Video abstract of the article “Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States,” by Christopher W. Tessum, Jason D. Hill, and Julian D. Marshall. The article was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. Full text is openly available at: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1406853111.
Roughly 40 percent of food produced in America never makes it to the table. Whether it rots in the field, is trashed at the supermarket, or thrown out at home, NPR’s Allison Aubrey looks at why good food is being discarded, and what can be done to prevent it.
We’ve heard news of “peak oil” and “the end of the oil age” for years now, but we keep coming up with ways to find and pump more of it to the surface. Rising CO2 levels and the changing climate that results from burning fossil fuels mean that we should probably stop using oil sooner rather than later, though.
Let’s take a look at history and see how we’ve used different fuels, so that we might figure out when and how to make oil a thing of the past.
The world of energy is a confusing place. What’s better, nuclear or solar? What’s the difference between fluorescent bulbs and LEDs? What’s the difference between energy and power? And what the heck is a kilowatt-hour?! In this video, we give you a tour of the essential principles behind the energy machine that puts fuel in our tanks and brings electricity to our homes. To be a good energy citizen, you need to speak the language.
We use a LOT of energy, but we waste a lot too. Where that waste happens might surprise, you though. We don’t just waste energy when we leave the lights on or the thermostat cranked down too low. It happens at the dinner table and the water faucet as too!
Special thanks to Sheril Kirshenbaum and the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin for their help with this series. Check out their awesome online course “Energy 101” to learn about energy and energy policy from A to Z. And to find out what people think about energy, check out the UT Energy Poll
Video created by It’s Okay to Be Smart.
Bees, wild and domesticated, are in big trouble. Bee colonies are dying off at alarming rates, and the cause isn’t clear. Pesticides, habitat loss, disease… there’s a laundry list of likely culprits. We rely on these tiny pollinators for a majority of our fruits, veggies, and nuts… if they disappear, could we be next?
- Bee declines driven by combined stress from parasites, pesticides, and lack of flowers (Science, 2015)
- What’s killing America’s bees?
- Anand Varma’s TED talk on saving bees
- The White House’s 2015 Pollinator Action Plan
- Colony collapse disorder
- Report of the commissioner of agriculture (1868)
- Summary of colony collapse disorder
Principal Jonathan Shearer of the Puesta del Sol School in Bellevue, Washington describes how they partnered with EPA to avoid food waste. Students collect unwanted, uneaten lunchtime food and dairy for donation to the local food bank.
Read the full story from Treehugger.
Every little bit helps.
That seemed like a mantra for many environmentalists when I was first getting into the green movement. From switching off lights to reusing plastic bags, we focused on individual action, and we begged for—and often cheered—incremental improvements from our governments, communities and corporations.
Yet a new kind of environmental action is emerging, one that is not afraid to champion all-out, systemic change. It’s happening on many fronts:
• Engineers are mapping out roadmaps to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
• Utilities are committing to complete decarbonization, and reshaping their business models around renewables.
• Authorities are planning to “make cars in cities pointless.”
• Mainstream builders are building homes with 90 percent lower heating bills, largely out of straw, at a comparable cost to conventional homes.
• Apple is buying up forests the size of San Francisco to promote sustainable forestry.
Need ideas about going green with purchasing? Planning large events and want to be as environmentally responsible as possible? Wondering if you really can go green? Get some tips in this archived networking and learning opportunity sponsored by the Higher Education Associations Sustainability Consortium (HEASC). The online gathering featured ideas and examples of how Student Affairs units have implemented green practices in purchasing and event coordination. Hear from experts from the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council and from colleagues who’ve made green a reality in their day-to-day operations.