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Californians turn to lawn painting in the midst of drought

Californians turn to lawn painting in the midst of drought

| August 13, 2014

Would you paint your lawn? A whole lot of people are saying: “Yes, please.” California is enduring the worst drought on record. With water scarcer than ever, residents have been forced to significantly cut back on watering their lawns—if they’re allowed to water them at all. The result? A lot of dead grass. You might […]

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Waste-to-energy plants successful in Europe, controversial in US

Waste-to-energy plants successful in Europe, controversial in US

| August 12, 2014

A recent report by Columbia University’s Earth Engineering Center reveals that diverting day-to-day waste to incinerators instead of landfills can actually generate electricity for 13.8 million households, and produce several other forms of energy simultaneously. But, given the reputation of these waste-to-energy (WTE) plants in the U.S., is burning better than burying? WTE plants remain […]

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Recycling station dispenses food for stray animals

Recycling station dispenses food for stray animals

| August 7, 2014

This one is short but awfully sweet. In Istanbul, Turkey, they’re giving new meaning to “puppy love.” The city is home to 14 million people and an astonishing 150,000 stray dogs and cats. They’ve come up with an ingenious way to support the four-legged population while encouraging the two-legged population to make more earth-friendly choices. […]

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Low-impact roundhouses bring sustainability home

Low-impact roundhouses bring sustainability home

| August 5, 2014

In 2004, Tony Wrench was nearly forced to demolish his home because the design made municipality planners nervous. Today, his home’s unique design is so compelling that Wrench has published a home building book so others can follow in his footsteps. What makes Wrench’s home design so special—and controversial? It’s known as “That Roundhouse” and […]

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New York City’s organic waste pilot program making strides

New York City’s organic waste pilot program making strides

| July 31, 2014

If Haley Rogers and Lisa Brunie-McDermott https://www.flickr.com/photos/meddygarnet/3451581786have their way, folks in the Big Apple will be more responsible with their big apple cores after they’re finished with them. And their tea bags. And their coffee grounds. And their banana peels. And the second half of that flaxseed muffin that seemed like a good idea at […]

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New Orleans is kicking (cigarette) butts

New Orleans is kicking (cigarette) butts

| July 29, 2014

Smoking rates have plummeted significantly in the United States over the past several decades—but you might not know it from looking at the barrage of cigarette butts carpeting many urban sidewalks. New Orleans is the latest city taking on the challenge of cleaning up the butts. That’s the good news. The great news? They’re doing […]

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Collapsible coffee cup solves a trashy problem

Collapsible coffee cup solves a trashy problem

| July 24, 2014

The new Smash Cup is smashing up traditional notions of reusable coffee cups. Convenient, lightweight, collapsible—what’s not to like? We know, we know—this is the second coffee cup-related post in two weeks. Think that’s excessive? How’s this for excessive: in America alone, 23 billion paper cups are thrown away each year. Yes, that’s billion with […]

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Where does our plastic go?

Where does our plastic go?

| July 22, 2014

We throw things out every day, but rarely consider where our garbage goes. Each American disposes about seven pounds of trash daily, nearly 70 percent of which heads straight to landfills, according to NPR. We have a trash crisis, and the most pressing problem may be plastic waste. As the New York Times’ editorial board […]

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A (seriously) green coffee cup

A (seriously) green coffee cup

| July 17, 2014

Let’s start this story with some eye-opening statistics. Starbucks uses four billion coffee cups per year. Of those four billion cups, Starbucks is ony able to recycle 39 percent of them. That’s less than four in ten cups. Why so low? They’re made of paper, right? Well, yes, they are—but paper doesn’t contain liquid very […]

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Iowa is turning plastic bags into park benches

Iowa is turning plastic bags into park benches

| July 15, 2014

You’ve heard of from rags to riches, but what about from bags to benches? Plastic bags are a notorious bane of the environmental landscape, but they’re receiving exciting new life thanks to an innovative program in Iowa. Iowa isn’t typically considered a standout national leader when it comes to recycling. Iowans recycle 1.2 million tons […]

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Is this the future of delivery packaging?

Is this the future of delivery packaging?

| July 11, 2014

Bubble wrap. Packing peanuts. Inflatable plastic cushions. The items we order for shipping are rarely shipped alone, and the accompanying packaging materials are notoriously bad for the environment. As we rely more and more heavily on online shopping, we as a society place an even greater burden on the environment through wasteful packaging. One graduate […]

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