Thursday, December 13, 2012

Your Water Footprint is Much Bigger than You Might Think

The average Californian uses a lot more water than just what comes from the tap. 


A new study measuring California's water footprint finds that an eight-ounce cup of coffee, for example, uses 35 gallons of water, counting what it takes to grow the beans and transport the coffee.

The study is from the Pacific Institute in Oakland. President Peter Gleick says it shows most of our water footprint comes from food.


"We may choose, for example, to buy and eat less meat. Meat turns out to be a very water-intensive product to make."


Gleick says he hopes the study is the first step toward helping consumers make more sustainable choices. The water footprint for the average Californian is 15-hundred gallons a day… more than 10 times what we consume directly.


Article courtesy of KQED Public Media For Northern California by  Caitlin Esch




Monday, December 10, 2012

Arctic breaks records for loss of snow and ice

A fast-changing Arctic broke records for loss of sea ice and spring snow cover this year, as well as summertime melt of the Greenland ice sheet, federal scientists reported Wednesday.

“The Arctic is an extremely sensitive part of the world,” said Jane Lubchenco, administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As it warms, she said, “we see the results with less snow and sea ice, greater ice sheet melt and changing vegetation.”,0,253551.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times-Science Now by Kenneth R. Weiss


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Energy development on public lands and waters pumped more than $12 billion into federal coffers in 2012, $1 billion more than the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior,0,4832619.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Julie Cart



Monday, November 26, 2012

California air board says DWP must control dry lake bed's dust

The California Air Resources Board has ruled that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is solely responsible for controlling the choking dust storms that arise from the dry Owens Lake bed.

The board said the DWP must take additional air pollution control measures on 2.9 square miles of the dry lake, which was drained to provide water to Los Angeles. The powder-fine dust arising from the bed often exceeds federal health standards,0,




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Climate change may explain Maya rise and fall, study says

Argument has raged for decades over what doomed the ancient Maya civilization and spurred its people to abandon their awe-inspiring temples and pyramids in the rain forests of Mexico and Central America. Warfare, disease, social unrest and over-farming have all been cited as potential factors in the decline of a culture that was scientifically and culturally advanced for 750 years.

A new study bolsters the theory that large-scale climate change was responsible for the society's demise — and argues that changes in global weather patterns were also responsible for its rapid rise.,0,3474592.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Monte Morin



Bullet-train planners face huge engineering challenge

Civil War veteran William Hood arrived at the mosquito-infested swamps near Bakersfield in 1874 to build a rail line that would soar through the Tehachapi Mountains, linking the Bay Area and Southern California for the first time.

It's a feat no one has attempted to duplicate. Until now.

A plan as audacious in the 21st century as Hood's was in the 19th century is taking shape on the drawing boards of California's bullet train planners. The crossing of not only the Tehachapi Mountains but the San Gabriel Mountains is seizing the imagination of engineers who see it as the greatest design challenge of the $68-billion project.,0,4082877.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Ralph Vartabedian




Satellites and space debris disrupted by climate change

In that region, more than 50 miles above Earth's surface, carbon emissions cause cooling rather than warming because carbon dioxide molecules collide with oxygen atoms and release heat into space. Because such cooling makes the planet's atmosphere contract, it can reduce drag on satellites and debris that orbit the earth, possibly having "adverse consequences for the orbital debris environment that is already unstable," the researchers wrote.,0,3501663.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Time/Science Now by Eryn Brown




Warming climate may starve bamboo-eating pandas

Already endangered by deforestation, poor reproductive rates and hunting, China's giant pandas may now face a new threat: global warming.According to a study published online Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, rising temperatures could eliminate much of the bamboo that pandas rely on for sustenance in China's Qinling Mountains.,0,1607423.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Monte Morin




Poorest nations urge Obama to help the most vulnerable to climate change

Now, as the world?s nations prepare to meet in Qatar for annual United
Nations climate change treaty negotiations later this month, the
world?s 48 least developed countries have issued a strongly worded
letter to Obama urging him to take a leadership role in helping poor
countries prepare for climate change. Poor countries have long charged
they suffer the most from climate change brought on by wealthy
countries that are emitting the vast majority of heat-trapping gases
from power plants, cars, and industry.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

