Dear EarthTalk: I am in the market for a new flat screen TV. Are some models greener than others? — Michael Kavanaugh, Rome, NY According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Americans’ 275 million TV sets burn through some 65 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year, representing four to five percent of U.S. household electricity […]
Monthly Archives: January 2015
Microbeads & Marine Pollution in the Great Lakes & Beyond Activists Call for Global Phaseout of Popular Exfoliants
Plastic microbeads are a concern because sewage treatment facilities are not designed to capture them, and during rainy days sewage can overflow into waterways. Once they enter waterways, microbeads move into fish, which confuse them for food, then into those who eat the fish, including wildlife and humans.
Dear EarthTalk: What are the potential health and environmental impacts of so many genetically engineered organisms in our food supply? — Frank C., Charlottesville, VA Proponents of genetic engineering (GE)—whereby DNA from unrelated species is combined to produce improved or novel organisms—insist that the benefits of increased crop yields and less agricultural waste outweigh the potential […]
Greywater Reuse Around the House Wastewater from sinks, showers and washing machines could be the key to gardening and lawn care without guilt
Dear EarthTalk: I know that some large buildings filter some of their wastewater to irrigate exterior landscaping. Is there an affordable way to do this at home? — Bill P., Salem, OR Now that solar panels are so commonplace on rooftops across the country, reusing so-called greywater—that is, the waste water from sinks, showers, tubs and […]
Is solar power cost-competitive with the grid yet? Future looking bright for residential photovoltaics
Dear EarthTalk: I’ve heard that the price of getting solar panels installed on a home is lower than ever, but has it gotten to the point anywhere in the U.S. where it’s actually cheaper than traditional grid power yet? — Lester Milstein, Boston, MA Rooftop solar panels on have always been the province of well-to-do, […]
Dear EarthTalk: Do you have any tips for helping me get my kids involved in environmental protection advocacy? — Jeanine Black, Charlotte, NC There’s no time like the present to teach kids to respect their environment and be willing to stand up to protect it. Of course, any good environmental education starts at home: parents should […]
Dear EarthTalk: How are scientists using DNA to conserve wildlife? — Jake Summerlin, Newark, NJ Traditionally, conservation biologists have relied on field observation and sample and statistical analysis to help them understand the dynamics behind species loss, but today genetics is taking on an increasingly important role in helping quantify the biodiversity around us and even […]
With so many choices at the supermarket and on restaurant menus, which seafood is safe to eat when it comes to human health and the environment?
De-extinction Deja Vu: Is Bringing Back Extinct Species Possible Nowadays? De-extinction movement wonders if wooly mammoths could be the next big thing
Advances in genetic sequencing and molecular biology transformed de-extinction from theory into something that we are all likely to see in our own lifetimes.
Dear EarthTalk: What is being done to safeguard grizzly bears now? I heard that their numbers are dwindling and they could vanish from the Lower 48 if we don’t protect them. —Jim Meth, Akron, OH Before European colonization of North America, upwards of 50,000 grizzly bears—also known as brown bears—roamed free across what is now […]