Green Resources

WVPE is your gateway to green and sustainable resources in Michiana.

Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. This is accomplished by finding a balance between businesses, the environment, and our society (people, planet, and profit).

National and International resources on sustainability include:

Explore ways to support sustainability in the Michiana area through the Green Links Directory.

Looking To History To Combat Wildfires

Jun 14, 2018

As at least half a dozen fires in Colorado force hundreds to evacuate, and have closed a national forest, some residents say they're shocked at how quickly the fire has spread. The speed of wildfires is actually something Colorado ecologists have been studying, and they say history may provide clues on how to slow it down.

Scientists have completed the most exhaustive assessment of changes in Antarctica's ice sheet to date. And they found that it's melting faster than they thought.

Ice losses totaling 3 trillion tonnes (or more than 3.3 trillion tons) since 1992 have caused global sea levels to rise by 7.6 mm, nearly one third of an inch, according to a study published in Nature on Wednesday.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado is closed to visitors on Tuesday because of a large wildfire and dry, warm conditions that raise the risk of further blazes. Forests are also closed in Arizona and New Mexico in areas that are suffering from a severe drought.

Evacuation orders are in effect, as Colorado Public Radio reports on the blaze known as the 416 Fire:

Baobab trees — ancient, otherworldly behemoths with bulbous trunks that splinter into a constellation of spindly branches — are some of Africa's most iconic living things.

Until late last year, the Platland tree in South Africa, also known as Sunland, was their queen. It was the continent's biggest baobab, at 111 ft. around, 62 ft. high and more than 1,000 years old. It had a cavernous central hollow that hosted a fully functional cocktail bar with seating for 15 people.

There's more rain falling on some parts of the U.S. than there used to be, and many towns just aren't ready for the flooding that follows.

Ellicott City, Md., is one such community. Nestled in a valley west of Baltimore, the town was founded in 1772, and some Revolutionary War-era buildings still house businesses along the narrow main street in historic downtown. It also sits at the confluence of three streams.

Oil operations in Alaska are specially designed for freezing conditions. But as the climate changes, the state is warming twice as fast as the rest of the country. That poses a challenge for the oil industry, and a boon for Alaska businesses that are creating products to help it cope.

Brian Shumaker is one such entrepreneur who knows how tricky it can be to operate in the Arctic, where he once did some engineering work for oil companies.

Downed power lines owned by utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric are being blamed for a dozen Northern California wildfires last fall. The findings by state officials could have a significant financial impact on PG&E.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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It was a close encounter in 2012 that made microbiologist John Jelesko take an interest in poison ivy.

Lava From Kilauea Boils Away Freshwater Lake In Hawaii

Jun 7, 2018

Green Lake was gone in hours.

Lava from Kilauea volcano spilled across highways and into Hawaii's Green Lake — a major source of freshwater on Hawaii's Big Island — and evaporated all the water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The flow created a huge plume of steam as it hit the lake Saturday on its way toward the ocean, according to Hawaii County Civil Defense agency.

Hurricanes are moving more slowly over both land and water, and that's bad news for communities in their path.

In the past 70 years, tropical cyclones around the world have slowed down 10 percent, and in some regions of the world, the change has been even more significant, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

That means storms are spending more time hanging out, battering buildings with wind and dropping more rain.

Around 80 sopping wet, black plastic bags lined the floor of an operating room in Thailand last week after they were pulled from the stomach of a whale found stranded on a beach.

A wide, slow-moving river of lava from Kilauea volcano has claimed hundreds of additional homes in the southeastern corner of Hawaii's Big Island, officials say, marking what could be the most destructive day of the now monthlong volcanic eruption.

Officials are still working to get an accurate count of damaged structures, but a flight by the U.S. Geological Survey shows blackened lava inundating a section of coastline that was once covered with lush forest and dotted by homes. The flow's forward edge is now pouring into the sea, filling the once-popular Kapoho Bay.

Recent years have been among the warmest on record, with a spike in record-high temperatures. Heat waves are also projected to become more frequent, more severe and longer.

NPR is working on a series of stories on what happens when people, animals and plants can't cool down. We would like to know how rising temperatures are affecting your life, business or community.

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