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Browse through articles written by the Greeniacs team to learn about new and interesting developments in the environmental world!
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Why Are Bees Dying
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Why Are Bees Dying Colony Collapse Disorder has been a mysterious threat to honeybee populations throughout North America for several years now. Its devastating impact has been swift, leaving scientists scrambling to figure out why honeybees are rapidly dying off. For expanded background on the...

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Agricultural Runoff
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Agricultural Runoff Agricultural runoff is a broad term for agricultural byproducts that are not absorbed by fields or soil mass, but rather find themselves running loose into bodies of water such as lakes and rivers. Runoff can include agents such as pesticides , manure and synthetic fertilizers...

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What is Cold Pressed Juice
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
What is Cold Pressed Juice The word “juice” always used to remind me of my childhood, when my classmates and I would get hyped up on sugar via juice boxes during snack time. However, recently the concept of “juice” has been revamped. Out with juice from concentrate and in with fancy “cold-pressed” juice...

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Psychological Health
Thursday, 07 August 2014
Psychological Health Urban life has the tendency to be faster paced than rural life. In addition to an already fast-paced and crowded lifestyle, the rise of smart phones have brought an added stress – there is always an email you should be writing, a text you should be answering, a picture you...

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Vancouver Green City
Tuesday, 05 August 2014
Vancouver Green City The world’s urban population is expected to reach 6 billion people by the year 2050. Currently, 3.5 billion people live in urban areas. This number doubling of course means that more infrastructure, more food, more water, and more energy will be needed. The question is: how do we...

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Urbanization
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Urbanization It is estimated that by the year 2030 the world’s urban population will have increased by 2 billion people. In fact, between the years 2000 and 2010, Shanghai’s population alone increased by 65.6 percent! Judging from these statistics, it seems likely that our...

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Beverage Safety
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
Beverage Safety In August 2011, a California resident filed a class action complaint against Safeway, a supermarket chain, alleging that their product “Safeway Select Kona Blend Coffee” was misleading due to the fact that the product only contained a small proportion of Kona beans. The packaging...

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Avoid Environmental Hazards When Buying a Home
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Avoid  Environmental Hazards When Buying a Home When it comes to personal health, you try to exercise and eat your veggies. However, you may not be thinking about one big factor affecting your well-being: Where you live. If the first, second and third rules of real estate are location, location, location, it makes sense...

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Airline Industry
Tuesday, 08 July 2014
Airline  Industry Every year, more than 732 million passengers take to the skies in the United States alone to experience the miracles of flight.1 Trafficking passengers at speeds in excess of 500 miles per hour, modern air planes have made expedited travelling possible on a monumental scale...

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Environmental Medicine
Tuesday, 01 July 2014
Environmental  Medicine Nature abounds with miracle making plants that have revolutionized medicine for centuries. Modern scientific literature has documented over 20,000 medicinal plants that are being investigated or implemented as effective treatments for many illnesses. From the cancer saving properties...

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How Does Your Garden Grow
Thursday, 26 June 2014
How Does Your Garden Grow? Whether you're a green-fingered hobbyist or seasoned expert, whatever you've got, it start with a pot! Get to grips with the basics of gardening with our handy guide!

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Natural Hair Dying
Tuesday, 24 June 2014
Natural Hair Dying Whether it’s subtle highlights or bright pink tips, hair dye is a prevalent product in our society. A 2005 study on the relationship between hair dye use and bladder cancer estimated that in the U.S. and Europe, more than one-third of women over the age 18 and approximately...

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Forgotten Victims of Drought
Thursday, 19 June 2014
Forgotten Victims of Drought There are about 40 million people living in drought conditions in Eastern Africa. What makes matters worse is the fact that the water which they have access to is usually contaminated. With climate change making conditions worse this infograph was made to shine light on the matter.

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Mining Black Gold
Thursday, 12 June 2014
Mining Black Gold Find out how to properly set up your compost bin and learn about the benefits of composting; from enriching soil, to reducing emissions and lessening the use of chemical fertilizers!

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What is a Menstrual Cup
Tuesday, 10 June 2014
What is a Menstrual  Cup The average woman has her period for five days, once a month, over 40 years. In other words, the average woman uses over 16,800 tampons in her lifetime. After reading those statistics, I realized I knew very little about one of the products I use most frequently. It turns out...

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What is Fertilizer
Thursday, 05 June 2014
What is Fertilizer Our society is intricately bound to fertilizer. 200 years ago, prominent English economist Thomas Malthus predicted an imminent collapse of populations around the world centered on an idea that food production could never meet the growth rate of an exponentially multiplying...

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Raw Foods Diet
Tuesday, 03 June 2014
Raw Foods Diet The raw food diet has emerged in recent years as one of the newest trends in culinary wellness and health. The sudden popularity peaked my interest in the diet beyond simply knowing that raw foodism avoids cooking foods above a certain temperature in the name of preserving...

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Methane Greenhouse Gas
Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Methane  Greenhouse Gas How much do you know about the perils of a carbon and its four hydrogen friends—otherwise known as methane? The environmental media is usually inundated with a list of carbon related discussions that is inexhaustible. It is fair to say that the psyche of the greeniac has long... Methane Greenhouse Gas article/methane-greenhouse-gases.jpg

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Mislabeled Seafood
Tuesday, 20 May 2014
Mislabeled Seafood In the United States, mislabeled seafood is a prevalent problem. Consumers are faced with a myriad of labels and numerical ratings created by individual food markets to decipher. The term sustainable seafood is used everywhere, yet what that actually means remains a mystery...

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Chicken Safety
Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Chicken Safety If you plan on buying chicken at a grocery store you will find a myriad of terms jump out at you while perusing the poultry aisle. “Natural,” “grass-fed,” “cage-free,” “free-range” – the list goes on. As with the previous Greeniacs mislabeled food spotlight on honey, companies...

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Effects of Drugs
Thursday, 08 May 2014
Effects of Drugs The illegal drug industry is always a controversial topic. However, the environmental impact of producing and transporting these drugs is unfortunately often overlooked. The most commonly used drugs – marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin – pose considerable threats...

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Controlled Burns
Thursday, 01 May 2014
Controlled Burns A forest fire in Stanislaus National Forest destroyed 402 square miles of Northern Californian land back in August of 2013. The fire was able to grow quickly due to the large amount of extremely dry brush, oaks, and pines in the area. Since this fire, known as the Rim Fire...

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Honey Food Safety
Tuesday, 29 April 2014
Honey Food Safety In a supermarket full of treats made with white sugar and white flour, it’s hard to stick to your guns and pick the nutrient-rich vegetables and meat that will keep you healthy.  However, once you do decide to pick the healthy options, the challenge is not over. The food industry...

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Climate Change Conference 2014
Friday, 25 April 2014
Climate Change Conference 2014 The most recent November 2013 United Nation’s Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland unfortunately made little progress in tackling environmental concerns. Tensions were high throughout the talks, including a 30-hour-long deadlock. With such a disappointing outcome...

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Salt
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Salt Salt has become a delicacy, gracing the shelves of many specialty markets with different flavors and grains. It is one more item that can be relatively cheap to purchase or mysteriously expensive. It is used to take stains out of clothes or keep you from slipping on icy pavement...

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Foster Moms in Nature
Thursday, 17 April 2014
Six-month-old Themba was adopted after being orphaned and abandoned by this herd. Malnourished and helpess, Albert came to his rescue. With a companion to share things with...

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Earth Day 2014
Tuesday, 08 April 2014
Earth Day 2014 Days of commemoration usually mark important historical dates for events in religion, tradition or even politics, but it is quite rare to recognize a day of the year dedicated to the future of an international issue. Most of our most celebrated holidays have been subjected to complete...

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Environmental Microbiology
Tuesday, 01 April 2014
Environmental Microbiology Bacteria to the rescue?! Beyond the human vision of gargantuan stars and structures exists a unique world populated by organisms much smaller than the smallest human cell. They represent a novel domain of life, tracing a unique evolutionary heritage that pre-dates any...

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International Policing
Tuesday, 18 March 2014
International Policing The past few years has seen a noticeable rise in the international policing of natural resources. High-definition cameras disguised as rocks were used to film dolphin hunting in Japan, helicopters patrol the Pacific Ocean to monitor whaling, activists have boarded oil rigs in the...

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Climate Change and Disease
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
Climate Change and Disease As the world’s climates continue to change, scientists predict that mosquitoes will thrive in more places across the globe than ever. This is because insects are often more successful at higher temperatures. For example, in 2009, 22 cases of Dengue Fever were reported and confirmed in Florida. Before 2009, Florida had...

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Environmental Myths
Tuesday, 04 March 2014
Environmental Myths Myths of the century may be getting in the way of protecting sound environmental facts. It has been over 40 years since the environmental movement was said to have begun in the parks and green spaces across the United States on April 22, 1970—the first Earth Day ever celebrated in the country, and much progress has been made regarding environmental awareness over the years. The effects of DDT as a notorious pesticide were...

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American Solar Challenge
Thursday, 27 February 2014
American Solar Challenge Solar energy appears to be abundant in many parts of the United States, however harnessing this natural resource continues to be a challenge. As discussed in the Greeniacs articles previously addressing challenges to the solar power industry in the U.S., consumer knowledge and financing hurdles rank high, along with intermittency and regulatory roadblocks. Let’s take another look at how these issues continue manifesting currently...

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Coal Energy
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Coal Energy Coal-fired power plants in the United States produce more hazardous air pollution than any other industrial pollution source. According to a 2011 American Lung Association report, “over 386,000 tons of air pollutants are emitted from over 400 plants in the U.S. per year… [and] particle pollution from power...

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Healthy Oils
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Healthy Oils A slew of oils have recently emerged onto the health food scene and I found myself wondering, what are the best uses for each of these supposedly healthy oils? Which oil is best used for high-heat cooking and which is best used for skin moisturizing? Well, what I can tell you from my research is one fact was...

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Coal Mining
Tuesday, 11 February 2014
Coal Mining The national climate movement has been preoccupied with two things: 1) either applauding president Obama’s latest climate speech or criticizing his failure to act on climate change, and 2) fretting over the Keystone XL pipeline decision. While both of these events are important, many environmentalists do not realize that there is an even bigger carbon bomb ticking in a place they’ve probably never heard of—the Powder River Basin...

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Examples of Fossil Fuels
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Examples of Fossil Fuels Fossil fuels: of the many words being thrown around in environmental discussions across newspapers, books and mass media spanning far and wide across the globe, these two words rest at the center of nearly every discussion. If one were to sum up the entire global environmental crisis in two words, indeed fossil fuels takes center stage. It is the keystone, the consequential essence of nearly everything discussed in matters of energy...

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Endangered Species Update II
Thursday, 23 January 2014
Endangered Species Update II This past November of 2013, the United Nations held climate talks in Warsaw as a prelude to larger U.N. climate talks scheduled to occur in Paris in 2015. However, due to both developed and developing countries’ refusal to set carbon emission reduction targets, these talks were not an encouraging sign for future efforts against climate change...

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School Grounds
Thursday, 16 January 2014
School Grounds While the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allows over 200 pesticides to be used for lawn care, they are still intentionally toxic substances in that their main purpose is killing pests. Of the 48 most commonly used pesticides in schools, 81% are irritants, 69% are neurotoxins...

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RÍO DE LA PLATA
Tuesday, 14 January 2014
RÍO DE LA PLATA Río de la Plata literally means “river of silver,” but looking at the river today you might think that the river would be more aptly named Río de Marrón (river of brown). The coasts of the Río de la Plata are the most densely populated areas of Argentina (Buenos Aires) and Uruguay (Montevideo)...

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Bicycle History
Thursday, 09 January 2014
Bicycle History In a short essay Taming the Bicycle, Mark Twain tells his readers to “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.” Now that we live in an age of cross-country bicycle racing and high-tech mountain bikes it’s hard to believe that Twain would be so skeptical about the future of cycling...

