Environment & Weather
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brandy Walvaert   
Monday, 07 April 2014 09:43

DAVENPORT, IA—Ever wondered what happens to your trash and recyclables after they leave the curb? Now you can see firsthand!

Online registration is open for Waste Commission of Scott County’s spring tours at www.wastecom.com. Tours are free of charge and will be held April 22 (Earth Day) at the Scott Area Recycling Center, Davenport, and April 26 at the Scott Area Landfill, Buffalo. Space is limited and registration is required.

The Commission provides public tours of its facilities in spring and fall. Can’t make it this time? Sign up to receive e-news from the Commission, and you’ll be among the first to know when upcoming dates are announced. E-news signup is online at www.wastecom.com. Once you subscribe, you may unsubscribe at any time.

Waste Commission of Scott County is an inter-governmental agency whose mission is to provide environmentally sound and economically feasible solid waste management for Scott County. For more information about the Commission, please call (563) 381-1300 or visit www.wastecom.com.

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Governor Quinn Encourages “Lights Out” During 2014 Earth Hour on March 29 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Katie Hickey   
Friday, 28 March 2014 10:17

Orders State Facilities to Keep Lights Off Across State

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today urged Illinois residents and businesses to participate in Earth Hour 2014 by turning off their lights for one hour on Saturday, March 29. He also ordered “lights out” from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. that day at many state facilities, including the James R. Thompson Center, Michael A. Bilandic Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds and other state facilities in Springfield, Peoria, Rockford, Champaign, Carbondale and Marion.

“Turning out our lights for Earth Hour will not only conserve energy, it will shine a light on the need to protect our planet,” Governor Quinn said. “We can help preserve our planet for generations to come by being thoughtful about how much power we use. One person can make a difference – especially in addressing climate change.”

Launched in 2007 by the World Wildlife Fund, Earth Hour is a global effort to encourage responsible energy practices by turning off non-essential lights for an hour. Hundreds of millions of people from more than 7,000 cities on seven continents went dark for 60 minutes during the 2013 Earth Hour observance. 

By going dark March 29, state of Illinois buildings will join Chicago’s John Hancock Center and Willis Tower, plus the cities of Chicago, Edwardsville and Orland Park as Earth Hour participants. Chicago was recently recognized as one of three Earth Hour Capitals, earning a $30,000 grant from World Wildlife Federation to kick-start a residential solar purchase program.

Under Governor Quinn, the Illinois Executive Mansion has become one of nation’s greenest governor’s residences. It features solar panels, LED lighting, an electric vehicle charging station and on-site composting.

Through the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council, the state saves energy day-in and day-out. The U.S. Green Building Council has ranked Illinois number one among all 50 states in the sustainable building design movement with more than 29 million square feet of certified green buildings, or 2.29 square feet for every Illinois resident. Sustainable building designs utilize less energy and water, which save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

To learn more about Earth Hour, visit www.worldwildlife.org. For more on Illinois’ other environmental initiatives, visit Green.Illinois.gov.


Braley Continues Fight for Iowa Communities in Effort to Combat Ash Borer PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kirsten Hartman   
Friday, 28 March 2014 09:00

After the invasive species is identified in nine Iowa counties, Congressman leads bipartisan push to ensure Iowa has same resources as other states  

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today wrote congressional leaders in order to ensure that Iowa would have the same resources as other states as they combat the emerald ash borer—an invasive species that could potentially cause billions of dollars in damage in Iowa.

“Resources were available to other states when they had this problem— and now Iowans deserve the same treatment and I’m going to fight to make sure they get it,” Braley said. “This beetle infestation is a significant cost for communities and homeowners across the state and it’s important we fight to make sure Iowans have the help they need.”

Braley has received bipartisan support for the letter, which is signed by an additional 20 lawmakers, to fight the invasive beetle now confirmed in more than 20 states and at least nine Iowa counties. States that found cases of the beetle in years past were given resources to aid in the mitigation and removal of infected trees, but federal funding has since been drastically cut, leaving states like Iowa with limited resources to combat the problem.

“Because this invasive species has continued to spread each year, this matter should be prioritized and efforts should be targeted to address the damage caused by the emerald ash borer. A failure to do so will undoubtedly result in this costly problem spreading to additional areas, and an even greater demand for financial resources in the future,” Braley’s letter reads.

Each infected ash tree must be removed to maintain safety on public and private land, costing roughly $1000 for the removal and disposal of each tree.  


Last month, Braley introduced legislation restoring funding to a program that helps combat the emerald ash borer. 

In January, Braley wrote a letter to Secretary Tom Vilsack at the US Department of Agriculture urging him to take the necessary steps to protect Iowa’s ash trees from the beetle.

