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Live Green, Love Green, Think Green

Live Green, Love Green, Think Green

Fall Car Care

Fall is get your car/suv/truck ready for winter season. When ice and snow hit you will be ready if you have spent just a little time on vehicles.

  • Tire condition and good tread is very important as this will help with traction in  the snow. Return used car tires to retailers or wholesalers that recycle or retread them. Tires are banned from most landfills, and illegally dumped tires become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other pests.
  • A clean windshield is a must, new wiper blades and a full washer bottle will help with visibility a must in bad weather.
  • Check all lights headlights marker lights and all 3 brake lights to ensure they are working properly.
  • Change oil and filter using the recommended   oil for your car. This will help in cold start conditions. If you change your own motor oil, collect and store the used oil in a sturdy plastic container and take it to a recycling center. Dumping oil down storm drains or on the ground can contaminate ground water.
  • Have your battery checked. Most auto parts stores will check your battery for free. Take used or damaged car batteries to auto stores that stock or repair lead-acid batteries for safe disposal. The batteries contain toxic amounts of lead and acid. They are banned from many solid waste collection programs and all municipal solid waste landfills.
  • Antifreeze in Illinois a 50% water 50% antifreeze mix is what the mechanic ordered and should be checked every year. Take your used antifreeze to a recycling center. Call auto stores and your local government environmental agency to find the recycling center nearest you.
  • Coolant hoses should be checked for cracks and soft spots this is best done with a cold  engine
  • Pack an emergency kit including flash light and batteries ice /brush scraper,  small shovel a blanket, food bars, water, good jumper cables and cell phone

This might sound like a lot, but properly maintaining your vehicle will reduce pollution and replacement parts, and help you keep safe on the road.

Source: The park district's very own Owen O’Reilly & U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (

Fall Yard Work

Fall is a beautiful time of year when many enjoy being outdoors. Temperatures have cooled and the leaves turn an array of colors. Fall is a great time to get some yard work done and prepare for winter.

  • Consider hand tools over gas powered tools: Many small engines such as leaf blowers don’t have many of the emissions feature of a car. A hand rake is just as effective and provides good exercise.
  • Compost as much as possible. Leaves mixed in with grass clippings, coffee grounds, fruit & vegetable waste form kitchen make a nutrient rich compost for your garden. Learn more at:
  • The early months of fall are a great time to plant a tree. Consider a native species, well adapted to our climate, reducing the need for watering.
  • When preparing your soil for next year, add organic, slow-release fertilizers that will help enhance your soil over time. These fertilizers are made of natural materials that contain vital nutrients to help your plants grow.

Fall Home Improvements
Fall is the perfect time to get your home ready for the cold months of winter.

  • Caulk small spaces and gaps around windows and pipes and wires entering the home that create energy wasting drafts cutting the efficiency of your heating system.
  • Change your thermostat to a programmable one allows you to control the temperature in your home at different times of the day without you being home. Keep the heat off when you're out of the house and set it to turn back up before you get home. Some also have a second set of settings for weekends, when people usually spend more time at home.
  • Replace standard lamps with compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs -- they cost more per bulb but are far more efficient and last up to ten times longer. Over the life of one CFL, you can avoid replacing up to 13 incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy! Visit for more information.
  • Replace furnace filters for better air flow and efficiency.
  • Get some house cleaning done before the cold winter season locks you inside. There are some great alternatives conventional cleaners. You can whip up some of your own, non-toxic eco-friendly cleaners instead. For example, a mix of baking soda and warm water can be used as an all-purpose cleaner on everything from countertops to grease spills to laundry.

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View the Wheaton Park District's Environmental Policy »


Paper Recycling Program
ShoeBox Recyling Program (PDF)
Clothing Recycling Program
Community Center Recycling Station (PDF)
DuPage County Recycling Guide
Live Green & Save Green Tips
Rain Barrels & Composting Info
Native Plant Guide (PDF)

Staff Engagement and Training That Grows a Green Culture
by Cecilia Ungari, Connect Magazine 2/09
Myths About Recycling
(PDF, 951KB)

Turn Wheaton Green!
City of Wheaton Community Campaign
School & Community Assistance for Recycling & Composting Education
People getting and giving stuff for free in their own towns to keep good stuff out of landfills
Tips and information for everyday green living, a National Geographic site
Solutions for products' end-of-life for both businesses and consumers
A Discovery Company website