Sci/Tech

Can we grow plants in space?
July 2, 2015 06:23 AM - Purdue University

A Purdue University study shows that targeting plants with red and blue LEDs provides energy-efficient lighting in contained environments, a finding that could advance the development of crop-growth modules for space exploration.

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On Earth Day, Give Fiber Its Due...
April 22, 2015 02:14 PM - Guest Contributor, James Gowen, Verizon Chief Sustainability Officer

There's a touch of green associated with receiving phone service, using the Internet and streaming video over an all-fiber-optic network. It's not the color of laser-generated light that carries massive amounts of data through all-glass cables directly into homes and businesses. It's green in the sense of how much more environmentally friendly today’s fiber-based telecommunications networks are compared to copper wire and coaxial cable networks. Whether it's energy efficiency or reduced demand for raw materials and other resources, all-fiber networks are a winning strategy on many fronts — including environmental sustainability. As we approach the 45th celebration of Earth Day on April 22, it's a good time to reflect on how network and technology decisions made by major telecommunications companies don't just result in advanced, more reliable services. These decisions can also pay handsome dividends on the sustainability front.

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SPOTLIGHT

Breeders select trait to conserve drinkable water

Kaine Korzekwa, American Society of Agronomy

Plants need water. People need water. Unfortunately, there’s only so much clean water to go around — and so the effort begins to find a solution.

Luckily for people, some plants are able to make do without perfectly clean water, leaving more good water for drinking. One strategy is to use treated wastewater, containing salt leftover from the cleaning process, to water large areas of turf grass. These areas include athletic fields and golf courses. Golf courses alone use approximately 750 billion gallons of water annually in arid regions.

However, most plants cannot tolerate a lot of salt. As some areas of the United States run low on clean water, plant breeders are trying to breed plants that are more salt tolerant. This would conserve clean water while maintaining healthy turf.

Plant breeders can actually see the individual effect of what each parent plant passes on because the genes add intensity to the trait. These are additive effects. Breeders can more easily select for those features when they observe those differences.

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11 Nature-Inspired Home Design Ideas

June 29th, 2015
Overall consumer spending on eco-friendly products have increased in the United States as of 2014. Check out some products and ideas to help creatively design your home in beneficial, eco-friendly ways while preserving the beauty that nature has to offer.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

EPA study: Climate Change to Wipeout Eastern Trout, Salmon by 2100

June 23rd, 2015
According to an EPA study, in less than 90 years there will no longer be any trout or salmon east of the Mississippi River and populations in the west will only survive in the most mountainous areas. Current projections suggest climate change will render enormous swaths of habitat too warm to support these ecologically, and economically important cold-water fish.
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

9 Green Air Freshener Ideas

June 17th, 2015
A fragrant home is a happy home. Rethink how you tackle the stink - commercial air fresheners are full of chemicals. Instead, go green and make your own natural air fresheners with a few of these easy alternatives!
To read the full post and comment, visit the ENN Community Blog

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