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Smart Stadiums
Tuesday, 07 January 2014
Smart Stadiums Have you ever thought about increasing stadium efficiency through technology? The link between technology and sporting events might not be obvious, but the two are becoming increasingly intertwined. After all, if you're watching the big game from your home, it’s thanks to some extremely...

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Green Tips
Thursday, 19 December 2013
Green Tips Here’s your green holiday season guide—the new twelve days of whatever you celebrate! It’s December and the holidays are upon us. Here's to hoping that Santa will bring all of us what we really need: Enough courage and compassion to do something for the environment! To help you celebrate the holidays in eco-friendly fashion, I’ve come up with green...

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Have an Eco Friendly Thanksgiving
Wednesday, 27 November 2013
Have an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving! The time of year is approaching again to gather with family and friends and share your thanks over a big meal. Yes, Thanksgiving Day is right around the corner! While this season is usually a time to celebrate the land and its offerings, it can also be a time to give our respect back to the environment. Below are some ideas to make this...

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Sweatshops
Thursday, 21 November 2013
Sweatshops Sweatshops are working environments that are unacceptably dangerous or difficult. Sweatshop workers—which may include young children, slaves, and illegal immigrants—work long hours in unsanitary conditions for very low wages. The United States General Accounting Office defines a sweatshop as a workplace “that violates more than one federal or state labor...

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Environmental Justice
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Environmental Justice Social change and environmental change go hand in hand. When you bike to work instead of driving, or when you repair your computer instead of buying a new one, you not only contribute to the health of our environment, but also to the well being of people both near and far. The production and disposal of dirty products (like cars and electronic gadgets) can make...

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Fossil Fuel Subsidies
Tuesday, 05 November 2013
Fossil Fuel Subsidies You may be surprised to learn that fossil fuel subsidies in the United States are estimated to amount to between $14 billion and $52 billion on a yearly basis! The five major oil companies operating in the U.S. – Exxon, BP, Chevron, Shell, and AmocoPhillips – just by themselves receive $2.4 Billion US Dollars annually in tax deductions. A fossil fuel subsidy...

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Nitrogen Cycle
Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Nitrogen Cycle Nitrogen, the seventh element of the periodic table, is a rather underrated but critical component to the functioning of all life on Earth. The colorless, odorless, and tasteless di-nitrogen (N2) gas constitutes 78 percent of Earth’s atmosphere. Besides its prevalence in the air we breathe, nitrogen is essential to the building blocks of life, namely, our...

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History of Nuclear Power
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
History of Nuclear Power According to Robert Stone, nuclear energy has the power to save the world. As director of the film Pandora’s Promise, Stone makes the case that with “a five-alarm fire bell [ringing] on the climate crisis…it’s time to rethink that fear of nuclear.” Although it may be true that nuclear power could provide enough energy to fuel the world, utilities in the United States...

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Urban Agriculture
Thursday, 17 October 2013
Urban Agriculture The 1920s marked the start of a regional planning movement in the United States during which many leaders attempted to transform conventional industrialized food systems in place. It wasn’t until the environmental justice movement, however, that mobilization began to grow, cultivating ideals of “community empowerment, social justice, and reduction of environmental...

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Incineration
Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Incineration The first trash incinerator in the United States was built in New York City in 1885. However, it was not until 1970, when the Clean Air Act was passed, that the environmental impacts of incinerators, such as toxic emissions, were investigated. The drawbacks of trash incinerators, also known as waste-to-energy facilities, have been increasingly in the public...

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Genetic Pollution
Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Genetic Pollution Media reports and environmental discussions at nearly all levels of politics and academia have made most of us aware of the perils of air pollution and water pollution and its overarching global impact. Today, even the elementary school child is beginning to learn that pollutants in the water or air can be dangerous, and consequently legislation over decades...

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Indicator Species
Thursday, 03 October 2013
Indicator Species Since the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels are higher than ever before and twelve of the hottest years, to be recorded, have occurred in the last fifteen years. Global warming is as real as it is unrelenting, and extreme weather events are becoming more and more frequent. With an environment that has been so insidiously compromised by human advancement...

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District Energy
Tuesday, 01 October 2013
District Energy Have you ever considered in detail the systems by which American households are heated and cooled at the flip of a switch? For many of us, knowing that we can cool down in the midst of a triple digit heat spell, and conversely, become quite toasty on a frost-ridden day, is enough. Yet here we are, in the 21st century, dealing with an energy crisis and undeniably...

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World Biomes
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
World Biomes The planet Earth is one very large, complex, and diverse system that came together in an extremely unlikely, yet almost serendipitous event. Operating under intricate biological, physical, chemical, and environmental conditions, life on Earth is rather delicate and is reliant upon a multitude of factors. The most comprehensive way of digesting...

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Slow Food
Thursday, 12 September 2013
Slow Food The “fast” life undoubtedly evokes in our society a sense of anxiety and unrest. Relentlessly ingrained in us is the mindset that a “fast” life creates the framework for optimizing exposure to all that life has to offer. In reality, no matter how quickly one is able to accomplish or experience something, it is invariably at the expense of their health, happiness...

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Ontario Climate
Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Ontario Climate Ontario Canada is a Province known for its ecological beauty alongside its metropolitan life as found in the great city of Toronto! Black spruce, moose, caribou, lynx and wolf grace the coniferous forests of western Ontario. The beaches of Lake Ontario, Georgian Bay, and Lake Huron host diverse ecosystems with excellent bird watching and fishing that have attracted...

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City Planning
Tuesday, 03 September 2013
City Planning It is undeniable that cities of the United States are designed to facilitate transportation by use of the automobile. As you all know, cars are a major source of pollution to our atmosphere, waterways, and natural habitats, emitting pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, sulfur oxides, carbon dixodes, methane, and particulate matter...

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Compost Benefits
Thursday, 29 August 2013
Compost Benefits Composting is the new recycling! You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: “zero waste by 2020.” Accompanied by a catchy slogan, this ambitious waste reduction goal has been adopted by many cities throughout the world! From the bustling cityscape of San Francisco to the small mountain village of Kamikatsu, Japan, forward thinking is just one of many ways...

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Mono Lake
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Mono Lake Created at least 760,000 years ago as a result of a monumental volcanic eruption, Mono Lake is one of if not the oldest lake in the United States. Although significantly reduced from its original geographic expanse, the lake currently covers 66 square miles of volcanic landscape, and is situated in California, 13 miles east of Yosemite National Park. Nestled between...

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Importance of Insulation
Thursday, 15 August 2013
Importance of Insulation In the 1870s, young Laura Ingalls and the rest of her family in The Little House in the Big Woods had minimal insulation. When winter drew near families would stuff the gaps between their cabin’s logs with moss, dead leaves, straw, and any other natural materials they could find. Today we use much more sophisticated materials and methods of application...

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Pesticide Usage
Tuesday, 13 August 2013
Pesticide Usage With global population levels soaring to more than 7 billion, it is often taken for granted how the world has been able to sustain such a large population that is increasingly reaching its carrying capacity. While the unequal distribution of wealth does question the notion of a population that is being...

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Wind Turbines and Health
Thursday, 08 August 2013
Wind Turbines and Health Most people have heard the complaints about wind turbines, which are used to create renewable and clean wind energy. These common complaints are that the turbines obstruct pleasant views and disrupt bird flight paths. But now a new complaint is starting to become more widespread. Wind Turbine Syndrome, as it is known, is purportedly caused by the low-frequency...

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Water Pollution Effects
Tuesday, 06 August 2013
Water Pollution Effects In an environment primarily driven by anthropogenic activities, it is of no surprise that human nature’s exploitative proclivities manifest in our oceans, lakes, and rivers. On a planet where water makes up approximately 70 percent of its 510-million-square-kilometer surface, it is hard to...

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Renewable Energy Sources
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Renewable Energy Sources If the constant environmental debate for emissions control hasn't projected the urgency for renewable energies, the rising cost of gasoline and electricity has successfully managed to do so. As the name suggests, renewable energy is “renewable,” but what exactly is the meaning behind this highly publicized term? Renewable energies specifically refer to energies...

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Concrete and the Environment
Thursday, 25 July 2013
Concrete and the Environment Concrete holds our lives together. The majority of our buildings, bridges, roads, and dams are constructed and held together by concrete. There are also many things that you probably didn’t know about this wonder material. Concrete is one of the primary materials in building construction, which is the nation’s largest manufacturing activity, accounting for 60%...

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Genetically Engineered Fish
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Genetically Engineered Fish Talk of fish is everywhere these days, from discussions about aquaculture—or more broadly, the alarming decline in our global fish stock—now to what was once considered pure science fiction: the awe that is genetically engineered fish, otherwise referred to as “Frankenfish.” Now, you’ve heard of the contentious three-letter acronym, GMO, which stands for genetically...

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Ozone Hole
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Ozone Hole We hear about the “ozone hole” regularly in the news, but what exactly does this mean? Let’s take a look at this environmental and human health problem of a depleting ozone layer. Ozone—the triatomic natural wonder of chemistry that unusually pairs three oxygen atoms—forms nature’s contiguous sun screen against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation that emanates...

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Waste Dumping
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Waste Dumping On May 28, 2013, the world’s retail behemoth, more commonly known as Wal-Mart, plead guilty to violating both federal and state environmental laws. Since 2003, it has been charged with allegations of inappropriately disposing of hazardous waste and other consumer products on multiple accounts.1 Hearings took place in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and...

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The Keeling Curve
Thursday, 11 July 2013
The Keeling Curve For the first time in human history, hourly carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have risen above 400 parts per million (ppm). Media outlets around the world have been reporting about this important symbolic milestone and more evidence of global warming being a reality. However, without some background information about the keeling curve and parts per million it can be difficult to recognize...

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Water Pollution
Tuesday, 09 July 2013
Water Pollution Have you ever wondered where the mindless flush of a toilet delivers your household waste? What about the fate of liquid waste, or “effluent,” generated through industrial processes? Understandably, most people do not ponder the destinations of human and industrial waste, possessing an out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude. However, reality reminds us that these...

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Aquaculture
Tuesday, 25 June 2013
Aquaculture Do you love a good old cup of clam chowder, or perhaps some popcorn shrimp, or maybe you just like to go fishing for sport? If you fall into any of these categories, and in fact many more, then you have already reaped the benefits of aquaculture, which is commonly referred to as fish farming. Formally, aquaculture refers to “the breeding, rearing, and...

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Rails to Trails
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Rails to Trails When the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge opened in 1889 it was the longest bridge in all of North America. As the only bridge across the Hudson River, sitting between New York City and Albany 150 miles upriver, the new bridge became a major throughway for passenger trains. This included...

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Geothermal Energy
Tuesday, 11 June 2013
Geothermal Energy We are in a continual search for sustainable and clean energy to secure our future, looking across oceans, within fields of specialized grass, and even towards the ethereal skies that harbors today’s supply of solar energy. But how often have we looked way below, beyond the depths of oil and pockets of natural gas, instead towards depths nearing the Earth’s core...

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Sport Arenas
Thursday, 06 June 2013
Sport Arenas The next time you are sitting at your favorite home team’s stadium, take a look around. Have you ever thought about how much electricity it takes to light up those video boards and spotlights? How much refrigeration is needed to keep drinks cold? How much fuel is used to get all of...

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Modern Agriculture
Tuesday, 04 June 2013
Modern Agriculture As time passes by, there are more and more mouths to feed across the globe. The demand for crops during their offseason or in locations they are not usually grown has skyrocketed, and in such a consumerist world, instead of consumers learning to adapt to the changes to the environment...

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Oysters
Thursday, 30 May 2013
Oysters In the famous story of Alice and Wonderland, the Walrus and the Carpenter coaxed a hoard of oysters to follow their lead. The Walrus and Carpenter fed on the oysters until, eventually, “they’d eaten everyone.” As the prose is so profoundly found in the story...

