Posted on: December 7th, 2022 by rjohnson

Ameren Illinois is giving away free Google Smart Thermostats to most customers in Central IL.  They are available until December 31, 2022.

All you need to do is Google  “Smart Thermostats Ameren IL giveaway 2022”.   Then look for “Smart Thermostats Ameren IL”.   That should take you to an Ameren website that will explain how to see if you qualify and fill out an application.  You might also want to read the section called ‘People also ask:’ which will point out some pros and cons.

Of course you can look at Youtube to find a video on how to install it.  I’ve watched the video and I think even I can do it.  My NEST should arrive in a few more business days. 

Another great energy saving buy from Ameren is light bulbs.  You can get them at Haddad’s Grocery Store in West Peoria, on Rohman Av. 

  • LED 4 packs of bulbs – $.99
  • LED night lights – 2 for $.99
  • LED desk lamp – 2 for $2.99
  • LED shop lights – 2 for $1.99

Traveling & Encountering Nature During Covid-Times, Wed, Nov 16, at 6:30 PM

Posted on: November 8th, 2022 by rjohnson

Date and Time:
Wed, Nov 16, 2022; 6:30 PM (Local Time)

Organized By: Heart Of Illinois Group

Location: Forest Park Nature Center, 5809 N Forest Park Dr, Peoria Heights

Sheldon Schafer will talk about the unexpected travels of him and his wife over the last year, after their pre-COVID travel plans had to be cancelled. His presentation will spend most of the time on the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica, where their experiences focused on nature and wildlife, and similar experiences in the other countries. In the Galapagos, he will also talk about the economy and advantages of an independent, land-based trip (i.e. staying in B & Bs, not on a small cruise ship).    

Sheldon Schafer was the Planetarium Director & VP of Education for the Peoria Riverfront Museum (formerly Lakeview Museum) for 38 years, and Adjunct Faculty at Bradley for 40 years teaching introductory astronomy. In retirement, he volunteers for the Peoria Astronomical Society as Program Chair and Northmoor Observatory Host, and in the summer, for the 24th year, has organized and led the Pedal Peoria series of bicycle tours. He got the travel bug while serving in the US Peace Corps from 1970-72, and his retirement hobby has been adding to his collection of “countries visited”.

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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.