environment

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France Is World's First Nation to Ban Plasticware

No more plastic plates, cups, utensils unless they're biodegradable

(Newser) - Visit Paris and you'll spot people picnicking near the Eiffel Tower—but don't be surprised if they're soon scarfing down their jambon croissants off of napkins or real dishware. That's because a measure passed last month has made France the first country to ban single-use plastic... More »

Obama Makes 'Epic' Environmental Move

President to designate nation's first Atlantic marine national monument

(Newser) - About 150 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., lies an ecosystem teeming with puffins, whales, underwater mountains, and fissures "deeper than the Grand Canyon," reports National Geographic . That 4,913-square-mile area—an "underwater Yellowstone," per NPR —will now be protected from commercial activity... More »

Congress Just Passed a Huge Environmental Law

Rules on chemicals get first update in 40 years

(Newser) - It may have gotten lost in all the election news, but a substantial piece of legislation has just managed to clear Congress: A massive overhaul of federal laws regulating chemicals sold in the US is headed to President Obama's desk for his signature—the first such update in 40... More »

If You're a Woman, Trees Could Extend Your Life

Scientists say living near greenery linked to lower mortality rates in women

(Newser) - Go hug a tree—it could be lowering your mortality rate, at least if you're a woman. In a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, scientists analyzed questionnaires that more than 108,000 women took between 2000 and 2008 and determined that those subjects who resided in... More »

Scientists: This Bacteria Can Eat Plastic Trash

It may have evolved ability in response to our pollution: study

(Newser) - We produce 311 million tons of plastic each year, yet just a tenth of that will be sent to a recycling plant. This could help: Japanese scientists say they've discovered the first known bacteria able to break the molecular bonds of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, one of the world'... More »

10 Most Environmentally Friendly Countries

Better luck next year, America

(Newser) - You'll have to scroll pretty far down this year's rankings of most environmentally friendly countries before you get to the US at number 26. The rankings are courtesy of the 2016 Environmental Performance Index . TreeHugger reports Yale and Columbia have been putting out the study on how well... More »

We've Pushed the Earth Into a New Geological Age

This is now the Anthropocene, researchers say

(Newser) - If every human being vanished off the face of the planet today, cockroach geologists tens of millions of years in the future would still be able to find our traces, according to researchers who say the case for a new "Age of Man" geologic time period is stronger than... More »

Vegetarian Diets Hurt the Planet, Too

'What is good for us health-wise isn't always what's best for the environment'

(Newser) - What part of a BLT do you think it's hardest on the environment to produce? Hint: It's not the meat. "Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon," Paul Fischbeck says in a Carnegie Mellon press release . "Lots of... More »

195 Countries Sign Pact to Fight Global Warming

Paris climate talks are first in two decades to end in a successful agreement

(Newser) - Two weeks after climate talks started in Paris , negotiators made history and did something that will "save the world," Wired reports. According to Gizmodo , 195 countries signed a climate pact on Saturday to cut greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming. In two decades of climate conferences, this... More »

House Votes to Ban Microbeads From Soaps and Cosmetics

The tiny pieces of plastic are filling US waters

(Newser) - From now on, it's full-size beads or nothing. Smithsonian Magazine reports the US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would ban the sale of products containing microbeads. These pinhead-size pieces of plastic are supposed to help exfoliate and have recently found their way into everything from soap... More »

Changing Pigs' Diet Would Help Them and Planet

Food waste is piling up while the Amazon is plowed to grow food for pigs, says study

(Newser) - After farmers feeding raw and rotting meat to pigs caused a massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in 2001, the European Union banned the use of swill—or human food waste—for feeding pigs, Modern Farmer reports. This has turned out to be a bad decision for both the environment and... More »

The Earth Was Record-Breakingly Hot This Year

And things aren't looking good for 2016 either

(Newser) - In a few weeks, 2015 will officially go down as the hottest year on record, and 2016 is likely to be even worse, the UN's World Meteorological Organization announced Wednesday. “This is all bad news for the planet," the Wall Street Journal quotes WMO director-general Michel Jarraud.... More »

Study: We're Using Our Groundwater Too Quickly

Only a small fraction is renewable within a lifetime

(Newser) - "We're using our groundwater resources too fast—faster than they're being renewed," Dr. Tom Gleeson says in a University of Victoria press release . Gleeson, along with fellow researchers, published the most accurate map of Earth's groundwater supply to date on Monday in Nature Geoscience. The... More »

The Ozone Hole Is Nearing Record Size

It's now larger than the entirety of North America

(Newser) - Scientists who assumed the infamous ozone hole over Antarctica was steadily shrinking received an unpleasant surprise last month: The hole is approaching a size unseen in nine years, Popular Science reports. According to Live Science , in October researchers at the German Aerospace Center recorded the size of the hole in... More »

Biggest Eco Disaster in Our Time Unfolds as World Shrugs

George Monbiot: What's happening in Indonesia is indescribable

(Newser) - You wouldn't know it from the attention of the world's media, but something akin to an "eco-apocalypse" is unfolding, writes George Monbiot in the Guardian . It takes the form of a forest fire in Indonesia that nearly defies description, one that's burning across the entire 3,... More »

Shipwrecks Are Pollution Threat to US Waters

As vessels sit underwater for decades, oil could start to leak out

(Newser) - An oil barge recently discovered at the bottom of Lake Erie—nearly 80 years after it sank—has brought a renewed focus to the environmental dangers posed by dozens of shipwrecks littering American waters, the Detroit Free Press reports. According to the AP , 87 shipwrecks are included on a federal... More »

Clinton's Slap at Keystone Shows Her Primary Fears

Appealing to liberal Dems now may help her in primary, but not in general: 'WaPo'

(Newser) - Take a step back from the general election, but take two steps forward toward the Democratic primary. That seems to be the strategy behind Hillary Clinton's announcement yesterday that she opposed the Keystone XL pipeline , writes Philip Bump for the Washington Post , asserting that Clinton may have purposely timed... More »

EPA Hugely Underestimated How Much Trash We Dump

Scientists say this also means we're obviously not recycling as much as we thought

(Newser) - Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study. It turns out that, on average, America tosses 5 pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures in a study... More »

Earth Has 3T Trees —and That's Not Good

Study shows Earth has lost nearly half its trees since farming began

(Newser) - Congratulations, environmentalists, tree-huggers, and people who enjoy breathing oxygen: the Earth has seven times more trees—approximately 3 trillion—than previously estimated, according to a new study in Nature . Scientists from around the world created the first "data-driven global tree census" by combining satellite images with tree counts from... More »

Dirty Dancing Lake Now Just a Muddy Pit

Fans disappointed when they visit Virginia lodge

(Newser) - Fans of Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny "Patrick Swayze" Castle are being put in the corner—emotionally speaking—by what has become of one of Dirty Dancing's major filming locations. The Guardian reports that nearly 30 years after the film was released, thousands of people still come... More »

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