UN Climate Change Conference 2017

The UN Climate Change Conference of 2017 begins today (11/6/2017)! Although President Trump has pulled the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, this is still very exciting. World leaders are converging on Bonn Germany to discuss how to mitigate the negative effects of climate change- globally- with or without US federal support.

Why is this exciting? Because even though the Trump Administration is denying climate change as a major threat to the nation’s security, the nation’s leaders in business, technology, higher education, state and local governments, tribal nations, non-profits, and faith-based organizations are not.

We Are Still In!

“In the absence of leadership from Washington, representatives of cities and states, tribes, businesses, and academia have traveled to Bonn and are standing alongside the international community to make clear that the representation of the United States extends beyond its federal government. With over 2,500 signatories representing more than 130 million Americans and $6.2 trillion of economic output, ‘We Are Still In’ is the largest cross section of the American economy yet assembled in pursuit of climate action. We invite all attendees to join them as they kick off the US non-national presence at COP 23.”

These amazing leaders are going to help the United States stay connected with the international community as we all strive to fight to reduce emissions and stave off the worst of climate change. This isn’t important just for us in the US (but, we should be concerned for our own safety, too), it’s a global crisis that can be solved collectively. To that, we could say: thank you to all of you wonderful leaders for stepping up!

Video from the Washington Post article about the newest US Climate Assessment Report.

Melting permafrost exposes huge risks

Melting permafrost being ignored at climate talks, experts warn
More on the melting permafrost can be found in a story by Miguel Llanos of NBC News. Llanos sites an over view of the huge risks at hand and quotes U.N. Environment Program Director Achim Steiner who in announcing the report by top permafrost scientists said,

“Permafrost is one of the keys to the planet’s future because it contains large stores of frozen organic matter that, if thawed and released into the atmosphere, would amplify current global warming… Continuing to ignore the challenges of warming permafrost is not an option…”

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Food labels, what do they really mean?

I sometimes find myself in the grocery store saying, “What the heck does cage-free mean, anyway?” And then, what does free-range, farm-raised, etc… I have a clue, but probably not 100% of the correct information. Well, now there’s a great resource for me to reference when I get confused. I thought I’d share it with the readers of this blog, too.

This is the green blog, right? So what does food have to do with being green or sustainability? A lot. We need to eat, there’s no denying that. However, with every choice we make when considering “What’s for dinner?” (or any other meal) there is a direct impact on carbon emissions, land use, water use, clean air, waste and equally importantly – your health.  This label resource will also help you understand the impacts your diet may have on your health and your environment. We all know to eat less fat and high fiber. Eat some fruit and so on. But really, what do we know about what foods to choose if we also want to take care of the planet? Which is something we all need to consider, since our food- be it beef, greens, fish or tacos- comes from the planet. Without it being healthy- clean water and air, plentiful healthy soil- we will not be able to grow the food we need to survive.

Check out this link. What do you think about it? Does it influence your future food choices? Did you already know these things? This is only one of many really useful resources out there on food. If you want to know more or have a conversation or check out a book, article, etc. Stop by the Center for Sustainability in L242 or drop a line at sustainability@morainevalley.edu.

America Recycles Day! No Excuses.

10/15 is the Annual America Recycles Day celebration. It should be everyday, but some corporations are sponsoring the idea that one day should be special throughout the year. In honor of that Mother Nature Network is chiming in. I really like their sources and sites, so I taking the opportunity to share with you. Here is a great list from the Mother Nature Network about 10 kitchen related things you have no excuse NOT to recycle. Check it out and remember – everyday should be America Recycles Day. Below is their Top 10 List. Follow the link to learn WHY & HOW.

  1. Glass bottles.
  2. Aluminum and steel cans.
  3. #1 & #2 plastic containers.
  4. Plastic grocery bags.
  5. Cereal and other food boxes.
  6. Cereal box liners.
  7. Bread ends. (My personal favorite- some pretty fabulous reuse options for this item…of course, I just prefer to eat them).
  8. Aluminum foil.
  9. Kitchen electronics.
  10. Old appliances.

Do you have other ways you recycle? Or are there items missing from this list that you’d like to add? Post a comment and let us know how you are sending less to the landfill.

And don’t forget to find out HOW & WHAT you can recycle at Moraine Valley: http://www.morainevalley.edu/sustainability/recycle.htm

E-Waste Recycling in OAK LAWN!!

Oak Lawn E-Waste Facility Grand Opening

The Village of Oak Lawn, to further our commitment to making our Village GREENER, is now operating a permanent Electronic Recycling collection program for our community. All residents are welcome to participate by recycling old, broken and no longer wanted or needed electronics.

The collection site is located at the Village of Oak Lawn Public Works Garage located at 5532 W. 98th Street.
Description:
Electronic-Waste Recycling Facility Grand Opening
Saturday, October 9, 2010.

Hours of Operation:
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, 2 PM to 4 PM
The 2nd Saturday of each month, 10 AM to 12 PM.

Visit our website for items accepted and drop-off instruction.

Location: 5532 98th Street, Oak Lawn, IL 60453
URL: http://www.oaklawn-il.gov/Left-Menu/Green-Team.aspx
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time: 10:00am-12:00pm CDT
   
   
   
   
   

Our Future’s So Bright, We Gotta Wear Shades

Solar Bill Signing

(re-post from September Prairie State Protector eNews, Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club)

Illinois’ future got brighter August 17, 2010, when Governor Quinn signed our solar bills HB 6202 and HB 5429 into law. House Bill 6202 requires Illinois’ regulated utilities to start buying some electricity from solar power plants starting in 2012, with steadily increasing amounts until 2015, when 6% of renewable energy purchases must come from solar power plants. By creating a stable market solar industries will be willing to invest in Illinois and as a result 5000 new jobs are expected to be created in the state.

House Bill 5429 or the Solar Bill of Rights removes barriers by homeowner and condo associations to placing solar panels on your roof. Removing those barriers is key to the future of solar, as installing small units on homes, businesses and reducing electricity losses through transmission are the areas for the greatest potential growth in the solar sector.

Illinois Sierrans pulled out all the stops to help get these bills passed. You visited and called legislators or took action through previous Prairie State Protectors. Consequently, we are one step closer to transitioning from the dirty fuels of the past. Thank you for being part of this victory for Illinois’ energy future.