"What is the value of having a house if there isn’t a decent planet to put it on?" – Henry David Thoreau Calendar

News
and Events

Check out our full calendar of activities, events, and educational opportunities. You're sure to find something to interest you. Please join us!

Events include:

  • Monthly educational programs and issues discussions
  • Local bird walks
  • Field trips
  • Preserve work days

For more details, see the current newsletter.

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Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017
NIAS Membership Meeting: Coyotes in Illinois... >

Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018
NIAS Membership Meeting: Hog Island Trip... >

Monday, Jan. 8, 2018
NIAS Board of Directors Meeting... >

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018
NIAS Membership Meeting: Bats- Beyond the Myths... >

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Northwest Illinois Audubon Society is a chapter of National Audubon Society, Inc.

Audubon

Conserving Our World

If you consider conservation a priority, the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society's Conservation Committee may be a good fit for your volunteer time. The committee reports to the Chapter's Board and guides the conservation activities of our Chapter.

The Conservation Committee meets monthly.

Conservation Committee membership is open to all Chapter members. Feel free to join us for our next discussion.

One One earth, rich and bountiful./One life to live and wonder./One chance to make a difference./One last chance to avoid a tipping point./One time, some years ago/One could see clearly the/One hopeful and certain path./One can only hope we follow it. – Written by Keith Blackmore Keith Blackmore, 1940 - 2015, Photo by Dan Barron

Climate Change

Our planet's changing climate is the most significant conservation issue of this time. While some people deny this change or contend that humans have no responsibility for it, the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society believes we must act. To this end, our Board provides programs and activities to educate the public about climate change and each individual's opportunities for action.

We suggest three paths that all of us can follow:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Influence our energy and climate policy
  • Continue to learn

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

About one quarter (25%) of the greenhouse gasses that are driving climate change are the result of day-by-day activities by individual consumers around the world. Though some people think that getting millions of people to change their energy habits is a daunting task, this is where each of us could start:

    Carbon Footprint Calculator
  1. Calculate your carbon footprint. Use the Carbon Footprint Calculator to discover your household's contribution to the global CO2 problem.

    You will need to gather some preliminary data – such as your utility bills, automobile use and travel records – but calculating your carbon footprint will only take a few minutes. Don't be too surprised when you get the result. Many of our "normal" lifestyle choices are more costly to the environment than we might think.
  2. Get a copy of the Low-Carbon Diet – A 30-Day Program to Lose 5,000 Pounds. It can show you how to reduce your carbon footprint by thousands of pounds per year – and save big money while you do it! Contact us for a copy.

    To help even more, gather a group of individuals or families together and our Chapter will provide trained Audubon volunteers to help you use this guide in a group setting. Together, you can take a systematic look at your "carbon footprints" and discover even more ways of saving money, saving energy and saving the planet.
  3. Carbon Footprint Calculator
  4. Check out a "Kill-a-watt" Meter. These compact, plug-in meters were purchased by our Chapter and are available at many local libraries and communities served by Jo-Carroll Energy. They allow you to directly measure the electrical consumption of any plug-in appliance or electrical device you may have.

    Have you ever wondered about the cost of operating that old refrigerator – or all those recharging devices you leave plugged in all over your house? Here's how to find the answer.
  5. Let us know how you're doing and what ideas or questions you may have. So far, participating local families have cut their carbon output by an average of 6,300 pounds per year – more than two and a half tons per family! This has helped the planet and reduced each family's utility bills and fuel costs by hundreds of dollars annually!

Influence Our Energy and Climate Policy

Three quarters (75%) of the greenhouse gasses that are driving climate change are generated by activity beyond the immediate scope of individual consumers. The industrial base that creates the consumer goods and the business and governmental actions that provide our products and services are the sources of 75% of the problem.

In a democratic society we can clearly influence these activities by our votes and political actions. Here's what you can do:

    Carbon Footprint Calculator
  1. Contact your local, state, and national lawmakers. Northwest Illinois Audubon Society's 501c(3) status prevents us from working as a group for specific political candidates. But as individuals, to address climate change, we must elect and support lawmakers who are committed to do so. Each of us can and should support the candidates whose positions show the most promise for protecting our environment and creating a more sustainable culture.

Federal

Senator Richard Durbin
Kluczynski Building 38th Floor
230 S. Dearborn
Chicago, IL 60604

Senator Tammy Duckworth
230 S. Dearborn, Suite 3900
Chicago, IL 60604

16th District
Rep. Adam Kinzinger
628 Columbus Street, Suite 507
Ottawa, IL 61350

17th District
Rep. Cheri Bustos
100 19th Street, Suite 101
Rockford, IL 61201

State

45th District
Sen. Tim Bivins
50 W. Douglas Street, Suite 1001
Freeport, IL 61032

36th District
Sen. Mike Jacobs
606 19th Street
Moline, IL 61265

89th District
Rep. Brian Stewart
50 West Douglas Street
Stewart Centre, Suite 1001
Freeport, IL 61032

90th District
Rep. Tom Demmer
1221 Currency Street, Suite B
Rochelle, IL 61068

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
State House Switchboard: (217) 782-2000

When using either switchboard, simply ask to be connected to the legislator's office.

  1. Get personally involved with organizations that are working on these issues:
    • 350.org is building a global grassroots movement to solve the climate crisis
    • Illinois Environmental Council engages in education and outreach and provides a forum for environmentalists

Continue to Learn

Carbon Footprint Calculator

Join Audubon conservation discussions – either at the monthly gathering of our Conservation Committee or at monthly Issues Discussions.