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A Water Project
Tuesday, 28 May 2013
A Water Project The City of Davis is one of few cities in the State of California that still relies entirely upon groundwater. Currently, the city pumps groundwater at depths ranging between 700-2,700 feet below the surface, tapping into mostly intermediate aquifers. There are twenty-two wells...

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LEED Certification System
Thursday, 23 May 2013
LEED Certification System By now you’ve probably seen the leafy U.S. Green Building Council LEED certification seal. But do you know what it signifies? LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Certification was created to provide objective guidelines and verification on how to build and renovate...

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Ozone and the Environment
Tuesday, 21 May 2013
Ozone and the Environment When most of us think of ozone, we think of sun protection and something good for our health and the environment. But did you know that there is also a negative size of our dear friend “ozone”? One might call this discussion the highs and lows of ozone. One of the central dogmas concerning...

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Protect the Sharks
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Protect the Sharks Did you know that you are more likely to be killed by a vending machine than by a shark? Most people think of sharks as vicious predators that pose a threat to beachgoers, but the reality is that humans pose a far bigger danger to sharks than they do to us. Our depiction of sharks as...

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Energy Efficient Mortgages for a Green Home
Monday, 13 May 2013
Energy Efficient Mortgages for a Green Home Did you know that you can get a mortgage that helps you to be more energy efficient and reduce your environmental footprint? Most people are unaware of it, but the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers Energy Efficient Mortgages (EEM) that will allow you to finance the cost...

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Food and Fuel
Thursday, 02 May 2013
Food and Fuel By the year 2050 the world population is estimated to be over 9 billion. Over the course of their lifetimes, each of these people will require a few essentials such as food, shelter, and utilities. To accommodate these needs academics and industry leaders are debating whether or not...

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The Colorado River
Tuesday, 30 April 2013
The Colorado River A reservoir is considered to be a “dead pool” when the water level behind a dam is too low to spill water or generate hydroelectric power. In a recent book, James Lawrence Powell predicts that there is a 50% chance that Lake Powell, Lake Mead and the entire Colorado River dam system...

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Paper Bag Use
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Paper Bag Use Across the globe, plastic bag bans are being enacted, eliminating single use plastic bags in most grocery and merchandise stores. Most of the time the plastic bags are replaced with paper bags, often at a charge of 10 cents. However, this is by no means promoting the use of paper bags...

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Airplane Emissions
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Airplane Emissions You’ve probably thought about how you are contributing to climate change while filling up your car at the gas station, or turning up the space heater rather than putting on a sweater. But have you ever thought about it while boarding an airplane? I was surprised to learn that aircraft...

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Mass Extinctions
Thursday, 18 April 2013
Mass Extinctions It is no question that the variety of life on this planet is huge, but diminishing. There are over 6000 species of amphibians, and over 9000 species of birds in existence today, but if we look at the history of the Earth, these numbers are nothing. Over 90 percent of animals that have...

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Earth Day 2013
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Earth Day 2013 Earth Day 2013 is just around the corner, coming up on April 22nd! Have you sent in a photo yet? This year the official theme of Earth Day is “The Face of Climate Change.” The Earth Day Network is collecting photographs that highlight the growing impact that climate change is...

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Clean Air Act
Thursday, 11 April 2013
Clean Air Act As ecologist Garrett Hardin stated in his famous commentary, Tragedy of the Commons, humans always tend to take more and more without regulation. This has led to problems with overfishing, overharvesting, and deforestation. Clean air is no exception to this ever growing problem. Although...

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Earth Hour 2013
Thursday, 04 April 2013
Earth Hour 2013 On average, the annual consumption of electricity in the United States per utility customer was 11,280 kWh in 2011, while the average per capita electricity use in Africa as an entire continent was about 570 kWh over the year in 2010. The U.S. uses more electricity than any nation except...

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Future of Wind Energy
Tuesday, 02 April 2013
Future of Wind Energy From the birth of the sail that discovered the Americas to the agricultural revolution that centered on the windmill, wind energy has changed the world for centuries. Today, a different kind of revolution is taking place as the search for domestically available alternative energies heats...

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Population Issues
Thursday, 28 March 2013
Population Issues There are currently over seven billion humans living on this planet and researchers fear that we may be reaching our carrying capacity. The idea of humans reaching our capacity is not a new idea, however. The theory originated from the pessimist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834), who...

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Monarch Butterflies
Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Monarch Butterflies Monarch butterflies are not usually found in Tennessee, but climate change has led the butterflies to abandon their normal overwintering migration stop in Mexico for a similarly mountainous location farther North. This change in migration routes is worrisome because if the temperature...

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Fossil Fuel Divestment
Tuesday, 19 March 2013
Fossil Fuel Divestment Lately there has been a great deal of chatter in the environmental community about divestment. But what exactly does this mean? To understand the divestment movement, the first thing grasp is that every college, university, and most places of worship, unions, cities, states, and large workplaces have endowments or pension funds. Endowments consist of...

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Skin Health
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Skin Health The winter is a time when everyone’s skin starts to flare up. The dryness and cold sucks the skin of moisture and leaves skin flakey and dry, sometimes even a little irritated. With this knowledge, I was not surprised when winter rolled along and my face became flaky and dry, but when I went to China, the conditions worsened. A rash developed on...

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Green Careers
Thursday, 14 March 2013
Green Careers A green job refers to any profession working to make a positive contribution to the environmental movement. The term "green job" can wear many faces. Because the environmental movement is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement you can find your niche anywhere from advocating for sustainable management of resources to...

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Fracking in California
Tuesday, 12 March 2013
Fracking in California The controversial drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as “fracking,” has created an oil and gas boom across the United States. Many states including New York, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas, have all seen heated debates about whether the economic benefits of fracking outweigh the risks to groundwater and public health...

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Illegal Animal Trade
Thursday, 07 March 2013
Illegal Animal Trade Since the beginning of time, people have loved to showcase their wealth. Wealth has been represented by things that were considered hard or almost impossible to attain. Throughout most of European history, displaying paintings was the choice way of showing off wealth. In ancient Chinese and European civilizations, people chose to display their wealth with...

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Yukon and Northwest Territories
Tuesday, 05 March 2013
Yukon and Northwest Territories Within the next 100 years, the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are predicted to double and global air temperatures are expected to increase by as much as 5°C as a result.1 This warming will have impacts on the natural environment, communities, and lifestyles in the Yukon and Northwest territories of Canada. This article highlights the causes of...

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El Niño
Thursday, 28 February 2013
El Niño Earth is a fragile being, and one change in one part of the globe can affect multiple other locations, both near and far. This is especially true when the one change is in the giant Pacific Ocean. When the air and water of the Pacific Ocean becomes warmer, winters get wetter in places like Southern California and Southeastern America, while becoming...

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Wetlands
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Wetlands Stinking, stagnant waters filled with mosquitoes and other bugs… oozing muck… Although wetlands don’t seem like the most appealing places to visit, they are a crucial part of the ecological chain. Wetlands provide resting places for birds, habitats for an astounding variety of species, transform runoff water from an environmental hazard to a productive...

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Land Grabbing
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Land Grabbing In global policy making, a huge issue that comes up with almost every discussion is the dichotomy between the geographical “North versus South,” or the “Developed versus the Developing” nations. Developed nations—such as the United States and countries incorporated into the European Union—are called upon by the developing world to contribute more...

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Green Memes
Thursday, 14 February 2013
Green Memes The fiscal cliff, Yes We Can!, and Gangnam Style all have something in common…they are what is known as “memes.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary online defines a meme as, "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.” On the Internet, memes are usually...

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Soot
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Soot Soot is made up of microscopic particles that are released from burning fossil fuels at different sources like power plants, smokestacks, diesel trucks, and wood-burning stoves. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released new soot regulations as its first major promulgation since the November 2012 Presidential election...

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New Hybrid Vehicles
Thursday, 07 February 2013
New Hybrid Vehicles As rising fuel costs and greater environmental awareness make center stage, both the passionate and practical consumer can find much respite in the evolution of hybrid vehicles. Boasting high mileage figures and an increasing degree of comfort, hybrids have not only become the ire of big engine traditionalist but an increasingly acceptable mode of transport...

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San Diego Fires
Tuesday, 05 February 2013
San Diego Fires It was a typical Sunday morning with clear skies in the sunny San Diego, California, but once the clock struck noon, something strange filled the air. The air became musky and what seemed to be a dark cloud quickly consumed the blue skies. It was not until I turned on the news that I noticed the ashes flying freely with the wind and realized that the dark cloud...

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Environmental Science
Thursday, 31 January 2013
Environmental Science Americans are often accused of being uninformed about scientific issues. Indeed, a full 70% of American adults currently qualify as scientifically illiterate—meaning they cannot comprehend what they might read in the New York Times Science Section. This is a terrifying statistic when you consider that over the last few decades the number of public policy...

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China Trip
Tuesday, 29 January 2013
China Trip My last memories of Beijing, China were of blue skies and celebration in the summer of 2008. As many of you may remember, Beijing hosted the 2008 summer Olympics, bringing people from every nation together in the hustle and bustle of the capital of China. With a reputation for having very bad air pollution, the Chinese government ceased major industrial production...

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Green Party History
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Green Party History If you ask someone on the street what comes to mind when you said the words “Green Party,” most likely they would say Ralph Nader and then give you a blank stare. A few people, still bitter about the 2000 presidential election, might scoff and throw in the word “spoiler.” But popular knowledge about the Green Party belies a fascinating history.

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Habitat Destruction
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Habitat Destruction Loss of biodiversity is an ongoing threat to our planet’s environment, our wildlife’s survival, and our own human health. Scientists have speculated that the current string of extinctions will be known as one of the largest, possibly the largest, mass extinctions in earth’s history. As the list of extinct, endangered and threatened species continues...

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Nunavut Climate
Thursday, 17 January 2013
Nunavut Climate Nunavut is the largest, newest, and most northerly territory in Canada. Much of Nunavut is considered arctic territory. With its bitter temperatures, Nunavut is both the least populous and the largest in area of the provinces and territories of Canada. It has a population of 31,906, mostly native Inuit (77% in 2006), spread over an area the size of Western...

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Toxic Substances Control Act
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Toxic Substances Control Act When the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) passed in 1976, it was heralded as an equal among the other sweeping environmental laws of the era. The Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and the Endangered Species Act are familiar to most Americans—they form the backbone of environmental legislation in the United States. But how many people do you know...

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Green Colleges
Thursday, 10 January 2013
Green Colleges Many people say the future of our nation, and even the world, lies in the hands of the new generation – the students. These are our future doctors, lawyers, scholars, and leaders. Growth of this next generation is not only fostered by self-determination and hard work, but also by the environment and community in which students live and interact. In order to have...

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Clean Water Act
Tuesday, 08 January 2013
Clean Water Act Forty years ago, on October 18, 1972, a bipartisan United States Congress amended the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1948. The amended act became popularly known as the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA also implemented the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)...

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Acid Rain Solutions
Thursday, 03 January 2013
Acid Rain Solutions The numerous environmental and health issues surrounding acid rain have grasped headlines around the world as a very tangible and imminent threat in our quickly industrializing world. It is a dastardly culprit, destroying habitats and infrastructure while highlighting the more macroscopic issue of global warming that is often indicated by acid rain due...

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Reindeer Population
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Reindeer Population Reindeer are popular this time of year. With the help of Rudolf, these creatures have become a quintessential feature of the Christmas holiday. Unfortunately, reindeer herds—also known as caribou—are in decline. New studies indicate that reindeer belong alongside endangered species like the polar bear on the climate change watch list.

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Québec Climate
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Québec Climate Like the rest of the Canadian provinces, Québec’s natural resources are at risk due to climate change. However, Québec may be the province that has taken the threat most seriously. The forward-looking environmental policies in Québec and the recent “Maple Spring” may be a sign of greener things to come in Canada. This article is part of a multipart series...

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Sacramento Delta
Thursday, 06 December 2012
Sacramento Delta Seven thousand years ago, at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers in central California, a delta was born. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta now consists of a network of waterways that extends for 700 miles. Built up around 57 islands, 1,100 miles of levees...

