Streams and Rivers Are Life Links by Avery Mack Creeks, streams and rivers flow into ponds, lakes and oceans, carrying pollution. Keeping large bodies of water clean starts with local waterways. As awareness of this need rises, some rivers in Africa, India, New Zealand and elsewhere are being protected and recognized as living entities, with rights, values and the legal status of people. While court cases brought by commercial interests are challenging such decisions, progress continues on many fronts.
Good for People and the Planet by John D. Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist Many people define a livable city as one that is easy to get around in by foot, bike or public transportation. Many also prioritize ready access to fresh, local, organic food via farmers’ markets and community gardens. Others champion affordable housing and cost of living factors, safe neighborhoods with a diversity of people, careful stewardship of clean air and water, and plentiful amenities, including considerable open space and natural settings. Many work to preserve and enhance a sense of place suited to the locale.
Why a Warming Planet is Harming Our Health by Lisa Marshall Samantha Ahdoot’s son Isaac was 9 years old when he collapsed from the heat while playing clarinet at band camp. It had been a record-hot summer following a mild winter and early spring, and Dr. Ahdoot, an Alexandria, Virginia, pediatrician, had already noticed a string of unusual cases: A toddler had contracted Lyme disease in the once tick-free region of Northern Maine.
Easy Ways to Green It Up by Avery Mack Living green isn’t difficult or expensive. Start small, one room at a time. In the Kitchen Defrosting trays have been available for a while, and although they aren’t a miracle solution, they are eco-friendly and easy to clean; thawing most meats, seafood and vegetables usually takes just 30 to 60 minutes. It’s one way to avoid using the microwave.
Practical Uses for Aging Produce by Judith Fertig When Jacques Pépin was growing up in France during World War II, he watched his mother use every scrap of food to meet the family’s needs, and then send him to live with a farmer in summer so her growing son could eat fresh from the farm. Today, the internationally renowned PBS-TV chef and cookbook author carries these sensibilities forward at his home and studio in Madison, Connecticut. “In Europe, and certainly in France, healthy food is much more expensive,” he says.
Creating Sustainable Urban Living by Randy Kambic Homesteading is a broad field. “Along with planting produce, we encourage people to compost, change how they use water, learn about biochar—a long-term soil amendment that returns carbon to the earth—and employ creative economics, including bartering and food-sharing systems,” says K. Ruby Blume, of Grants Pass, Oregon, who founded the Institute of Urban Homesteading, in Oakland, California, a decade ago. She’s also co-author of Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living.
Choose Earth-Friendly Alternatives by Avery Mack Grocery bags, bottles, cups and straws comprise much of the 9.1 billion tons of plastic manufactured worldwide in the past 65 years. Once discarded, 79 percent resides in landfills and litters the environment, with more created daily. Annually, the equivalent of five grocery bags of trash for every foot of coastline worldwide enters the oceans, killing 100,000 marine animals. A 2016 World Economic Forum report says that by 2050, the world’s seas could contain more plastic than fish.
Honor Her Wisdom in New Ways by Avery Mack “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without,” was the motto of past generations. Today, it’s recycle, repurpose and reinvent. Nostalgia is making a comeback. It’s tempting to revert to successful old-fashioned ways; it’s even better to update the how-to of natural eco-living.
Its efficiency is double that of the best air conditioner and 50 percent superior to the best natural gas furnace, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Planetfriendly geothermal energy emits no pollution and reduces the need for fossil fuels.
Using this type of ground source heat pump requires the temperature to be brought up or down by an average of 20 degrees, as opposed to a unit above ground that requires more energy due to variable high or low temperatures and humidity. Another advantage of the Freon system is the use of copper. “Copper is an excellent conductor of energy.