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A couple of times a month, a group of migrant women and their children gather to plant shrubs and flowers in Baltimore's expansive Patterson Park.

The gardens feed and shelter migratory birds as part of the Patterson Park Audubon Center's Bird Ambassadors program.

Neotropical birds like the black-throated blue warbler and the Baltimore oriole migrate from the East Coast down to places like Mexico and Central America for the winter, says Susie Creamer, director of urban education and conservation at the center.

The emerald ash borer is a small insect doing a massive amount of damage. Tree experts say it will eventually kill nearly all of this country’s ash trees, and there’s not much that can be done to stop it. The devastation spread by the emerald ash borer is just one of many threats to the health and future of the nation’s trees and forests. Other kinds of insects, diseases, climate change and mismanaged fire areas are chief among the challenges. We discuss how our forests are changing and current efforts in forests and on city streets to secure the future of our trees.

This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.

But downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Australia became the first country in the world to repeal a carbon tax on the nation's worst greenhouse gas polluters, as Prime Minister Tony Abbott made good on a campaign promise to get rid of the unpopular law.

The Senate voted 39 to 32 to eliminate the tax enacted by the previous center-left government two years ago. The law imposed the equivalent of a $22.60 tax per metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions on about 350 of the nation's worst polluters.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Google is trying out one way of mapping climate change. It has outfitted a few of its Street View cars with special sensors to measure methane. WNYC's Robert Lewis road the streets of Manhattan to see how Google is mapping pollution across the country.

The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal.

Californians who waste water will have to pay up to $500 a day for their extravagance under new restrictions approved Tuesday by the State Water Resources Control Board.

The move comes after the board concluded that voluntary conservation measures have failed to achieve the 20 percent reduction in water use that Gov. Jerry Brown was hoping for, reports The Associated Press.

In fact, a survey by the board showed a 1 percent increase in water use in May compared to the same month a year ago.

Copyright 2017 Houston Public Media News 88.7. To see more, visit Houston Public Media News 88.7.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The world's oceans are changing — chemically changing. As people put more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the oceans absorb more of it, and that's making the water more acidic.

The effects are subtle in most places, but scientists say that if this continues, it could be a disaster for marine life.

Desmond D'Sa helped shut down a toxic landfill.

The landfill was located in South Durban — an industrialized city teeming with petrochemical plants, paper mills and oil refineries. D'Sa and his family had been forcibly relocated to the area by the apartheid government in the 1970s, together with thousands of other Indian and black South Africans. The apartheid government was notorious for forcing nonwhite laborers to live in the industrial areas where they worked.

Why A Texas City May Ban Fracking

Jul 13, 2014

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARUN RATH, HOST:

I'm standing on a beach and I see, a few hundred yards out, a mound of water heading right at me. It's not a wave, not yet, but a swollen patch of ocean, like the top of a moving beach ball, what sailors call a "swell." As it gets closer, its bottom hits the rising shore below, forcing the water up, then over, sending it tumbling onto the beach, a tongue of foam coming right up to my toes — and that's when I look down, as the wave melts into the sand and I say,

"Hi, I'm from New York. But what about you? Where are you from?"

For a few weeks this spring, the Colorado River flowed all the way to the sea for the first time in a half a century. And during that window of opportunity, writer Rowan Jacobsen took the paddleboarding trip of a lifetime.

The river starts in the Rocky Mountains, and for more than 1,400 miles, it wends its way south. Along the way it's dammed and diverted dozens of times, to cities and fields all over the American West. Tens of millions of people depend on the river as a water source.

There may never be an end to arguments over whether organic food is more nutritious. But a new study is the most ambitious attempt so far to resolve the issue — and it concludes that organic fruit and vegetables offer a key benefit.

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