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Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash

Plastic Free July lands smack in the middle of vacation season, and this year, my summer plans included leaving North Carolina and driving through four cities in Florida to spend some time in the humidity sun. The challenge was: Could I really carry out a plastic-free road trip?

With a lot of planning and even more improvising, I was able to significantly cut down my waste and successfully avoid single-use plastic throughout the entire journey. Here, I'll share the best tips I learned and a few items to pack if you're embarking on your own plastic-free road trip.

Disclaimer: If you want to take it a step further and have a zero-waste road trip, you may need to adjust some of the following tips.

Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
HandmadePictures / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Chiara Cecchini

  • There's a growing interest in climate-friendly foods, but consumers find it hard to know if the food choices they make are environmentally sustainable;
  • From ready-made snacks to algae, cacti and grains, options for climate beneficial foods are increasing;
  • With better supply chain structures, food producers can have greater access to these ingredients too.

With the food system responsible for a third of overall global CO2 emissions, attention on climate beneficial foods has been slowly but steadily increasing. According to IFIC's 2020 Food and Health Survey, 6 in 10 consumers in the US say it is important that the food products they purchase or consume are produced in an environmentally sustainable way.

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Marc_Osborne / iStock / Getty Images

Making the switch to solar energy can help you lower or even eliminate your monthly electric bills while reducing your carbon footprint. However, before installing a clean energy system in your home, you must first answer an important question: "How many solar panels do I need?"

To accurately calculate the ideal number of solar panels for your home, you'll need a professional assessment. However, you can estimate the size and cost of the system based on your electricity bills, energy needs and available roof space. This article will tell you how.

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A mother and son looking at the missing road at Vero Beach damaged by Hurricane Jeanne. Jeffrey Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

By Bryan Keogh and Stacy Morford

Congress appears close to a trillion-dollar infrastructure deal that recognizes the risks of climate change and the need to make America's coasts more resilient.

On July 28, a bipartisan group of senators who have been working on the package for weeks announced an agreement on "major issues" of the plan. The Senate later that evening voted 67 to 32 to move it forward in a procedural vote; it still faces major hurdles.

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Pixelci / iStock / Getty Images

If you're looking to keep cool this summer, you may be looking for a new air conditioning unit. Whether you're looking for a standalone AC unit or a central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, choosing one of the best solar-powered AC units can help you reduce your carbon footprint and save money on utility bills.

In this article, we'll go over the basics of solar energy AC units, including installation tips, the benefits of solar HVAC, information on the best solar-powered air conditioners on the market and frequently asked questions.

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Roundup products on a shelf at a store in San Rafael, California, on July, 9, 2018. JOSH EDELSON / AFP via Getty Images

Bayer will no longer sell glyphosate-containing products to U.S. home gardeners, the company announced on Thursday.

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Bamboo coral and white trumpet sponge on the Davidson Seamount in the Pacific Ocean. NOAA

Do we really need to put ocean ecosystems at risk in order to transition to a renewable-energy economy? Proponents of deep-sea mining claim that the as-yet-untested practice is the best means of supplying minerals like cobalt, lithium, nickel, copper, vanadium and indium used in electric vehicles, storage batteries and other green technologies.

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Coral reefs are in danger around the world. Michael Aw / Ocean Image Bank

Will we find corals' white knights in spiny armor? The question is one that Florida scientists and ocean advocates are eager to answer ー and using lobsters to do so.

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Icebergs near Ilulissat, Greenland on May 19, 2021. Climate change is having a profound effect in Greenland with glaciers and the Greenland ice cap retreating. Ulrik Pedersen / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ice sheets in Greenland are melting so rapidly due to high temperatures in the Arctic that the amount of ice melt from Tuesday was enough to cover all of Florida in two inches of water, according to the researchers at Polar Portal.

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People wait outside an emergency room following a heat wave in Pakistan. Asianet-Pakistan / Barcroft Indi via Getty Images

As this summer's extreme heat waves and floods have made devastatingly clear, the climate crisis is already deadly. And it is likely to get even deadlier if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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A Gray wolf (Canis lupus). Stian Olsen / Flickr

By Elizabeth Claire Alberts

The California condor has been teetering on the brink of extinction for decades. When the species was first assessed in 1994 for the IUCN Red List, the global authority on the conservation statuses of species, it was listed as "critically endangered." Nearly 30 years later, its status has not changed. But this doesn't tell the whole story.

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A cobra in Jaipur, India. Godwin Angeline Benjo / Unsplash

In India, snakes are the primary source of human-wildlife conflict. The country has the highest rate of snakebite mortality, Top 5 reported. According to eLife Sciences, an estimated 1.2 million people died from snakebites in India between 2000 and 2019. Now, new snake apps available for download to mobile phones are helping the public and conservationists work together to save the lives of both humans and snakes.

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Earth Overshoot Day Moves Forward By Nearly a Month

The COVID effect didn't last. Earth Overshoot Day, the day humanity exceeds its yearly allotment of the planet's biological assets, is nearly back to its record high. What can be done to ease the burden?


By Martin Kuebler

After a temporary reprieve due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Overshoot Day — the day humanity is projected to have used up all the planet's biological resources regenerated in one year — has shifted forward again, this year landing on July 29.

"With almost half a year remaining, we will already have used up our quota of the Earth's biological resources for 2021," said Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, where world leaders will gather later this year for the COP26 climate summit in November. "If we need reminding that we're in the grip of a climate and ecological emergency, Earth Overshoot Day is it."

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