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Welcome to another edition of the EAC Action News, a publication of the Ecology Action Center, a central resource for environmental education, information, and outreach in McLean County.

Help the EAC Win New Office Equipment - vote for us today!

The Ecology Action Center has the chance to win an office makeover valued at up to $15,000! With your help, we can win a large amount of office technology from RK Dixon through their Make My-Non-Profit Run Better contest.  

To win we need the largest number of votes, and that''s where you come in.  Starting Monday, August 8th at 5 PM, just go to and vote for the Ecology Action Center.  You can vote once a day, so please vote daily!rkDixon_logo

This is a great opportunity for us, as you know firsthand the time it takes to raise $15,000.  Winning this contest would allow us to be more efficient in providing services to you and all of McLean County.  Not only will it help productivity to increase at the EAC, but it''ll keep donations from supporters like you going to the valuable programs and workshops we love to provide.

With your help we can be chosen as a finalist and a second round of voting. A faster, more efficient EAC is just a few clicks away starting at Thanks again for all of your help and support!

GDlogo3Green Drinks: Tuesday, August 2 at Medici

Looking for conversation or networking opportunities with like-
minded individuals? Join us at Green Drinks, the monthly environmental get-together. With no agenda and no membership or admission fees, Green Drinks is a nice way to have some informal conversation on whatever environmental topics you want to bring to the table. Join us at Medici in Normal at 5:30 on the first Tuesday of every month!

EAC Workshops: A few spots left!

Looking to build a rain barrel at a fraction of the retail cost? Hoping to learn more about vermicomposting and build your own composter? If you want to cut down your water bills or recycle food scraps into valuable compost for your lawn and garden, register today!  Just a few spots are available for both the Rain Barrel Workshop on Saturday 8/13 at 2:00 PM and the Composter Workshop on Thursday 8/11 at 5:30 PM, so sign up now!

For the Composter Workshop:
Sign-up online now (payment with PayPal)
Download the registration form and register by mail.

For the Rain Barrel Workshop:
Sign-up online now (payment with PayPal)
Download the registration form and register by mail.

Terracycle: Outsmart Waste

We''re hoping update our information directory with the names and locations of local groups collecting items for Terracycle.TerracycleBackpack

Local Terracycle Brigades send in non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste, and it is then converted into useful products and materials.  Items collected range from juice pouches and candy-bar wrappers to glue bottles and inkjet cartridges. Terracycle takes these items and turns them into a range of items like furniture, picture frames, bird feeders, and much more!

Because this is such a great way of keeping items out of the landfill, we hope to send as much acceptable local waste as possible. Is your community group or your child''s school using Terracycle? Let us know and we spread the word in order to help direct more materials to your collection point!

Sustainable Solutions for Small Business Forum

The Sustainable Solutions for Small Business Forum will be a great opportunity for businesses in Bloomington-Normal to learn and share successful green strategies that are known to improve the bottom line. This discussion will feature business owners from Bloomington-Normal as well as representatives from the Illinois Green Business Association and the Ecology Action Center.  1000777791

Friday, August 5th; 8:30-10 AM
Heartland Bank Community Room
Online or call 309-454-3169

If you are a small business owner in the area, join us for this chance to share your secrets to success and to learn about new ways to streamline your business operations.  There will even be an opportunity to earn free recycling service for a year!  This event will be catered by Kelly''s Bakery, so be sure to RSVP by Tuesday, August 2 online or by calling the EAC at 309-454-3169.

Reel Mowers - Convenient and Environmentally Friendly

The type of lawn mower with the smallest carbon footprint, reel mowers are those engine-less, motor-less contraptions that generally come to mind with thoughts of 1950s lawn maintenance. But don't let memories of heavy equipment and archaic machinery fool you, the reel mowers of today are lighter and easier to use than ever before.

For all of the same reasons you support the ideals of the EAC, a reel mower can be a great addition to your lifestyle.  Aside from the initial purchase, maintenance costs are practically zero so they make financial sense. Instead of merely walking behind a self-propelled mower, the reel mower takes a little more effort to push, so you're keeping your body healthy in addition to your lawn.  Best of all, there's no pollution with the use of a reel mower, no emissions, no waste from oil-changes or replacing spark plugs, and no noise pollution either!

Like most technologies that become more compact and lightweight throughout time, reel mowers can now weigh as little as 16 pounds depending on the model. Parts have been upgraded and they are now more durable and easy to maintain, helping your reel mower to last for decades. What hasn't changed are the simple mechanics of the reel mower that can save you money, and that do not require the use of any household hazardous wastes.

Unlike a gasoline rotary motor, there's no exhaust from gas or need to maintain oil levels. Unlike electric motors, there's no need to worry about charging a battery or running over an extension cord. In fact, aside from sharpening the blade, maintenance is negligible when it comes to reel mowers. And, now you can't even let blade sharpening prevent you from purchasing a reel mower, because the EAC has its own sharpening kit available for you to use today!

Sharpening your reel mower blades is an easy process that takes about 20 minutes and a few, simple hand tools in addition to the EAC's reel mower blade sharpening kit. Our kit is a recent acquisition, suggested by an EAC member who pointed out that while this is a useful tool, one only needs to use it every couple of years.  To borrow the EAC's kit, just come check it out from our library. As we currently only have one kit, it wouldn't hurt to call ahead and make sure it is in before stopping by. However, if this proves to be a popular item, we will happily add a couple extras to our collection.

Though you can see how smart and easy reel mowers can be, a final thought may be: What will I do with my old mower? If you have the space, keep it on hand for instances where heavy rains and thick grass make the use of a reel mower too difficult, or for edging work on the boarders of your property. If you'd prefer to just get rid of that old gas-guzzling or power-sucking model, you can give it away on McLean County Freecycle or drop it off at Morris Tick Scrap Recyclers.

As always, we look forward to seeing you at the Ecology Action Center! Please stop by anytime Monday - Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call us at (309) 454-3169 for information on our latest programs and events or to get answers to questions on recycling, household hazardous waste, clean water, and more! 

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit walk-in information and environmental education center with a mission to inspire and assist residents of McLean County in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment.  EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, and outreach in McLean County.

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