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An Illinois River Almanac

Jason Haupt's Energy and Environment Blog
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Heating Efficiently

Posted by Jason Haupt - Energy

Heating your home is an expensive endeavor. According to Department of Energy estimates in the average American home, 29% of energy costs are for heating the home. This is by far the largest percentage of energy costs on an annual basis. But there are ways to make sure that you are using your money as efficiently as possible. The simplest and least expensive way to save money on your he...

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Using Energy Smarter

Posted by Jason Haupt - Energy

We all keep a close eye on our utility bills each month. This makes sense as energy usage accounts for between five and fifteen percent of the average American households expenses. There are many ways that you can cut down on energy usage, and they all have an impact on how much you are spending each year. Energy efficiency benefits your pocket book on a monthly or annual basis, but it can also...

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Natives are the Best

The past few years have seen an increase in concern for helping pollinators and other insects. To me, this is the top concern for anyone who is gardening. When I go back and look at the questions that I received over the past year or so, the majority of them have to do with creating habitat for butterflies, bumblebees and other pollinators. Creating habitat is not a bad thing, far from it, but...

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The Alternative Energy Run Down

Alternative energy gets a lot of time in many of the discussions I have had recently. Many of them are extensions of other topics, but somehow the conversation is moved to some form of alternative energy. Several of them start out with "But how does this type of energy affect (fill in the blank)?" With this in mind, here are the most popular forms of alternative energy production with some pros...

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Feeding Wildlife

How many of us have gone to feed the ducks at a local park or pond near our homes? I would guess that most if not all people have done this at some point in our lives. Whoever it was that took you to the pond to feed the ducks more than likely it was done with a bag of white bread or bread heels, and those ducks went nuts for that bread. However, have you stopped to think about what feeding wil...

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The Need for Hunting

All creatures modify their habitats to better meet their needs. Some make major modifications, like beavers, and some make minor changes like moles. Humans are no exception to this they fall under the type of creature that makes major changes to their habitats. Humans replace forests and prairies with cities and agriculture fields; displacing different animal species because they pose a threat...

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The Mind Mending Power of Nature

I am sure that no one will deny that nature is exceptionally beneficial. Trees and other plants provide oxygen; nature provides recreational opportunities and food for some. Access to water without rivers, streams, and lakes would be much more difficult. However, there are some much less tangible benefits to nature as well. Nature provides mental renewal, reduces healing time for patients in ho...

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