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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.

In 2015, 75-year old Gerry Suttle was sitting on her porch watching the leaves rustle in the trees when a cop rolled up and handed her an arrest warrant. The reason for her arrest? She had failed to mow her lawn. That's right. The cops and Suttle's neighbors deemed it necessary to hold the threat of arrest over this septuagenarian because the turfgrass occupying the space in front of her house was left unchecked.

How did we in the United States come to this? Why is the lawn such a sacred space in white suburban America? This is the story of the American lawn. How it came to be, the complex underpinnings of its green blades, and how we might work to rid ourselves from its cultural grasp.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Revelator

By John R. Platt

It's a dirty world out there — but it doesn't have to be.

That message rings out from a slate of important new books covering the fight against various pollutants around the world. They examine everything from pesticides to air pollution and from mining waste to the trash that accumulates all around us. Along the way these books shine a light on some bigger stories — like our food system and human effects on complex ecosystems. They also dive deep into the racism, indifference, greed and ignorance that allow these toxic compounds to flourish in our world and in our bodies.

Read More Show Less
tzahiV / iStock / Getty Images

The COVID-19 Delta variant has left businesses and schools across the country backpedaling from their goals for more integrated, in-person participation.

In many areas, virtual learning and remote work are becoming the norm once again, and often, this comes with a significant increase in residential energy consumption. For those concerned about increased electric bills and a greater carbon footprint, however, researchers say solar energy could prove effective in offsetting the costs of working and learning from home.

Read More Show Less
Tim Robberts / Stone / Getty Images

For homeowners who are looking for clean energy solutions, solar power is utterly essential. But what is solar energy, exactly, and how does it work?

The Earth boasts many natural resources, but none as abundant as sunlight. As rays from the sun reach our planet, the energy they contain can be captured and used in a number of ways.

Before embracing residential solar power, it may be helpful to understand a bit more about what solar energy is, how it can be harvested and how it can be used. In this article, we'll offer a full solar energy definition, plus some basic guidelines about how it can be used in your home.

Read More Show Less
Trending

Out of the mines of conflict, an awareness campaign was born. One that sought to change the minds of millions and craft a better, more fairer phone industry. The campaigners worked hard to raise consciousness and change the minds of phone users. They established workshops that explained the complexities and horrors of a smartphone supply chain, and encouraged the public to imagine what a fairer phone would be. But after two and a half years, Apple, Samsung, and other giants kept exploiting and polluting. So, the awareness campaign decided to do something a little different. They tried to make a fairer phone. This is the story of that phone. How it's made, whether it's actually a good phone, and whether it's the sustainable solution to the phone industry.

Read More Show Less
A car charging at an electric vehicle charging station in Atlanta, Georgia. Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

By Paul N. Edwards

Most of America's 107,000 gas stations can fill several cars every five or 10 minutes at multiple pumps. Not so for electric vehicle chargers – at least not yet.

Read More Show Less

Along the banks of the Mississippi River, right before it spills out past New Orleans into the sea lies Cancer Alley. An 85 mile strip of shoreline where residents are contracting cancer at astronomical rates. But this isn't a phenomenon based in genetics or some cruel twist of fate. Cancer Alley is the product of environmental pollution. And today we're going to figure out exactly where this pollution is coming from. This is the story of plastics, the harm they cause, the industries that create them, and how that 85 mile strip of Mississippi shoreline and other areas like it are suffering because of them.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials using live explosives in the Atlantic Ocean on June 18, 2021. U.S. Navy / YouTube

By Brett Wilkins

Marine mammal experts this week expressed deep concern over the potentially devastating effects of the U.S. Navy's recent detonation of 40,000 pounds of explosives off the Atlantic coast of Florida on sea life, while progressive observers blasted what they called the government's misplaced spending priorities.

Read More Show Less
Trending

Amidst the loud hum of computers, digital gold is born. Churning and churning, hundreds of computers mine for a new form of currency. One that professes to be the decentralized, deflationary disruptor of the modern banking system. It goes by many names, DogeCoin, VibuCoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin. But they all can be called cryptocurrencies. This is the story of the new digital gold. How it works, its consequences, and what a crypto future looks like?

Read More Show Less
Aerial picture of the Villanueva photovoltaic (PV) power plant operated by Italian company Enel Green Power in the desert near Villanueva, a town located in the municipality of Viesca, Coahuila State, Mexico, taken on April 20, 2018. Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images

By Gero Rueter

Solar energy has become extremely cheap. In the desert of Saudi Arabia electricity from solar modules is now generated for just $0.01 (€0.009) per kilowatt hour (kWh), and in Portugal for $0.014 cents per kWh.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Solar company workers install a rooftop system at a home in Granada Hills, California in 2020. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Gero Rueter

"I really like my job, I'm excited and I'm learning a lot," says Fabian Rojas.

The 26-year-old Argentinian has been working since last October for a small company near the western German city of Cologne that installs solar panels on roofs.

Read More Show Less
The Goldman Environmental Prize recognizes grassroots activists from six continents who have moved the needle on environmental issues their communities face. 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize Virtual Award Ceremony / YouTube

Nicknamed the "Green Nobel Prize," the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize recognizes grassroots activists from six continents who have moved the needle on environmental issues their communities face. This year's recipients led the charge on environmental justice, wildlife and rainforest conservation, plastic pollution, dams and coal projects.