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Caribbean Lionfish
Thursday, 29 November 2012
Caribbean Lionfish The lionfish invasion strikes at one of the worst times in the Caribbean. More than 75 percent of the coral reefs are already in endangered due to overfishing, pollution, acidification, and coastal development. Overfishing has been especially devastating—when larger herbivorous...

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Carbon Dioxide
Monday, 26 November 2012
Carbon Dioxide Carbon dioxide has managed to capture headlines as an environmental risk in almost every corner of the globe—whether it be via a news broadcast or an environmental magazine. Although carbon dioxide (CO2) may hold the world title as the most commonly mentioned molecule in environmental blogs...

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Birds Fly into Windows
Wednesday, 21 November 2012
Birds Fly into Windows Glass is a danger to birds primarily due to its reflectivity. Birds often see escape routes or “intruders” mirrored in reflective glass. The speed and force of the impact can cause instant death or fatal injury—traumas such as brain hemorrhages or other internal bleeding. Transparent...

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Genetically Modified Organisms
Monday, 19 November 2012
Genetically Modified Organisms The story starts with a tomato – the Flavr Savr by Calgene. This was the first commercial use of genetically modified organisms, aka GMOs, and was released in 1994 without any form of labeling. Since then, GMOs have been an integral part of not just the American, but the global food...

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Montreal Protocol
Thursday, 08 November 2012
Montreal Protocol In a world divided into different governments and nations, it is easy to forget that we all make up one globe of people with similar needs and wants. This has become even clearer as the actions of various countries are increasingly affecting the conditions across our biosphere, creating...

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Made from Corn
Thursday, 01 November 2012
Made from Corn The sun rays beam in through the window and the song birds start to chirp, bringing the start of a fresh new day. What you don’t know is that from the moment you wake up, corn will play a huge role throughout your everyday life. Of course corn is in many food items, such as popcorn, cereal, and..

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Insect Borne Diseases
Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Insect-Borne Diseases Thus far, 2012 has been a particularly tragic year in terms of insect-borne diseases in the United States. The West Nile Virus has affected 1,993 Americans and killed 87 so far this year—the most cases since the disease was first reported in the U.S. in 1999. It’s a scary statistic...

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Marine Extinction
Thursday, 18 October 2012
Marine Extinction Global biodiversity has been declining since the rise of the human civilization. Unfortunately, the numbers of disappearing fresh water species has increased rapidly in recent years. North American fresh water extinctions increased 877 fold from 1900 to 2010 when measured against the fossil...

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Migratory Birds
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
Migratory Birds Millions of birds make the journey from the Gulf of Mexico up to Canada every year. In the spring, migratory birds fly north to the lakes and forests of Canada to nest and reproduce, then fly south in the fall to escape freezing temperatures. Why make this arduous journey every...

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Air Pollution
Thursday, 11 October 2012
Air Pollution It lurks in the skies as smog, builds up in the air to warm the earth and remains invisible to the human eye but lethal to biological organisms. The dark, growing cloud of air pollution looms over our much industrialized global village with toxic effects on our environment and public...

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Himalayan Glaciers
Tuesday, 09 October 2012
Himalayan Glaciers In 2010 climate change skeptics declared that they had uncovered “glacier-gate.” They went on to challenge the statement that the Himalaya’s glaciers could lose most of their mass by 2035 included in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and point...

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Green Stadium
Thursday, 04 October 2012
Green Stadium Fire the grills and ready the face paint, because it’s football season! While most Americans choose to enjoy this pastime in the comfort of their own homes, many dedicated fans cheer on their favorite teams at their home stadiums. Throughout the years, stadiums have become a focus of...

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Belief in Climate Change
Tuesday, 02 October 2012
Belief in Climate Change The heat of summer 2012 broke thousands of records across the United States. The country experienced the worst drought in fifty years, leading the Department of Agriculture to declare more than 1,000 counties natural disaster zones. In addition to the heat in the U.S., NASA scientists observed...

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Acid Rain
Thursday, 27 September 2012
Acid Rain Acid rain is a term used in virtually every environmental documentary and green outreach initiative, yet many of us are not sure what exactly acid rain has come to signify or its potentially severe implications in environmental balance. Quite simply, it is a matter of solubility...

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Corn Drought
Tuesday, 25 September 2012
Corn Drought Drought brings cornucopia of problems for the United States’ corn industry… It’s hard to miss the effects of the summer of 2012’s prolonged drought when you fly over the Midwest. Huge swaths of corn land are browned and unusable. And if you don’t have reason to fly across the...

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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
Thursday, 20 September 2012
Silent Spring It was 50 years ago that a book spurred the first major environmental movement in the United States. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring hit the book stores on September 27, 1962 to catalogue the hazardous effects of the pesticide DDT—banned 10 years later in the U.S. — and questioned...

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Shark Fin Soup
Tuesday, 18 September 2012
Shark Fin Soup It’s 11am and you want a nice light meal with many different flavor options. In my native country of China, this calls for only one thing – Dim Sum. This meal has also become more and more popular in the United States. One of the most highly demanded delicacies served in this meal is shark...

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Fuel Cell Technology
Thursday, 13 September 2012
Fuel Cell Technology As the concern for finding alternative energy to power our industries grows, recent developments in fuel cell technology have made powering smaller and larger scale operations possible. Although the most prominent fuel cell in the media has been the hydrogen fuel cell, there are..

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Australian Carbon Tax
Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Australian Carbon Tax Although Australia ranks as the sixteenth highest greenhouse gas emitting country on earth, it is an embarrassing 7th in per person metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Indeed, Australia has the highest per person pollution rates of all developed nations, including the...

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Giant Squid
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Giant Squid Humboldt squids were once so rare that scientists could only examine them when their dead bodies washed onto shore. Such occurrences have become more and more frequent, with carcasses washing up on the shores of Florida...

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California High speed Rail
Tuesday, 04 September 2012
California High-speed Rail As many Californians can tell you, the drive between San Francisco and Los Angeles is painful. On the East Coast you can pass through several states driving for six hours, but in California those six hours will get you mile after mile of the same dry, flat scenery. Of all the highways that...

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Car Technology
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Car Technology Is motoring with other energies on the horizon? There certainly has been a boom in hybrid and electric powered cars over the last decade, and the monumental growth of fuel cell and battery technology has allowed for a new age in cleaner and more fuel efficient automobiles for the average...

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Climate Change in School
Tuesday, 28 August 2012
Climate Change in School Like evolution in the 1920s, climate change science in schools has become a contentious issue. However, unlike evolution, there is no U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring that teaching efforts related to climate change be accurate. Without this directive, the battle about what to teach...

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Plastic Bag Ban
Thursday, 23 August 2012
Plastic Bag Ban With each purchase you make, whether it is at a drug store, retail store, or grocery store, you most likely leave with a plastic bag to carry your purchases home. When you get home, where does it go? Sometimes you reuse it as a trash bag, but most of the time, these plastic bags...

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British Columbia Canada Climate
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
British Columbia, Canada Climate British Columbia is the western-most province in Canada. Known as the “forest province,” two thirds of the 95 million hectare province is forested—that’s an area bigger the country of France! Forests are central to the economy of British Columbia and the threat climate change poses to...

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Alberta Climate
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Alberta Climate As the largest producer of conventional crude oil, synthetic crude oil, natural gas, and gas products in Canada, Alberta is a good place to start in our exploration of climate change throughout Canada. This will be the first in a multipart series about climate change throughout the Canadian provinces, much like the series on climate change...

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Amphibian Decline
Tuesday, 07 August 2012
Amphibian Decline “It’s not easy being green” for Kermit the Frog, but his color may not be the problem. Since the late 1960s, amphibians, mainly frogs, have been disappearing for unknown reasons. To this day, no definite answer has been provided to explain this sudden drop of these complex creatures...

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Thermoelectrics
Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Thermoelectrics Could there be more untapped alternative energy sources at our fingertips? It is a common occurrence in our everyday lives, the sensations of hot and cold that make some of the most popular drinks and foods enjoyable to our sensory palate. The sensation, of course, is thermodynamic in nature...

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Overfishing
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Overfishing It seems that the enormity and mysteriousness of the world’s oceans have led us to believe that their resources are inexhaustible. However, according to some estimates, the commercialization of fishing practices (starting about 50 years ago) has reduced the populations of large commercial...

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Mojave Solar
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Mojave Solar California has distinguished itself as being at the forefront of environmentally progressive initiatives in the United States. Assembly Bill 32 (2006) requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2004 baseline levels by the year 2020. In addition, California’s...

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Green Education
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Green Education We need to raise good stewards of the environment to care for issues like resource depletion, environmental pollution, land degradation, and accelerating species extinctions. Conservation efforts will benefit if we can better educate children on their connection to and dependency...

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Rio 20 Summit
Tuesday, 10 July 2012
Rio 20 Summit Twenty years ago, delegates from around the world gathered in a crowded conference center beneath the watchful eye of Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The 1992 Rio conference ended with the ratification of a Convention on Biological Diversity, a Convention to Combat Desertification...

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Power Plant Standards
Thursday, 05 July 2012
Power Plant Standards Power plants are currently the largest singular sources of carbon pollution in the United States. Each year in the U.S. more than 1,500 power plants release approximately 2.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air. Doctors and scientists have repeatedly warned us that this kind...

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Soda Tax
Tuesday, 03 July 2012
Soda Tax Americans drink about 13.8 billion gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages every year—we’re talking about sports drinks and soda here, just to name a couple of the culprits! That’s about 45 gallons, per person, every year. Across the United States, municipalities are exploring the option...

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Cassava
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Cassava According to the Huffington Post, cassava is still a “neglected root” in most developed countries. I thought I had never tried the crop until I realized that its extract is tapioca. In South America the root is referred to as yucca, which is often found on menus across North America...

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North Sea Gas Leak
Tuesday, 26 June 2012
North Sea Gas Leak On March 25, 2012, crewmembers on the French oil company Total’s Elgin drilling platform noticed that something was amiss. One of the wells at the site had been plugged in 2011, but for unknown reasons natural gas had begun to spew out of the wellhead. Soon, about 200,000 cubic...

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Rising Sea Levels
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Rising Sea Levels Looking for a new real estate investment? With the seas arising, now may be the perfect time to invest in some higher ground in hopes of getting beach front property in 50 years! Only sort of kidding… In any resort, let’s get straight to the issue at hand, what’s the deal with rising sea...

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Mayan Climate
Tuesday, 05 June 2012
Mayan Climate One of the greatest mysteries in all of human civilization may be gaining some clarity, with cautionary lessons to be learned by us today. With numerous proposed reasons for the Mayan collapse, there has always been constant debate regarding its sudden collapse. Recent papers published...

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Internet Carbon Footprint
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Internet Carbon Footprint The information and communications technologies sector (ICTs) accounts for roughly 2% of global carbon emissions. If it were a country, it would rank 5th in terms of total emissions. As a sector, it roughly compares with the airline sector, but is experiencing increased growth and is expected...

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Carbon Market
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Carbon Market Carbon Offsets—how do they work? You’ve adjusted your lifestyle—started bicycling more, switched out all of your old florescent lights for CFLs or LEDs—but just can’t drop those long flights to Hawaii for a weekend getaway. Or perhaps your company is struggling to meet their carbon...

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The New Epoch
Wednesday, 09 May 2012
The New Epoch Science textbooks in every grade-school classroom will tell you that we are currently living in the Holocene geologic epoch…but this probably won’t be the case for very much longer. Many of the world’s leading scientists propose that the Earth has now entered a new geological...

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Parking Lots
Thursday, 03 May 2012
Parking Lots Ever since the 1950s, when suburbanization took off in the United States, we have been lamenting the way in which we’ve “paved paradise to put up parking lots.” And now that we’ve covered an estimated 800 million spaces in the U.S.—an area larger than all of Puerto Rico—urban planners...