US astronaut sees science breakthrough in space

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) ? A U.S. astronaut departing this week for
the International Space Station said Monday that the bulk of the
scientific benefits from the orbiting laboratory will be seen over the
coming decade, amid questions on whether the estimated $100 billion
spent in last 12 years is worth the effort.
Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by The Associated Press

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New Bridge For Bikers and Pedestrians Connects Charlestown to Cambridge

Starting Friday, pedestrians and cyclists (ok, fine, rollerbladers, too) will have a new way to get from Charlestown to Cambridge, without hopping in their car.
State officials from the Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as Governor Deval Patrick, will celebrate the opening of the North Bank Bridge, a strip of walkway connecting East Cambridge to the Charlestown City Square and the Boston Harbor Waterfront.
Article by Steve Annear of BostInno

Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Bicyclists Are Better Customers than Drivers for Local Business by Tanya Snyder of

                       Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor
Do local and state officials tune out when you try to talk to them about bicycling? Are they unconvinced by arguments about public health, transportation options, or clean air? Do business leaders send you packing when you suggest building new bike lanes and bike parking, fearing that the loss of car parking will keep customers away?
Then show them the money.
Bikes can mean big business, and businesses are beginning to realize it. At a Bike Summit panel on the economic boost cycling can provide cities, speakers highlighted another strong message cyclists can bring to politicians when making their case for investment in bike/ped facilities.

Read more here:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Machine That Makes Recycling a Game by Cindy Atoji Keene of the Boston Globe

SHANKER SAHAI, founder of Cambridge start-up Greenbean Recycle, is turning the drudgery of recycling bottles and cans into an eco-game, a sort of FarmVille of trash disposal.

The new company has created a high-tech machine that is both recycling depot and arcade game. A barcode reader counts each bottle or can, gives instant green feedback - “one aluminum can, 500 watts saved’’ - and electronically transfers the 5 cent deposit to a PayPal or other account.
Recyclers can track their progress online, compare stats with friends, and win prizes. Users can connect via Facebook, and Sahai intends to give machines Twitter accounts: “50 containers recycled today.’’

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New space company aims to mine asteroids for precious metals

A new private space company is expected to be unveiled Tuesday at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

Planetary Resources Inc. is a Seattle company that intends to mine near-Earth asteroids for raw materials ranging from water to precious metals.,0,5812110.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times –Money & Co. by W. J. Hennigan

Friday, April 13, 2012

Awards given for reducing emissions in Northeast

BOSTON—The Northeast Diesel Collaborative has given four organizations from Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont "Breathe Easy" awards for outstanding leadership in reducing diesel emissions.

The collaborative works to improve public health and promote clean diesel technology. Its "Breathe Easy Leadership Awards" are given to agencies and organizations that reduce air pollution by retrofitting and replacing older diesel engines, reducing idling from diesel engines, developing outreach programs and promoting cleaner fuels.



Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Autism rates rising sharply, CDC reports

Federal health authorities have significantly raised their estimate of the prevalence of autism in children, concluding in a new study of 8-year-olds that 1 in 88 has some form of the disorder.

For the analysis, released Thursday, researchers scoured tens of thousands of health and special education records in 14 states, looking for an autism diagnosis or the symptoms that would add up to one. It is the latest in a series of studies by the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing autism rates climbing dramatically over the last decade.,0,4479379.story
Article courtesy of the Los Angeles Times by Alan Zarembo

Earth Hour 2012

A symbolic gesture to raise awareness about energy consumption, Earth Hour has grown since its beginning in 2007 in Sydney to now include observances in 147 countries and over 5000 cities. For one hour, lights are switched off at 8:30 local time on the last Saturday in March. Increasing public environmental awareness in China, which has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest polluter, has led 124 cities there to mark Earth Hour.
Article courtesy of the Boston Globe -The Big Picture

Friday, March 30, 2012

NASCAR speeds transition to green

When NASCAR raced onto the track at Fontana’s Auto Club Speedway on Sunday, it did so accompanied by the distinct whiff of environmentalism. To help neutralize the carbon-dioxide emissions generated from the race, the track’s owners will plant 100 trees around the community as part of the NASCAR Green Clean Air program. To reduce waste, Coca-Cola set up a portable processing center capable of recycling 1,000 containers per minute, adding to the 6 million containers the company will recycle at NASCAR events this year; Sprint was handing out postage-paid envelopes for fans to recycle their unwanted cellphones when they got home.,0,2411381.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times Greenspace by Susan Carpenter



Fear grows in O.C. cities near San Onofre nuclear plant

Concern over the safety of the San Onofre nuclear power plant is growing among Orange County cities closest to the facility, which has been shut down since January because of system failures.

Officials in nearby San Clemente and Laguna Beach — both within 20 miles of the San Onofre facility — have registered their fears after significant wear was found on hundreds of tubes carrying radioactive water inside the plant's generators.,0,7730812.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Rick Rojas

Pesticides suspected in mass die-off of bees

Scientists have identified a new suspect in the mysterious die-off of bees in recent years — a class of pesticides that appear to be lethal in indirect ways.

The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, are designed to target a variety of sucking and chewing insects, including aphids and beetles. Bees are known to ingest the poison when they eat the pollen and nectar of treated plants, though in doses so tiny that it was not seen as a threat.,0,4969345.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Eryn Brown

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

H2-Whoa! How much water is in a day of food?

How much water is on your plate? About 70 percent of the world's "blue water withdrawals" irrigate agriculture. World Water Day is March 22, and this year's theme examines food production. To see how many gallons of water bring common foods from field to plate, take our H2-Whoa! quiz. 

Q: How much water does it take to produce one person's daily food?

A) About 530 to 1,320 gallons.

B) Depends on the location.

C) These saltines are so dry there is no way water went into their production. 


A: Both A and B. It takes about 530 to 1,320 gallons for one person's daily food, but this number could vary depending on the climate and agricultural practices of the consumer's location. 

To lose the water weight in your diet, save (and eat!) leftovers or prepare smaller meals. About 30 percent of the food produced worldwide is never eaten. Avoid throwing out food and you'll ultimately avoid wasting water.

--image courtesy of iStock/Okea



Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Say No to Smog!

There is currently no federal limit on how much life-threatening carbon pollution can be spewed by coal plants -- pollution that is linked to significant health hazards like asthma-inducing smog.   

The EPA knows that 158 million Americans live in counties with unacceptable air pollution levels -- which is why they are about to make history by proposing first-ever carbon pollution protections.1 There is currently no federal limit on how much life-threatening carbon pollution can be spewed by coal plants -- pollution that is linked to significant health hazards like asthma-inducing smog.

Article courtesy of  The Sierra Club by Mary Anne Hitt

Friday, March 16, 2012

Oil extraction method widely used in California with little oversight

Energy companies across California are injecting a mysterious mix of chemicals into the ground to tap oil deposits while frustrating attempts to regulate the controversial process, known as hydraulic fracturing.,0,4631157.story
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Michael J. Mishak

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Groundwater nitrate contamination grows in California farm areas

Nitrate contamination of groundwater in some of the state's most intensely farmed regions has grown worse in recent decades and will continue to spread, threatening the drinking water supplies of more than 250,000 people, according to a new study.,0,6923826.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Bettina Boxall



New figures: More of US at risk to sea level rise

WASHINGTON—Global warming-fueled sea level rise over the next century could flood 3.7 million people in 544 U.S. cities temporarily, according to a new method of looking at risking of rising seas published in two scientific papers.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe from the Associated Press by Seth Borenstein

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Public "Food Forest" Planned for Seattle

Seven acres at the edge of a Seattle park are slated to be turned into the nation's largest public "food forest." Beacon Food Forest is designed on permaculture principles, combining the concepts of urban farms, orchards, and natural forest to produce food from trees, shrubs and perennial plants. Food forests have been called the next evolution in urban farming, with Beacon Food Forest notable for its aim to create an edible landscape on public land through community effort.

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online-Newsletter

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tsunami debris could reach U.S., experts say

Material dragged to sea by the tsunami could reach the northern Hawaiian Islands this winter, arrive on the U.S. West Coast in 2013 or early 2014 and then be drawn back to the main Hawaiian Islands between 2014 and 2016, according to researchers with the University of Hawaii and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who discussed their most recent findings at a news conference Tuesday.,0,2992800.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Tony Barboza

Monday, February 27, 2012

Strange garlic-like odor sickens Phoenix residents

PHOENIX—Authorities say a mysterious smell in a Phoenix neighborhood prompted 250 calls over two hours, with some people complaining of nausea and headaches.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by The Associated Press

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

HUD Announces New Sustainable Communities Resource Center

HUD recently launched the Sustainable Communities Resource Center (SCRC) — a new section of dedicated to providing information that supports local and regional strategies, with an emphasis on sustainable housing and planning.

Making City Streets Safer

When it comes to moving people around in healthy ways, New York City already has a leg up on most cities and towns around the country.

The city has sidewalks in all five boroughs; food stores and other shops are within walking distance of where most people live. It is served nearly everywhere by extensive, inexpensive and largely dependable public transportation.

Because so many New Yorkers use their feet to get them from place to place, they weigh on average six or seven pounds less than those who live in suburban America, said Dr. Richard J. Jackson, professor of environmental health sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and moderator of a public television series called “Designing Healthy Communities.”

Article courtesy of the New York Times by Jane E. Brody

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

L.A. air pollution may increase risk of stroke

L.A.’s smog problem might not be as visible as it was in the bad old days of the 1970s and '80s, but city residents might be at an increased risk of stroke even at levels of pollution that meet EPA standards. Oh yeah, and memory loss.

A new study published Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that Boston residents experienced more strokes when exposed to “moderate” amounts of particulate air pollution, as opposed to “good” amounts of pollution, according to EPA standards. The types of pollution monitored included those specifically linked with car traffic.

Reviewing the medical records of about 1,700 stroke victims at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the study’s authors found that the risk of stroke was 34% higher on days of “moderate” exposure than it was on “good” days. The effects were most acute in the first 12 to 14 hours after exposure.,0,7456303.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times-Greenspace by Dean Kuipers



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hundreds protest fare hikes, service cuts proposed by MBTA

More than 400 public transit riders blasted the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s proposed rate hikes and service cuts tonight in Boston, insisting that the measures would harm the poor, the elderly and disabled, and students.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe –Boston & Beyond Now MetroDesk by Travis Andersen, Globe Staff



Monday, February 13, 2012

Sub-zero temperatures strand thousands, kill more in Europe

WARSAW, Poland — Freezing temperatures left thousands of people stranded without power in the Balkans and elsewhere in Europe on Saturday, as the death toll from one of the coldest winters in years continued to rise.

Blizzards hit the Western Balkans, while heavy snowfalls and gale-force winds were expected to last until Monday. The storms deposited a fresh layer of snow and created tall drifts, further hampering access to many areas in the region. Several villages were without stable electricity supply, as wind and snow knocked down power lines.

Article courtesy of the Boston Herald by Dominika Maslikowski, bori Babic and Clare Byrne/dpa


Energy-savings bug bites towns

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council last week selected Medway, Marlborough, and six other communities to take part in its new Local Energy Action Program to devise long-range energy plans and identify which projects have the best potential to successfully reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Jose Martinez

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oil rises above $99 after US crude supply drop

SINGAPORE—Oil prices rose to above $99 a barrel Wednesday in Asia after an unexpected drop in U.S. crude supplies suggested demand is improving.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 83 cents at $99.24 a barrel at late afternoon Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.50 to settle at $98.41 on Tuesday.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Alex Kennedy-Associated Press

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grim cod report accepted, regulators weigh action

PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—Regional regulators are meeting to try to minimize damage to New England's fishing industry after an assessment of Gulf of Maine cod indicates the valuable stock is severely overfished.

The new report could lead to a 90 percent cut in the allowed catch to protect the fish. That would wipe out major segments of the industry. But regional regulators at the New England Fishery Management Council are expected to buy time Wednesday by asking federal regulators for an emergency rule that would be in effect for a year, starting in May.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe from Associated Press by Jay Lindsay   


U.S. seems to have largely escaped winter

A combination of factors has trapped winter's cold air over Canada and Alaska, making for unseasonably warm weather in the Lower 48.,0,6875555.story

Story courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Eryn Brown


Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Coal occupies a central position in modern human endeavors. Last year over 7000 megatons were mined worldwide. Powerful, yet dirty and dangerous, use of coal is expanding every year, with 2010 witnessing a production increase of 6.8%. Around 70 countries have recoverable reserves, which some estimates claim will last for over a hundred years at current production levels. Mining for coal is one of the world's most dangerous jobs. While deadliest in China, where thousands of miners die annually, the profession is still hazardous in the West and other regions as well

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe-The Big Picture by Lane Turner

Monday, January 30, 2012

No relief in rising gasoline prices as refineries shut down

"On January 18, Hess announced the closure of its HOVENSA joint venture refinery in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a major source of product supply to the East Coast," the Energy Department said. "That planned closure follows on the heels of the idling of two refineries in the Delaware Valley by Sunoco and ConocoPhillips and announced plans by Sunoco to idle another refinery in the region by mid-2012."