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The Biden administration needs to act quickly to reduce carbon emissions. Andrew Merry / Getty Images

By Jeff Goodell

The Earth's climate has always been a work in progress. In the 4.5 billion years the planet has been spinning around the sun, ice ages have come and gone, interrupted by epochs of intense heat. The highest mountain range in Texas was once an underwater reef. Camels wandered in evergreen forests in the Arctic. Then a few million years later, 400 feet of ice formed over what is now New York City. But amid this geologic mayhem, humans have gotten lucky. For the past 10,000 years, virtually the entire stretch of human civilization, people have lived in what scientists call "a Goldilocks climate" — not too hot, not too cold, just right.

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EcoWatch is a community of experts publishing quality, science-based content on environmental issues, causes, and solutions for a healthier planet and life.

In 2015, 75-year old Gerry Suttle was sitting on her porch watching the leaves rustle in the trees when a cop rolled up and handed her an arrest warrant. The reason for her arrest? She had failed to mow her lawn. That's right. The cops and Suttle's neighbors deemed it necessary to hold the threat of arrest over this septuagenarian because the turfgrass occupying the space in front of her house was left unchecked.

How did we in the United States come to this? Why is the lawn such a sacred space in white suburban America? This is the story of the American lawn. How it came to be, the complex underpinnings of its green blades, and how we might work to rid ourselves from its cultural grasp.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Revelator

By John R. Platt

It's a dirty world out there — but it doesn't have to be.

That message rings out from a slate of important new books covering the fight against various pollutants around the world. They examine everything from pesticides to air pollution and from mining waste to the trash that accumulates all around us. Along the way these books shine a light on some bigger stories — like our food system and human effects on complex ecosystems. They also dive deep into the racism, indifference, greed and ignorance that allow these toxic compounds to flourish in our world and in our bodies.

Read More Show Less
tzahiV / iStock / Getty Images

The COVID-19 Delta variant has left businesses and schools across the country backpedaling from their goals for more integrated, in-person participation.

In many areas, virtual learning and remote work are becoming the norm once again, and often, this comes with a significant increase in residential energy consumption. For those concerned about increased electric bills and a greater carbon footprint, however, researchers say solar energy could prove effective in offsetting the costs of working and learning from home.

Read More Show Less
Tim Robberts / Stone / Getty Images

For homeowners who are looking for clean energy solutions, solar power is utterly essential. But what is solar energy, exactly, and how does it work?

The Earth boasts many natural resources, but none as abundant as sunlight. As rays from the sun reach our planet, the energy they contain can be captured and used in a number of ways.

Before embracing residential solar power, it may be helpful to understand a bit more about what solar energy is, how it can be harvested and how it can be used. In this article, we'll offer a full solar energy definition, plus some basic guidelines about how it can be used in your home.

Read More Show Less
Trending

Out of the mines of conflict, an awareness campaign was born. One that sought to change the minds of millions and craft a better, more fairer phone industry. The campaigners worked hard to raise consciousness and change the minds of phone users. They established workshops that explained the complexities and horrors of a smartphone supply chain, and encouraged the public to imagine what a fairer phone would be. But after two and a half years, Apple, Samsung, and other giants kept exploiting and polluting. So, the awareness campaign decided to do something a little different. They tried to make a fairer phone. This is the story of that phone. How it's made, whether it's actually a good phone, and whether it's the sustainable solution to the phone industry.

Read More Show Less
A car charging at an electric vehicle charging station in Atlanta, Georgia. Raymond Boyd / Getty Images

By Paul N. Edwards

Most of America's 107,000 gas stations can fill several cars every five or 10 minutes at multiple pumps. Not so for electric vehicle chargers – at least not yet.

Read More Show Less

Along the banks of the Mississippi River, right before it spills out past New Orleans into the sea lies Cancer Alley. An 85 mile strip of shoreline where residents are contracting cancer at astronomical rates. But this isn't a phenomenon based in genetics or some cruel twist of fate. Cancer Alley is the product of environmental pollution. And today we're going to figure out exactly where this pollution is coming from. This is the story of plastics, the harm they cause, the industries that create them, and how that 85 mile strip of Mississippi shoreline and other areas like it are suffering because of them.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Navy conducts shock trials using live explosives in the Atlantic Ocean on June 18, 2021. U.S. Navy / YouTube

By Brett Wilkins

Marine mammal experts this week expressed deep concern over the potentially devastating effects of the U.S. Navy's recent detonation of 40,000 pounds of explosives off the Atlantic coast of Florida on sea life, while progressive observers blasted what they called the government's misplaced spending priorities.

Read More Show Less
Trending

Amidst the loud hum of computers, digital gold is born. Churning and churning, hundreds of computers mine for a new form of currency. One that professes to be the decentralized, deflationary disruptor of the modern banking system. It goes by many names, DogeCoin, VibuCoin, Etherium, and Bitcoin. But they all can be called cryptocurrencies. This is the story of the new digital gold. How it works, its consequences, and what a crypto future looks like?

Read More Show Less
Aerial picture of the Villanueva photovoltaic (PV) power plant operated by Italian company Enel Green Power in the desert near Villanueva, a town located in the municipality of Viesca, Coahuila State, Mexico, taken on April 20, 2018. Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images

By Gero Rueter

Solar energy has become extremely cheap. In the desert of Saudi Arabia electricity from solar modules is now generated for just $0.01 (€0.009) per kilowatt hour (kWh), and in Portugal for $0.014 cents per kWh.

Read More Show Less
Trending
Solar company workers install a rooftop system at a home in Granada Hills, California in 2020. Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

By Gero Rueter

"I really like my job, I'm excited and I'm learning a lot," says Fabian Rojas.

The 26-year-old Argentinian has been working since last October for a small company near the western German city of Cologne that installs solar panels on roofs.