Why a Warming Planet is Harming Our Health
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. (read more…)
Easy Ways to Green It Up
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. (read more…)
Practical Uses for Aging Produce
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. (read more…)
Creating Sustainable Urban Living
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. (read more…)
Choose Earth-Friendly Alternatives
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. (read more…)
Honor Her Wisdom in New Ways
“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. (read more…)
Homeowners Like its Eco-Friendly Cost Savings
It’s an uncertain time for home-based geothermal heating and cooling, which has been increasing for years. The good news is that the cost of the technology is down and its efficiency is up. Yet a helpful 30 percent federal income tax credit inaugurated in 2009 disappeared in 2017 and may not get renewed anytime soon, even though H.R. 1090, a bill aimed at restoring the credit, has had strong support in Congress, led by New York Republican Congressman Tom Reed. (read more…)
At first glance, the idea of solar energy seems pretty simple. Solar panels on your roof convert sunlight into energy that powers home systems. However, it’s a bit more involved. Don Redman, president of U.S. Energy Solutions based in Taylors, South Carolina, explains that there are different types of solar energy systems available and there are differences associated with each. (read more…)
15 Ways to Craft a Circle of Caring
In facing up to today’s often degrading environmental, economic, political, social and hyper-individualistic cultural conditions, we instinctively know that survival requires coming together to effect constructive change. Here are proven approaches to community building that work. (read more…)
Demand Surges as Prices Fall
Now is a good time to buy a solar system and get off the grid. Solar photovoltaic prices have fallen 67 percent in the last five years, reports Alexandra Hobson with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). (read more…)
Caring Rehab Gives Them a Second Chance
Seeing lost, injured or orphaned animals is heartbreaking, but unless a wild animal is in immediate danger from prey or traffic, it’s best to wait and observe. Mothers forage for food and return to the babies intermittently. If in doubt, call a wildlife rehabber for advice. (read more…)
It’s in Style and Easy Care
Eco-friendly fashion used to be an oxymoron, synonymous with frumpy clothing and ugly shoes. Now designers and manufacturers are finding ways to provide attractive and healthier alternatives to common fabrics, especially polyester. (read more…)
Fuel Economy Plus Sales Incentives Equal Big Savings
While some carmakers are filling showrooms with ever-larger gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUV) thanks to lower gas prices, some car buyers want to do just the opposite and go greener with their wheels. Fortunately, more eco-friendly options exist than ever before—many of which come with surprising personal benefits in addition to a cleaner, greener planet. (read more…)
Favorite Varieties that Flourish in Summer
Some of the best plants to keep as summer companions are herbs that enrich life with their flavors, fragrances and beauty. It’s not too late to pot up a few herbs or plant them in the garden if we choose varieties that thrive in hot, summer weather. (read more…)
Innovations Boost Energy Efficiency
Smart, innovative, technological breakthroughs are making buildings more energy-efficient, healthier to live in and highly attuned to our connected world.
“Homeowners continue to be interested in green building options because they help foster a healthier, more comfortable and affordable home—and it’s good for the environment,” says Dan Chiras, Ph.D., of Gerald, Missouri, founding director of the Evergreen Institute and author of The Homeowner’s Guide to Renewable Energy. (read more…)
Turning Lawns into Native Landscapes
“Traditional turf lawns are an ecological nightmare,” says John Greenlee, author of The American Meadow Garden, who notes that most monoculture turf lawns never even get used.
His company, Greenlee and Associates, in Brisbane, California, designs residential and other meadows throughout the U.S. as an engaging alternative. Many other appealing options likewise use native plants appropriate to the local climate. (read more…)
Eco-Burial Options Grow
Natural burials allow those that lived their principles of an environmentally sound life to complete their days in a planet-friendly, personalized way.
“The number of U.S. cemeteries allowing natural burials has increased by 30 in the last year,” says Elizabeth Fournier, owner of Cornerstone Funeral Services, in Boring, Oregon. “More than 150 cemeteries allow them now. We encourage replacing cut flowers with plants. (read more…)
Relax into Nurturing Furnishings
We all relish a cozy nest, whether that means light-filled views, the embrace of form-fitting sofas and chairs or plush rugs that snuggle bare feet. A beautiful, comfortable home that reflects our personal style and embodies our values can be achieved by learning the origin of furnishings and investing in sustainably made pieces that will stand the test of time, say experts. (read more…)