From green business and new environmental legislation to how nature impacts our environment in ways never before considered, Earth Wise offers a look at our changing environment.

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Apr23

One word: Plastics

Danube

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Plastics, Mr. Robinson advises the young Ben Braddock, played by Dustin Hoffman, in the Graduate more than 40 years ago.  And, he was right: the production of plastics increased from 1.7 to 280 million tons per year during the past 60 years.  Plastics are found in nearly all products we buy, either as central components or in the packaging that contains them.   (more…)

Apr22

Scarce water

Water Scarcity

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Water poverty – the lack of access to clean, fresh water – is a much-discussed problem in the developing world.   However, problems with water scarcity are in no way limited to third-world countries. (more…)

Apr21

Volcano power

Volcano

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For decades, geothermal wells have been used to power turbines to generate electricity.  These wells utilize heat from the earth’s core by tapping into underground sources of hot water.  Recently, scientists have made progress drilling directly into volcanoes and using molten rock – or magma – as a much more potent energy source. (more…)

Apr18

Progress in ocean energy

Tidal Power Station

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For over a decade, the annual Ocean Energy International conference has followed the steady but creeping progress of technologies to extract energy from the world’s oceans.  This year’s meeting in Providence, Rhode Island featured multiple announcements of major new projects.  The pace of commercialization of ocean energy is definitely quickening. (more…)

Apr17

Plastic from shrimp

Shrimp

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Petroleum is not just used in fuels— it is an integral part of a broad range of products that we use every day.  Common plastics are a prime example.  So, in order to get away from our dependence on oil, we need alternatives to petroleum-based plastics. (more…)

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