10 WAYS TO HELP ENDANGERED SPECIES

August 28, 2016 @ 9:41 AM

Conservation of endangered species may sound like a job for politicians and scientists. A problem of such proportions seems impossible to be tackled by the average person. But you can make a significant impact by adopting some simple habits; and if we all do the same, we have the power to protect endangered animals all over the world. Here are 10 ways you can make a difference for endangered species:

Reduce And Reuse

Reuse items in your household when you can, and buy products that produce less packaging waste. By purchasing second-hand furniture, clothes, electronics, and toys, you help reduce the energy consumption required to make new ones and produce less waste as well. Choose reusable bottles for beverages whenever you ......

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NORWAY IS FIRST COUNTRY TO BAN DEFORESTATION

August 20, 2016 @ 7:54 AM

A significant number of private companies world-wide have adopted zero deforestation policies. In a groundbreaking move, the Norwegian parliament has now made a similar commitment, pledging to ensure deforestation-free supply chains through the government’s public procurement policy. Norway is the first country in the world to commit to zero deforestation in its public procurement.

The pledge was made in the Recommendation of the Norwegian parliament’s Standing Committee on Energy and the Environment regarding the government’s Action Plan on Nature Diversity’, which has now been put forward.

In its recommendation the Committee requests, among other things, that the government “impose requirements to ensure .........

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TOXIC CHEMICALS FOUND IN DRINKING WATER FOR SIX MILLION AMERICANS

August 17, 2016 @ 3:46 PM

Levels of a widely used class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and other health problems—polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)—exceed federally recommended safety levels in public drinking water supplies for six million people in the U.S., according to a new study.

“For many years, chemicals with unknown toxicities, such as PFASs, were allowed to be used and released to the environment, and we now have to face the severe consequences,” said lead author Xindi Hu, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health at Harvard Chan School and Environmental Science and Engineering at SEAS. “In addition, the actual number of people exposed may be even higher than our study found, .........

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CAN PALM OIL BE SUSTAINABLE?

August 11, 2016 @ 4:12 AM

A new study shows to where and to what extent palm oil plantations could be expanded, while avoiding further deforestation in pristine and carbon-rich tropical forests.

Land used for palm oil production could be nearly doubled without expanding into protected or high-biodiversity forests, according to the study published in the journal Global Environmental Change. The study is the first to map land suitable for palm oil production on a global scale, while taking into account environmental and climate considerations.

“There is room to expand palm oil production and to do it in a sustainable way,” says IIASA researcher Johannes Pirker, who led the study.

Palm oil production has expanded massively, from 6 million hectares in .........

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GREENER CITIES BECOME MORE UNJUST

August 9, 2016 @ 7:02 AM

The socioeconomic profile changes significantly when neighborhoods go through a “greening” process that creates parks, green areas and ecological corridors. The restoration and creation of green amenities does not benefit everyone equally. This process is known as “green gentrification”. It takes place when “lower-middle class” and “lower class” neighborhood residents are displaced by new residents with higher purchasing power who arrive to these areas attracted by the new parks, gardens and more attractive houses. As a result, rental and housing prices substantially increase so that low-income residents cannot cope with the prices and must move to less attractive neighborhoods with a lower ......

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WHY AMERICANS WASTE SO MUCH FOOD

August 8, 2016 @ 9:58 AM

Even though American consumers throw away about 80 billion pounds of food a year, only about half are aware that food waste is a problem. Even more, researchers have identified that most people perceive benefits to throwing food away, some of which have limited basis in fact.

A study published in PLOS ONE is just the second peer-reviewed large-scale consumer survey about food waste and is the first in the U.S. to identify patterns regarding how Americans form attitudes on food waste.

The results provide the data required to develop targeted efforts to reduce the amount of food that U.S. consumers toss into the garbage each year, said study co-author Brian Roe of the McCormick Professor of Agricultural Marketing and Policy at The Ohio .........

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TO SAVE WATER ON LAWNS, THROW SOME SHADE

August 5, 2016 @ 10:42 AM

How much water does your lawn really need? A University of Utah study re-evaluated lawn watering recommendations by measuring water use by lawns in Los Angeles. The standard model of turfgrass water needs, they found, lacked precision in some common urban southern California conditions, like the Santa Ana winds, or in the shade.

“The current method of estimating water use is very arbitrary,” says postdoctoral scholar Elizaveta Litvak, first author on the new study, published in the Journal of Arid Environments. “And there has been no scientific ground for more precise recommendations.”

Scientists study how much water plants lose so that landscape managers can know how much water they need to put back in. Water .........

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MORE HEALTH PROBLEMS LINKED TO FRACKING

August 4, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

People with asthma who live near bigger or larger numbers of active unconventional natural gas wells operated by the fracking industry in Pennsylvania are 1.5 to four times likelier to have asthma attacks than those who live farther away, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

The findings, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, add to a growing body of evidence tying the fracking industry to health concerns. Health officials have been concerned about the effect of this type of drilling on air and water quality, as well as the stress of living near a well where just developing the site of the well can require more than 1,000 truck trips on once-quiet roads. The fracking industry has developed more than 9,000 .........

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