Everyday Environment

Small changes have positive impacts on the environment.

There is never a shortage of new things to learn about your everyday environment. The Everyday Environment Webinar series features a different environmental topic each month to encourage sustainable practices. Do your part to protect the planet for generations to enjoy.

All sessions are free and take place on the second Thursday of the month at 1 p.m. CST. The webinars are also recorded and available to watch online. If you will need an accommodation in order to participate in a program, please email Erin Garrett at emedvecz@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your access needs.

Winter 2024

everyday environment and spotted lanternflies on a tree branch

New Invaders: Spotted Lanternfly | Jan. 11, 1 p.m.

Help keep invasives out of Illinois. 

Spotted lanternfly is the newest “unwanted” invasive pest in Illinois. Learn how to identify and report this invasive insect as well as how to manage it and prevent further spread. Tricia Bethke from The Morton Arboretum will explore why monitoring for spotted lanternflies in winter is important and how you can help report invasives with early detection and rapid response.  



a lake with reeds around it reflecting the sky

Empower Illinois: Strategies to Reduce Nutrient Pollution and Protect Waterways | Feb. 8, 1 p.m.

Everyone has a role in preventing nutrient loss. 

The lakes, streams, and rivers of Illinois are vital for drinking water, wildlife, recreation, fishing, and industry, and everyone has a role in safeguarding water here and downstream. 

Explore what nutrient pollution is by learning about the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, NLRS, and how it works to reduce nutrient pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus. Whether you're a local landowner, concerned citizen, a steward of the environment – or all three – this presentation with University of Illinois Extension water quality experts will equip you with practical tools and knowledge so you can contribute to healthy waterways in your community. 

Discover the significance of nutrient management, learn about agricultural, homeowner, and municipal practices, and explore the successes of community-led watershed initiatives across the state. Learn about the latest updates on Illinois water quality, including progress made in reducing phosphorus discharges from wastewater treatment facilities, the addition of new agricultural conservation practices to the suite of recommended practices, green infrastructure adoption at home and within the community, and the approaches that are guiding Illinois toward a sustainable future and cleaner waterways. 

Presenters: Joan Cox, NLRS program manager; Rachel Curry, watershed and agriculture Educator; and Eliana Brown, water quality and stormwater specialist


an overhead view of a city landscape lit up at night

Protect Our Dark Skies: How to Limit Light Pollution | March 14, 1 p.m.

Starry nights are only possible when we turn out the lights.  

The sky is a natural wonder that unites everyone in Illinois, our nation, and the world. The Milky Way, the orange glow of Jupiter, the constellations Orion, and the Big Dipper all capture our attention and fill us with awe. However, for many of us, the sky is not dark enough to see more than just a few stars. Explore how to take a closer look around your home and community to assess night light conditions and simple ways you can help keep our night skies dark. 

Presenter: Amy Lefringhouse, natural resources, environment, and energy Educator


Never Miss a Session

Make sure to catch each new session in the series by joining our Everyday Environment mailing list.

Subscribe: go.illinois.edu/EverydayEnvironmentUpdates

Looking for previous programs? 

Sessions are recorded and available on YouTube within a month after the program to allow time for closed captioning.