Environmentally Green

When a city replaces its old-fashioned streetlights with efficient LED lights, it can save a bundle of money on its electricity bills. But it can also dramatically increase light pollution, which is really unpleasant for astronomers and those among of us who like to do a little star-gazing on cloudless nights. The kind of light these LEDs emit can cloud our view of constellations.

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In times of mourning, we emphasize the cyclical nature of life and death - and yet, American burial practices are mostly designed to halt the natural process of decomposition. Today on Word of Mouth, a look at the historical forces that pushed America towards embalming and containment, and the growing "green burial" movement. Plus, how American judges are grappling with a difficult to interpret form of evidence that's starting to be introduced in the courtroom - the emoji.

Mark Stevens via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/oWwRHM

According to a report from the National Park Service only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental history and cultural studies to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, environmentalists have taken many tacks to get people to be “greener”: the doomsday approach, education, shame. Now new research suggests another way to increase green behaviors: a salary. Why paying people an hourly wage decreases environmentally-friendly behaviors.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Greening The O.R.

Sep 18, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons

Reduce, reuse, recycle? Not in the medical profession. While recycling has become the aspiration or even the norm in most areas of our daily lives, an operating room is the one place where recycling feels like a dangerous practice. Recent studies provide staggering statistics of the amount of waste produced by hospitals on a daily basis; one conservative estimate puts annual hospital waste at five point nine million tons, with operating rooms accounting for twenty to thirty percent of that total. In light of these numbers, there is a growing effort to bring sustainability into the health care sector while still maintaining the highest level of hygiene.

Earth Friendly Products

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I'm concerned about toxic ingredients in my cleaning supplies, especially now that I have young children. Where can I find safer alternatives?          -- Betsy E., Hartford, CT

iStock Photo

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I hear the term “greenwashing” a lot these days but am still not sure exactly what it means. Can you enlighten?-- Ruth Markell, Indianapolis, IN

harry_nl, courtesy Flickr

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Has the McDonald’s restaurant chain made significant improvements in recent years with regard to the environment?                           -- Max Andria, Laval University, Quebec

iStock Photo

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Has Recycling Lived Up To Its Promises?

Dec 7, 2012
Digital Vision

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: Has recycling lived up to its promise to reduce waste and pollution, save energy and provide jobs in our ailing economy?                                                 

A Greener, Healthier Laundry Room

Dec 7, 2012
iStockPhoto/Thinkstock

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: How can I have a greener, healthier laundry room?  

Green Friendly "Bluesign" Clothing

Nov 28, 2012
Bluesign

EarthTalk®
E - The Environmental Magazine


Dear EarthTalk: What is the “Bluesign” standard for textiles? Which if any well known manufacturers are embracing it?                                                                                -- Karin Romano, Bristol, CT