to hug a tree or save a penguin. I like to think that I'm a non-judging environmentalist. I enjoy saving the earth/whales/redwoods/whatever, but I understand that we're all busy with our own lives and sometimes it's hard to take that extra energy-saving step. What I want to do is take small, simple steps to reduce ...]]>
Green Links 1/28: Straight from the Horse's ... Green Links 1/28: Straight from the Horse's ...
I've been crazy busy lately, so I haven't had time to post. I'm working on a longer piece about wildlife tracking and restoration in the Emiquon Preserve (about 1.5 hours northwest of Springfield, off State Road 97 near the Dirksen Mounds.)It's been fun, but I'm glad my little city girl car could make the trek there and back! My parents both worked in Detroit, and bought vehicles that reflected th...]]>
Conservation Consumerism: Sodastream Conservation Consumerism: Sodastream
In Michigan, they say pop. Though with Central/Northern accents it sounds like PAHH-p. People in my state also keep their excess pop in the garage. Do you guys in Illinois do this? (Coworkers Pat and Amanda said their families do, but I need more opinions!) I'd never heard of this bizarre tradition until I moved to Michigan as an elementary schooler and started visiting friends' houses. They...]]>
Upcoming Events: Sustainable Springfield Upcoming Events: Sustainable Springfield
Sustainable Springfield is hosting some great events in the next couple of weeks! Monday, Jan. 25 Solar and Wind Energy @ 7 p.m. Prairie Heart Institute's Dove Center Sixth St. & Mason Mark Bauer, CEO of Bauer Power, one of the largest Midwest providers/installers of renewable energy, will speak about the potential for solar/wind power in local homes and businesses. Monday, Feb. 8 ...]]>
Green Links: 1/21 Green Links: 1/21
Today's Campus Progress has a great story about how powerful campus activism can be. Coming from a university of 40,000 students, I am always interested in how influential schools can be in their communities. Students at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York, managed to enact a moratorium on drilling for natural gas in the lucrative rock formations located underneath the campus. The contr...]]>
Hunters and Gatherers Hunters and Gatherers
"Garage sale!" My mom would shout into the back seat of our yellow 1982 chevy cavalier. She always said it like she'd just spotted someone famous skulking the streets of our suburb. No matter where we were headed, she'd pull over immediately to take a look. We'd venture into someone's garage, driveway or backyard to appraise their earthly possessions: cracked dinnerware featuring mushrooms, ...]]>
Conservation Consumerism: Green Bags Conservation Consumerism: Green Bags
I don't make a lot of New Year's resolutions, but I did stick to one this year: stop wasting food. As a busy undergrad sharing a refrigerator with four other people, I often bought produce and lunch meat and forgot about them, leaving my hard-earned money (OK not that hard-earned, I did data entry for my university and besides being mind-numbingly boring, it was pretty easy) in the garbage. Th...]]>
Confessions of a Literal Tree-Hugger Confessions of a Literal Tree-Hugger
Hi, there! I got so excited about wind turbines (or well, as excited as anyone can get about wind energy, which in some cases is pretty damn excited) that I didn’t have time to introduce myself. My name is Diane, and I’ll be your new blogger for “Environmentally Friendly.” First, a little bit about me. I’m a graduate student at UIS, and I’ll be interning at the Illinois Times f...]]>