Full text of the letter is available below and HERE:

4 Great Green Technologies to Celebrate Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:00
Environmental Advocate Shares Affordable Gadgets
that Shrink Your Footprint – and Your Bills

Just as intended, the 44th annual celebration of Earth Day on April 22 will be surrounded by talk of our environment, our impact on it and what we can do to better live in harmony with it.

“We’re seeing more and more people who realize that, if each of us does what we can every day,  collectively, we can have a tremendous impact,” says Lynda Chervil, a thought leader and green technology advocate whose new book, “Fool’s Return,” (http://lyndachervil.com/), mirrors real-life efforts to develop sustainable energy sources.

“All the people carrying reusable grocery sacks, people who’ve quit the plastic water bottle habit, folks heating their pools or houses with solar panels – that’s what we should be celebrating this Earth Day.”

This year’s March Gallup Environment poll found that 42 percent of Americans believe the outlook for the environment has improved, up from only 26 percent in 2008.

Chervil, who studies the science behind green technology, says environmental awareness has ramped up production of affordable goods that can shrink individuals’ carbon footprints. She shares four devices she says would make a nice gift for Mother Earth on her day:

•  HybridLight Solar Flashlight: These flashlights never need batteries, can be charged from any light source, and they always work. The 120 lumens model will burn for eight hours on one charge. HybridLight’s flashlights are so reliable, the Boy Scouts’ Utah National Parks Council endorse them – and they come with a lifetime guarantee. For every 10 hours of use, 100 HybridLight flashlights avert 60 pounds of toxic battery landfill waste. An added very cool note – HybridLights has a mission to light up corners of the world with little or no electricity. Recently, the company supplied everyone in a Kenyan village with their own flashlight.  Cost: Prices start at less than $20.

•  Bedol Water Alarm Clock: Imagine a water-powered alarm clock that’s loud enough to scare you out of bed! Bedol’s water clocks run strictly on tap water – no batteries, no nothing else. The energy comes from a natural reaction between the water and two metal plates. The smallest clocks in the line run for six to 12 weeks before the display begins to fade, indicating that the water needs to be changes. Occasionally, you also need to clean the metal plates with vinegar. Just in time for Earth Day, Bedol is launch it’s 12-by-15-inch wall-mount water clock! Cost: Prices start at $19.

•  iGo Green Power Smart Wall: We’ve all heard of the “vampires” in our homes that suck up power whether we’re using them or not – everything from coffee pots to laptops. Stem the bleeding with this surge protector that cuts the suck by up to 85 percent. The unit, which plugs into the wall, has four outlets, two of which are always on. The other two automatically power down when the attached appliance is not in use. Cost: Prices start at about $12.

•  Pama Eco Navigator Satellite Navigation system: This GPS system also saves gasoline by providing you with the most energy-efficient routes to your destinations, and feedback on your car’s performance, so you can adjust your driving habits to improve your gas mileage. It also saves all your routes, so you can assess their fuel efficiency. Cost: Watch for pricing and availability on Amazon.

“Most of these items are not only budget priced, they save you money in batteries, electricity and fuel,” Chervil says. “Not only are you doing something great for the planet when you use green technology, you’re taking a load off your wallet.”

About Lynda Chervil

Lynda Chervil is the author of “Fool’s Return,” http://lyndachervil.com/, a new novel that incorporates valuable life lessons in a page-turning tale that touches on technology, the green movement, and other aspects of contemporary society. She graduated from New York University with a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and has extensive experience in consumer and commercial banking and has held positions in new business development, sales management and executive leadership. Chervil seeks to push the limits of established understanding by exploring alternative forms of spiritual healing, and, through creative writing, to expand the narrative of cutting-edge energy technology to promote sustainability.

Increased Flood Risk- Flood Safety Awareness Week PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Kelly Krause   
Friday, 21 March 2014 15:43

This winter saw many severe snow storms across the country, making flooding more likely as spring thawing occurs. Floods pose a threat in all fifty states, yet one-third of pet owners don't have an emergency plan. In light of Flood Safety Awareness Week, the ASPCA is urging pet owners to prepare for floods in advance, increasing the chance of survival for both them and their pets.

Dr. Dick Green, senior director of ASPCA Disaster Response, has led many disaster response operations, rescuing thousands of animals during various floods across the country. Dr. Green led field rescue operations to search for stranded pets and reunite them with their owners following major disasters including Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy, Isaac, Irene, Gustav and Ike.

Dr. Green offers the following tips and more on flood preparedness:

  • Obtain a rescue alert sticker, which will let rescuers know that pets are inside your home.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and ID tags with up-to-date identification. The ASPCA also recommends micro-chipping your pet as a more permanent form of I.D.
  • Keep a pet emergency kit and supplies handy with items such as medical records, water, pet food and medications, and pet first aid supplies.
  • In the event of evacuation, do not leave your pets behind.
  • Know what risks your area faces. Find out if your house is in a floodplain and the fastest way that you and your pets can get to higher ground.

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