May 12, 2013 at 10:12 am (pollution)
Tags: Bolingbrook, DuPage River, free events, water
DuPage River Greenway Flooded (Photo credit: Chad Horwedel)
Are you ready for some spring cleaning– outdoors? The Conservation Foundation is looking for volunteers for the morning of Saturday, May 18, for the annual DuPage River cleanup. To participate in Bolingbrook at Hidden Lakes Historic Trout Farm, contact Kate Dorick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The sweep has removed items as large as a vending machine from the river in the past. Who knows what volunteers might find this year?
April 27, 2013 at 8:58 am (pollution)
Tags: hazardous waste, safe disposal
The Bolingbrook Police Department will once again participate in the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative.
via National Drug Take Back Initiative – Bugle Newspapers: Bolingbrook.
April 3, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Uncategorized)
“I DON’T LIKE HISTORY, ITS BORING!”
As a parent and educator, I cringe when I hear these words come out of the mouths of children, and it happens far too often. A new book by Barb Rosenstock may help me change some of that.
The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks by Barb Rosenstock
“The Camping Trip that Changed America” is a book about a time when the Yosemite Valley was a vast wilderness. John Muir feared that progress and greed might jeopardize all that, so he began a campaign to educate our government, in an effort to protect certain lands for public pleasure. This book describes a real time in history when John Muir and President Theodore Roosevelt spent time together, which became the foundation of our country’s amazing National Park System.
“WHAT IF EVERYONE OWNED THE WILDERNESS?”
As a big fan of our National Park Service, I urge everyone to take advantage of land that has already been designated “Yours.” Wilderness and wildlife, protected so that each new generation see the land as it was, unpolluted and magnificent. -Kathy B.
March 13, 2013 at 3:03 pm (kitchen, pollution, products)
Tags: "Stan Rogers", Fish, Lent, Mercury, Overfishing, Sustainability
This time of year, when many Christians are observing Lent, you see lots of fish on sale at the supermarket and lots of seafood specials at restaurants. There are two environmental questions that may come to mind if you are considering a meal of fish. One is how the fish will affect you– does it come from an environment contaminated by mercury or anything else that is harmful? The other is whether the fish has been caught in a way that is sustainable (doesn’t harm the fish species by overfishing, and doesn’t cause other harm to the environment).
A pamphlet I received from the American Heart Association had some advice about kinds of fish to eat and to avoid. Families that include young children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding will want to avoid fish that are high in mercury, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Since albacore (or “white”) tuna contains more mercury than “light” tuna, it is best to limit it to once a week if it could affect a developing child. Teenagers and adults are not as vulnerable to mercury. If you catch and eat your own fish you can check local Fish Advisory information (available where you buy your fishing license, and on an information page from the Department of Public Health).
Sustainability is a trickier topic. I grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, and we sometimes watched news broadcasts from Canada that came over the river. I didn’t understand a lot of it at the time, but there was a major crisis going on in the Canadian fishing industry. The populations of some fish had shrunk so much that people worried there were not enough adult fish left to keep those species going. Fishermen were worried about their way of life, and whether government limits on their fishing would prevent a future with no fish to catch. My family enjoys folk music, and we had discovered some favorite Canadian musicians by the time I was in high school. I remember titles like “No Herring Left in the Bay,” the lyric “it’s good that the smelt has no lovelier name,” and descriptions of young people leaving fishing towns to find work.
Some of that came back to me when I read World Without Fish by Mark Kurlansky. The author (and sometimes his cartoon alter ego, Kram) explains the intertwining problems that might lead to a future without fish. These include pollution and global warming as well as overfishing. He uses fishing for cod in Canada’s Grand Banks as an example of how a community and an economy can be devastated by overfishing, and how even a years-long fishing ban can’t always bring back a population of fish. He also makes an example of Orange Roughy, a fish I ate regularly and grudgingly during Lent, until it was suddenly no longer available. The book does not characterize the situation as hopeless. The author sees sustainable fishing as the best way forward, and gives readers a set of tools for choosing fish wisely: where and how a fish is caught is important!
One tool he discusses in the book is the list of Seafood Recommendations from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It is now available as an app as well as a printable pocket guide. You can find plenty of information about what makes a good choice of seafood and why. Details like whether the fish are farmed or wild caught matter– but the sustainable option can vary by the species. There are also labels for certified sustainable seafood. However, there are concerns about whether all the seafood with these labels is really sustainable. More businesses want to sell only sustainable seafood, which is a commendable desire, but there may not be enough sustainably fished seafood to meet the demand for it. Kurlansky concludes his book with guidelines for fish eaters: “Beware of fish that is very inexpensive,” for example, and “Beware of new types of fish that are suddenly being seen everywhere.” He also emphasizes that “We need more information and we should demand it.”
January 21, 2013 at 8:19 am (outdoors)
Tags: Holidays and Observances, Jewish holiday, Tu Bishvat
Did you know there’s a holiday all about trees? It’s a Jewish holiday, and if you write down the Hebrew name of it in the English alphabet you might get Tu B’Shevat, Tu Bishvat, or Tu B’Shvat. In Israel and some other places where the climate is suitable that time of year, people observe the holiday by planting trees. People will also often celebrate the holiday by enjoying fruits and nuts that grow on trees. You might have come across an example of this in the Chicago Tribune’s Holiday Cookie Contest this year, which honored a recipe for Middle East Fruit Bars that Catherine Hall created for the holiday. Here are a few new items in the library collection about Tu B’Shvat:
Happy Birthday, Tree! A Tu B’Shevat Story by Madelyn Rosenberg
Joni and Nate figure out how to celebrate a tree’s birthday for Tu B’Shevat.
Recipe and Craft Guide to Israel by Laya Saul
Learn about the “Birthday of the Trees,” make a salad with dried and fresh fruits, and craft a flowering tree with tissue paper.
Shalom Sesame: Grover Plants a Tree
Grover, Brosh, and Avigail get back to nature as they learn how to plant trees and make the world a better place.
January 14, 2013 at 8:04 am (reader's advisory)
Tags: gardening, Michelle Obama, White House
American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America by Michelle Obama
A sumptuously photographed guide by the first lady describes how she started a vegetable garden on the White House’s South Lawn as part of an initiative to raise awareness about childhood obesity, in a reference that shares gardening tips, recipes and advice for making healthier food choices.
January 7, 2013 at 8:04 pm (reduce)
Tags: Efficient energy use, Energy conservation, Energy Star, shopping, Television
New TV Setup (Photo credit: craig1black)
You may have heard that stores put televisions on sale right before the Super Bowl (though others argue you can get that kind of discount all year long). If you’re thinking of buying a new TV, the Energy Star website and CNET both have information to help you compare the different types of TVs. You can also save energy by making sure your TV doesn’t draw power when it isn’t being used.
December 30, 2012 at 8:06 am (reader's advisory)
Tags: books, gardening, Houseplant
December 22, 2012 at 8:58 am (reader's advisory)
Tags: books, child-friendly, Lady Bird Johnson
Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt
A biography of Lady Bird Johnson who, as the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, reminded citizens about the importance of conserving natural resources and promoted the beautification of cities and highways by planting wildflowers.