Dear EarthTalk: It might seem obvious, but what would be the primary benefits of public transit as an alternative to the private automobile if our country were to make a major commitment to it?-- James Millerton, Armstrong, PA
The benefits of making a major commitment to building up and efficiently managing a larger and more comprehensive public transit network are many.
Pictured: Andrea Northup, winner of the 2012 Young Food Leader award for her work with the D.C. Farm to School Network, which links regional farmers with local schools in order to transform cafeteria lunch menus.
Eleven million Americans live in areas where concentrations of perchlorate -- a chemical used in the production of rocket fuel, missiles, fireworks, flares and explosives -- are significantly higher in public drinking water supplies than what is considered safe.
Recycling today is considered by many to be a huge success, though Americans could be recycling more than they do. Well managed recycling systems that focus on profitable resources like glass, paper and metals have had the most success.
Three steps to a healthier, greener laundry room: Use natural, nontoxic detergents free of harsh chemicals, dyes and perfumes; lose the fabric softener in favor of vinegar; and swap out your old equipment for EnergyStar rated appliances that are more energy-efficient and will save money over time.
Proposition 37, or the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” defeated by a narrow margin this past Election Day, called on food makers to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients on their packages -- and to not label such foods as “natural.”
Dear EarthTalk: A friend of mine told me that our government kills thousands of wild animals like bears and wolves every year in the name of protecting livestock. How can the government, which is supposed to protect dwindling numbers of animals, instead be killing them? -- Amy Pratt, Troy, NY
Once a common species in California and across North America, the Western burrowing owl has become a rarer and rarer sight over the last three decades given habitat loss and other environmental perils the bird faces.
About half of U.S. drinking water comes from groundwater sources. Regulation and enforcement of industry and agriculture are important for protecting our limited supplies, but consumers must also play a role.