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Corporate Environmental Responsibility
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Corporate Environmental Responsibility Are big companies really going green? Before the recession of the late 2000s hit, the environmental movement had gained enormous ground and everyone was thinking green. Companies came out with green initiatives and programs left and right. Let’s look at what’s happened to...

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Pacific Northwest Climate
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Pacific Northwest Climate This article on climate change in the Pacific Northwest United States is part of a series of Greeniacs articles on climate change in different regions of the United States. The other article published so far have covered climate on the East Coast, in the Southeastern region, the Midwestern...

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Earth Day 2012
Monday, 16 April 2012
Earth Day 2012 This year’s Earth Day theme, “Mobilize The Earth,” superbly captures one of the emerging trends of the environmental movement. For the first Earth Day in 1970, Founder Senator Nelson chose the date April 22 because it would not interfere with college students’ academic, social or...

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Atrazine
Thursday, 12 April 2012
Atrazine You may not have heard of atrazine, but chances are it has been used as an herbicide—weed-killer—to help grow the food you eat. Atrazine is currently the second largest selling pesticide in the world. It is used primarily on corn in the United States, but it is also used to help...

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Alaska Climate
Thursday, 05 April 2012
Alaska Climate Over the last 50 years, the average temperatures in Alaska have increased at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States. Alaska displays effects of climate change as they are currently unfolding better than any other place in the United States. Indeed, many scientists...

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Acidification of the Ocean
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Acidification of the Ocean One consequence of human-released carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is an ocean significantly more acidic than it was just a few generations ago, and this change is accelerating in tandem with our carbon dioxide emissions. The most recent scientific article on the phenomenon appeared...

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Hawaii Climate
Thursday, 22 March 2012
Hawaii Climate The eight major islands that make up the U.S. State of Hawaii were built from five separate volcanoes. One of the three still active volcanoes in the islands, Mauna Loa, is famous for the role it has played in the discovery of climate change. In 1958, U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric...

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Panama Energy
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Panama Energy Every year, tens of millions of tons of oil products are shipped through the Panama Canal. But despite the important role Panama plays in the transportation of oil around the world, it has very few energy resources to add to the shipments that pass through its backyard. Due to this...

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Southwest Climate
Thursday, 08 March 2012
Southwest Climate The two words most people would use to describe the Southeastern United States are dry and hot. Decades of western movies have portrayed this region of the United States as a barren, dry, and dusty region. However, the climate of the Southwest is more complicated than that. While many...

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Dead Zones
Tuesday, 06 March 2012
Dead Zones Dead zones are hypoxic or anoxic—meaning low or completely zero concentrations of dissolved oxygen—areas that form in the world’s oceans. Dead zones were first noticed in the early 1970s when scientists from Louisiana State University discovered an area in the Gulf of Mexico that...

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Midwest Climate
Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Midwest Climate From the deep woods of Wisconsin to the to the cornfields of Iowa, from the land of many lakes to industrial Detroit, from the windy city to the Great Plains and Badlands, the Midwest is characterized by a unique mix of farming, manufacturing, and forestry. Part of the region’s...

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Car Sharing
Tuesday, 07 February 2012
Car Sharing Utilizing small electric cars, the Witkar system emerged as one of the first major carsharing programs during the 1970s in the city of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The Witkar system allowed users to check out cars from one location and drop them off elsewhere—all controlled via 1970s...

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Cell Phones and the Environment
Wednesday, 01 February 2012
Cell Phones and the Environment We use high tech gadgets like cell phones all day, every day, but we almost never stop to ask questions about their environmental impact. For instance: Where do cell phones come from? What happens to all of the cell phones that we simply stop using when we move on to the...

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Greenhouse Gases
Monday, 30 January 2012
Greenhouse Gases So what are these greenhouse gases we hear about all the time anyway? Lost? I was too! So I set out to look up and understand the basics behind greenhouse gases, and I have shared my recent pursuits with you in this article! It turns out that GHGs (this will be our shorthand for...

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Hydrokinetics
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Hydrokinetics In an obscure but oft-quoted excerpt from the “Marine Foresight Panel Report,” the British Office of Science and Technology asserts that “if less than 0.1% of the renewable energy in the oceans could be converted to electricity, it would satisfy the present world demand for energy...

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Plastic Bag Facts
Monday, 23 January 2012
Plastic Bag Facts So we know that plastic bags are bad. To this end, cities around the world are thinking of enacting plastic bag bans or taxes, and many people are now using reusable bags. Because of this increased attention, there are numerous facts and factoids being thrown around regarding...

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Southeastern Climate
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Southeastern Climate From the get-away beaches of the Florida coast to the to the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the outer banks of North Carolina to the farms along the Mississippi delta, from Graceland to the battlefields of the Civil War, the Southeast has a distinctive appeal and history. Part of...

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Bicycle Sharing
Monday, 16 January 2012
Bicycle Sharing A few years ago, Greeniacs brought us great news regarding the first wave of 21st century bike-sharing programs in the United States. Building off previous programs that had failed in their attempts to essentially give out free bikes, Washington, DC launched SmartBike DC. Enabled...

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Elwha Dam Removal
Wednesday, 11 January 2012
Elwha Dam Removal As I write this article, the largest dam removal project in the world is underway on the Elwha River in Washington State. Over the next three years, 18 million cubic yards of sediment and 48,600 acre-feet of water—equal to over 2 billion cubic square feet, enough...

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PACE Programs
Monday, 09 January 2012
PACE Programs What if somebody told you that they could practically guarantee to reduce both your monthly bills and your impact on the environment at the same time? You might scratch your head since it seems everyone is always telling you that going green is only for the rich folk. Well, it...

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Top New Year Resolutions
Wednesday, 04 January 2012
Top New Year Resolutions The events of 2011 tested the resolve of environmentalists everywhere. The year was full of reminders of the kind of resolution it will take to continue to gain small environmental victories in 2012, but it was also full of events that should inspire us as we consider new resolutions...

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Shampoo Use
Thursday, 29 December 2011
Shampoo Use No ‘Poo… what's the longest you've ever gone without using shampoo? I'll admit it—on a bike trip I once went 11 days without showering, and my hair became an oily, knotty mess! That's why I was surprised to hear that there are many people who happily go without shampoo for weeks, months...

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Energy Use and Management
Tuesday, 27 December 2011
Energy Use and Management Quick! How much energy did you use for heating last year? When was the last time you replaced the weather stripping on your windows? What is the vampire load of your television? What kind of power plants or renewable sources does your utility company use to generate power for...

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Books vs Ebooks
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Books vs Ebooks We have our traditionalists, myself included, who want to preserve sacred past times like gathering around the fireplace with friends and family and reading a book or a newspaper in peace. Now, our world is cluttered with Facebook and Twitter...

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Northeast Climate
Monday, 12 December 2011
Northeast Climate Discussions about global warming and climate change can seem abstract and distant. After all, climatic changes can only be measured over a long period of time, and the changes often seem so, well… global. In order to fully appreciate how climate change will impact our lives, it is important to pause and consider what global warming means on a...

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Energy 101
Thursday, 08 December 2011
Energy 101 Energy. We hear the word all day long. Save energy, I need some energy, Energizer bunny, etc. But, when it comes down to it, we’re often left grasping for straws when we try to explain what energy is. And given our current climate situation (it’s drastically changing , by the way)...

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Green Yoga
Monday, 05 December 2011
Green Yoga From crow pose to tree pose, yoga evokes a physical and spiritual connection with nature. Through the concepts of karma and ahimsa, yoga teaches that every action – no matter how small – has consequences. By challenging yogis to mind their breaths, the practice fosters an awareness...

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ICT and the Environment
Thursday, 01 December 2011
ICT and the Environment Information communication technology (ICT), better known as Information Technology (IT) is all around us. While the internet is the vehicle that transports ICT, ICT is really what we as users interact with. It includes everything from telecommunications, computer processing, data...

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Bioplastics
Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Bioplastics It might sound strange to imagine drinking from a cup made of corn, or cutting your potatoes with a knife actually made from potatoes, but more and more people are adopting this practice—whether they know it or not. This is the new world of cups, plates and utensils made from bioplastics! Such items are composed of natural materials and therefore...

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Soy Uses
Thursday, 17 November 2011
Soy Uses Soy is a plant native to Southeast Asia and, perhaps surprisingly, is a member of the pea family, Fabaceae. The soy plant can grow from one to five-feet tall and grows in clusters of pods. Through fermentation techniques, soy can be made into other forms that you may encounter in restaurants more often, such as tempeh, miso, tofu, and of course...

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Global Temperatures
Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Global Temperatures Climate change, global warming, erratic weather, we hear these terms being thrown around everywhere these days. There are many who contend that climate change is upon us, no ifs or ors about it. There are others who say this is a natural cycle that has occurred over Earth’s history and has nothing to do with human activity. The big question is...

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Biodegradable Materials
Thursday, 10 November 2011
Biodegradable Materials Have you ever eaten at your local restaurant or coffee shop and seen those green bins labeled “compost only”? Well if you are like me and stand there with your cup, fork, spoon, and plate in hand wondering which bin to put each thing, you have come to the right place...

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Keystone XL Pipeline
Tuesday, 08 November 2011
Keystone XL Pipeline Are we addicted to oil? I think so. In 2009 the United States consumed 18.8 million barrels of oil a day. Another piece of evidence is our Nation’s pursuit of extracting oil from tar sands in Canada, a proposal to expand an existing pipeline to increase production by about 700,000 barrels a day—this is known as the Keystone XL Pipeline...

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Solar Challenges
Tuesday, 01 November 2011
Solar Challenges Solar power is gaining momentum every day, but is it growing as fast as it should be? Government backed programs in the United States have created considerable markets in New Jersey, California, and just about any state with a good amount of sun. The 30% federal tax incentive, generous loan guarantees, tax credits, and renewable portfolio standards...

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Hemp Uses
Thursday, 27 October 2011
Hemp Uses What is Hemp? Hemp is a plant of the Cannibus genus that can be grown in a large range of soil types, however it grows best in nitrogen-rich and non-acidic soil. Most importantly, hemp is one of the strongest fibers in the world! Luckily, it also grows quickly with very low pesticide usage, making it one of the more sustainable materials available...

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Biofuels Energy
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
Biofuels Energy What are Biofuels? Biofuels are an energy source derived from any organic plant, animal, or living material. The most prominent use of the word has been the increasing use of biofuels as a renewable energy source in the green industry—the two most well known renewable biofuels being ethanol and biodiesel. However, there are a good number more...

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Green Police
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Green Police Even die-hard environmentalists don't demand that police officers make the safety of the environment their top priority. This is because we want and expect the police to prioritize human safety! When it comes down to it, we all worry more about our safety – and our friends' and family's safety – than the safety of a tree or a mockingbird. Remarkably...

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Energy in Developing Countries
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Energy in Developing Countries Energy is one of the most important issues around the world, and has been particularly important in developing countries.1 The World Bank categorizes developing countries as those “with low or middle levels of GNP [Gross National Product] per capita.”2 Developing nations are usually marked by their industrialization and economic growth, with...

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Recycling Plastics
Thursday, 13 October 2011
Recycling Plastics Once you've poured that last drop of juice or spooned out a final taste of yogurt, you (hopefully) throw that plastic container into a big blue recycling bin. You (hopefully) encourage your friends to do the same. You feel good about recycling because you know that your juice jug won't contribute to the 3.5 million tons of trash in the Great Pacific...

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Hybrid Bus
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Hybrid Bus Hybrid buses are now appearing all over the country, from big city transit systems to college campuses, and they represent a significant advancement in environmentally-conscious transportation. While most of the country’s buses do not use this new technology, the trends are quickly changing—almost 20% of New York City’s fleet of buses are...

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Green Funeral
Thursday, 06 October 2011
Green Funeral We'd like to think that when we pass from this Earth, our environmental footprint goes away too. The unsettling truth is that even in the afterlife we can pollute. In the United States, the most common type of funeral is a burial with embalming and open-casket visitation. However, this tradition didn't begin until the Civil War, when bodies...

