Environment and Sustainability | WGLT

Environment and Sustainability

Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.

Organic product sales totaled around $50 billion and now account for more than five percent of total food sales in the United States, according to an industry survey. As the demand in Illinois grows, advocates are pushing for more support for organic farmers in the 2018 farm bill. 

Solar panels
SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN / AP

The YWCA McLean County has saved about $14,000 in the 10 months since installing its 123-kilowatt solar panel.

Downtown Bloomington
Eric Stock / WGLT

It's now easier to recycle in downtown Bloomington.

Ecology Action Center is using a grant to set up four permanent recycling containers on the four corners of the McLean County Museum of History property.

EAC Director Michael Brown said the goal now is to make sure the 90,000 people who come downtown annually actually use them.

“That’s education and that’s the work we’ve been doing now for well over 40 years; use education and outreach and trying to promote these behaviors,” Brown said.

Severe weather ripped through Van Buren County on July 19 with two EF-1 tornadoes touching down near the county seat of Keosauqua. One of the twisters destroyed a piece of the county's history, but not before its image could be captured on canvas.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

In the studio to talk more about small farms producing food grown and generally consumed in central Illinois is Bill Davison. As the local food systems and small farms educator with the University of Illinois Extension, Davison works with hundreds of small organic farms in Illinois and the Midwest.

Katie Funk shows off Funks Grove Heritage Fruits and Grains products at the sirup shop.
Ryan Denham / WGLT

On a recent morning Katie and Jonathan Funk and Katie's fiance, Jeff Hake, were showing off through their nine-acre organic farm. There are grapevines, corn stalks, a young orchard.

Mary Cullen / WGLT

The Normal Town Council passed an ordinance Monday requiring apartments and other multifamily residences to provide recycling options starting in August 2019.

The Colorado Project

The filmmaker behind "The Colorado" gives credit for his film, in part, to an explorer with central Illinois connections.

Staff / WGLT

A top recycling request in Bloomington-Normal is to provide services at multifamily residences, such as apartment complexes.

Staff / WGLT

Recycling isn't getting any easier. More items can be recycled now, like batteries and electronics. Packaging has gotten more complex, as well, according to Michael Brown with the Ecology Action Center (EAC).

International Crane Foundation

Whooping cranes have long captured the imagination of poets and painters. They are the tallest birds in North America, avid dancers and can live and breed well into their fifties.

McLean County Regional Planning Commission

A plan that's "very different" from any comprehensive plan the Town of Normal has adopted before would change, most noticeably, the community's layout, housing and transportation, according to two people instrumental in its development.

Joan Brehm

Illinois State University scholars, from biologists to sociologists, have been working for years on individual projects involving water.

Staff / WGLT

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is collecting data on recyclables in each county, with the goal of making recycling more accessible statewide.

Cindy Le / WGLT

Have you filed your FAFSA already? That's the question high school seniors and college students should be asking each other these days.

Courtesy of David Haskell

You might have heard about people who talk to trees. But can trees speak?

Staff / WGLT

Future growth of the community's bike share program will likely depend on private sponsorship. 

Dave Martin / The Associated Press

Here in the U.S., if you have to go to the bathroom, chances are there’s a toilet just a few steps away. That’s not the case for some 4.5 billion people across the world who don’t have access to toilets and safe sanitation systems.

Michael Jeffords

Most people would shrink from an opportunity to walk through the woods at night. All that darkness. All those strange insect sounds, not to mention the screeching owls.

Gavel and GLT logo
WGLT

The state’s Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday asked the Illinois attorney general to step in and force a mobile home park outside Heyworth to clean up its water supply.

Michael Brown / Ecology Action Center

The Ecology Action Center (EAC) is moving forward with its 2017 Household Hazardous Waste Collection event after meeting an early fundraising goal.

When Steph Davidson and Jennifer Swartout heard talk that the local food trend in Bloomington-Normal had maxed out, they decided to take action.

Bottle of whiskey
Whiskey Acres Facebook Page

McLean County has some of the most productive farmland in the country. As its farmers look to the future, should they be looking beyond corn and soybeans to something a bit more flavorful?

Cows eating
Center for Food Integrity

The public’s increased awareness of food safety has lead to perception problems for some Illinois farmers.

Courtesy / Michael Jeffords

Baby stink bugs. Jealous giraffes. Opportunistic baboons. Seamstress crab spiders. Slipper-shaped orchids. Cypress-studded swamps.

In more than 30 years of observing, recording and photographing insect, plant and animal life across the globe, Michael Jeffords and Susan Post have seen it all—or nearly.

Total eclipse
Hiroko Ono / Flickr

Day will look dark as night. Stars will shine at midday. Birds that are normally vocal during the day will suddenly grow silent. The daytime spectacle will rouse insects and other wildlife that usually come out only at night.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Leaving green grass to grow can save lots of green money.

As residents help develop a new master plan for Bloomington Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts, they will be asked to comment on a trend seen nationwide to save money: no-mow.

Midwest Fiber

Contamination in the recycling stream at Midwest Fiber threatens the business model that makes single stream recycling possible.  A company representative says if  the contamination rate increases above the current 10 percent, it could cost taxpayers more. 

Staff / WGLT

The percentage of McLean County solid waste diverted to recycling and away from the landfill has pushed past a goal set in 2007.  

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