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When people downsize to tiny houses, they adopt more environmentally friendly lifestyles

Maria Saxton, Virginia Tech Interest is surging in tiny homes – livable dwelling units that typically measure under 400 square feet. Much of this interest is driven by media coverage that claims that living in tiny homes is good for the planet. It may seem intuitively obvious that downsizing to a tiny home would reduce Read more about When people downsize to tiny houses, they adopt more environmentally friendly lifestyles[…]

3 ways activist kids these days resemble their predecessors

David S. Meyer, University of California, Irvine A gaggle of young activists recently paid Dianne Feinstein a visit at the senator’s San Francisco office, imploring her to support the Green New Deal framework for confronting climate change. She responded by explaining the complicated legislative process, emphasizing her decades of experience and promising to pursue a Read more about 3 ways activist kids these days resemble their predecessors[…]

Wastewater is an asset – it contains nutrients, energy and precious metals, and scientists are learning how to recover them

Yalin Li, Colorado School of Mines Most people think as little as possible about the wastewater that is produced daily from their showers, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers and toilets. But with the right techniques, it can become a valuable resource. On average, every Americans uses about 60 gallons of water per day for purposes that include Read more about Wastewater is an asset – it contains nutrients, energy and precious metals, and scientists are learning how to recover them[…]

Plastic bag bans can backfire if consumers just use other plastics instead

Rebecca Taylor, University of Sydney Governments are increasingly banning the use of plastic products, such as carryout bags, straws, utensils and microbeads. The goal is to reduce the amount of plastic going into landfills and waterways. And the logic is that banning something should make it less abundant. However, this logic falls short if people Read more about Plastic bag bans can backfire if consumers just use other plastics instead[…]

Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change

Noel Healy, Salem State University; Jennie C. Stephens, Northeastern University, and Stephanie Malin, Colorado State University Many Democratic lawmakers aim to pass a Green New Deal, a package of policies that would mobilize vast amounts of money to create new jobs and address inequality while fighting climate change. Led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Read more about Fossil fuels are bad for your health and harmful in many ways besides climate change[…]

Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants

Jeremiah Johnson, North Carolina State University and Joseph F. DeCarolis, North Carolina State University Due to their decreasing costs, lithium-ion batteries now dominate a range of applications including electric vehicles, computers and consumer electronics. You might only think about energy storage when your laptop or cellphone are running out of juice, but utilities can plug Read more about Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants[…]

How energy efficiency delivers green dividends in red and blue states

David Cash, University of Massachusetts Boston The Green New Deal, a bundle of proposed policies that would combat climate change, create green jobs and address economic inequities, is eliciting the usual partisan debate over what to do about global warming. But one humble and noncontroversial way to reduce carbon pollution has been gathering steam in Read more about How energy efficiency delivers green dividends in red and blue states[…]

How urban agriculture can improve food security in US cities

Miguel Altieri, University of California, Berkeley During the partial federal shutdown in December 2018 and January 2019, news reports showed furloughed government workers standing in line for donated meals. These images were reminders that for an estimated one out of eight Americans, food insecurity is a near-term risk. In California, where I teach, 80 percent Read more about How urban agriculture can improve food security in US cities[…]

Why stop at plastic bags and straws? The case for a global treaty banning most single-use plastics

Anastasia Telesetsky, University of Idaho Single-use plastics are a blessing and a curse. They have fueled a revolution in commercial and consumer convenience and improved hygiene standards, but also have saturated the world’s coastlines and clogged landfills. By one estimate 79 percent of all plastic ever produced is now in a dump, a landfill or the Read more about Why stop at plastic bags and straws? The case for a global treaty banning most single-use plastics[…]