What to do With Fallen Leaves

Read the full story from the National Wildlife Federation.

You shouldn’t feel obligated to rake up every last leaf in your yard this fall.  Leave leaves on the ground — they have a lot of benefit to wildlife and your garden.  Below are some tips on how to minimize the time you spend raking and maximize the benefit to wildlife and the greater environment that fallen leaves offer.

Move Over, Yellow 6. More Natural Colors From Plants Are Coming

Read the full story from NPR.

Not long ago, I tried a new kind of Doritos tinted a shade of orange that I’ll wager does not exist in the vegetable world. These JACKED Ranch Dipped Hot Wings Flavored chips were so intensely tinted that after four chips, I had to stop eating them. My mind simply wouldn’t accept them as food.

What was behind that exceedingly bold hue of orange? Red 40, Blue 1, Yellow 6, Red 40 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake and Yellow 5 Lake, according to the label.

Artificial colors like these are widely used in packaged food and considered safe by the Food and Drug Administration.

Yet an increasing number of food companies are moving away from synthetic colorings and toward plant-based ones, according to Carol Culhane, president of International Food Focus Limited, a Toronto-based firm that helps American and Canadian food manufacturers comply with food regulations.

Hong Kong’s Drive for ‘Green Burials’ Clashes With Tradition

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Generations in Hong Kong have followed a familiar routine to honor the dead, jostling for prime burial spots in the mountains and by the sea, or spending small fortunes on jade urns and elaborate ceremonies.

But now the government is seeking to upend those customs. Concerned by a scarcity of space and a rise in deaths, it has embarked on an effort to promote “green burials,” urging the public to forgo traditional burials and the storage of funeral urns in special buildings after cremation. Instead, it wants people to scatter the ashes of loved ones in gardens and at sea.

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

Read the full story from the National Wildlife Federation.

Brightly colored butterflies can be a welcome addition to your wildlife garden, not only because of their beauty, but also because of their usefulness in pollinating flowers.

Attracting butterflies involves incorporating plants that serve the needs of all life stages of the butterfly. The insects need places to lay eggs, food plants for their larvae (caterpillars), places to form chrysalides and nectar sources for adults.

When you create a pollinator garden and certify it with National Wildlife Federation, it also counts towards the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge.

Don’t toss that sour milk! And other tips to cut kitchen food waste

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

This is what chef Dan Barber demonstrated earlier this year, when he temporarily turned Blue Hill, his Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, into an incubator for garbage-to-plate dining.

Barber’s intent was to raise awareness about the vast issue of food waste. As we’ve reported, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. each year. The typical American family tosses out about $1,500 of food yearly.

All this wasted food is the largest component of solid waste in our landfills, and when it rots, it emits methane — a potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change.

So, you may be wondering, what can I do in my own kitchen?

Beyond Sprawl: A New Vision of The Solar Suburbs of the Future

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

The concept of the “solar suburb” includes a solar panel on every roof, an electric vehicle in every garage, ultra-efficient home batteries to store excess energy, and the easy transfer of electricity among house, car, and grid. But will the technological pieces fall in place to make this dream a reality?