Environment & Weather
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.

 
Simon joined by neighboring Lt. Governors in fight for education and waterway reforms PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ted Nelson   
Friday, 21 March 2014 15:34

SPRINGFIELD - March 19, 2014. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon is backing a package of resolutions with the lieutenant governors of Indiana and Wisconsin aimed at combating the spread of nuisance species in Midwest waterways and encouraging the completion of college. The bipartisan resolutions backed by Simon, Sue Ellspermann (R-IN) and Rebecca Kleefisch (R-WI) will be taken up at the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s Federal-State Relations Meeting  this week in Washington D.C.

“We may be Lieutenant Governors from different states, but education and protecting our waterways are important to us all,” said Simon. “Good things happen when we work together. Through our continued partnerships, I believe we can make significant progress toward improving college completion and fighting the Asian carp problem.”

Working closely with Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, Simon is encouraging states to implement Guided Pathways to Student Success to increase the number of students completing college degrees and certificates. Their resolution specifically recommends that other lieutenant governors work with their respective higher education boards, colleges and universities to provide simple, easy to navigate routes to degree completion.

To address the growing challenge of aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes Region, Simon partnered with Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch to take on problems that pose a danger to both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin. The Simon and Kleefisch resolution calls for cooperation and support of a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly means to preserve regional waterways while maintaining trade and commerce.

“It’s important that the Great Lakes states work together to protect our waterways and the thousands of family-supporting jobs that rely on them for shipping, commercial and sport fishing, and tourism,” Kleefisch said. “This resolution is one example of the multi-state partnership that’s vital to solving this problem in a smart, cost-effective manner.”

As the state's point person on education reform. Simon is working to increase the proportion of working-age adults with college degrees or certificates to 60 percent by 2025. Simon also chairs three River Coordinating Councils charged with the mission of reviewing state and federal programs that impact the watersheds and working with local communities to raise awareness of and address watershed issues. Copies of both resolutions can be found here.

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Living Lands & Waters seeks volunteers for the MillionTrees Project PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Friday, 21 March 2014 11:06

Rock Island, IL/March 2014--this March Living Lands & Waters is seeking volunteers to join their forces for  some fun during their annual spring tree wrapping event! The MillionTrees Project began in 2007, and since then has distributed over 600,000 trees to surrounding individuals, families, schools, park districts, businesses, and organizations. The goal of the MillionTrees Projects is to grow and plant 1 million trees. This year, LL&W will be giving out 125,000 trees.

Trees provide shelter and nut-bearing hardwoods are a viable food source for wildlife and migratory birds.  Slow-growing hardwoods, like oaks, have a harder time re-establishing themselves without help, and are often crowded out by faster growing species, like cottonwoods, willow and silver maples. Re-establishing hardwoods helps increase biodiversity, reduce erosion and run-off and improve water and air quality.

“Wrapping over 100,000 trees takes a lot of work” said Chad Pregracke, founder and President of Living Lands & Waters.  Pregracke adds, “It’s a great avenue to help the community and educate people on why trees are important.”

 

This is a great event for all ages, and families. Volunteers will be participating in a variety of activities including bundling trees in newspaper, dipping roots in water, and placing/tying trees in bags. Warm and comfortable clothing is encouraged! This can get messy.

Those interested should show up a the North Hall of the QCCA Expo Center at 2621 - 4th Avenue Rock Island, IL on Thursday, March 27 – Monday, March 31  9am-5pm

Registration is not required, but highly recommended for groups of 10 or more people. Volunteers are invited to work time slots of their choice, and come and go as they please. Please note that participating children must be properly supervised.

To learn more about Living Lands & Waters, visit our website at http://www.livinglandsandwaters.org.  Members of the press may schedule an appointment to interview a crew member by calling or emailing Natalie Linville-Mass at (309) 948-1436 or Natalie@livinglandsandwaters.org.

 

About Living Lands & Waters – Chad Pregracke started Living Lands & Waters in 1998 as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the beautification and restoration of America’s major rivers and to the education of people about environmental issues. From his single boat beginning, LL&W has grown to an internationally known organization with a fleet of barges and workboats.  LL&W engages thousands of volunteers each year in river cleanups, hands-on environmental education workshops, the Great Mississippi River Cleanup, Adopt-a- River-Mile programs and the Million Trees Project.

For more information about the Million Trees Project - http://livinglandsandwaters.org/get-involved/million-trees/

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Quinn, Durbin, Emanuel Announce More than $128 Million in HUD Disaster Recovery Funding For Chicago Area PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:07

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel today announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs (HUD) has awarded a total of $128,300,000 in funding through the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery Program to communities in the Chicago area for recovery efforts following severe storms and flooding that began on April 18, 2013. This funding was made available through the fiscal year 2013 Sandy Supplemental Appropriations Bill, passed by Congress last year.

“Families throughout Illinois who were inundated by last year’s record floods are still rebuilding and recovering,” said Quinn. “This critical funding will help hundreds of families throughout the Chicago area get back on their feet. I thank President Obama, Senator Durbin and all of the Illinois federal representatives who worked to line up this vital assistance to families who need it.”

“Last April’s severe storms caused some of the worst flooding that I have ever seen in the Chicago area and surrounding counties, and forced hundreds of families to leave their homes,” said Durbin. “In the year since those storms hit, communities throughout the Chicago area have worked hard to recover. This funding will help in those efforts, and is especially critical for those families that lost their homes and are working hard to rebuild their lives.”

“The significant flooding that hit our area last Spring caused extensive disruption and damage to homes and residential areas,” said Emanuel. “This much needed funding will help Chicagoans repair what has been damaged so they can rebuild and move on with their lives.”

Under this announcement, the following communities will receive funding:

·         Cook County, Illinois: $54.9 million dollars;

·         City of Chicago, Illinois: $47.7 million dollars;

·         DuPage County, Illinois: $18.9 million dollars; and

·         State of Illinois: $6.8 million dollars.

HUD's CDBG-Disaster Recovery grant program benefits communities that have experienced a natural disaster. The program is intended to address housing, business and infrastructure needs that have not been met by other forms of public and private assistance, including disaster recovery funding provided through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information on the program, please visit: CDBG Disaster Recovery Assistance.

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