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Redwood City, CA,
Will Styrofoam Get the Plastic Bag Treatment?
January 4, 2016 07:09 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Say farewell to Styrofoam take-out containers in the nation’s capital. It’s been a few years in the making, but Washington, D.C. has finally enacted a firm ban on polystyrene food and beverage containers. Henceforth, all restaurants will have to provide biodegradable alternatives if they want to send their patrons home with leftovers.
Good news about restoring river ecosystems
January 1, 2016 10:17 AM - Lizabeth Paulat, Care2, Care2
t is a commonly held belief that most ecosystems take about a lifetime to recover after damage is introduced by humans. However, researchers at Ohio State University are finding that initial recovery can be dramatic if the right conditions are present. The discovery was made while monitoring how dam removal impacted local species.
The studies focus on the reintroduction of birds and salmon to the habitat. What they found was that if just birds were introduced, they tended to have low weight and poor numbers of offspring. However, when dams came down and salmon and fish were put together, both species flourished and impacted the surrounding ecosystem positively.
Los Angeles area natural gas leak continues
December 31, 2015 05:06 AM - Lowell Williams, Care2, Care2
Though it seems to be oddly absent from the mainstream media headlines, a massive methane gas leak in Southern California’s Aliso Canyon has prompted thousands of evacuations and, since Oct. 23, has pumped over 150 million pounds of the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Even though the owners of the methane well, Southern California Gas Co., say this week that they have finally discovered the pipe associated with the leak, it will likely be months before a seal is entirely in place.
To truly underscore the seriousness of the Porter Ranch gas leak, the Environmental Defense Fund released an infrared aerial video this week showing the tremendous, continuous release of methane:
Methane gas, in its natural state, is also odorless. However, for safety reasons, foul-smelling additives are artificially included with the gas. In Porter Ranch, a Los Angeles neighborhood and the site of the leak, the additive smell’s intensity has affected the heath of many of residents — nose bleeds, nausea, headaches and dizzy spells have been reported.
Earth is Losing Farmland at an Alarming Rate
December 15, 2015 09:49 PM - s.e. smith, Care2
2015 has marked the International Year of Soils, an event that many members of the public missed — but they shouldn’t have, because soil is vitally important for human survival. Ominously, a study from the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures indicates that in the last 40 years, humans have chewed through 33 percent of the Earth’s topsoil, thanks to development and harmful farming practices. The grim findings are a bad sign for the future, as we rely on soil not just for sustenance, but also as a carbon trap, key component of nearly every ecosystem on Earth, and breeding ground for organisms with tremendous commercial and humanitarian applications, such as bacteria that could contribute to the development of cutting edge pharmaceuticals. We should be worshiping the ground we walk on, and this study indicates that we’ve been doing just the opposite.
Should we say goodbye to cacti?
December 2, 2015 07:23 AM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
It’s hard not to think of a cactus as a resilient plant. Living in hot, drought-stricken climates, if it can survive there, surely it can make it through anything. Sadly, this assumption is not reality for the cactus. As an international team of researchers discovered, nearly one-third of all cactus species face a looming threat of extinction.
These 10 Endangered Species are Running Out of Room to Roam
November 25, 2015 06:27 AM - Alicia Graef, Care2
It’s never been easier for us to get where we want to go, but our growing transportation systems mixed with development are taking a serious toll on wildlife, from tiny amphibians to large mammals, and pushing some who are already in danger of disappearing even closer to the brink.
A new report from the Endangered Species Coalition, No Room to Roam: 10 American Species in Need of Connectivity and Corridor, focuses on imperiled species who need just what the title says: room to roam.
Waterfalls are more threatened than you might think
October 25, 2015 08:52 AM - Emily Zak, Care2
More than 100 years ago today, a 63-year-old Michigan schoolteacher took the first ride ever down Niagara Falls in a barrel. Annie Edson Taylor may have survived, but the future will tell if the waterfalls available for such (now-illegal) escapades will. Here are a few threats to waterfalls we can’t ignore if we want to preserve these natural wonders.
Last year, Yosemite Falls went dry for five months. While the falls have always been ephemeral, meaning they flow seasonally, California’s severe drought had stopped them two months earlier than usual in June until December rains started them again a month late. In The Atlantic, outdoorsman and author Michael Lanza wondered if the world’s sixth-highest falls would actually disappear, with climate change leading to less and less snowfall. Snowpack in the Cascade Range has already decreased 15 to 30 percent in the past 70 years.
Chernobyl considered unlikely nature reserve for some species
October 8, 2015 08:47 AM - Steve Williams, Care2
When you think of Chernobyl you probably think along the lines of “nuclear disaster” and a “no-go” area, but new research shows that with humans now absent from the region, several mammal species including wild boar and wolves, are increasing in number in this most unlikely nature reserve.
Could Mealworms Help Solve our Styrofoam Waste Problem?
October 2, 2015 03:16 PM - Kevin Mathews, Care2
Plastic waste is out of control in this country, and Styrofoam is one of the worst offenders. Americans toss out 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year. Over two million tons of the stuff ends up in landfills, where it does not biodegrade. Scientists think they may have found a solution for our Styrofoam problem, though: feed it to the worms!
Just how much waste are Americans creating?
September 23, 2015 09:09 AM - Tex Dworkin, Care2
A new Yale-led study reveals that we’re disposing of more than twice as much solid waste as we thought we were here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.
Published on Sept. 21 in the Nature Climate Change journal and co-authored by Yale professor Julie Zimmerman and University of Florida professor Timothy G. Townsend, this study found that based on landfill measurements instead of government estimates, analysis of figures revealed that America tosses five pounds of trash per person per day.
Let that soak in for a moment. Five pounds of garbage. Per day. Per person. But it gets better, and by better, I mean worse.