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Boulderganic

From seed to harvest

The story of Boulder’s newest community garden

By Mary Reed

It’s late April and Polly Ruff pulls a few weeds growing from the outside edge of her raised bed at Living Harvest Garden. The 30 plots surrounding her are in various stages of preparation for the first season of this freshly minted community garden..

Boulderganic

Temporary nature

Artist uses drawings to start the conversation on climate change

By Amanda Moutinho

In the past, Rice has dabbled in several art forms, but he says when he started doing performance art he began exploring political themes. For this show, he says he wanted to address the serious environmental crisis happening in the world.

Boulderganic

Getting to ‘zero’

A new ordinance requiring businesses to recycle and compost could propel Boulder toward a zero waste future

By Steven Grossman

Despite initiatives aggressively geared toward making Boulder earn its green reputation, the new Universal Zero Waste Ordinance, which got universal approval during a first reading in front of the Boulder City Council on May 5, suggests the community may need an extra push to achieve its zero waste aspirations.

Boulderganic

Cultivating community

Longmont food activists teach communities the significance of growing your own food

By Devin Blomquist

After one year of labor intensive farm work, August Miller and his wife decided to pack up and take the knowledge and experience they learned while working on a farm in Paonia, Colo., to their own community in Boulder County. Their mission: to offer residents backyard gardenbuilding and coaching that reconnects people with the nation’s agrarian roots.

Boulderganic

Scientists warn solvents may impact hormone systems

Common chemicals may cause harm at levels deemed ‘safe’ by feds

By Brian Bienkowski

Four chemicals, present both inside and outside homes might disrupt our endocrine systems at levels considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to an analysis released on April 15.

Boulderganic

Race to waste

Pyrolysis is a developing technology that converts waste to energy, but developers may be rushing the process

By Steven Grossman

With the costs and difficulties often associated with recycling, especially in Colorado’s rural communities, our state’s 72 solid waste landfills are filling up and expanding.

Boulderganic

New ocean energy plan could worsen global warming

An apparently promising way of producing energy from the world’s oceans could cause catastrophic harm by warming the Earth far more than it can bear

By Tim Radford

One of renewable energy’s more outspoken enthusiasts has delivered bad news for the prospects of developing ocean thermal energy. His prediction is that although the technology could work for a while, after about 50 years it could actually exacerbate long-term global warning.

Boulderganic

In the market for something new

The Boulder County Farmers’ Markets bring new events and programming

By Caitlin Rockett

You know spring is in full swing when the farmers’ market opens, which Boulder County’s will do in both its Boulder and Longmont locations this Saturday, April 4. And this year, along with the local foods you expect at the farmers’ market, both Boulder County markets are bringing new events and new programming to local shoppers.

Boulderganic

Rewear, reuse, recycle

With textile waste steadily climbing in the U.S., solutions aimed at diverting used clothing from landfills are becoming crucial

By Steven Grossman

On average, the U.S. generates about 25 billion pounds of textiles each year — 85 percent of which end up in landfills, according to the nonprofit Council for Textile Recycling. With post-consumer textile waste accounting for more than 5 percent of all municipal solid waste generated in the U.S. each year, the need for convenient solutions to a complex problem are becoming crucial.

Boulderganic

Old King Coal is sick — but not yet dying

Construction of coal-fired power stations is declining, but the trend is not enough to avert the risk of climate change reaching dangerous levels.

By Alex Kirby

A global investigation into every coal-fired power plant proposed in the last five years shows that only one in three of them has actually been built. Researchers say that for each new plant constructed somewhere in the world, two more have been shelved or cancelled. They say this rate is significantly higher in Europe, South Asia, Latin America and Africa. In India, since 2012, six plants have been cancelled for each one built.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

The groups argue that the predictions for Grand Junction and White River BLM districts are grossly underestimating the amount of water that will be required. The new estimate is that each well would require 250,005 gallons of water. However, groups claim water use for horizontal drilling between 2011 and 2014 averaged 3.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

This new figure comes from Mark C. Urban of the University of Connecticut, who analyzed 131 published studies on how climate change will affect biodiversity. His investigation showed species in Australia, New Zealand and South America would be worst affected, primarily because there are organisms there found nowhere else on Earth.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

“There is growing evidence that high mountain regions are warming faster than lower elevations and such warming can accelerate many other environmental changes such as glacial melt and vegetation change, but scientists urgently need more and better...

