Must Reads

Green Living

Pre-Wired for the Future

Transportation Drives Urban Planning BY JIM MOTAVALLI The Congress for the New Urbanism, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy nonprofit, has some decisive views about what makes a walkable community: “complete streets” that are designed for bicyclists, pedestrians and transit. What it doesn’t have is cars—at least not those with tailpipes. City planners are increasingly designing green buildings without parking, and mandating—where ... Read More »

Plants Talk

Discover Their Secret Language BY APRIL THOMPSON  While flowers are known to lean toward light, a growing body of research is demonstrating plants also respond to sounds and scents—and then herald the news to their neighbors. Far from being passive life forms, members of the plant kingdom are adept at interacting with their environments and with each other. “Plants don’t ... Read More »

Art that Inspires Action

Artists Work to Save Nature’s Beauty BY AVERY MACK Mounts Botanical Garden, in Palm Beach County, Florida, hosted Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea, a thought-provoking traveling exhibit featuring giant sea creatures made entirely of marine debris from beaches. “It graphically illustrates the amount of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways,” says Curator and Director Rochelle Wolberg. The ... Read More »

We Need Clean Waters

Streams and Rivers Are Life Links Creeks, streams and rivers flow into ponds, lakes and oceans, carrying pollution. Keeping large bodies of water clean starts with local waterways. As awareness of this need rises, some rivers in Africa, India, New Zealand and elsewhere are being protected and recognized as living entities, with rights, values and the legal status of people. ... Read More »

Eco-Upgrades for America’s Landmarks

Monuments and Parks Adopt Sustainable Practices More U.S. landmarks are now highlighting eco-friendly practices, demonstrating that history can be preserved while incorporating sustainability. Space Needle, Seattle Built in 1962, the Space Needle is undergoing a $100 million makeover. The observation deck will soon feature improved views through glass instead of cage-like barriers. Restaurant patrons will enjoy a first-of-its-kind rotating glass ... Read More »

Recycling IQ

Take a Quiz to Help the Planet As ambitious folks undertake spring cleaning, questions arise about what is and isn’t recyclable, as well as how to do the right thing on an ongoing basis. The world can benefit from our efforts: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that every ton of recycled paper saves the energy equivalent of 322 gallons ... Read More »

Healthy Climate, Healthy People

Why a Warming Planet is Harming Our Health Samantha Ahdoot’s son Isaac was 9 years old when he collapsed from the heat while playing clarinet at band camp. It had been a record-hot summer following a mild winter and early spring, and Dr. Ahdoot, an Alexandria, Virginia, pediatrician, had already noticed a string of unusual cases: A toddler had contracted ... Read More »

Kick the Plastic Habit

Choose Earth-Friendly Alternatives BY AVERY MACK Grocery bags, bottles, cups and straws comprise much of the 9.1 billion tons of plastic manufactured worldwide in the past 65 years. Once discarded, 79 percent resides in landfills and litters the environment, with more created daily. Annually, the equivalent of five grocery bags of trash for every foot of coastline worldwide enters the ... Read More »

Erase E-Waste

Regift or Recycle Smart Phones When replacing holiday purchases of smartphones and other electronic devices, don’t just trash the old ones. Manufacturing electronics consumes many resources and discarded waste can leak harmful chemicals into ecosystems. There are far better ways to redirect and repurpose them. Besides trading in phones for a rebate, another good option is transferring them to an ... Read More »

Creating Community

15 Ways to Craft a Circle of Caring In facing up to today’s often degrading environmental, economic, political, social and hyper-individualistic cultural conditions, we instinctively know that survival requires coming together to effect constructive change. Here are proven approaches to community building that work. 1Build a campfire. Whether literal or metaphoric, create a clear, focused attraction that draws people into ... Read More »