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Smart Grid Definition
Tuesday, 04 October 2011
Smart Grid Definition While the smart grid is one of the hottest buzz words in the energy and green industry, few know exactly what it is, and for good reason. As recently as August 1, 2011 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released a comprehensive catalog of smart grid standards. The smart grid is still being defined and its capacity as a technology...

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Space Pollution
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Space Pollution There are many types of pollution in our environment: water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, and more. But one of these – space pollution – is in a category all by itself. Space pollution refers to the gathering debris in orbit around the Earth, made up of discarded rocket boosters, broken satellites, and more. And just like the other...

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What is Energy Efficiency
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
What is Energy Efficiency Energy efficiency is performing the same action or process as before, but using less energy to do so. Most well known is the growing trend of exchanging incandescent bulbs for compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which are 75% more efficient than incandescents. Different from energy conservation, energy efficiency focuses on changing...

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Military Energy
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Military Energy Renewable Energy and the U.S. Military... We rightfully associate war with environmental destruction—the spraying of Agent Orange in the jungles of Vietnam, the burning of oil wells in Iraq , the development of the gas-guzzling Humvee —and we rarely applaud the military for its contributions to environmental technologies. When destruction drives...

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London Olympics
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
London Olympics As the summer of 2011 winds down, the 2012 Olympics – set to launch in London on July 27 – seem pretty far off. But for the organizing and planning teams behind the massive event, many of which have been at work on the Games for five years or more, next summer can’t come soon enough. So far, just about everything is going according to plan...

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Banana Facts
Thursday, 08 September 2011
Banana Facts They're yellow, sweet, seedless, always about the same shape and size. We love them in our breakfast cereals, our yogurts, our breads, and just on their own as an easy on-the-go snack. They're nutritious, filled with good potassium. But are bananas environmentally friendly? Who grows them, and how? Why is it that they're always about...

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Ethanol Fuel
Tuesday, 06 September 2011
Ethanol Fuel What is ethanol? Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel that has become popular around the world and is most commonly used to fuel your motor vehicles. However, it is the corn-based ethanol that has garnered interest across the world for over a decade. While corn ethanol is the predominant feed stock of choice, ethanol can be made from a variety of feed...

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Noise Pollution
Thursday, 01 September 2011
Noise Pollution For those who live in big cities, noise can be a source of constant annoyance and problems. Even within the walls of an apartment, it is rare to be completely insulated from the regular interruption of sirens, construction work, loud neighbors, and more. This is referred to as “noise...

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Green Job Opportunities
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Green Job  Opportunities What is a green job? A green job is generally defined as any job that helps or encourages an environmental and sustainable world economy. Collectively, these green jobs have created what many call a green economy, or more technically speaking, a “clean energy” economy. A clean energy economy has been defined as one that “generates jobs...

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Climate Change California
Wednesday, 17 August 2011
Climate Change California In 2006, the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 32 (AB 32), also known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. This major piece of legislation required the state to seriously rework its greenhouse gas regulations. Specifically, the bill called for a new set of policies that would bring emissions down to 1990 levels by the year 2020—a...

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Green Playgrounds
Tuesday, 16 August 2011
Green Playgrounds We'd be walking down the street or through a park, holding our parent’s hand, and then we'd see it—the curve of a swing set, or the red, blues, and yellows of the monkey bars… and we set out running. Playgrounds teach kids invaluable lessons—how to share, move, imagine, and have fun! Today, as children become more sedentary and their opportunities...

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Oil Tax Breaks
Thursday, 11 August 2011
Oil Tax Breaks The basic framework of this debate has been covered over and over by the media, but few reports have delved deeper into the issue to look at the specific tax breaks that exist, when they were created, and how much money they are worth to oil companies. That information is exactly what you will find below, and hopefully it will...

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Renewable Energy Issues
Tuesday, 09 August 2011
Renewable Energy Issues The age of renewable technology and energy is upon us, or is it? As discussed in the previous Greeniacs article on Energy Issues, solar power and wind power are two popular but unfortunately underused players of the renewable energy industry. In 2009, wind power accounted for only 1% of electricity production in the United States, while solar energy...

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Algae Biofuel
Tuesday, 02 August 2011
Algae Biofuel For starters, what are biofuels? Biofuels are known as any fuel made from organic matter, with the most well known fuels coming from corn, soybeans, palm, algae and many other plants. So now what are algae? This is a trickier question than you think, but most of us know algae as the green colored “scum” found on ponds and unfortunately sometimes...

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Why Conserve Water
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Why Conserve Water Living in the United States, where water is plentiful in most areas, it is often easy to forget that a growing portion of the world’s population faces significant water shortages and a host of related problems. Water is a global resource, and water shortage is a global issue. Even if your community has enough water right now, it is important...

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New Electric Car
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
New Electric Car Automobile companies, both in the United States and abroad, are finally getting serious about producing consumer-friendly electric cars. The last few years have seen significant progress, as automakers begin to roll out the first versions of electric cars that they hope may soon dominate the automotive industry. As with any new technological...

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Sustainable Lighting
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
Sustainable Lighting With the world gradually turning its back on inefficient (incandescent) lighting, what should you use as a green replacement? The phasing out of incandescent light bulbs began several years ago with much of Europe banning incandescent bulbs in 2009. In the United States, incandescent light bulbs will begin to disappear in 2012, with nearly...

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Environmental Calculator
Wednesday, 29 June 2011
Environmental Calculator How exactly do your daily actions impact the environment? What if everyone lived like you? Find out by playing with one of the dozens of eco-calculators available for free online! The most popular calculators determine your environmental footprint, which is a measure of how much land area it takes to support your lifestyle. According to the...

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Hydroelectric Power
Monday, 27 June 2011
Hydroelectric Power Hydropower, which is energy harnessed from the power of falling water, has been used around the world for thousands of years. The first hydroelectric power plant in the United States went online in 1882, and within a few decades hydroelectric power made up approximately 40% of U.S. electricity. Hydropower now constitutes only 10% of U.S...

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Energy Issues
Monday, 20 June 2011
Energy Issues Can you imagine selecting one of your children to be successful at the expense of your other child or children? Unfortunately, in the world of energy resources and management, policy makers are faced with this very dilemma. A major dilemma presented today lies between clean energy and ecosystem preservation. If creating a carbon-neutral society...

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Carbon Neutral
Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Carbon NeutralCarbon Neutral is a term that gets thrown around quite a bit these days, so what is it exactly? Is it a goal, a guideline, or a gimmick? Carbon neutrality is at the forefront of any conversation concerning alternative energies or climate change. Of course, in order to attain carbon neutrality, we have to start off by cutting carbon emissions...

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Future of Natural Gas
Monday, 06 June 2011
Future of Natural Gas Faced with rising oil prices and waning oil reserves around the world, this is the era in which the world’s energy portfolio will forever change. I view “peak oil” as occurring the moment that alternative energies become...

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Building a Green Business
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Building a Green Business What does it mean to run a green building? This question requires you to decide how to manage the building, how to stock it, how to heat and cool it, and how to manage its waste and hopefully a recycling and composting program. A green business is not simply just what you “do,” what you make, or perhaps even what you promote. Running a...

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Importance of Biodiversity
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Importance of Biodiversity Biodiversity can simply be defined as the variation of life at a given site or ecosystem. However, it is through this diversity that natural systems adapt, evolve, and thrive. This link is so strong that the term biodiversity is regarded as synonymous with ecosystem health. Diverse ecosystems usually have “increased stability, increased productivity...

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Climate Change Debate
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Climate Change Debate We all recognize the heated debate in this country surrounding climate change, aka “global warming .” Some say the earth is warming, some say it is cooling, and others concede that it is changing but insist that it is not due to human action. What is interesting is how different groups frame the climate change debate in a manner that furthers...

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Environmental Movement
Friday, 22 April 2011
Environmental Movement It was the 1960s, the age of the post-WWII consumer frenzy, of atomic explosions, of leaded gasoline, and the Vietnam War. The air pollution in Los Angeles was so bad that breathing it was the equivalent of smoking 2.5 packs of cigarettes per day. There was a lot to complain about, and this state of the environment gave rise to environmentalism...

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Earth Day 2011
Thursday, 14 April 2011
Earth Day 2011 In an era of great environmental uncertainty, and at a pivotal point in time when nations will decide the earth’s fate, Earth Day comes as a welcome reminder of our role in the global environmental movement. Just over forty years ago, during a time of revolutionary environmental legislation in the United States, Earth Day was added to our...

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Bamboo Use
Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Bamboo Use Bamboo is one of those plants that people seem to either love or hate. There are over 1,400 species of the grass around the world—900 species are tropical while 500 seek temperate climates. Over 80% of the world’s bamboo is located in Asia, with another 10% in both Africa and the Americas. Bamboo’s claim to fame is definitely its speed...

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Smartphones
Thursday, 07 April 2011
Smartphones Planet Earth is teeming with phones. There are about 5 billion cellular phones in use right now, and 500 million of them—10 percent—are smartphones. Unfortunately, these numbers are swelling. The United Nations expects the number of smartphones to quadruple to 2 billion in just four years. At each stage of its lifecycle, a smartphone...

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Landslides
Tuesday, 05 April 2011
Landslides If the last article on erosion did not get your attention, perhaps you will take erosion a bit more seriously when you see it forever alter infrastructure and entire housing communities. This time around, let’s look at more dramatic forms of erosion, including sinkholes, coastal erosion, and landslides. This does not discount the impact...

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Nature For kids
Thursday, 31 March 2011
Nature For kids Children are suffering from nature-deficit disorder. “I like to play indoors better, 'cause that's where all the electrical outlets are,” a fourth grader in San Diego once told Richard Louv, author of The Last Child in the Woods. Instead of playing in the sun, children are exploring virtual worlds—television, computers, and mobile phones, just...

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Soil Erosion
Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Soil Erosion When you think about saving the environment, what comes to mind? Perhaps you think about stopping deforestation, reducing pollution and harmful emissions, promoting biodiversity, or protecting the Earth’s waters—but how many times have you stopped and thought about soil erosion? According to David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell...

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Insects as Food
Tuesday, 22 March 2011
Insects as Food The Solution to World Hunger… Insects? After a marathon weekend watching the travel channel’s program, Bizarre Foods, where Andrew Zimmern travels the world to sample the cuisines from different countries and cultures, I found myself thinking that insects could be the solution to world hunger. Some of what Zimmern samples are pretty standard...

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Sustainable Living
Thursday, 17 March 2011
Sustainable Living I recently read a question posted on the Greeniacs Forum page that essentially asked, “how green are you willing to go?” I find this question intriguing—why would I feel uncomfortable doing some things but not others? My response is twofold: societal pressures and legal pressures, which undoubtedly go hand in hand. Laws are in place to enforce...

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Art and the Environment II
Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Art and the Environment II Picking up where we left off in Part I of our Art and the Environment series, art reflects humanity's changing perception of nature's relationship with God and living beings here on Earth. For centuries, European artists drew and sculpted humans and religious figures in indoor settings. Nature was...

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US Prisons
Tuesday, 08 March 2011
U.S. Prisons There's no excuse not to green your lifestyle. Unless you're locked up in prison, that is. Fortunately for inmates, some prisons are investing resources into greening their grey-and-white facades. What goes on in United States prisons matters, especially since the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The U.S. has almost a...

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Art and the Environment
Tuesday, 01 March 2011
Art and the Environment Art came before writing and even speech—art was humankind’s first expression of its relationship with nature. Art and the environment is such a huge topic that we will have a two-part discussion on it, so read up here for Part I and then look to Part II coming soon! The first homo sapiens adorned their bodies, then their tools. The earliest...

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Waste Digesters
Wednesday, 23 February 2011
Waste Digesters Energy is everywhere—it is stored in all matter, but needs to be converted into energy that humans can use. Likewise, all of the waste we produce is a source of energy. The law of conservation states that energy cannot be created AND that it cannot be destroyed—meaning our daily waste contains useful energy The task we are left with is simply...

