Thursday, August 17, 2006

Over and out for Now

I'm on hiatus again -- vacation with the family. My apologies to those of you who have been awaiting a post on your fine topics. See you after Labor Day.



Monday, August 07, 2006

The Cost of Water

For the record, I live in a townhome complex of 32 units on the city's near north side. The association sent out its annual report recently, and our total cost for water was $5,000. That works out to about $13 per unit per month. It's so cheap we don't even pay the bill individually. It's just covered as part of our association fees.

It's little wonder that the thought to conserve water in our city hardly crosses most of our minds. When I saw that dollar figure I couldn't help but think of Debra Shore's comment about why she wanted to run for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation Commissioner this November. I've posted this quote before, but I'll repeat it here:

Over the next 20 to 25 years we are going to find substitutes for oil -- there are substitutes for fossil fuels. There are no substitutes for water. It's an irreplaceable resource. And I think the eyes of the country and the eyes of the world are going to turn to those Great Lakes communities that sit on 20 percent of the world's freshwater.
I'm coming to believe that we must attach costs to our natural resources that reflect their value and encourage us to protect them, just like I believe we must attach costs to our garbage to encourage us to reduce it.

Photo courtesy University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science & Engineering Center. Find reference here.

2006 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference coming September 27 - 28

You can find out more about the energy conference, sponsored by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and held at Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare here.

Unfortunately, they say they're interesteed in attracting consumers as well as advocates, utility companies, energy service companies and non-profits, but the registration fees seem to suggest it's really for utility companies.

Friday, August 04, 2006

An Evite for You: 2006 International Coastal Clean-up at North Avenue Beach

Host: Jennifer Roche
Location: North Avenue Beach (By the "Boat")
1603 N. Lakeshore Drive, Chicago, IL View Map
When: Saturday, September 16, 9:00am to 12:00pm
Phone: ThePlaceWhereWeLive[at]

90 countries!
50 states!
400,000 volunteers!

All coming together to help protect and restore our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Will you join us?

For the second year in a row, I will be co-captaining the International Coastal Clean-up at North Avenue Beach in Chicago. (John will join me as my co-captain this year as Ann Hopkins Avery and her husband, Lance, await the arrival of their new, little beach-cleaner-upper to be. Best wishes Ann & Lance!)

This event began more than 20 years ago when an Ocean Conservancy staff member was appalled at the amount of litter she found on the shores of South Padre Island, Texas. She organized a clean up, and, within a generation, that seemingly modest gesture grew into a worldwide phenomenon.

Please join us. We'll use the morning to enjoy the sunshine (or rain), meet new people, admire the lake, and pick up garbage. All of the garbage will be weighed and documented to help lobby for clean water legislation and raise awareness among policy makers and polluters. In other words, your efforts will make a difference.

This is an especially child-friendly volunteer event. All are welcome. Forward this freely. Come for three hours or three minutes.

What to bring? Nothing, really. We’ll supply everything, but if you think of it, work gloves are helpful to wear.

Who is the sponsor? It is sponsored by the Alliance for the Great Lakes and launched in cooperation with the Ocean Conservancy, which coordinates the event world-wide.

I hope to see you there. It's sure to be one of the last great events of summer!