How much do you know about what you’re eating? Do you worry about GMO labeling and safety? Check out these informative and entertaining documentaries on DVD for answers to your questions. Please see the Reference Desk for more information.
Public Green Blog
If you have ever considered joining a CSA, now is a great time to sign up and ensure your spot for the 2014 season. CSAs are generally run by local independent farms. Your investment in the farm is paid back in the form of weekly or bi-weekly baskets of locally grown fruits and vegetables. You can expect to prepay a set amount for the season and you will receive a share of the farm’s produce on a set schedule throughout the late Spring, Summer and early Fall. This is a great way to receive an assortment of fruits and vegetables (and some CSAs also offer eggs, dairy products and meat for an additional fee.) There are many websites such as whole living, the Kitchn and Pinterest that are chock full of ideas on how to use your bounty. If you want to ease into joining a CSA, buy a half share, which costs less and will consist of a smaller box once a week or a full size box every two weeks. Local Harvest is a good site to use to find the perfect CSA for you. Simply enter your zip code to find a list of CSA farms, as well as pickup dates and locations. Stop in the library to check out some books on the subject, including The Locavore Way by Amy Colter, The Sustainable Kitchen by Stu Stein, and Gaining Ground : a Story of Farmer’s Markets, Local Food and Saving the Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard.
To get a jump start on harvesting spring vegetables, consider making/buying a cold frame. These are mini greenhouses, usually low to the ground, with glass or plastic panels that can heat up soil so plants can be grown outside much earlier (or later in the fall) than would otherwise be possible. Lots of information is available on the web concerning how to construct a cold frame (search “cold frames”).
The Library also has print resources with instructions on building a cold frame: The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour has lots of useful information about cold weather gardening and also includes plans for building a simple cold frame.
Got a bicycle you don’t need anymore? Here’s a great way to recycle it! On Saturday (Nov. 2) from 9 a.m. to Noon, several locations in the Northwest suburbs will be accepting bicycle donations as part of the “Pedal Power” program. These bikes will then go to Chicago Public School students as a reward for good grades.
Nearby drop-off spots include Mike’s Bike Shop in Palatine (155 N. Northwest Hwy.); Glenview Cycle (1011 Harlem Ave.) and Garner Cyclery in Northbrook (1111 Waukegan Rd.) For more information and a complete list of drop-off locations, go to http://gopedalpower.com/ .
Protect your children and responsibly dispose of unwanted and expired prescription drugs on Saturday (Oct. 26) from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. during National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The Mount Prospect Police Department (112 E. Northwest Hwy.) is one of 16 police departments participating in the event. Leave medications in the original container and mark out personal information. Only prescription medications will be accepted – no over-the-counter, liquid medications,or syringes will be accepted. Complete list of collection sites.
The Mount Prospect Public Works Department will accept electronics for recycling every Wednesday between 10 a.m. and noon through the end of October 2013. Accepted items include computers, monitors, DVD players, keyboards, printers, scanners, televisions, VHS players, and zip drives. Unacceptable materials include air conditioners, answering machines, blenders, camcorders, video games, copy machines, digital cameras, home appliances, microwaves, power tools/cords, shredders, stereo equipment and toasters. For more information, call the Public Works Department at 847-870-5640 or email them at email@example.com.
The Public Works Department (1700 W. Central Rd.) also accepts household batteries, compact fluorescent and fluorescent tube lights, and pharmaceuticals for recycling and/or proper disposal. Those materials can be dropped off at the Public Works Building between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Dispose of unwanted and sensitive documents on Saturday (Sept. 21) from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Arlington Heights Senior Center (1801 W. Central Rd. AH). There is a limit of six file-size boxes or paper shopping bags per vehicle. No plastic bags, please. You must be part of a SWANCC member community to participate, so have ID ready.
According to the Illinois EPA’s Medication Disposal FAQ Page:
“Pharmaceuticals are often [improperly] discarded by throwing them down a drain, toilet, or carelessly into the trash. . . . [They] can end up in our lakes, rivers, streams, and ground water sources. . . . having pharmaceuticals in the water supply can affect the local environment, including aquatic life . . . and can harm humans and wildlife, especially fish and amphibians.”
There are numerous drop-off sites that residents should use to dispose of any unwanted, residential medications and needles; SWANCC instructs residents to “Please keep medications in their original containers, as it is necessary to know what medications the contractor is dealing with.”
Mount Prospect Public Works accepts medications and sharps for disposal from SWANCC’s 23 member communities during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 7:30AM – 5PM); click here to access the Village of Mount Prospect’s Solid Waste – Additional Recycling Programs page for more details and updates.
For more information about other SWANCC drop-off sites, as well as instructions and restrictions, visit SWANCC’s Pharmaceutical/Sharps Disposal page. For a more state-wide drop-off options in Illinois, visit the Illinois EPA’s medication disposal locations page.
Another option is mailing medical waste in special envelopes and containers. According to this article on the Earth 911 website, CVS sells special envelopes for $3.99 to send unwanted medications to a separate company for disposal; CVS itself does not accept medical waste. They also sell separate containers for disposal of sharps for $6.89 according to the Mt. Prospect CVS location, and it works much the same way as the envelopes.
The Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County (SWANCC) will be providing 3 electronics recycling and document destruction events in June.
Saturday, June 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Lincoln Hall School
6950 East Prairie Road (Lincolnwood)
Saturday, June 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Elk Grove Village Fire Station #8
1000 Oakton Street (Elk Grove Village)
Saturday, June 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Niles Public Services Center
6849 Touhy Avenue (Niles)