Riverfront Sort and Clean Up – July 5th 2019

Posted on: August 5th, 2019 by rjohnson
East Peoria Green team is shown taking a break from the July 5th, 2019 Riverfront Sort and Clean Up. 

For the past few years EP Green has gone down to the riverfront the morning after the 4th of July evening fireworks to make sure that the garbage is picked up and that the recyclables, like plastic bottles and aluminum cans, are separated into the recycle toters and the garbage is in the garbage toters.  Surprisingly enough some people who celebrate at the fireworks put garbage into the recycling toters and recyclable material into the garbage toters.  At the end of about 3 hours our team was finished with this task.  EP Green also wants to thank members of ICC’s SAFE Club and owners of Better Earth Compost for their help.  We ask the public to ‘Don’t Trash It, Recycle it’ and vise versa.  If you would like to help next year our website is www.eastpeoriagreen, our facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/eastpeoriagreenteam/, and our instagram account is https://www.instagram.com/epgreenteam61611/.   The details will be at those locations.

Put it in its place

Posted on: June 10th, 2019 by rjohnson

East Peoria Green members, with the help of EPCHS Hope Club and ICC SAFE Club take a break from working to clean up the riverfront the day after the 4th of July, last year. Our groups sorted garbage from recyclable items on the morning of the 5th. From left to right there was Elena, Lexi, Dan, Robert Lori, Bob, and Tom.

It took a little over 3 hours to get everything sorted out. East Peoria Public Works waited for us to finish before sending the garbage and recycling trucks to pick up the toters. Thank you to all the celebraters that tried to put recyclables and garbage into the correct containers. 

This year we invite all who want to attend. We will start at 8:30 a.m. on the 5th. Meet at the parking lot by the little children’s park behind Walmart. Bring your own gloves, hat, and sunscreen.  Work as long or short a time as you would like.  Drinks will be provided. Email Bob Jorgensen for more information.

Paw-Fect! Energy efficiency tips for your pets

Posted on: June 1st, 2019 by rjohnson

Paw-Fect! Energy efficiency tips for your pets

Photo by Isaac Davis on Unsplash

You don’t have to choose between your pet’s comfort and efficiency. CUB staffers’ pets will show you how.

Originally appeared in the Summer 2018 issue of The CUB VOICE: A Publication of the Citizens Utility Board

Program your thermostat

Don’t be afraid to set your thermostat a little higher (78 degrees) in the summer while you’re away from home.  Dogs and cats have ways of dealing with warm temperatures that humans don’t, like panting. Double check with your vet to see what temperature range is best for your breed or species.

Stabilize the temperature

Place your pet beds, cages, and aquariums in areas not subject to big temperature swings, away from vents and direct sunlight. Short-snout dog breeds like bulldogs and short-faced cats like Persians are more likely to get heat-stroke. Small pets like bunnies and reptiles are more vulnerable to extreme temperatures. Give them plenty of water, provide shade, and make sure to turn off any supplemental heating. 

Wash fabrics in cold water

Wash your pet’s blanket of bedding in cold water. The fabric will get just as clean an you’ll use up to 90 percent less energy.

Maintain your AC system

A build-up of pet hair could for your cooling equipment to work harder, leading to high utility bills and more wear and tear. Change your air filter regularly, and brush and bathe your pet more often. 

Shut off your fans

Animals don’t sweat, and their fur coats might prevent them from feeling the breeze produced by your fan. So running the fan when you aren’t at home will just add unnecessary kilowatt-hours to your electric bill. Instead, provide cool areas to rest such as a tile floor with a wet towel to lie on.

Tighten pet doors

If your doggie door is not air tight, it can suck conditioned air right out of your home, along with your hard-earned money. Caulk the frame of the pet door to seal it and prevent air leaks, and apply magnets to the flaps to secure them in a high wind. Another possible option is to upgrade your pet door to a new, more energy efficient model.

Turn out the lights

Most pets rely on natural light for their internal schedules and don’t need artificial light. Lights with motion sensors will pick up animal motion so these lights won’t work as well for you, especially if you have an active cat or dog.

Put pets on a schedule

Some exotic pets — like reptiles, amphibians, fish and some birds — do require additional lighting. Big a timer from a hardware or pet store to keep your reptile on its optimal schedule and manage energy costs. Energy-efficient pet bulbs can be found at pet stores and online.

