Category: Green

World Pangolin Day Celebrates a Quirky Creature in Danger of Extinction

You may not have heard of these scaly, anteater-like mammals, but they’re the world’s most illegally poached animal. And they’re in danger of becoming extinct. Saturday marked World Pangolin Day—a day created to raise awareness for these little animals, which are native to Asia and Africa. Pangolins are shy, nocturnal mammals that curl up into a ball when threatened. They’re often compared to anteaters because their diet also consists of ants and termites, which they capture with their long tongues. Pangolins’ scale-covered exterior helps to protect these gentle animals from predators in the wild, but not from humans hunters,...

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1 Billion Milkweeds to Save the Monarch

Monarch butterflies are in danger of extinction. They have long migration routes, moving from as far north as Canada to as far south as Mexico. The long journey isn’t the problem, however. The real issue stems from dwindling supplies of milkweed along the migration route, which is essential to their habitat. Despite the difficulties, even unlikely groups like Pheasants Forever, which is dedicated to protecting pheasant and quail habitats, are helping bring back milkweed to protect monarch butterflies. By 2020, Pheasants Forever hopes to restore one billion milkweed stems. “By implementing some of the most diverse habitat seeding specifications...

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The Newest Vegan ‘Leather’ Comes from Recycled Banana Trees

On the Micronesian island of Kosrae, banana trees are plentiful. Good paying jobs are not. Enter Green Banana Paper. After living and teaching on the island for several years, American ex-pat Matt Simpson recognized many of his students were leaving because they could not find work. So with the help of a friend and the internet, Simpson started a local company that utilizes recycled banana trees to create environmentally friendly “leather.” Banana trees grow rapidly, but only bear fruit once and must be chopped down and disposed of to make room for new shoots. Green Banana Paper re-purposes these...

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Help Discover New Species in the Amazon – Right from Your Couch

Want to discover a new species? One ecotourism company has launched a program to turn people into scientific researchers—without leaving their couches. Eight new species were discovered in 2016 by citizen scientists, according to “Wired Amazon,” a project launched by Rainforest Expeditions. The “Aerobotany” program uses drone footage to allow citizen scientists to remotely view aerial images of the rainforest canopy. They then examine the images to classify different types of flora or spot animals. Each image examined earns them travel credit towards a trip to the ecotourism center in the Tambopata National Reserve in Peru. While onsite, visitors...

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Record-Setting 14 Million Pounds of Batteries Recycled in 2016

North Americans love technology — and energy-sucking technology loves batteries. Luckily, consumers are getting better at recycling them. 14 million pounds of batteries were collected in the United States and Canada in 2016, marking a 20-year consecutive increase, according to Call2Recycle, a recycling organization founded in 1994 by five battery companies that wanted to address the disposal of rechargeable batteries. This translates into 129 million pounds of recyclable material that bypassed landfills for over two decades. “Virtually all battery chemistries can be recycled,” said Call2Recycle CEO Carl Smith in an interview with Lady Freethinker. “Including your commonly used alkaline...

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How Your Rice can Save the Planet (and Help Women, Too)

The “Mother of All Basmati Rice” is heading to the United States for the first time. Lotus Foods, a sustainable rice company based in California, will introduce their specialty varieties of the coveted Dehraduni Basmati rice and Phka Malis jasmine rice. Keeping with their motto, “Healthier Rice for a Healthier Life,” these producers provide organic and fair trade crops with people and planet in mind. Rice from Lotus Foods is grown using the More Crop Per Drop (MCPD) methodology. In an interview with Lady Freethinker, Co-CEO Caryl Levine described MCPD as “a different way of cultivating rice that enables...

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Renewable Energy Gives Major Boost to California Economy

Transitioning to renewable energy has significant economic benefits, according to a new study on the effects of California’s major climate programs in the San Joaquin Valley. The study, conducted by the University of California, evaluated cap-and-trade — the Renewables Portfolio Standard that requires all retail electricity sellers to produce 33 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources. “The Valley has a lot of carbon-intensive industries,” lead author of the report, Betony Jones, explained in a press release, “so the economic costs of climate policies were quickly evident.” The boost shouldn’t be surprising. Other studies have shown similar, positive...

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At Risk – 3.3 Million Acres of Public Land May Soon Be Up for Sale

3.3 million acres of public land are at risk of falling into the hands of developers and energy companies, thanks to a new bill put forward in Congress. H.R. 621 is the work of Representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah, and slates public lands in 10 U.S. states for sale.   After the recent approval of a new rule that makes public land monetarily worthless, congress now has an easier path to “dispose” of the land. Though public lands provide 6.1 million jobs and an annual $646 billion in revenue, the rule forces the Congressional Budget Office to consider public lands...

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