CARBON SEQUESTRATION BY TREES 

Posted on: September 19th, 2022 by rjohnson

First you need to know that live trees use the process of photosynthesis and absorb Carbon Dioxide from the air.  They then release oxygen that we breathe and retain the carbon to store in the wood of the tree.  So we need more trees to take CO2 out of the air and retain it.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is released when materials that have stored CO2, in a solid form like wood, coal, and oil are burned.  The more CO2 that is in the air the more heat is held in the Earth’s atmosphere.  The CO2 acts like a blanket.

A term we need to start hearing more is ‘proforestation.’ This means protecting and preserving the old growth forests, which are holding CO2.  Old growth forests sequester more CO2 in the last 50 years of their lives than they do in their first 50 years.  So it is not an even match to cut an old tree and to plant a new tree.

The Tongass National Forest in Alaska has 16 million acres of mature trees and stores about 2 ¾ billion tons of Carbon.  Terrible to say some climate denying legislators have tried for years to increase the logging of the Tongass’ old growth forest, in part to make ‘soft’ toilet paper. Some of these hemlock and cedar trees in the Tongass are 1000 years old and 200 ft tall.  Think of all the carbon they are all keeping out of the atmosphere to slow Global Warming. Just recently President Biden has said, “No more industrial logging of the Tongass will be allowed.”

Some trees are better at sequestering CO2 than others.  The characteristics that make trees good carbon sinks are:  live a long time, grow very large, have a large canopy to aid in photosynthesis, grow quickly, are native trees, are resistant to diseases and insects, and have a hard dense wood.  Deciduous trees meet some of these criteria but need to grow faster.  Conifers are usually fast growers but tend to capture much less CO2 than hardwoods.  Some of the top trees in our climate region are: Scarlet Oaks, Horse Chestnuts, and Silver Maples.

In summary old growth forests like Tongass and the Amazon Rain Forest must be immediately protected.  Many new high quality carbon storing trees must be planted, and people need to find alternatives to wood and fossil fuels to use in their daily lives.

One-Day Electronics Recycling Event

Posted on: August 29th, 2022 by rjohnson

When: October 1, 2022 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Where: Festival Building, 2200 E. Washington St., East Peoria, IL 61611

This event is sponsored by: Tazewell County Green Initiatives

This will be a drive-thru event. Please reman in in your vehicle. Trained staff will collect electronics from your vehicle.

Acceptable items and fees are listed below:

  • CRT\LCD Monitors $10
  • CRT Televisions $20
  • Flat-screen Televisons $20
  • Projection Televisions $40
  • Console Television $40
  • Answering Machines
  • Battery Backups and Uninterruptable
  • Power Supplies (UPS) – NO BATTERIES
  • Camcorders
  • Cameras
  • Cellular/Mobile Phones
  • Christmas tree lights
  • Computer Peripherals (keyboards, mice, etc.)
  • Desktop Computers
  • DVD/CD Players
  • Fax Machines
  • Ink Cartridges
  • Laptops
  • Mail-room Equipment
  • Networking Equipment and Cables
  • Pagers
  • Point of Sale Equipment
  • Power and Accessory Cables
  • Power Tools (including batteries)
  • Printers (for large office printers please contact your local store)
  • Projectors
  • Radios
  • Receivers
  • Satellite and Cable Equipment
  • Shredders
  • Speakers
  • Smart Phones
  • Surge Suppressors and Power Strips
  • Tablets
  • Telephones (including PBX equipment)
  • Toner
  • VCRs
  • Video Game Consoles
  • Walkie-talkies

Download a copy of the flier for printable list.

Riverfront Clean Up

Posted on: July 16th, 2022 by rjohnson

It was great to get back into the ‘clean up and recycle’ state of mind since we had an in person 4th of July fireworks celebration. As in the past East Peoria Green and some of our friends turned out 10 or more volunteers on the 5th of July. We worked for about 3 hours sorting recyclables from trash and put them in the correct containers. The photos show two groups of green volunteers who helped with the HOT messy task. I apologize to the helpers that were there that I missed with the camera. We want to thank the City of East Peoria for arranging their pick up of the trash and recyclables at the riverfront around our schedule. 
I must say that the area was in better shape this year, so if you were there, Thank You. 
Remember that the Recycling toters are the ones with the single round hole on top. Many of these toters have blue lids, but some do not. We had two members, who suggested we spray paint many tops of the recycle toters a nice blue. Then they would match the blue topped toters we use all around the city. We hope to do that in the cooler fall when the baseball season ends. 
Be Patriotic all year! Help someone you don’t know that needs help.

Sustainable Switch

Posted on: May 3rd, 2022 by Bob Jorgensen

Here is a suggestion on something basic you can work on from our just past Earth Day to Earth Day 2023.  Start considering your use of Toilet Paper.  Did you know that the average person uses 130 rolls of TP a year?  Hard to believe isn’t it.  That’s about one roll every 3 days.  To make all that toilet paper about 27,000 trees a day are cut down.  Since trees, both hardwoods and pine only grow about 3 feet a year it takes 20 years to grow a tree to harvest for toilet paper production.  Some of these trees are cut from tree farms, but many are cut from old growth virgin forest in Northern Canada and the rainforests of Brazil.  This practice devastates the habitat for many creatures and plants that only live in those locations.  It also significantly reduces the number of trees available to hold carbon from our burning of fossil fuels.  The solution is to take the long strong fibers needed to bind toilet paper together and make it feel soft from bamboo.  As you know bamboo grows very fast, as much as 3 feet per day.  So a great supply of bamboo is out there in Asia.  Some local Asian farmers already plant a few rows of bamboo around their small farmland plots.  The bamboo needs no tending, watering, or fertilizing.  The sale of this readily available product would help the family farmers in Asia. 

Bamboo toilet paper is very strong and soft, just like the premium brands of tree made toilet paper.  Bamboo toilet paper doesn’t cause any problems in septic systems or waste plants.  It biodegrades easily and there is no need for harsh chlorine chemicals in the production of bamboo toilet paper, like there is in the production of some brands of tree made TP. 

Give it a try and make the switch.  I have, and it does its job as well as any toilet paper.  You can google bamboo toilet paper and see the brands that are out in the market already.  I have purchased a large quantity locally from Costco and UFS.