Don’t run the tap

Some cats may be finicky about drinking from a bowl, but a running tap can cost serious money. So a cat fountain is a great way to encourage them to stay hydrated. A gravity-run drinking fountain can provide the fresh running water your pet likes without the energy suck of a pump-powered fountain or the cost of a dripping sink.

Turn off the tube

Leaving televisions and radios on when you’re not home will only confuse your pets and prevent them from napping. Toys and bones are much better entertainment, and they won’t cost a dime on your power bill.

Recycle your aquarium water

When you clean your fish tank, remove only one-third or one-half of the water and use it to water indoor and outdoor plants. Pumps and filters with lower power consumption will cut down on the amount of energy you use. 

Treat sunny windows

The sun’s glare can affect the indoor temperature in your home, leading your cooling system to switch on more frequently. Consider treating your windows with solar film, or close most of the blinds and drapes to filter the light that can increase indoor temperatures.

For more information, visit the Alliance to Save Energy’s website, or the U.S. Department of Energy.



Hot tips to get your home ready for summer

Posted on: April 27th, 2019 by rjohnson

From the Spring 2018 issue of the CUB newsletter.

Energy efficiency is key to keeping your power bills under control: The cheapest kilowatt-hour is the one you don’t use.

You can save hundreds of dollars a year taking simple actions like recycling your old refrigerator or insulating your attic – and on top of that, the utilities offer incentives to increase your energy efficiency.

Set the Thermostat at 78 degrees when you’re at home in the summer.

The biggest contributor to high power bills in the summer is the air conditioner. You can lower your air conditioning costs by up to 14 percent by raising the thermostat just two degrees and using a ceiling fan.

Turn the AC off: It’s a myth that if you go out for part of the day it’s better to keep your air conditioner running because when you get home it won’t have to work harder to cool a warm house. Even for a quick errand like a trip to the grocery store, you will save energy by turning off the AC when you leave the house.

By the same token, don’t crank your air conditioner to 50 degrees to cool the house more quickly. The truth is your system will deliver cool air at the same rate, no matter the temperature you set on your thermostat. (The exception is a room air conditioner that uses a “low, medium and high” setting instead of a thermostat.)

Turn the fan off when you leave the room – fans cool people, not spaces.

Remember, a smart thermostat can be a big help in setting the right temp.

Upgrade your appliances: Look for models that use less electricity and generate less heat. Replacing a 10-year-old AC unit with a newer unit will result in at least a 15 percent gain in efficiency, and up to 50 percent if you choose a model with the Energy Star label.

Ditch your old, hot incandescent light bulbs for CFL or LED bulbs.

Maintain your AC unit: Clean the filters every three months. A dirty filter will slow air flow and decrease efficiency by as much as 30 percent.

Get a yearly inspection from a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) specialist. Putting off routine maintenance can cost you more later if the whole system breaks down.

Warning: Don’t assume you have to sign up for a maintenance plan, which costs $8.95 to 15.95 per month. If you really think you need one, first check to see if your AC unit comes with a warranty that covers maintenance.

Turn off your power strips when you’re not using the devices plugged into them.

Don’t make the AC work too hard: Reduce the space that needs to be cooled by closing doors to rooms that you don’t use as often. Close blinds or shades during the day, when the sun is beating onto your home.

Check windows, doors and floors for hidden gaps and cracks. They can bring in as much hot air as an open window.

Lower the temperature setting on your water heater to 120 degrees.

Ensure cool air can’t escape by sealing leaks with a caulking gun or weather-stripping tool and filling holes where electrical wires and plumbing pipes enter the home.

Adding insulation to your attic can help maintain indoor temperatures and make a difference on your attic floor: If the insulation is even with or below the attic floor joists, it’s time to add more.

Wash only full loads of dishes and clothes, and consider air drying them.

Ventilate your home: Fans consume much less electricity than a traditional cooling unit and will allow you to raise your thermostat by a few degrees without impacting your comfort. During summer, run ceiling fans counter-clockwise to create a gentle downdraft.

Take advantage of any wind and open windows to create a cross breeze, especially in morning and evening when it’s cooler.

Move hot items, such as lamps and TVs, away from the thermostat.

Reduce heat-producing activities: Unplug appliances and use a smart power strip to help power down electronics when not in use.

Delay heat-producing tasks, such as dishwashing, baking, or doing laundry, until the cooler evening hours or early morning.

Use your bathroom’s fan to remove heat and moisture when bathing and use an exhaust fan while you cook – this will help remove heat and humidity.

When you can , use a microwave or grill outside instead of using the oven. Ovens make your house warmer while grilling helps you cut costs and spend time outdoors.