• <span class="entry-title-primary">E-Waste Blizzard</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Recycling Used Electronics Our Only Hope</span>

    E-Waste Blizzard Recycling Used Electronics Our Only Hope

    Dear EarthTalk: The collective impact of all the iPhones and other devices we buy, use and then discard must be mind-boggling at this point. Has anyone quantified this and what can we do to start reducing waste from such items?  — Jacques Chevalier, Boston, MA   With a record four million pre-orders for Apple’s best-selling […]

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Health Impacts of Coal</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Emissions from Coal-Fired Plants a Health Menace</span>

    Health Impacts of Coal Emissions from Coal-Fired Plants a Health Menace

    Dear EarthTalk: I saw a chart that quantified the negative impacts on our health of our reliance on coal as an energy source. It was pretty shocking as I recall. Can you summarize what we’re dealing with here? – Mitchell Baldwin, Boise, ID Coal combustion plants account for some 40 percent of Americans’ electric power generation. According […]

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Divesting from Fossil Fuels</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Holding Investors Accountable on Climate</span>

    Divesting from Fossil Fuels Holding Investors Accountable on Climate

    Dear EarthTalk: What is Global Divestment Day and how does it relate to protecting the environment? – Michel LaPlante, New Orleans, LA   With crucial international climate negotiations coming up in Paris in the Fall of 2015, the first ever Global Divestment Day took place on February 13-14, with activists and everyday people across six continents […]

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Synthetic Biology</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Are New Scientific Frontiers Threatening Sustainability?</span>

    Synthetic Biology Are New Scientific Frontiers Threatening Sustainability?

    Dear EarthTalk: Should those of us who care about our health and the planet be concerned about the new trend in genetic engineering called synthetic biology? – Chrissie Wilkins, Bern, NC   “Synthetic biology” (or “synbio”) refers to the design and fabrication of novel biological parts, devices and systems that do not otherwise occur in […]

Warming World

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Brazil’s Big Dry Up</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Deforestation + Global Warming = Record Drought</span>Brazil’s Big Dry Up Deforestation + Global Warming = Record Drought
    This short video and the article that follows by Swedish filmmaker/writer Geir Hansteen Jorgensen shows how deforestation and global warming have combined to plunge Brazil into a record drought… The Brazil record-drought from 2014 continues and looks to be intensifying in 2015. At peak rain season hopes about January rains filling the water reservoirs evaporated. Drought is affecting most […]

Toxins & Pollution

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Is Air Pollution Stressing You Out?</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Take Care of Yourself By Avoiding Exposure</span>Is Air Pollution Stressing You Out? Take Care of Yourself By Avoiding Exposure
    There is mounting evidence that higher levels of air pollution could be causing you to stress out more than normal. In a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Boston University School of Medicine published in January, for example, scientists concluded that as air pollution increased, perceived stress levels […]

House & Home

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">DIY All-Natural Toothpaste</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Why put chemicals in your mouth every day?</span>DIY All-Natural Toothpaste Why put chemicals in your mouth every day?
    People have been cleaning their teeth for thousands of years with natural ingredients such as bone, oyster shell, chalk, brick, salt, charcoal, herbs, spices, oils, and tree twigs. Today there are chemical additives in toothpaste that can be poisonous, especially for children. Some of these additives include fluoride, triclosan, and sodium lauryl sulfate. Many people […]

Under Water

Going Green

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Refuge</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Among Rescued Wildlife in Bolivia</span>Refuge Among Rescued Wildlife in Bolivia
    During an afternoon off from working on a permaculture fruit farm on the mountainside of Samaipata, a tropicalesque town teetering on the Amazon basin, we visited the refuge zoo. The greeting, or bombardment, of intrigue and kindness we received from a howler monkey named Cheetah and a doe called Bambi, meant we knew that if […]

Wild & Wooly

  • <span class="entry-title-primary">Precious Pangolins</span> <span class="entry-subtitle">Threatened by the Click of a Mouse</span>Precious Pangolins Threatened by the Click of a Mouse
    A pangolin, also known as a scaly anteater, is a burrowing mammal found throughout Africa and Asia. This shy and defensive creature spends most of the day feasting on insects using its sticky, 16 inch tongue. When threatened, pangolins will roll into a ball. While this may protect them from animal predators, it has quite […]