"Human beings are rapidly becoming a monoculture — a voracious monoculture. We suck resources in at the cost of the rest of life on the planet ... that by diminishing the planet’s resources, we are threatening our own existence. Because, like all other plant and animal species, we rely on a planet being able to renew clean air, clean water and fertile soils to keep us alive.”

— Aubrey Manning, zoologist

Agricultural nitrogen is a major source of nitrous oxide, both a pollutant and the most potent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide and methane.

The annual trash from gift wrap and shopping bags in the United States totals more than 4 million tons. To reduce this waste, wrap presents with reused gift wrap or use newspaper (after you have read it, of course).

 

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Thursday
Dec182014

New Incentive Would Allow Solar-Panel Leasing

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE­ — Rhode Island may soon have new options for going solar. Come March, a renewable-energy funding program geared for large projects will likely expand to include small-scale solar. The change will give property owners and solar businesses more financing options and open the door for leasing solar panels.<<Read more

Wednesday
Dec172014

One Arrested During Whitehouse Office Protest

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — University of Rhode Island professor Peter Nightengale was arrested Dec. 16 at Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s office as part of group protest against a natural-gas pipeline project. Nightengale was arrested for refusing to leave Whitehouse’s office after 15 police officers entered around 5 p.m.<<Read more

Tuesday
Dec162014

Wild & Scenic Study Puts Dam Removal in Limbo

By DAVID SMITH/ecoRI News contributor

WESTERLY, R.I. — Recent federal legislation to study the idea of designating the Wood-Pawcatuck River watershed as “Wild and Scenic” could have an impact on the planned removal of the White Rock Dam.<<Read more

Monday
Dec152014

Will Mass. Gov.-Elect Baker Embrace Solar?

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

A trade journal recently reported on the high praise Gov. Deval Patrick has received for increasing the state’s solar capacity from 3.7 megawatts in 2007 to 580 today. Massachusetts now generates the fifth-most solar power in the country. Will the new governor keep solar energy a priority when he takes office next month?<<Read more

Monday
Dec152014

Providence Needs to Reduce the Heat-Island Effect

By SELENA BUZINKY

Although city living is largely considered more environmentally friendly, that doesn’t mean that cities are going to be less impacted by climate change. Cities become significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas on hot summer days, because of their manmade surfaces, exhaust-producing machinery and reduced vegetation.<<Read opinion

Sunday
Dec142014

Rhode Island Adds to its Collection of Open Space

By ecoRI News staff

Rhode Island recently awarded $3.85 million in matching grants to 15 communities, land trusts and conservation organizations that will protect 1,193 acres of open space and farmland throughout the state. Funding comes from the 2008 and 2012 Open Space Bond authorizations.<<Read more

Friday
Dec122014

RhodeMap Future Still Unclear Even After Approval

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — Opponents of the new state economic development plan delivered a chorus of catcalls, murmurs and shouts of “socialism” during a decisive vote Dec. 11. One guy even gave Nazi salutes, and another greeted the State Planning Council in Russian.<<Read more

Thursday
Dec112014

Cleanup of Bouchard Barge Oil Spill Continues

By JOYCE ROWLEY/ecoRI News contributor

In April 2003, a Bouchard Transport Co. Inc. barge hit rocks off the Westport, Mass., shoreline, cutting a 12-foot gash in its hull and spilling 98,000 gallons of fuel oil at the mouth of Buzzards Bay. The Bouchard Oil Spill Trustee Council recently completed a final restoration plan to bring the impacted resources back.<<Read more

Wednesday
Dec102014

Zoo Poop Keeps Southern New England Growing

By CATHERINE SENGEL/ecoRI News contributor

PROVIDENCE — Added to the grass clippings, vegetable scraps, animal bedding, hay and other natural materials trucked to Earth Care Farm in Charleston for composting, are 624 tons of manure produced annually by the Roger Williams Park Zoo’s 280 inhabitants.<<Read more

Saturday
Dec062014

Sand Dunes Trampled at Newport Road Race

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

NEWPORT, R.I. — City officials want the organizer of the Newport Marathon to pay for repairs to sand dunes damaged during an October road race. Runners trampled the dunes as they climbed over them to reach the starting line in the Easton's Beach parking lot. Spectators caused further damage as they stood atop them.<<Read more