Turn your lights off for an hour at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 27 to show your concern for climate change: Earth Hour 2010. People all over the world will turn off their lights at 8:30 p.m. local time. 2010 is the third consecutive year in which the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago are participating, and Chicago’s skyline will once again be in the spotlight. Icons such as the Chicago Theatre, Navy Pier, Willis Tower, Merchandise Mart, the Wrigley Building and Trump International Hotel and Towers will be among the more than 200 downtown buildings turning out their exterior lights.
Public Green Blog
On Saturday, March 27, 2010 The City of Des Plaines will be having a free electronics drop off from 9:00 am to noon.
Des Plaines Public Works Facility
1111 Joseph J. Schwab Rd
DVDs VCRs Televisions
Looking for green places to shop? Then checkout the green pages! The National Green Pages is a directory of nearly 3,000 green businesses nationwide. What does it mean to be a green business? According to the Green Pages website, "Green businesses operate in ways that solve, rather than cause, both environmental and social problems. These businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, their employees, communities, and the environment." Click here to find green businesses in your area: http://www.greenamericatoday.org/pubs/greenpages/ .
Before you clean it up: Have everyone leave the room, including pets. Do not walk through the area where the bulb broke. Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes. Shut off your central forced-air heating/cooling system.
Cleaning up hard surfaces: Clean up glass pieces and powder using cardboard or stiff paper and place in a jar with a metal lid or a sealed plastic bag. Use tape (such as duct tape) to pick up any remaining fragments. Clean the area with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe, and then place it in a glass jar or sealed plastic bag. DO NOT VACUUM OR USE A BROOM TO CLEAN UP THE BREAKAGE ON HARD SURFACES.
Cleaning up on carpeting or rugs: Carefully pick up fragments and place in a glass jar with a metal lid or a sealed plastic bag. Use tape to pick up any remaining fragments and powder. If vacuuming is still needed after visible materials have been removed, make sure to remove the vacuum bag, or empty and clean the canister, and dispose of the contents in a sealed plastic bag. For the next several times you vacuum, be sure to shut off the heating/cooling system and open a window before vacuuming, and keep them that way for 15 or more minutes after vacuuming is finished.
Cleaning up clothing, bedding, and soft materials: If clothing or other material comes into direct contact with the broken glass or the mercury-containing powder from the bulb, it should be thrown away. DO NOT wash clothing or bedding as the mercury fragments can contaminate the machine as well as pollute the water. You can wash clothing or other fabrics that have been contaminated by the mercury vapor (for example, the clothing you were wearing when you cleaned up the broken bulb, as long as it did not come into direct contact with the bulb or powder). If your shoes come into direct contact with the broken bulb or mercury-containing powder, wipe with a damp paper towel and place in a glass jar or plastic bag.
Disposal of contaminated material: Place all clean-up materials outdoors in the trash. Wash your hands after disposing of the clean-up materials. Check with your local or state government as some do not allow this type of material to be disposed of with the rest of your trash, but instead require that broken and unbroken mercurcy-containing bulbs be taken to a recycling center.
Now that the season's have started to change to the warmer time of year, many of us like to spruce up our wardrobes with new clothes and shoes. Before you head out to the stores, first look in your closet and see if any of your worn (and probably favorite) shoes could be rejuvenated by a a good shoe repair shop. Maybe all they need is a good polishing. The more we can reuse, the less that goes in to the landfill. The Shoe Service Institute of America can help you locate a reputable shoe repair shop near you. To read more about recycling your shoes: Resole, Recycle, Reuse.
When you're off for spring break to have a good time partying or celebrating St. Patty's Day, there's a few choices you can make to minimize your carbon footprint. Draft beer is more eco-friendly than bottled beer and even more so if you opt for a glass mug instead of a plastic cup. Read more about greening your spring break.
1. Adopt! When you are looking for a pet visit shelters and pet rescue organizations whenever possible. Some rescue organizations will often set up shop in pet stores on certain days.
2. Spay or neuter your dog or cat. Take an active role in helping control the pet population.
3. Buy pet food that is all natural or organic.
4. Purchase toys and other pet products that are made with natural, organic or recycled products. These are available at major pet store chains.
5. Think of the things you look for when buying green products for yourself and apply them when purchasing for your pet. Try and buy products closer to home, things that require less manpower to make and don't need to be replaced as often.
More info at funtimesguide
Here's a few related websites with green pet info:
- Cat or Dog, which is the best choice for the planet?
- Tips for raising a green dog.
- A Veterinarian's top 10 ways to go green with your pet.
"Pharmaceuticals are often [improperly] discarded by throwing them down a drain, toilet, or carelessly into the trash. . . . When medication and personal care products are flushed down the toilet or thrown down the drain, they can end up in our water sources. . . . Medication that is thrown in a trash bag will eventually end up sitting in a landfill, where it may leach indirectly into the water. The long term effects of these pharmaceuticals and personal care products are currently not fully understood. We do know however, that having pharmaceuticals in the water supply can affect the local environment, including aquatic life . . . and can harm humans and wildlife, especially fish and amphibians."
Illinois EPA's Medication Disposal FAQ Page
There are numerous drop-off sites that residents should use to dispose of any unwanted, residential medications and needles; these sites do not accept commercially or industrially generated medical waste, such as from doctors' offices or hospitals. SWANCC instructs residents to "Please keep medications in their original containers, as it is necessary to know what medications the contractor is dealing with."
These drop-off sites only accept medical waste at specific times, sometimes only on a one-day-per-month basis, and often only from residents of the municipality in which the site is located. It is important to check for the closest drop-off site and check its availability to accept unwanted medications and needles. A drop-off site near Mount Prospect with no residency restriction is
8 N Elmhurst Road
(847) 398-6070, ext. 206
Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
For more information about SWANCC drop-off sites, as well as instructions and restrictions, visit SWANCC's medicine drop-off page.
For a more complete, state-wide list and map of drop-off locations, visit the Illinois EPA's medication disposal locations page.
Within the past few years, there has been much discussion regarding the use of the industrial chemical Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, which can be found in some plastic bottles as well as metal-based food and beverage containers. Previously the FDA held the stance that BPA was safe at the low levels found in these containers. However, the FDA is now reconsidering this stance, after new studies were conducted to test for effects of BPA. "Both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and the FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children." They are also carrying out additional studies to address key questions and uncertainties regarding the risks of BPA. While these studies are being carried out the FDA is taking steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply:
- supporting the industry's actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market
- facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans
- supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings
- supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA
- seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA
In the meantime, what can you do to help protect your family from the potentially harmful effects of BPA?
- Eat fresh food when possible.
- Use glass containers when heating food in the microwave instead of plastic containers.
The second time around…
Don’t forget that thrift stores are a great way to recycle all sorts of items from clothes to computers. Buying from and donating to thrift stores or to the Veterans associations that are always calling and seeking donations encourages a cycle of reusing saving energy and landfill space! It is so easy to do.
Also, many thrift stores are associated with charities that help in employment, training, rehabilitation, and hospice care. Your second hand stuff can not only help the environment but also provide much needed support for the people in your community.Togethergreen.org