Earlier this month, ECOtality, a clean electric transportation and storage technology company, announced that it was partnering with ComEd to give a free residential Blink wall mount charger as well as an installation credit up to $400 to qualified Chicago-area residents who have taken ownership of a Nissan LEAF or Chevy Volt. In exchange for receiving the charger and installation credit, residents are expected to participate in the EV Project, which shares data about both the vehicle and charging units (energy used, time, and duration of charger use). No personal information is shared or included in the data. To learn more about the EV Project program and see if you qualify go to www.theevproject.com.
Public Green Blog
The Energy Impact Illinois Program, in conjunction with your local utility, offers energy efficiency rebates to residents and businesses to help lower their energy bills. In fact, if you are a residential customer, you may qualify for rebates up to $1,750 for air sealing and building insulation installation. Commercial, industrial, and multifamily complexes can receive incentives based on performance and energy efficiency savings. Go to www.energyimpactillinois.org and use the “Find Energy Savings Actions” tool to see all the programs you qualify for based on your location and home or business type. You can also call 1-855-9-IMPACT (toll-free) to learn more about the program OR set up an appointment to schedule an energy assessment (cost $99). They are open weekdays from 8 am to 5 pm.
School will be starting soon and it is a perfect time to think green. Here are a few Back to School Tips:
•Be careful not overbuy your school supplies, first check and see what is left over from last year.
•Try buying pencils made from reclaimed wood!
•Recycled notebook paper is available at many of the large office and school supply stores.
•Get a reusable bottle for water and juice instead of purchasing plastic water bottles and juice boxes.
•Another reminder, avoid bringing lunch in a paper bag, use a reusable lunch bag, they come in all sorts of great designs now.
•Instead of purchasing those individual size bags of chips and cookies, buy the large bag and use reusable containers to put them in. If you are absolutely addicted to plastic sandwich bags, they can be reused many times.
•Ask your college students to rent or buy used textbooks and of course sell them back at the end of the semester.
•Again for the college student, rent fridges and microwaves instead of purchasing them.
There may be varying opinions as to whether Crocs are a fashion statement or a fashion faux pas. One thing that we can all agree upon is that is that giving them a second life is always a great idea.
Thanks to Crocs, Inc. and Soles4Souls your gently worn Crocs can be given a second life. Souls4Souls will clean and re-donate to people in impoverished nations around the world.
In Illinois you can take your Crocs to the following locations to be recycled:
•Aurora, IL | Chicago Premium Outlet (630) 820-3572
•Chicago, IL | North Bridge, Shops @ (312) 527-1139
•Schaumburg, IL | Woodfield Mall (847) 330-1040
•Vernon Hills, IL | Hawthorn (847) 680-1469
Using the fruits of the summer season is always a temptation. But, does the thought of turning your oven on and up to 350 degrees on a hot day for an hour not seem like a good idea?
Check out these no bake recipes from Martha Stewart that are guaranteed to keep you cool this summer:
Most people do not know the power of vinegar to kill weeds. Vinegar will eliminate weeds without the potential hazards of powerful chemicals. Just spray the vinegar on the leaves of the weeds until they are wet and in a matter of days, the weeds will be dead.
There are two things you should know about using vinegar to kill weeds:
- Vinegar is activated by sunlight. So, check your weather report and try to pick a day when it will be sunny and not raining.
- Vinegar does not discriminate! It will kill ALL plants that it is sprayed on. So, only spray it on the weeds you want to kill. Do not get it on your flowers, tomato plants, etc.
Besides being safe and effective, vinegar is inexpensive. All types of vinegar will work and white vinegar is usually the least expensive.
FYI: Vinegar is great to use to kill the weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks.
With the 4th of July upon us, many will be grilling for the holiday. Here’s a few things to keep in mind to keep your grilling practices as green as possible:
- Gas and propane grills are the cleanest burning grills. Natural charcoal burns dirty and emit greenhouse gases.
- Grills made of stainless steel and cast iron are the safest as they do not emit toxins in to the air.
- Use a charcoal chimney instead of lighter fluid if you are using a natural charcoal grill. Lighter fluid also releases toxins.
- Make sure your grill is the right size for your needs. One that is too large takes longer to heat up and wastes energy and produces excess heat.
- When cleaning your grill, make sure you use a natural grill cleaner.
- Consider grilling less meat or all vegetables. Try to purchase organic/locally grown meats and vegetables.
Dispose of old laptops, computer monitors and other small electronics on Saturday (June 23) 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Goodwill Store & Donation Center, Surrey Ridge Shopping Center (900 W. Algonquin Rd., AH). You can also drop off electronics for recycling at the Mount Prospect Public Works facility (Central and Busse roads) on any Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to Noon.
Summer 2012 in Chicagoland may be one of the hottest on record. Here’s some ideas to save money and energy when using your air conditioning at home:
1.Keep the filter clean. Clean/replace the filter monthly as dirty filters can inhibit air flow and force the unit to run longer.
2.Have your air conditioner regularly maintained to keep it running efficiently.
3.Keep your thermostat at 78 degrees when you are at home and 85 otherwise.
4.Install a programmable thermostat so the unit can begin cooling your home a half-hour before you return.
5.Shade your air conditioner and save up to 10% in energy usage.
For more see: Green Tips for a Cool Summer
Learn the science behind mixing yard waste and acceptable food scraps toward creating a nutrient rich garden and lawn on Saturday (May 19) from 1 – 1:45 p.m. and 2:15 – 3 p.m., weather permitting, at SWANCC’s Glenview Transfer Station (1151 N. River Rd., across from Maryville Academy DP). This free workshop has limited space, so registration is accepted on a first-come, first-served basis by emailing email@example.com or by calling 847/724-9205