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EarthTalk

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. 

Tell us about fuel-cell car availability

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that fuel cell cars are finally available for mainstream drivers in the U.S.?

Jack Mixson

Wilmington, Del.

 

Misinformation on lithium mining

Dear EarthTalk: Is the extraction of lithium for lithium ion batteries really worse for the environment than fracking?

Mitch Newhouse

Oak Park, Ill.

 

In a world of modern technology, lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries are hard to escape; they’re in cell phones, laptops, and basically anything else with rechargeable batteries. 

Are pesticides worth it?

Dear EarthTalk: Even though pesticides may take an environmental toll, isn’t it worth it given how many more mouths we can feed thanks to their use?

Mickey Jurowski

Palatine, Ill.

 

Popular performers reducing their enviro footprints

Dear EarthTalk: Which current artists, bands and music festivals are leading lights when it comes to reducing their environmental footprints and spreading awareness about sustainability?

Jim Greenville

Brewster, N.Y.

 

Impact of the Volkswagen emissions scandal

Dear EarthTalk: What has been the environmental impact of the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal?

Emily Warden

Philadelphia, Pa.

 

How to tell if green certification labels are legitimate

Dear EarthTalk: How can I tell if the green certifications and labels on all kinds of products these days are legitimate or just “greenwashing”?

Paul Bass

New York, N.Y.

 

Apple outsources?

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that Apple gets around U.S. labor standards and laws by outsourcing production to China?

Josie Walsh

New York, N.Y.

 

Apple isn’t the only tech giant outsourcing much of its production to Chinese manufacturers nowadays, but the sheer popularity of the California-based company’s products makes it an especially easy target for activists concerned about worker health and safety. 

Do animals have legal rights?

Dear EarthTalk: What are so-called nonhuman rights?

Richard Montcalm

Jenkintown, Pa.

 

Boost fuel efficiency and help cars run better on summer road trips

Dear EarthTalk: Summer is near and I am planning a big road trip. Do you have any tips for boosting my car’s fuel efficiency on long, hot drives?

Esther McCoy

Burlington, Vt.