Environment

ENVIRONMENT: Rooftop gardens

Benefits and how to build one EARTHTALK From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: I’m sure there are many good environmental reasons to build a rooftop garden. Can you enlighten? And also I’d like to know how to go about creating one and whether or not some municipalities might offer incentives to do 

Posted 8 years ago by

Do insulating paints save energy?

EARTHTALK From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: Do insulating paints actually insulate and save energy? If they do, are they environmentally friendly to use?– Bob Dibrindisi, Easthampton, MA Paint additives that claim insulating qualities have been marketed since the late 1990s, but energy research organizations have not confirmed their insulating value. For 

Posted 8 years ago by

Solar power for neighborhoods

Dear EarthTalk: I know of solar power systems that people can put on their roofs to generate electricity or heat water. Are there systems that serve whole neighborhoods? — Lee Helscel, via email Collective bargaining is a good strategy when looking to get the best price on a given product or service. Solar power is 

Posted 8 years ago by

Birth control chemicals in drinking water

EARTHTALK Dear EarthTalk: Is there any truth to the rumor about high levels of birth control chemicals being found in some cities’ drinking water? If so can these be filtered out?– Elizabeth Yerkes, via email It is true that trace amounts of birth control and other medications-as well as household and industrial chemicals of every 

Posted 8 years ago by

ENVIRONMENT: Military sonar exercises kill marine wildlife

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that military sonar exercises actually kill marine wildlife?– John Slocum, Newport, RI Unfortunately for many whales, dolphins and other marine life, the use of underwater sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) can lead to injury and even death. Sonar systems-first developed by 

Posted 8 years ago by

ENVIRONMENT: Microwave vs gas or electric stove

EARTHTALK From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?– Tempie, Dexter, MI The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, 

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ENVIRONMENT: Fur industry hurting

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: How is the fur industry doing these days? Has it been impacted by activism from PETA and similar groups?–Clara Andrews, Edmonds, WA An accurate source of up-to-date numbers is hard to come by, but it’s safe to say that the fur industry has been hurt by 

Posted 8 years ago by

ENVIRONMENT: Nanoparticles in food

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What is “nanotechnology?” I’ve heard that nanoparticles are already in consumer products, yet we haven’t really studied their potential health impacts–Dan Zeff, San Francisco, CA Nanotechnology makes use of minuscule objects-whose width can be 10,000 times narrower than a human hair-known as nanoparticles. Upwards of 600 

Posted 8 years ago by

ENVIRONMENT: Ash spill leads to birth defects

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: What were the environmental impacts of the huge coal ash spill in Tennessee this past December?–Dave S, Lynnfield, MA Environmentalists’ call for an end to the age of coal-one of the dirtiest and most common of all the fossil fuels we now use-took on new urgency 

Posted 8 years ago by

ENVIRONMENT: Paper dust = asthma, bronchitis, etc.

Dear EarthTalk: I run a sorting machine at the post office, and am worried about all the paper dust swirling around the building. I asked both management and our union if this was a health or safety problem and both said no, but I’m not sure they really know. Can you set the record straight?– 

Posted 8 years ago by