Agriculture

Coffee Rust in Guatemala
July 28, 2014 07:32 AM - Carrie Khan, NPR

Outside the northern Guatemalan town of Olopa, near the Honduran border, farmer Edwin Fernando Diaz Viera stands in the middle of his tiny coffee field. He says it was his lifelong dream to own a farm here. The area is renowned for producing some of the world's richest Arabica, the smooth-tasting beans beloved by specialty coffee brewers. "My farm was beautiful, it was big," he says. But then, a plant fungus called coffee rust, or roya in Spanish, hit his crop. "Coffee rust appeared and wiped out everything," he says.

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Record Radiation in South America
July 11, 2014 09:00 AM - Winfield Winter, ENN

Astrobiologists from the United States and Germany recorded the highest known level of solar UV radiation to reach Earth's surface. This was around 10 years ago. On December 29, 2003, the UV Index (UVI) peaked, reaching the blistering number of 43.3 over the Andes Mountains in Bolivia. To put this in context, a beachgoer in the United States would expect a UVI of 8 or 9 on a summer day. Even with an 8 or a 9, one may not escape the day without sunburn. Nonetheless, it has taken scientists 10 years to detail a report of this data while taking into account all of the variables and anomalies monitored from an international network of dosimeters — or Eldonets (European Light Dosimeter Network) — that measure UV radiation worldwide. This system is comprised of more than 100 stations across 5 continents to account for variation in the atmosphere above each station.

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SPOTLIGHT

Ski areas rejoice!

US Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service finalized policy guidelines that will open opportunities for ski areas to promote year-round recreation activities that are natural resource-based and that will create additional jobs for communities with ski areas on the National Forests. "The new directives will help usher in a wider spectrum of developed recreation opportunities that will encourage more people to enjoy the national forests," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "This change will allow ski areas to offer expanded recreation choices that will benefit local communities and recreationists." The guidelines — referred to as directives — will be published in the Federal Register this week and take effect immediately. They will be used by agency administrators to determine which summer recreation activities and associated facilities will be allowed on ski areas operating on national forests. There are 122 ski areas on nearly 180,000 acres of public land administered by the Forest Service.

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Dandelion Salad, Anyone?

July 22nd, 2014
Yes, dandelion salad is a real thing, not just a made up salad that kids make while playing pretend in the back yard. In fact, many commonly found plants are actually edible, including dandelions. I thought it would be fun to include some easily found leafy appetizers for ENN users to experiment with. Of course, not all plants are edible, so it is important to correctly identify a plant before trying to eat it.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

6 Green Living Principles Every Household Should Learn

July 18th, 2014
Sometimes, you are presented with too many ideas on how to maintain sustainability in your living space and are unsure which ones are the most effective...
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Are You Smarter Than A Trash Can?

July 12th, 2014
Walking through Boston earlier this week I came across an unusually large trash receptacle. When I went closer to inspect it (throw out my trash) I noticed that it was compactor designed for sustainability.  Besides having a function to compact the trash which would require less pickups, the cans also had solar panels to be [...]
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