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Rebound Effect
Thursday, 17 February 2011
Rebound Effect Here is a hypothetical situation: I buy a new hybrid car, say the Toyota Prius. Not only am I happy to own a Prius because they are trendy, but they also use substantially less gasoline per mile than a comparable vehicle, which equates to being more energy efficient. Sounds pretty good, especially with all of this global warming talk and my attempts to...

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All About Chocolate
Thursday, 10 February 2011
All About Chocolate Chocolate is indulgence, youth, love, and happiness—except when it contributes to deforestation and child labor! Make a change and this Valentine's Day, get your sweetheart a chocolate treat that spreads your love all the way to the cocoa seeds of Africa. Chocolate’s Origins: Chocolate comes from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree, which means...

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Green Singles
Wednesday, 09 February 2011
Green Singles Looking to rev up your social life in 2011? If you are a green-minded single looking to meet other green-minded singles, here are some ideas to get your eco-mingling on! Try volunteering with a local environmental organization to look for a date with similar goals! Volunteering together to plant trees or clean up the local creek can benefit...

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Deforestation
Friday, 04 February 2011
Deforestation Forests are disappearing at a rate of about 36 football fields per minute. That equates to an annual loss of 12-15 million hectares of forest, which is an area roughly the size of Costa Rica. The United States Forest Service defines “forest” as land that is at least one acre and at least 10 percent stocked with trees of any size. Forests...

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Amazon Trip
Tuesday, 01 February 2011
Amazon Trip The Amazon rainforest is not what television has made it out to be. It's not always teeming with wildlife, nor is it ever absent of human footprints. In the Peruvian Amazon, there's Iquitos, a city of more than 400,000 people, the largest city in the world that has no roads connecting it to the outside. I flew into Iquitos a few summers...

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Community Service
Thursday, 27 January 2011
Community Service Community service is a great way for people to give back to their community while supporting causes near and dear to them. It is also a great way to meet other like-minded individuals. Sometimes community service is a job or school requirement, and in such cases it is best to get involved in something you are truly passionate about so it is...

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US Land Use
Wednesday, 19 January 2011
U.S. Land Use Other countries may have thousand year-old cathedrals, cobble-streets, amongst many other national treasures, but the United States has land. Million-year-old geologic formations are our cathedrals, and our national parks, forests, and monuments pay tribute to and preserve these natural wonders for generations to come. I have been fortunate...

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Biodegradable Plastic
Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Biodegradable Plastic In today’s world and economy, plastic is one of the most important materials we use in our products—from our toothbrushes to our cars. Plastic is everywhere, and for a good reason. It is so versatile, strong, flexible, light, and cheap. So why is plastic bad? For one thing, it is derived from petroleum, a resource that is not infinite and whose...

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Feminine Products
Thursday, 13 January 2011
Feminine Products On average, a woman uses over 16,000 tampons in her lifetime. This staggering statistic begs the question—what are all of these feminine products doing to the health of our planet and our bodies?! Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients that conventional tampons and sanitary napkins contain...

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Keeping Warm This Winter
Tuesday, 11 January 2011
Keeping Warm This Winter Since the winter months started rolling around I have been digging out my old sweaters, scarves, and other winter garb from the bottom of my closet. For years I have been avoiding my thermostat to keep myself from cranking up the heat. Not everyone can do this, however, and heaters cause huge spikes in our energy usage every year around this...

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Oil Sands
Thursday, 06 January 2011
Oil Sands Whether we have reached “peak oil” yet is up for debate. Peak oil is “the maximum rate of the production of oil in any area under consideration, recognizing that it is a finite natural resource, subject to depletion." The peak oil crisis refers to the time when the petroleum supply is so low that extraction is no longer economically justifiable...

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Silicon Valley Start Ups
Tuesday, 04 January 2011
Silicon Valley Start Ups Silicon Valley, known today as the new Detroit, is a growing spot for new and innovative greentech companies. New environmentally-progressive ideas and technology are being implemented daily in Silicon Valley—where the technology boom originated. Let’s hope Silicon Valley will do for sustainability what it did for the internet! Here is a look...

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2010 in Review
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
2010 in Review High-speed Train Network—Ever since the Obama administration set aside eight million dollars in stimulus money for high speed trains in 2009, the project has been proceeding on into 2010 and many estimate that we will have a high speed train network in effect by 2025. This will reduce the number of cars on the road and increase...

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2010 Major Events
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
2010 Major Events This has been quite a year for the environment! As the world entered a new decade, the environment faced some significant obstacles. While moving into the holiday season and a new year, it is important to remember some of the events our planet has faced. Below is a snapshot of what have been considered the major events affecting our environment for 2010...

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Holiday Gift Giving
Thursday, 16 December 2010
oliday Gift Giving Now that Thanksgiving has past and we are well recovered from our food comas, it’s time to start thinking about your holiday gift-giving! When thinking of purchasing decorations and gifts this year try to be more environmentally responsible in what you choose to buy...

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Climate Change and Forests
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Climate Change and Forests Climate change and global warming are hot topics these days, and the public lands and forests owned and managed by the Federal government of the United States are not being overlooked. Federal Agencies such as the Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Agriculture (USDA), among others, are implementing...

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Climate Change and Forests
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
Climate Change and Forests Climate change and global warming are hot topics these days, and the public lands and forests owned and managed by the Federal government of the United States are not being overlooked. Federal Agencies such as the Department of Interior (DOI), Department of Energy (DOE), and Department of Agriculture (USDA), among others, are implementing...

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Lithium Mining
Thursday, 02 December 2010
Lithium Mining In recent years, it seems that the lightest of the metals—Lithium (Li)—is getting more attention than the precious metals. Lithium has become increasingly popular due to its ability to store lots of energy in a small lightweight package: the lithium-ion battery. In the 1990’s, lithium started being used commercially...

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Lithium Mining
Thursday, 02 December 2010
Lithium Mining In recent years, it seems that the lightest of the metals—Lithium (Li)—is getting more attention than the precious metals. Lithium has become increasingly popular due to its ability to store lots of energy in a small lightweight package: the lithium-ion battery. In the 1990’s, lithium started being used commercially...

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Cancer and the Environment
Monday, 29 November 2010
Cancer and the Environment It has been estimated that 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and that 21% of Americans will die of the disease. You’ve been told that genetics and certain lifestyle choices increase your risk of becoming part of that statistic, but you might not have heard that our environment is also a leading contributor...

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Microbial Fuel Cell
Monday, 22 November 2010
robial Fuel Cell “Alternative fuel source” talk is everywhere these days! So what’s the latest in alternative fuel sources you ask? Microbial fuel cells! A microbial fuel cell (MFC) is a specific type of biological fuel cell that converts chemical energy to electrical energy using microorganisms as the catalysts. Many different kinds of waste can be converted into...

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Biobutanol
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Biobutanol Biobutanol is arguably the better biogas when compared to ethanol for usage in motor vehicles. Because of its naturally heavier structure and similarity to traditional petroleum based gasoline, biobutanol is more versatile. Unlike ethanol, which needs special piping or mixing with water in order to transport it, biobutanol can be transported...

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Tea and Coffee
Thursday, 11 November 2010
Tea and Coffee Caffeine is the world’s most popular psychoactive drug. Scientists even speculate that plants use caffeine to paralyze pests. Nonetheless, every person in the world drinks an average of one caffeinated beverage per day! We have consumed caffeinated plants since the Stone Age, though the caffeine molecule wasn’t isolated and named until...

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Geoengineering
Wednesday, 03 November 2010
Geoengineering Given our Nation and world’s reluctance to changing habits, scientists are turning more and more towards the idea of Geoengineering—otherwise known as Climate Engineering. The notion of geoengineering is not a new one… When the issue of climate change and global warming first arose, the solution to the problem was not thought to be reducing greenhouse gases. Rather, scientists sought to stop the problem using technology starting during Lyndon Johnson’s presidency in the mid-1960s. Geoengineering...

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Smart Meter
Sunday, 31 October 2010
Smart Meter Why wouldn’t you get excited about something called “smart metering”? In case you haven’t heard, smart meters are being marketed as the gas and utilities digital metering system of the future. You remember your old meter—it had those spinning mechanical dials that someone from your utilities company had to manually inspect to determine your...

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All About Food
Monday, 25 October 2010
All About Food Are you familiar with the new food lingo? There’s organic and slow food, pastured and GMO-free. There are locavores and omnivores, CSA members and foodies. And they’re all part of a global movement that’s reevaluating the relationships between us, our food, and our environment...

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Hybrid Cars and Clean Living in Silicon Valley
Tuesday, 19 October 2010
Hybrid Cars and Clean Living in Silicon Valley At the forefront of the cleantech revolution, many residents of Silicon Valley are utilizing technology for sustainable living practices. Many local businesses, including tech companies, hotels, etc. are remodeling their buildings to be LEED certified, installing solar power panels, buying wind/water power, as well as adding charging stations...

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Community Gardens
Wednesday, 13 October 2010
Community Gardens Community gardens are pieces of land that are managed and gardened by a group of people. These plots of land can be found in urban, rural, or suburban areas and can be found anywhere from a school, hospital, or within a local neighborhood. Most community gardens grow fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs for the people involved, or they can...

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Looking Back at the BP Oil Spill
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Looking Back at the BP Oil Spill At the time of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, I was interning in Washington D.C. with the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Once word of the leaking oil got out, government reports put estimates of the spill at 1,000 barrels per day, then 5,000 bl/day a few days later—a number repeated in the media ad nauseum. On the other side...

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Eggs
Tuesday, 05 October 2010
Eggs Who wants some eggs?! The answer is: a lot of us…on average, each American eats about 250 eggs a year. There are around 340 million egg-laying chickens in the United States and 5 billion worldwide.3 That’s almost equal to the number of human beings! Why so many eggs? Because the egg really is incredible. We figured that out about 10,000...

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Green Winery
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Green Winery LEED Certified Winery Set to Open at U.C. Davis… One of the best Viticulture and Enology programs in the country lies on the University of California at Davis campus, also known as U.C. Davis. For those of you who don’t know, the terms viticulture and enology are simply scientific words meaning: the study of making wine. The school’s...

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Vegetarianism
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Vegetarianism Vegetarianism Goes Mainstream! The vegetarian diet has been around for thousands of years and consumed across many different cultures. Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Albert Einstein are just a few noted famous vegetarians of the past. Einstein was even quoted to believe, “Nothing will benefit human...

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Green Roofs
Thursday, 09 September 2010
Green Roofs The 2010 World Green Roof Congress goes to London this September! Green roofs have been a subject of conversation in the environmental world for a long time. They have the ability to change a bland, unused, rooftop, into a beautiful, lush, exciting, and green space secretly tucked into an urban atmosphere. 2010 has been a great year for...

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Green Roofs
Thursday, 09 September 2010
Green Roofs The 2010 World Green Roof Congress goes to London this September! Green roofs have been a subject of conversation in the environmental world for a long time. They have the ability to change a bland, unused, rooftop, into a beautiful, lush, exciting, and green space secretly tucked into an urban atmosphere. 2010 has been a great year for...

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Biodiesel
Thursday, 02 September 2010
Biodiesel Biodiesel, the conversion… As we watch in horror at the pollution, capitalist frenzy, and war surrounding the oil industry, people around the globe are naturally turning toward alternative fuels. One of the most readily available, simplest to accomplish means of limiting your oil consumption without giving up your car is to convert a diesel...

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Beekeeping
Monday, 30 August 2010
Beekeeping Urban beekeeping is on the rise! Urban communities have started a fairly new movement—beekeeping in small plot backyards, on rooftops, in hotels, restaurants, and in small urban gardens. Honeybees are an instrumental part of our global food system and our natural environment. These little creatures are responsible for pollinating over one-third of the crops...

