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EPA Revises MPG Ratings

Saturday August 31, 2013

The EPA has announced that it will revise the way it rates gas mileage, or MPG, for many cars, in response to the growth of alt-fuel and hybrid vehicle technology.


"We're going to update general-labeling regulations," said Chris Grundler, director of the EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. The update will cover "which vehicles need to be tested."

Given the importance consumers place on EPA gas mileage ratings, it's welcome news that the agency is keeping pace with innovations in the automotive industry.

Guns and Lead-Free Ammo

Saturday August 31, 2013

Hunting season is rapidly approaching, and some people are just as worried as the deer and turkeys ought to be.


It's not the hunting that bothers them per se, but the ammo. Shotgun pellets and bullets that contain lead -- a heavy metal that's linked to dozens of serious health conditions -- have become an environmental hazard as well as a concern for human health.

Lead-free ammunition, also sold as non-lead ammo or "green bullets," is getting more attention from smart hunters and conservationists alike.

Barrier Islands: Saving the Shores

Saturday August 31, 2013

For centuries, people have looked at barrier islands -- those long, silky strands of glistening white sand that are found off the coasts of many continents -- as summer playgrounds, forgotten as soon as autumn's chill starts to set in.

barrier islands

No more. Especially in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and other storms, barrier islands are increasingly seen as critical natural elements that protect coastal resources, including beaches and coastal cities like New York, Miami and Boston.

Yet many are still intent on "developing" barrier islands, which usually means bulldozing sand dunes, paving over permeable soils and constructing parking lots, hotels and condos. Why is that a bad idea? Just ask anyone whose house was underwater during Hurricane Sandy.

How Green Is Your College?

Saturday August 31, 2013

For millions of people, this time of year is known as the back-to-school season, when dorms rooms and classrooms start filling up with eager (and not-so-eager) students and teachers.

It's also time for some to reassess just how green and environmentally conscious their school is -- or isn't. Sierra magazine, an official publication of the Sierra Club, has recently announced their 10 "Coolest Schools" list for 2013.

Did your school make the green college cut?

How to Compost: 7 Easy Steps

Sunday August 18, 2013

Fall is right around the corner, which means billions and billions of leaves will soon be getting raked up and put ... where?

If you start a compost pile now, you'll have a great, easy way to take care of your leaves, as well as your chopped vegetables, cardboard, animal fur, manure, paper towels, old rags, apple cores, etc.


Discover how easy it is to start composting with this quick, 7-step guide to your first compost experience. Once you start, you'll realize how fast and easy it is.

Beached Whales and Sonar: What's the Link?

Wednesday July 31, 2013

The sound of silence may soon fill our oceans, once the home of millions of rare and beautiful fish, coral, marine mammals and other life.


The silence may be interrupted only by the sounds of military sonar, which is now known to cause the beachings that kill off whales, dolphins and other cetaceans.

Will we stop sonar exercises in time to save the oceans?

Has MillerCoors Gone Green?

Tuesday July 30, 2013

Remember the Coors boycotts and lawsuits of the 1970s and 1980s? The company was in the cross-hairs of just about every environmental/labor/gay/women's group in existence for their malevolent corporate practices.

My, how things have changed. Or have they?


The iconic MillerCoors brewery in Golden, Colo. -- the largest brewery in America -- is now landfill-free, reusing or recycling 100 percent of their waste stream, according to company statements.

But the Coors family remains firmly committed to right-wing, conservative causes with a distinctly anti-environmental bent.

This may be a well-crafted campaign of greenwashing, or the simple realization that there's money to be made in smart waste management and energy-efficient facilities and production processes.

Either way, MillerCoors has established a benchmark for the rest of corporate America to achieve. (Yes, we're looking at you, Budweiser.)

Electricity from a Window?

Sunday July 28, 2013

Yes, say researchers from UCLA and the California NanoSystems Institute, or CNSI.


A crack team of engineering researchers, led by Yang Yang of CNSI, has developed a new type of polymer solar cells that are micro-thin and can be used as window glass.

Though it's still in the experimental stage, this is the kind of technology that could revolutionize clean energy. Keep up the good work, folks, and we just might save the planet after all.

The Secret Life of Indoor Plants

Sunday July 28, 2013

One of the saddest sights in the world is a lonely little indoor plant, drooping in some forgotten corner of an office building.


It's worth noting that that little plant gave its all in keeping the air free of toxins for whatever mid-level manager let it die a miserable death.

But do indoor plants really keep indoor air quality fresh, or is that just a bunch of hippie hokum? Get the facts on indoor plants and indoor air quality.

The Garbage Patch Is Alive!

Saturday July 27, 2013

It sounds like a cheesy 1950s sci-fi flick: A massive, floating patch of man-made trash out in the middle of the ocean is spawning some never-before-seen life forms, including a few that appear to eat plastic.


Will they thrive and multiply, destroying all of our cell phones, pool toys and shirt buttons? Will bubble wrap become a thing of the past?

It's all too horrible to contemplate, but the immense garbage patch ecosystem that's slowly swirling in the world's oceans clearly deserves more study.

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