Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that the bathroom is where over half of our household water usage takes place? What are some ways to take a bite out of that? -- Shelby McIntyre, Chico, CA
Yes indeed, some 60 percent of our household indoor water usage happens in the bathroom. As such, updating old leaky fixtures and changing a few basic habits could go a long way to not only saving fresh water, an increasingly precious resource, but also money.
A truck passes shipping containers at China Shipping at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, the busiest port complex in the U.S., near Long Beach, Calif. Stricter emissions standards have cut down on air pollution from the trucks, which has been one of the most significant sources of air pollution in California for many years.
Credit David McNew / Getty Images
Trucks at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach often idle while they wait to be loaded and unloaded, adding to the pollution.
Ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have, in the face of federal inaction, agreed on a region-wide greenhouse gas emissions limit, enforced through the sale of pollution permits to large fossil fuel power plants there.
Two recent reports examined the impact of this Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI on New Hampshire. One touts the energy savings that have come from the program, the other suggests that the Granite State may not be benefiting as much as other participating states. We’ll look closer at these two studies and how they may play into bills aimed at repealing or revising RGGI this year in the legislature.
Dear EarthTalk: There are a number of companies out there now doing “energy audits” for the home, after which they try to sell you attic insulation and other products and services. Is this just a scam or would it be wise for me to look into this? -- Bill Richards., New York, NY
Our issue Tuesday series continues with a look at where the Republican Presidential Candidates stand on the environment. It’s a low priority for most G. O. P. voters this year, but the candidates do have their positions from energy policy to the impact of regulation on business to the elimination of the E. P. A. We’ll find out what they’re saying and how that’s playing in the Republican primary.
I admit to being a distracted driver at times, but it's not for the usual reasons. I'm looking for moose, but not the kind wildlife biologists usually look for. I'm looking for a small moose on car license plates.
For ten years now New Hampshire's moose license plates have raised significant funds for conservation of both historic and natural resources. Land has been conserved; loons and other endangered species protected; nature education brought into classrooms; historic buildings and covered bridges fixed up along with buildings in our state parks.
Late last week, we posted a cool infographic, courtesy of the journalists at Stateline, taking a look at the percentage of each state’s GDP that’s made up by federal spending. The group then subdivided federal spending into defense-related spending and everything else.
Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that gas furnaces cost less to run and burn cleaner than their oil counterparts? If I make the switch, how long should I expect it to take for me to pay back my initial investment? And are there any greener options I should consider? -- Veronica Austin, Boston, MA
David Pimentel of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences says that the grain currently fed to some seven billion livestock in the United States could feed nearly 800 million people directly.