Sustainability
Railroad Merger Could Link All of North America and Lower Emissions

Railroad Merger Could Link All of North America and Lower Emissions

A $29 billion merger between two of North America’s biggest railroad companies could connect Canada, the U.S., and Mexico by rail for the first time. Canadian Pacific is buying Kansas City Southern, creating about 20,000 miles of continent-spanning tracks.

Why this Matters: Increasing the connectivity of rail networks is a “compelling opportunity to take trucks off the road,” as Canadian Pacific’s chief executive told the New York Times.

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Special Interests Are Preventing the Expansion of Sustainable Building Codes

Special Interests Are Preventing the Expansion of Sustainable Building Codes

by Brynn Furey As many government officials look for opportunities to make our buildings greener, special interest groups want to put up blockades. Recently, construction and gas industry associations succeeded in erecting a new barrier to sideline city leaders from influencing codes that determine the health and safety of our buildings — and have a […]

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A Delicate Balance: Building Back Tourism In Ways That Support Nature and Communities

A Delicate Balance: Building Back Tourism In Ways That Support Nature and Communities

By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer “Nature is healing” memes aside, the past year of paused travel has had an unexpected downside for wildlife worldwide. In some countries, fewer tourists and cruise ships have given animals a reprieve, like whales off the coast of Alaska no longer subjected to five months of constant cruise ship […]

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Planet Earth’s Most Potent Optimist: Christiana Figueres

Planet Earth’s Most Potent Optimist: Christiana Figueres

The planet needs an optimistic woman and fortunately for us, we have a really powerful one — Christiana Figueres. After having guided the Paris Climate Accord to completion — she served as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010-2016 — now Figueres is trying to change the narrative around achieving a sustainable future. 

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North Carolina Plans For Green-Infrastructure To Counter Storms

North Carolina Plans For Green-Infrastructure To Counter Storms

North Carolina Coastal Federation has a nature-based plan for dealing with heavy rainfall that captures and filters water instead. Green infrastructure includes solutions like rain gardens, restoring wetlands, and permeable pavement. The state plan calls for comprehensive incorporation of nature-based stormwater strategies across roadways, farmland, and in new building construction. 

Why This Matters: It’s not just sea-level rise that causes increased flooding and infrastructure damage: heavy rains can be just as disruptive. Using plants, dirt, and other natural ways to handle excess water is often simpler and more cost-effective than their conventional counterparts.

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Scientists Develop Wearable Electric Generators, Harness the Power of the Human Body

Scientists Develop Wearable Electric Generators, Harness the Power of the Human Body

The world is becoming more and more like The Matrix every day, at least in one particular way: scientists have figured out how to use the human body as a battery. No, your body can’t produce enough energy to create a global simulation, but it can produce enough heat to charge wearable devices like smartwatches and implants like pacemakers. 

Why This Matters: Battery production and disposal have been problematic for decades. Mining for rare earth metals like such as cadmium, mercury, lead, and lithium threatens environments and communities across the globe.

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