When you wash your face, the goal is to get yourself nice and clean—not slather your body in plastic. But, bizarre as it may sound, many exfoliating scrubs and other personal care products like soap and toothpaste are made with tiny plastic particles called microbeads.
And though they’re so small you might never even notice they’re there, their very smallness has become a big problem in our waterways, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes’ Olga Lyandres.
Can’t Groundhogs Just Snooze Through Changing Climate Issues?
In the game of life, hibernation is like a Get Out of Jail Free! card for groundhogs and other marmots. They get to sleep through all the holiday drama, groggily check their shadow in February, then set the alarm for balmier days. So, when global warming makes for severe weather and sporadic food supply, they should be able to hit snooze straight through to spring, right?
Ah, if only it could be that simple. From extreme drought in the western mountain regions to warmer, shorter winters in the Midwest, climate change-related weather may threaten future marmot survival in different regions—in large part because of the potential havoc that changing weather patterns can wreak on hibernation, reproduction, and vegetation trends.
To learn more about how climate change could affect the two most prominent and resilient species of marmots in North America—groundhogs and yellow-bellied marmots—we caught up with Steven Sullivan, senior curator of urban ecology at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum/intrepid leader of Project Squirrel citizen science program, and Daniel Blumstein, chair of the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCLA and head of the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab Marmot Project (RMBL).
Fired Up for a Greener Wood-Burning Experience?
Throwing a couple of logs on the fire may seem like the ultimate in green warmth, but the fact that wood is as natural as it gets doesn’t make burning it earth-friendly. That’s because inefficient old fireplaces and woodstoves lose a lot of heat, plus the smoke can make local air unhealthy to breathe. Generally speaking, a modern furnace coupled with smart thermostat use is the most efficient, cleanest way to cozy up your pad.
Does that mean stoking up a romantic fire or otherwise burning wood is a no-go for the earth-lover? Thankfully, not at all. But there are some major opportunities for us to improve efficiency in our use of wood. To learn how—and why to bother—we turned to a trio of experts from some especially wintry climes, including resource use analyst Eric Masanet, PhD, of Northwestern University in Chicago; Tom Burack, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services; and Craig Wright, director of New Hampshire Air Resources Agency.
Myth Busted: Every #OneGreenThing You Do Matters
Greening your world is a serious matter—but it’s seriously doable when you choose to take the #OneGreenThing pledge. It’s all about taking small, easy actions that add up to a greener world.
What’s your fave easy green thing to do? Take a selfie proclaiming your One Green Thing and together, we’ll green our world One Green Thing at a time!
Small changes add up to big change, from your own home and neighborhood to the greater ecosystem and beyond. So come join the OneGreenThing revolution!
Scaring Up the Facts About Bugs
They’re weird looking! They have too many legs! Some of them, sometimes, bite! No, we’re not talking about Justin Bieber’s fan club. This time, it’s all about bugs, and just how scary they actually are.
Myth busted: While bugs like Dracula ants, cannibalistic spiders, and million-leggers may sound scary in theory, in reality, most are not only harmless to humans, but would also far prefer to avoid giants like us altogether. What’s more, without bugs our world wouldn’t function quite so well.