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River Pollution
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
River Pollution The Swim for Clean Water… Located in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River is an intensely cold glacial water source with a lot of history, much of which has been drowned by industrial and hydropower damage. The documentary written, directed and produced by Andy Norris, called Source to Sea: The Columbia River Swim, deals with a variety...

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River Pollution
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
River Pollution The Swim for Clean Water… Located in the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia River is an intensely cold glacial water source with a lot of history, much of which has been drowned by industrial and hydropower damage. The documentary written, directed and produced by Andy Norris, called Source to Sea: The Columbia River Swim, deals with a variety...

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Rare Fruit
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Rare Fruit For all of us residing between ten degrees North and Alaska, August marks the opening of the floodgates for farmers large and small. Festoons of tomatoes, basil, eggplant, peppers, peaches, and plums are being picked every day from immense fields and orchards to tiny little rooftop gardens in bustling metropolises. For those of us who...

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Petroleum Products
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
Petroleum Products These days, it’s almost a dirty word—petroleum. The ‘p’ word, also called CRUDE OIL, is something we use everyday but don’t like to talk about. Instead, we prefer discussing wind and solar energy—the alternatives to that uncomfortable, dirty necessity: PETROLEUM. Petroleum is embedded in our daily lives, and does much more than just run our cars. Petroleum derived substances are found in products ranging from aspirin to polyester, and without them, our lives would look very different....

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Recent Oil Spills
Wednesday, 28 July 2010
Recent Oil Spills The BP oil spill was a rare, catastrophic event unlike any other oil spill. For starters, it’s the largest oil spill in United States history. While most oil spills have been caused by collisions of ships carrying oil, the BP oil spill was caused by a large blowout. Such a large blowout, or a fire-starting explosion from oil drilling, hasn’t...

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American Diet
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
American Diet How do we decide what food to eat? From PROCESSED FOOD, food made cheaper with PESTICIDES and ANTIBIOTICS, to LOCAL, ORGANIC and higher quality food, Americans choose how they eat based on their economic situation, knowledge of nutrition, and accessibility. The short film, Montana Fare, by Jaime Jelenchick, is a documentary about...

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Water Monitor
Friday, 16 July 2010
Water Monitor The average American uses 80 to 100 gallons of water every day! To put that into an interesting perspective, that’s about 850 pounds of water, the same weight as an adult alligator. Unfortunately, most people are oblivious to their household water consumption. When all the water you use quickly disappears into a drain or a pipe, it’s...

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Animals and Testing
Thursday, 08 July 2010
Animals and Testing This decade has brought a number of environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness, words like global warming, carbon footprint, and deforestation have become part of our everyday vocabulary. As these environmental issues have become more prominent, so have others receded, with mantras of “save the rainforest” and “save the...

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The Fourth R Rethink
Tuesday, 06 July 2010
The Fourth R: Rethink! Someone has suggested a fourth R in the waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse, recycle, and RETHINK. A few days ago, thumbing through a magazine, I read a letter to the editor from a woman who complained: “Please stop putting ‘green’ articles in your magazine. They’re a dime a dozen.” I had to agree with her, even though I’m “guilty” of writing...

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Environmental Awards
Thursday, 01 July 2010
Environmental Awards When thinking about the state of our environment, it is hard to look past all the disasters that keep occurring in the world. However, there are some remarkable people working hard to bring these issues to the public, to make all of us more conscious of Mother Earth. On April 20, 2010, The Daily Green and Home Depot sponsored an event called...

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Environmental Refugees
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Environmental Refugees All around the world, 20 to 25 million people have been forced out of their homes, almost completely due to natural forces out of their control.1 As high as the number of environmental refugees currently is, climate change is expected to vastly increase that amount to around 150 million by 2050.2 Hurricanes, monsoons, droughts, and floods will become more frequent and more destructive. Rising temperatures will worsen desertification. Rising sea levels not only threaten to flood...

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Crimes Against the Environment
Tuesday, 22 June 2010
Crimes Against the Environment The Environment’s Worst Offenders… While going green has become better for the corporate bottom line across the United States, there are still times when circumventing environmental laws and regulations maximizes margins. Below are four corporate criminals who shirked environmental responsibility when it became too costly...

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Home Water Filtration
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Home Water Filtration Options for Water Filtration at Home! Water is essential to human life, and millions of people end up drinking contaminated water everyday. In the United States, many households have access to clean drinking water, yet even safe drinking water can carry contaminates like pesticides, fertilizers, heavy metals, and chlorine. Because these...

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Thermohaline Circulation
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Thermohaline Circulation Thermohaline circulation isn’t a phrase you hear everyday. That is, not unless you’re an oceanographer. This fundamental ocean process supports three-fourths of marine life and shapes regional climates around the world. Climate change, often referred to as Global Warming, however, could slow or shut down entirely the essential ocean process...

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Eco terrorism
Thursday, 10 June 2010
Eco-terrorism We at Greeniacs love the natural world. We work everyday to uphold our environmental values and protect Mother Earth. We are outraged when the environment suffers because of corporate irresponsibility, as is currently the case with BP’s oil spill crisis in the Gulf. Still, there is a line between passion for the environment and zealotry...

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Mandated Energy Accounting For Commercial Buildings
Thursday, 03 June 2010
Mandated Energy Accounting For Commercial Buildings We live in a society focused on statistics. We measure every conceivable statistic on sports from baseball to our everyday use of gas in our cars. Yet for some reason we seemed shocked and worried that it has finally reached a level where energy accounting is becoming a mandated requirement for commercial buildings. Yes, here in...

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Lost Species
Tuesday, 01 June 2010
Lost Species We are currently witnessing the 6th major mass extinction in the planet Earth’s history. While the reasons for this decline in life are many, one of the biggest causes is global warming. Global warming is directly affecting our planet’s biodiversity,and if carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at their current rate, “over 35 percent of our...

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Scavenging
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Scavenging It’s a basic biological truth that we sometimes forget: we all create waste. The rich tend to produce more than the poor, but all of us, whether politician or pauper, leave something behind. The advanced waste disposal systems in industrialized nations help us to ignore the waste we produce, but the world’s poor don’t have this luxury, and...

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Asian Carp
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Asian Carp The tenacious eating machine, the Asian Carp, was imported by catfish farmers to eat algae to clean their ponds and released into the rivers during floods of the early 1990s. Since then, they have steadily created a stronghold on the Mississippi river system, growing and reproducing at staggering rates. Along some stretches of the Illinois...

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Waste Incinerators
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Waste Incinerators Every year, our world produces thousands of tons of garbage. The United States alone generates over 230 million tons of trash, equally about 4.6 pounds per person in a single day. Only a small percentage of that garbage is recycled and the rest of it is incinerated or piled into landfills. But as landfills across the world are closing...

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Global Warming Effects
Monday, 10 May 2010
Global Warming Effects With Senator Lindsey O. Graham withdrawing his support, previously being the lone Republican backer of the Senate’s climate change bill, global warming is once again in the news (did it ever leave?). Cranky climate deniers make noise on partisan talk radio, however, the evidence in favor of anthropogenic global warming is based on extensive...

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Oil Spills and the Environment
Thursday, 06 May 2010
Oil Spills and the Environment With the worlds’ current dependency on oil, our environment continues to pay the price for the demand. On April 20, 2010 a BP oil rig caught on fire, exploded, and then later sank about 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Not only did this disaster leave at least 11 people presumably dead, but it will also continue to leave a lasting impact...

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E Waste
Tuesday, 04 May 2010
E-Waste In May of 2009, Dell Computers announced a new policy that it would not export E-waste (electronic waste) to developing countries. In February of 2010, Hewlett Packard announced a similar policy. These announcements brought a degree of attention to the practice of shipping electronic waste from developed countries to developing ones...

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Green Electronics
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Green Electronics Electronics are finding their way into more and more households across the world. They can be used as tools or as toys, for work or for pleasure. Sometimes they come in the form of a large flat-screen TV, other times they can be as small as a pocket-sized iPod. Often, electronics allow us to perform tasks more efficiently, communicate with...

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Save the Bees
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Save the Bees! It’s not news that our bee population is declining; beekeepers have slowly seen the crisis unfold for years. The New York Times reports statistics on just how bad the decline is: “Bee losses are ranging from 30 to 60 percent on the West Coast, with some beekeepers on the East Coast and in Texas reporting losses of more than 70 percent...

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Oxygen and Water
Monday, 19 April 2010
Oxygen and Water Oxygen and Our Oceans: The entire ocean ecosystem relies on oxygen and each part of that ecosystem requires a different level of oxygen to survive. There are a variety of fish and other marine life that can thrive on low-oxygen water, while others simply require more oxygen in their waters to survive. Low-oxygen waters, known as hypoxic...

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Green Facts

  • Rainforests are being cut down at the rate of 100 acres per minute.

  • Less than 1% of electricity in the United States is generated from solar power.

  • Recycling 100 million cell phones can save enough energy to power 18,500 homes in the U.S. for a year.

  • If every U.S. household turned the thermostat down by 10 degrees for seven hours each night during the cold months, and seven hours each weekday, it would prevent nearly gas emissions.

  • Nudge your thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees in the winter to prevent 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

  • An aluminum can that is thrown away instead of recycled will still be a can 500 years from now!

  • Recycling for one year at Stanford University saved the equivalent of 33,913 trees and the need for 636 tons of iron ore, coal, and limestone.

  • A steel mill using recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by about 70%.

  • In California homes, about 10% of energy usage is related to TVs, DVRs, cable and satellite boxes, and DVD players.

  • The World Health Organization estimates that 2 million people die prematurely worldwide every year due to air pollution.

  • In the United States, automobiles produce over 20 percent of total carbon emissions. Walk or bike and you'll save one pound of carbon for every mile you travel.

  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year.

  • Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial fleet of airplanes every 3 months

  • States with bottle deposit laws have 35-40% less litter by volume.

  • For every 38,000 bills consumers pay online instead of by mail, 5,058 pounds of greenhouse gases are avoided and two tons of trees are preserved.

  • 77% of people who commute to work by car drive alone.

  • Due to tiger poaching, habitat destruction, and other human-tiger conflicts, tigers now number around 3,200—a decrease in population by about 70% from 100 years ago.

  • You will save 300 pounds of carbon dioxide for every 10,000 miles you drive if you always keep your car’s tires fully inflated.

  • You will save 100 pounds of carbon for each incandescent bulb that you replace with a compact fluorescent bulb (CFL), over the life of the bulb.

  • Glass can be recycled over and over again without ever wearing down.

  • You’ll save two pounds of carbon for every 20 glass bottles that you recycle.

  • A laptop consumes five times less electricity than a desktop computer.

  • A tree that provides a home with shade from the sun can reduce the energy required to run the air conditioner and save an additional 200 to 2,000 pounds of carbon over its lifetime.

  • It takes 6,000,000 trees to make 1 year's worth of tissues for the world.

  • Americans use 100 million tin and steel cans every day.

  • Recycling aluminum saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch.

  • Every week about 20 species of plants and animals become extinct.

  • American workers spend an average of 47 hours per year commuting through rush hour traffic. This adds up to 23 billion gallons of gas wasted in traffic each year.

  • Shaving 10 miles off of your weekly driving pattern can eliminate about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year.

  • Americans throw away more than 120 million cell phones each year, which contribute 60,000 tons of waste to landfills annually.

  • 82 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from burning fossil fuels.

  • Current sea ice levels are at least 47% lower than they were in 1979.

  • One recycled aluminum can will save enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours.

  • Washing your clothes in cold or warm instead of hot water saves 500 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and drying your clothes on a clothesline six months out of the year would save another 700 pounds.

  • Turning off the tap when brushing your teeth can save as much as 10 gallons a day per person.

  • Recycling 1 million laptop computers can save the amount of energy used by 3,657 homes in the U.S. over the course of a year.

  • Refrigerators built in 1975 used 4 times more energy than current models.

  • A single quart of motor oil, if disposed of improperly, can contaminate up to 2,000,000 gallons of fresh water.

  • Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees.