environment

The Art of Sustainable Travel

BPT

Look for hotels that boast green efforts, such as the Cape Codder Resort in Hyannis, Mass. From using green cleaning supplies to utilizing energy-efficient lighting, more hotels are taking eco-friendly steps and will typically advertise these to guests on the website. If not, simply call to inquire. Not finding any options? One easy way to live greener at any hotel is to skip the daily maid service. By not having your towels and sheets changed out daily, you help save water and energy.

Save the Bees, Save the Planet

Jennifer Vickers

Bees are responsible for pollinating more than just crops for human consumption.  A study by the University of California concluded that honey bees account for one-eighth of all pollination of non-agricultural crops across the globe.  In short, bees make life possible for an incalculable number of ecosystems.  As has been widely reported, bee populations are in decline.  

The Rise of Organic, Eco-Friendly Housing Designs

Jennifer Vickers

When there is a need to save money on energy costs, the concept of a green roof such as designs seen across New York City over the last decade (even the Empire State Building has one) has seen a huge rise. Designing a living roof or wall can often be the most innovative and efficient insulators in keeping buildings cool in the summer and warm during winter. In some cases, they can even be structured to cover an existing roof.

Surprising Facts About the Carbon Footprint of Your Favorite Foods

Soila Apparicio

Blanket agricultural production doesn’t work across the world, and it’s important to consider local ecosystems when looking at how best to produce food with the lowest carbon footprint. A vegetarian typically has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat-eater but the plant-based diet isn’t practical everywhere, especially for those who live in dry or cold places that cannot support the growth of most vegetable crops.

Facing Severe Drought, Californians Support Cutbacks

Ngoc Nguyen

Californians rank the drought as their number-one environmental concern, according to a new statewide survey. The poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found three out of four residents favor mandatory curbs on water use. “They want the local district to do something -- mandatory reductions -- and they want the state government to do something,” said Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “They recognize that it is a problem and the most important issue.”

 

Voters Want Environmental Protection, But Do Their Lawmakers?

Ngoc Nguyen

NAM found that Latino and Black Legislative Caucuses -- made up entirely of Democrats -- are more pro-business than their Asian and white Democratic counterparts in the state legislature. After heavy lobbying by industry, more moderate Latino and African-American lawmakers shot down or abstained on pro-environment bills more often than Asian Democratic lawmakers. 

Communities of Color Face Greater Exposure to Pollution

Staff

Communities of color across the United States are exposed to disproportionately high rates of pollution, according to engineering and environmental researchers at the University of Minnesota (UM) released in time for Earth Week. Researchers looked at the variations in pollution exposure across race, income, education attainment and other categories, and found race to be the dominant determining factor.

Environmental Victories of 2013

ICT Staff

Native peoples reintroduced fading species, restored habitats and stopped big industry in its tracks. Several species began coming back, many of them thanks to the efforts of tribal programs. Northwest tribes were pleased to see a record return of Chinook salmon to the Columbia River. A healthy wolf population flourished in Yellowstone National Park, strengthening the wildlife web around it. Here are some of the more notable wins, and the tribes involved in making them happen.

The New Crop of Green Republicans

Ngoc Nguyen

A new environmental scorecard of California legislators reveals an emerging trend – an uptick in the scores for Republicans, bolstered by a new crop of moderates. The scorecard, released last Wednesday, shows that average scores for Republicans have steadily grown in the last few years. The average score for GOP Assembly members nearly doubled to 15 percent, while that of Senate Republicans more than tripled to 10 percent, compared to the previous year. Still, average scores for GOP legislators were far below that of their Democratic counterparts, which ranged from 87 to 90 percent.

An Economically Incentivized Climate Solution

Alexander Ostrovsky

The bottom line is that the earth’s natural ability to pull carbon out of our environment is beyond strained. From deforestation and carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, the path that we are on is not sustainable. Wind and solar farms are great except that they are costly to build, do not produce enough energy to sustain any of our large cities, and require subsidies from our public institutions to be built and maintained. 

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