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Archive for July, 2010

How You Can Help Clean Up the Gulf

Have you been following the information put out there on the disasterous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico? Were you wondering how you can help? If so, check out Earth911′s article “How You Can Volunteer to Clean Up the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.” It has a variety of different opportunities to get involved in the clean-up efforts.

By MPPL on July 28, 2010 Categories: Community, Volunteering

Efficient Air Conditioner Use

If you are using your airconditioner during these hot summer days, you might want to consider the following tips for energy savings:

  • Whole-house fans help cool your home by pulling cool air through the house and exhausting warm air through the attic.
  • Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. The smaller the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.
  • Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and, therefore, unnecessary expense.
  • Consider using an interior fan in conjunction with your window air conditioner to spread the cooled air more effectively through your home without greatly increasing your power use.
  • Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
  • Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.

For more information please visit:U.S. Dept. of Energy, Energy Saving Tips: Air Conditioners.

By MPPL on July 21, 2010 Categories: Air Conditioning, Energy, Hot Weather

Becoming an Outdoors Woman

Are you a woman looking to become more familiar with the outdoors? You may want to consider signing up for the 2010 Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Through this workshop, women are able to learn introductory outdoor skills in a safe,supportive, noncompetitive environment. Courses include (but are not limited to) archery, camping, canoeing, fishing, outdoor survival, horseback riding, firearms safety, and medicinal plants.

The fall workshop is September 24-26 at the Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton Illinois. The cost associated with the workshop is $145 which includes four classes, meals, housing, transportation during the event, and use of equipment.

For more information on the workshop visit
For course descriptions visit

By MPPL on July 19, 2010 Categories: Illinois, Workshops