The Energy Department added, "The complete idling of the three refineries would collectively cut as much as 50% of current East Coast refining capacity.",0,3885077.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times –Money & Company by Ronald D. White




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Mill redevelopment in Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill coming back strong after recession

When plans to turn the old Wood Mill in Lawrence into luxury condominiums fell through in 2007, city leaders held their collective breaths.

The embattled city had finally started reaping the benefits of recent mill conversion projects, including the much lauded Riverwalk office complex, and this setback had some observers wondering whether Lawrence could lose its footing at the infancy of its revitalization.

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online from The Boston Globe by Katheleen Conti-Globe Staff

Smart growth is healthy growth

Good planning is good public health policy. Why do I say this? As a pediatrician, I see first-hand the negative health impacts of sprawl development on our children, whose asthma is worsened by air pollution caused by too much driving. Medical professionals have known that cities designed primarily around driving are responsible for traffic pollution and congestion; contribute to climate change; and limit opportunities for healthy, active lifestyles. Now the Southern California Association of Governments is considering the future of growth in our region, in the context of its "Sustainable Communities Strategy." I urge local and regional leaders to get involved in this process and actively promote good planning for our region that allows us to grow in smarter and healthier ways

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online from The Sun San Bernardino posted by Dr. Sunil Saini

Street Makeovers Put New Spin on the Block

How community activists are taking city planning into their own hands and creating pedestrian-friendly blocks via pop-up urbanism.

The recession may have robbed city governments of the wherewithal to enhance public places. But some undaunted architects, planners, and community activists are trying urban design experiments that are deliberately cheap, temporary, and unofficial. And sometimes these modest but audacious interventions lead to altered municipal policies and lasting changes in the cityscape.

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online from by Tom Jacobs

Take a Walk

For today's new-home market, the road to profitability may be a foot path

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates once said that "walking is man's best medicine." Some 1,400 years later, it looks like the same prescription may be just what the doctor ordered for the housing industry as well.

According to "The 2011 Community Preference Survey," a poll of 2,071 American adults conducted on behalf of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 77% of those polled considered having sidewalks and places to take a walk one of their top priorities when deciding where they’d like to live. Six in 10 adults said they would rather live in a neighborhood that featured a mix of houses, stores, and businesses within an easy walk, than a community of only houses that required driving to get to businesses.

Article courtesy of Smart Growth Online from Builder by Claire Easley

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Studying the science of space junk

"Well, here it is," said aerospace engineer William Ailor as he paused next to the hulking metal shells arrayed along the plaza outside a visitors entrance at Aerospace Corp.'s El Segundo headquarters.

The stuff is junk. But, Ailor said, it's no ordinary junk. This garbage has traveled to space and back.

A 150-pound hollow sphere of blackened titanium is all that remains of a motor casing from a Delta II rocket that fell to Earth in 2001, landing in the Saudi
Arabian desert west of Riyadh.,0,819657.story
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Eryn Brown/Los Angeles Times

National climate change strategy proposed for wildlife

The United States has no national strategy for curtailing its contributions to climate change, but it does now have a partial strategy for responding to its effects. On Thursday, the Obama administration released a draft of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy, a plan to coordinate responses to global warming across the country.,0,36043.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times -Greenspace by Dean Kuipers

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MBTA riders lament proposed fare increases and service cuts during public hearing

NEWTON -- Nearly 300 MBTA riders wedged into Newton’s War Memorial Hall last night to express fear and frustration over the steep fare increases and dramatic service cuts proposed by the T.

At the first of 22 planned transit agency hearings on the proposals, riders called on officials to consider the life-altering impact those changes would bring, particularly to low-income, elderly, and disabled residents.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe-Boston & Beyond Now- by Erick Moskowitz-Globe Staff



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Climate change skepticism seeps into science classrooms

A flash point has emerged in American science education that echoes the battle over evolution, as scientists and educators report mounting resistance to the study of man-made climate change in middle and high schools.