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

The report, released at the end of March, names 20 animals that were affected by the spill, with damages to juveniles or reproductive systems a main concern that may not be fully understood for years.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

“We used to think global warming would happen someday, but someday is now,” said Anna McDevitt, campaign organizer for Environment Colorado, in a press release. “We are already seeing record heat and more extreme weather, and without bold action, the next generation will be left a dangerous inheritance.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

“They are about the same size as fish eggs, which means that, essentially, they look like food,” Sherri Mason, an associate professor of chemistry at the State University of New York, Fredonia, said to NPR. “So our concern is that, essentially, they are making their way into the food web.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

“As a result, in much of the state, it is illegal to divert rainwater falling on your property expressly for a certain use unless you have a very old water right or during occasional periods when there is a surplus of water in the river system,” the division writes on their website.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

“What it shows is the continuation of a long-term campaign by specific fossil fuel companies and interests to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change,” said Kert Davies, executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, to the New York Times.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

By Steven Grossman

Funded by the Gates Foundation and developed by Peter Janicki, the machine operates by boiling “sewer sludge,” causing water to exit as steam that is filtered in its vapor phase and subsequently condensed before going through water treatment.

Eco-Briefs

eco-briefs

The awards come from the Resource Conservation Division’s zero waste funding initiatives, established in 1997 to provide an opportunity for businesses, organizations and individuals in the community to contribute to Boulder County’s move toward zero waste.

Special Editions

The plentiful bounty of fall

We go beyond food to look at how Colorado hemp farmers struggle to grow this newly regulated (and highly useful) crop, the difficulties the marijuana industry confronts in producing a truly organic product and how one century-old building is leading the way in sustainable architecture.

Special Editions

Fish food

A local business looks to help schools across America learn about sustainable food production through grants for aquaponic systems

By Mallane Dressel

The Aquaponic Source, a company based out of Longmont, hopes to increase the number of aquaponic systems being used in classrooms across that nation with their new Grants for Plants Foundation, but some Boulder County students are already reaping the benefits.

Special Editions

Processed food nation

Boulder author Melanie Warner discusses the dangers of processed foods

By Andrea Neville

“I first started writing about the food industry about 10 years ago,” Warner continues. “When I started talking to people in the field of food science, they started telling me all these crazy things about the incredible technical complexity that goes into making our food.

Special Editions

Full backpacks, full stomachs

Colorado Friendship improves food security for Longmont students

By Mallane Dressel

As the temperature drops and the leaves change color, kids around the nation get back into the swing of school. For some students it means little more than early mornings and evenings lost to homework, but for others, it means knowing they won’t go home hungry — at least during the week.

Special Editions

The dirt on reusing soil

Save money and up your gardening IQ by reconditioning and reusing this year’s potting soil for next season

By Caitlin Rockett

In places where winters can get harsh — and there will be at least a couple of harsh winter weeks here on the Front Range — soil will expand and contract, so a mindful gardener will want to empty plastic, ceramic or clay containers to prevent them from cracking.

Special Editions

Soot on snow

A Colorado native researches how ‘black carbon’ from increased wildfire is changing snowmelt, and consequently water supplies, in the West

By Christi Turner

The duo of snowmobiles has climbed to over 6,000 feet elevation, halfway to the study site where researcher Susan Kaspari and her small team will dig into six feet of snow and sample for soot, more accurately known as black carbon.

Special Editions

The pros and cons of industrial-scale solar

The world’s largest solar thermal power plant is intended to lessen reliance on traditional forms of energy, but some question whether the environmental impacts outweigh the benefits

By Christi Turner

It’s an undeniably gruesome image: A bird soars over the Mojave desert, and suddenly, revoltingly, catches fire, streaks momentarily like a small meteor, and then seems to disappear, leaving only smoke. Seen from afar, some are calling them “streamers.

Special Editions

Profile of a sustainability hub

The century-old Alliance Center in Denver emerges from a renovation more sustainable than ever

By Christi Turner

It’s been 10 years since the Alliance Center took up residence as a multitenant co-working space on Wynkoop Street in Denver; grassroots powerhouses like Conservation Colorado have anchored the center since it opened its doors in 2004. But this August, it emerged from eight months of multimillion-dollar renovation as a true bastion of sustainability.

Special Editions

Marijuana Growing Practices

So, what exactly are you smoking?

By Melissa Schaaf

The passage of Amendment 64 in Colorado legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 years of age or older, and House Bill 1317 initiated mandatory potency testing — but only for the recreational stuff.

Special Editions

Zero waste heroes

One sustainably minded couple’s quest to open a zero-waste grocery store

By Gloria Dickie

Such plastic purging is slowly catching on in North America as awareness about plastic pollution and negative health effects grows. But for many practitioners, divesting their lifestyles of plastic waste can be challenging — and inconvenient. The Mandersons hope to change that.

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