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Archive for September, 2010

Bike Plan

Help make Mount Prospect more bicycle-friendly.  All residents are invited to attend a meeting on Wednesday (Oct. 6) at Village Hall (50 S. Emerson/3d floor Board Room) beginning at 7 p.m. This is your chance to help shape Mount Prospect’s bike plan.  For more info, call Active Transportation Alliance at 312/427-3325 ext. 292 or go to www.mountprospect.org .

By MPPL on September 30, 2010 Categories: Community, Transportation

Home Weatherization Rebate

The Village of Mount Prospect’s Energy Efficiency Home Weatherization Rebate Program offers residents the opportunity to perform energy efficient upgrades to their homes.  The Village will provide matching grants of up to 50% for energy efficient projects such as home insulation, Energy STAR window, door, water heater, furnace and air conditioner upgrades. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis until funds run out.  To see if you qualify and for more information on the program, go to www.mountprospect.org or call 847/818-5328.

By MPPL on Categories: Cold Weather, Consumer Choices, Weatherization

Are your “natural” supplements safe?

Did you know that supplement manufacturers “routinely, and legally, sell their products without first having to demonstrate that they are safe and effective?” Consumer Reports recently published a list of a dozen supplement ingredients they think consumers should avoid because of the health risks associated with these ingredients. Some of the health risks associated with the ingredients identified in the article include cardiovascular, liver and kidney problems. For more information or to view the list of supplements you should avoid check out:  Consumer Reports Greener Choices Dangerous “Natural” Supplements.

If you have a taken something and have had serious side effects, your doctor or pharmacist can report them to the FDA, or you can do so yourself by calling 800-332-1088 or visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch

By MPPL on September 17, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices

Green Choices for Kitchen Remodeling

Thinking About Remodeling Your Kitchen? Here are some ways you can make it greener.

Start with the basics, then consider larger improvements to save energy, reduce your use of nonrenewable resources, and conserve water.

When replacing kitchen cabinets, choose solid wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for sustainability.

Choose energy-efficient appliances with the Energy Star label. Older refrigerators are especially big energy wasters. Replace your standard dishwasher with a new model that’s energy-efficient, quiet, and conserves water. You can cut your energy use by up to 30 percent with new qualified appliances.

Vent your kitchen range hood to the outside for healthier indoor air.

Clean with natural home ingredients such as baking soda for scouring, distilled white vinegar for cutting soap scum and cleaning stains, and vegetable-base soaps.

Supplement natural light with compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) because they convert most of their energy into light rather than heat, consuming 75 percent less electricity and lasting 10 times as long as incandescent bulbs.

Fix that drip, or, better yet, replace old faucets with new units that have low-flow aerators. You can save thousands of gallons of water a year.

Replace vinyl flooring with natural linoleum, which is long-lasting and made with environmentally friendly materials.

*From Better Homes and Gardens

By MPPL on September 10, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Home Improvement

Low-VOC Paints and Stains

Are you thinking of taking on a home painting project soon? Before you start, consider the paint you will be using, as some paints are more environmentally friendly than others. When selecting paints (both interior or exterior), look for paints that have low levels of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. These chemicals contribute to ozone, smog, and respiratory problems. It is expected that the EPA will propose VOC limits this year; low-VOC interior paints cannot contain more than 50 grams per liter, low-VOC exterior paints range from between 100 and 250 grams per liter, and low-VOC stains should not exceed 250 grams perm liter. For more information, or to see a list of recommended low-VOC paints, check out the June 2010 Consumer Reports Paint Buying Guide or visit:
Consumer Reports Green Product Watch: Best Low-VOC Paints and Stains

By MPPL on September 9, 2010 Categories: Consumer Choices, Home Improvement

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham

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If you want to grow your own produce, whether for health or financial reasons, or simply for your own personal interest, check out Brett Markham's new book, Mini Farming. Brett illustrates that you don't need acres of land to be able to grow your own fresh organic produce. Markham shares his knowledge of and experience with intensive agriculture, raised beds, and maintaining healthy soil to help the reader realize that though it can be hard work, growing your own food can be extremely beneficial and rewarding. With chapters on composting, selecting and saving seeds, and raising chickens (one chapter provides information on raising chickens for eggs, another provides information on raising chickens for meat), Mini Farming covers a range of useful topics.

By MPPL on September 3, 2010 Categories: Books