The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Join the Great American Backyard Campout
Two little kids I know were introduced to camping (or its components) this past weekend. A little, yellow tent was set up in the backyard for my two-year-old niece. While it’s a fine hide-and-seek spot right now, it’s also her first exposure to an outdoor tent, something with which she will grow increasingly comfortable for its continuous presence throughout the summer.
At the same time, my friend and her boyfriend took his six-year-old nephew on a much-hyped, much-enjoyed first camping trip, where he got to sleep in a tent, carry his own canteen and keep on the lookout for frogs and a variety of insects.
Turns out these adventures were a fitting precursor to the 10th annual Great American Backyard Campout.
The campout, held the fourth Saturday of June in support of Great Outdoors Month, is part of National Wildlife Federation (NWF)’s campaign to get 10 million children to spend time outdoors to connect with nature. (After all, research recently found that the number one way to improve your life is time in nature.)
Why not join thousands of people across the U.S. on June 28 and introduce the kids in your life to camping, or have some quality time with the neighbors? You can also search for public events near you.
As NWF sums up: “you can enjoy a fun-filled evening under the stars AND help make a difference for wildlife.”
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."