Although scientific evidence increasingly shows that fossil fuel consumption has caused the climate to change rapidly, the issue has grown so politicized that skepticism of the broad scientific consensus has seeped into classrooms.,0,2808837.story
Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Neela Banerjee, Washington Bureau

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gulf currents aided breakdown of oil after BP spill, study says

Rather than moving steadily away from the wellhead, oil-laced water often circled back, returning hydrocarbon-consuming bacteria to the plume repeatedly, authors say.


The geography and water circulation patterns of the northern Gulf of Mexico promoted the breakdown of oil and gas spewing from a busted wellhead during the BP oil disaster, according to a new study.,0,1839654.story

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times

USC researchers discover new, cheaper CO2 capture

Researchers at USC, right here in our backyard, have just announced a new, superefficient way to pull CO2 out of the air. And, potentially, out of effluents from smokestacks and other industrial sources. And to then release it again, recycling the capture material over and over.

The secrets? Sand. And plastic.,0,7127959.story?track=rss

Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Den Kuipers



NM, lab reach deal on radioactive waste cleanup

POJOAQUE, N.M.—State environmental officials have reached an agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to expedite the cleanup of thousands of barrels of radioactive waste.

Environment Secretary David Martin told a special meeting of the lab's Citizens Advisory Board that it has agreed to have all the barrels currently stored above ground removed by June 30, 2014. Any newly generated waste will have to be removed by the end of 2014.

Article courtesy of The Boston Globe by Jeri Clausing Associated Press


Monday, January 9, 2012

Ocean waves power a prototype generator in Newport Beach

After testing their wave-powered turbine near the Wedge, the entrepreneurs behind Green Wave Energy Corp. want Newport Beach officials' permission to set up a more permanent trial.,0,1686759.story Article courtesy of The Los Angeles Times by Mike Reicher





Friday, January 6, 2012

Pile less on

Happy 2012! Losing weight is a wildly popular New Year's resolution. With that in mind, this week's tips will help you slim down -- the green way.

It's an obvious statement: The more food you eat, the more resources you consume. Of course, you should absolutely be eating as much as you need to be healthy. But when it comes to eating for reasons other than function, that's when you start harming our shared resources and your own body. To follow the sensible "eat to live" ethos, prepare and serve yourself smaller portions at home. At restaurants where you know entrĂ©es will be huge, plan to split yours with your dining partner, or set half aside to take home. It's best to avoid buffets and other situations in which it's easy to overeat. An excellent tool to track your intake is the website and phone app MyFitnessPal

Article courtesy of The Sierra Club =Green Life

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Green Your Diet: Think vegan and vegetarian.

Aside from the health and weight benefits of a plant-based diet (vegans and vegetarians are at lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer), the choice to refrain from eating meat -- or simply being mindful about eating less of it -- helps the planet tremendously. Considering that livestock production is the cause of nearly 20% of the world's greenhouse gases -- more than the entire transportation sector -- and that animal factory farms pollute U.S. waterways more than all other industrial sources combined, it's clear how it would behoove us all to eat less meat. If you think you'll having trouble making the switch, try some carnivore-recommended faux meats.

Article courtesy of The Green Life (


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Slim Down the Green Way

Happy 2012! Losing weight is a wildly popular New Year’s resolution. With that in mind, this week’s tips will help you slim down — the green way.

Tool number one you'll need while managing your weight loss is a bathroom scale. While this may not strike you as being a product category with many eco-friendly options, they do exist: Whynter makes a bamboo scale, and Tanita's got a solar-powered one that's made from biodegradable plastic. It wouldn't be a bad idea to invest in a kitchen scale too, for greater certainty about portion size; Salter's bamboo version is an eco-minded choice.   Article courtesy of The Green Life (

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Transit tax benefit decreasing to $125 per month in 2012

The IRS Commuter Benefits limits are set to change in January 2012. The current monthly limit on the tax benefit for transit and vanpools of $230 per month will revert to $125 per month in 2012.  The temporary increase in the benefit was set up under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is set to expire at the end of 2011.   


This means that in 2012 an employer may give a tax-exempt commuter benefit to an employee, or allow an employee to use pre-tax income, of up to $125 per month for transit or vanpool passes.  The amount an employer gives over $125 per month will be taxable income for the employee.  The monthly limit for qualified parking provided by an employer to its employees for 2012 will increase to $240, up $10 from the limit in 2011.

Article courtesy of King County WA website