Shame can be an excellent motivator.
That's exactly what East West Market in Vancouver, Canada is depending on to discourage its customers from toting their groceries in single-use plastic bags, which are known to be detrimental to the environment.
If you’ve got an aphid problem in your garden and depend on ladybugs for eradication, you might do well to turn down your radio. At least, that’s what’s indicated by a July study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, overturning once and for all AC/DC’s 1980 claim that “rock ‘n’ roll ain’t noise pollution.”
In a unique experiment, researchers at Mississippi State University placed ladybugs and aphid-infested soybean plants in chambers outfitted with computer speakers and an iPhone, which then played everything from rock and country music to folk-punk and just plain industrial sounds like car horns and jackhammers.
Humanity’s consumption of drugs is making its way down the food chain. Prescription drugs ranging from antidepressants, blood thinners, erectile dysfunction drugs and birth control pills to illegal drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine are working their way through human bodies and plumbing systems and into lakes, rivers, and oceans, where they are affecting fish and other wildlife. Eventually, they make their way up the food chain and return to us via the plants and animals we eat. Their impact on human health remains unclear, but some scientists are finding troubling impacts on aquatic life.
“We have every reason to suspect that the release of stimulants to aquatic environments is on the rise across the globe, yet little is known about the ecological consequences of this pollution,” said Emma Rosi-Marshall, a freshwater ecologist at the Cary Institute.
Progress Toward Restoring the Ozone Layer Has Been Set Back by Massive CFC Emissions, but No One Knows Who's Doing It
With climate change causing chaos across the world, and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s never-ending parade of public malfeasance, it’s probably been some time since the public considered the ozone layer. After all, virtually every country stopped producing ozone-depleting coolants by 2010. How could the ozone still be shrinking?
According to a study produced by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, production of trichlorofluoromethane (CFC-11) has increased. CFCs were once widely used in the manufacture of aerosol sprays, as blowing agents for foams and packing materials, as solvents, and as refrigerants. Older appliances and products may still contain CFCs, but worldwide production of these chemicals halted in 2010.
A new effort to reduce pollution has been trending on a national scale. Recently, companies like Starbucks have announced policies intended to reduce the production and use of plastic straws. While the full effect of this policy won't be felt until 2020, Starbucks estimates that the move will eliminate more than 1 billion straws globally, most of which currently end up in landfills.
Last year, a video showing a sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up its nose went viral. In the aftermath, campaigns like #StopSucking—an effort to free oceans from plastic waste—have gained notable traction. In addition to Starbucks, many local municipalities and communities are likely to follow suit with their own bans. According to CNN, American Airlines will be eliminating plastic straws on its flights, in favor of stir sticks.
Starting January 1, 2020, all new homes built in California will be outfitted with solar panels. The new rule will apply to all homes, apartment buildings, and condos three stories or under.
The California Energy Commission voted unanimously for the housing mandate, which also includes new insulation and air filter requirements for newly built homes. More than 80,000 new homes are built every year in California. The requirements are expected to add $9,500 to the cost of a home, or $40 a month on a 30-year-mortgage. However, the energy savings to the homeowner will save $80 a month, making the measure not just energy smart but money smart.
Tesla’s headlines (and stock price) aren’t as rosy as they once were, but that hasn’t sunk Elon Musk’s buoyant spirit. Musk is still confident in his electric car company, of course, but he’s also pushing forward with other, even more futuristic transportation projects.
In addition to the Hyperloop project still in development in Hawthorne, California, Musk has announced a smaller scale Loop concept that could solve the chronic “soul-destroying traffic” issues in Los Angeles and beyond. Speaking in his capacity as the chief executive of the Boring Company, Musk described to attendees of a talk at a Los Angeles synagogue his vision for an all-electric, subterranean pedestrian transport system that would whisk users from downtown Los Angeles to LAX in eight minutes, for just $1 each.