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EarthTalk

Instagram? It’s more like ‘Instagreen,’ am I right?

Dear EarthTalk: How are environmentalists using Instagram to further their causes?

Jason McNeil

What’s wrong with soaps?

Dear EarthTalk: Why do antibacterial soaps and other products with triclosan get such a bad rap from health and environmental advocates?

Wanda Caravan

Hartford, Conn.

 

Plastic waste put to good use

Dear EarthTalk: What are some ways companies are using plastic waste from the ocean in their products to take a stand for the environment?

Simone LaTourneau

Boston

 

Volvo’s embrace of electric cars — the beginning of the end of the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine?

Dear EarthTalk: Does Volvo’s embrace of electric cars signal the beginning of the end of the gas-powered internal combustion engine?

Macy Vigneault

New Orleans, La.

 

Volvo has announced that it will only sell hybrid and electric cars beginning in 2019, signaling a shift in the auto industry as a whole toward more fuel-efficient cars that can help reduce drivers’ carbon footprints and fuel costs.

Grizzly bears in Yellowstone

Dear EarthTalk: Is the federal government’s decision to take Yellowstone’s grizzlies off of the endangered species list good news or bad news for the iconic bear?

Jeffrey Elder

Los Angeles, Calif.

 

It depends on whom you ask. The majority of environmental and wildlife advocates would prefer to keep endangered species protections in place for Yellowstone’s grizzlies, which they consider to be still at risk. 

How to make saving the planet fun

Dear EarthTalk: What are some ways people are using games to help reduce their carbon footprints?

Leah McNeil

Colchester, Conn.

 

Environmental advocates and organizations are increasingly employing gamification — defined by Merriam-Webster as “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something … so as to encourage participation” — to get people to learn about environmental problems and take action to reduce their carbon footprints and overall impact.

Earth-friendly alcohol

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest in greener booze? Are there any good organic beers, wines or liquors out there?

Mike Richardson

Norwalk, Ohio

 

Perhaps no other industry has responded to the greening of consumer preferences quite like beverage producers. From wine to beer to spirits, greener choices made from local and organic ingredients and packaged in lighter-weight containers abound. Indeed, getting a buzz on has never felt so good.

New electronics make new types of trash to dispose of

Dear EarthTalk: What can we do to solve the e-waste problem caused by so many of us tossing our cell phones out and getting new ones every two years?

Sandy Bartram

Beverly Hills, Calif.

 

As more and more of the world develops — and smartphones become ubiquitous — electronic waste (AKA “e-waste”) is a bigger problem than ever. 

Politicizing the EPA website

Dear EarthTalk: I understand that the Trump administration has been busy pulling information about climate change and other environmental issues off of the EPA’s website. What kinds of information and data are no longer accessible?

Jim Harris

Norwalk, Calif.

 

Solar panels that power up but also blend in

Dear EarthTalk: Why do rooftop solar panels have to be so big and unsightly? Are there any better-looking alternatives out there?

Maise Lipscomb

Helena, Mont.

 

If aesthetics is the reason you’ve been holding off on converting your home to solar power, 2017 just might be the year for you to take the renewables leap.