The pandemic has upended most of our lives, but it has also made us more aware of our environment — clean air, birds in our neighborhood, and how much we love being outdoors. We are also appreciative more appreciative of the green spaces in and around our homes — whether it’s indoor plants, the tree […]Continue Reading 149 words
As the Ocean Conservancy explained, every year, 8 million metric tons of plastics enter our ocean on top of the estimated 150 million metric tons that currently circulate our marine environments. Many of these plastics are microscopic (smaller than 5 millimeters long) and are readily consumed by marine life as well as humans. Unfortunately, we […]Continue Reading 480 words
May is national bike month when usually there is a big push to get more people in the U.S. to bike to work and shop due to its environmental and health benefits – even during a global pandemic, the popularity of biking continues to rise.
Why This Matters: Leaders and urban planners in Europe believe that people there are now appreciative of the lack of air pollution and will want to keep the air clear, in addition to the benefits from a health and safety standpoint.
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by Zoey Shipley How Cities Will Change in the Future after COVID-19 In densely-populated, car-centric cities around the world, COVID-19 is a nightmare. The virus has been able to spread rapidly and quarantined city dwellers are desperate to enjoy the outdoors–creating added danger by congregating. What’s become most evident is that modern cities are part […]Continue Reading 511 words
Over the last few weeks, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been in the news — berated by President Trump for losing money and struggling financially due to a drop in the volume of mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why This Matters: There is no more basic government service than mail delivery. And it is affordable and available to every American.Continue Reading 496 words
By Daniel C. Esty Tens of millions of Americans took to the streets 50 years ago this week to demand ramped-up environmental protection in the face of choking smog in cities across the country, fouled waterways (including the drama of Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River catching on fire), and a terrible oil spill that blackened the California […]Continue Reading 1002 words
It’s Earth Day and many of us are working from home, while others are on the front lines keeping our health care and essential services going. No big marches or demonstrations are possible. So how can we all make the day meaningful? Here are some ideas of things you can do to make a difference today.Continue Reading 415 words
Researchers at Carbios, a French company, report in the Journal Nature that they’ve “engineered an enzyme that can convert 90% of that same plastic back to its pristine starting materials” and they are working to open a demonstration plant next year. The enzyme breaks down plastic all the way into a recyclable form — the company, in collaboration with Pepsi and L’Oréal, hopes to have market scale production within 5 years.
Why This Matters: 70 million tons of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is produced annually.Continue Reading 432 words
by Lee Hannah, Senior Scientist, Conservation International Right now, money is flowing from Capitol Hill to provide us with much needed economic support in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As this happens, we need to make sure that money also flows towards preventing similar pandemics from happening in the future. To stop this cycle of […]Continue Reading 736 words
Throughout the coronavirus crisis, there have been countless heroes who have emerged to take care of the sick, protect the healthy, and ensure that our society functions as best as it can in extraordinary times. But some of our lesser-acknowledged heroes are the people who are cleaning up our waste and sanitizing our hospitals and […]Continue Reading 186 words
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to loosen restrictions on the disposal of the waste from nuclear power plants to allow municipal landfills to take it, thus lowering costs for the aging nuclear plants.
Why This Matters: Who wants nuclear waste in their municipal landfill?Continue Reading 458 words
by Zoey Shipley and Miro Korenha NPR and PBS Frontline recently announced a new joint investigation which has revealed that since the 1980s, “the plastics industry spent tens of millions of dollars promoting recycling through ads, recycling projects, and public relations, telling people plastic could be and should be recycled” all in an effort to […]Continue Reading 560 words