The Science of Sustainability

Tag: ecology

LEED or Get Out of the Way

LEED or Get Out of the Way

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) has become so popular and well known that many cities now require that new municipal buildings be built to LEED standards. But do these buildings actually save energy?

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Being Green on the Way to Work

Being Green on the Way to Work

On Thursday, May 14th, expect a jump in the number of bikes on the road in San Francisco. The reason for the inflation? Bike to Work Day.

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Turning Lemons Into Energy Efficient Homes

Turning Lemons Into Energy Efficient Homes

While new housing is stalled in the United States, there is lots of funding-in the billions of dollars-on the way for weatherization, residential energy efficiency, and renewable energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

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Producer's Notes for Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

Producer's Notes for Underwater Wilderness: Creating Marine Protected Areas

Through the eyes of these scientists, we witness the undersea life in bloom. They clearly have one of the best offices to go to work to each day.

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Of Birds, Poets, and Architects

Of Birds, Poets, and Architects

A Passivhaus is so well designed that it doesn't need a furnace for heating or an air conditioner for cooling. Because the house is so well sealed, it needs to be ventilated mechanically. That is done through a heat recovery ventilator, a device that pulls up to 80% of the heat from exhaust air and transfers it to the incoming, fresh air.

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Reporter's Notes: Eating a Low-Carbon Diet

Reporter's Notes: Eating a Low-Carbon Diet

Not everyone would be excited about a box of 16 pounds of meat. But for the members of the Bay Area Meat CSA, the enthusiasm was off the charts. I took part in their spring share this year, where member of the CSA receive a monthly box of pork, poultry, lamb and beef from local […]

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Reporter's Notes: Who Will Revive the Electric Car?

Reporter's Notes: Who Will Revive the Electric Car?

One of the best parts of working on this story was stumbling upon a subculture of electric car fanatics, like Darell Dickey, many of whom drive incredibly rare, full-size all-electric cars that were available for a blink of an eye in the late '90s and early 2000s. There are just hundreds of these cars left […]

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Saving Energy in a Hurry

Saving Energy in a Hurry

Yeah Alaska! Yeah Brazil! Yeah California? The people of Juneau saved electricity in a hurry– when electricity went to 55 cents per kilowatt-hourIn Juneau, Alaska, an avalanche on April 16th downed transmission lines and cut off the city from it's cheap source of hydroelectric power; electricity prices jumped by 500%. Alan Meier-a scientist at Lawrence […]

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Have sewage, will travel

Have sewage, will travel

Unless our sewage happens to end up in the Bay and in the headlines, most of us probably never give a second thought to where our wastewater is headed each time we run the tap or flush the toilet. To learn more about the travels of sewage, I took a tour of the Las Gallinas […]

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Designing a Penguin Wetsuit

Designing a Penguin Wetsuit

A "penguin suit" doesn't just refer to a tuxedo anymore. Why does Pierre, the Academy's 25-year-old penguin need a wetsuit?Thanks to an innovative treatment at the California Academy of Sciences. Pierre, the Academy's 25-year-old penguin was recently fitted with a wetsuit! Pierre's feathers were thinning and not growing back. Because penguins rely on their feathers […]

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Future History: Plastic Water Bottles – take our poll

Future History: Plastic Water Bottles – take our poll

What does our use of bottled water say about us? View our 2-minute TV short "Future History: Plastic Water Bottles" to take a look from the perspective of an anthropologist from the distant future, and the take our poll below: "Do you plan to change your bottled water habits?" ( polls) Josh Rosen is Series […]

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Sticking up for the little guy: the California freshwater shrimp

Sticking up for the little guy: the California freshwater shrimp

This year the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) will celebrate its 35th anniversary. Under the ESA over 1,350 species are listed in the United States as threatened or endangered, including over 300 in California. This includes a number of "celebrities" of the conservation world such as the humpback whale and California condor, but also dozens […]

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Forgive Me Father, for I Have Polluted

Forgive Me Father, for I Have Polluted

Polluting Makes Vatican List of Grave Social Sins Over the course of a week of working with concrete, this landscaping job produced only one bucket of wastewater. Credit: Ann Hutcheson-WilcoxAs a lifelong Catholic and former Catholic priest, I often find myself wishing that the Church would stick to what it knows best: the Sacraments. I […]

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Green Collar Jobs

Green Collar Jobs

Home designers and constructors are realizing that all houses are organic. The California Energy Commission asked the Davis Energy Group in Sacramento to evaluate new home construction in California a few years ago. The following excerpt from Home Energy Magazine tells you what they found. The increasing architectural complexity of new homes requires greater vigilance […]

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