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Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

plants

The saguaro cactus extracts carbon from the atmosphere. Thomas Roche / Getty Images

By Paul Brown

It may come as a surprise to realize that a plant struggling for survival in a harsh environment is also doing its bit to save the planet from the threats of the rapidly changing climate. But that's what Mexico's cactuses are managing to do.

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Fossil evidence indicates that the Amazon's plant life changed about 66 million years ago. Travelpix Ltd / Getty Images

About 66 million years ago, a 12-km asteroid struck Earth. The massive heat and impact likely triggered tidal waves and clouded the skies with ash, The Washington Post reported. Scientists estimate that up to 75 percent of all life on land went extinct, including the dinosaurs.

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waterlust.com / @tulasendlesssummer_sierra .

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

The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.

Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.

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Cathy Chapman uses various types of groundcover and native plant species for the backyard of her South Portland home instead of having just a grass lawn. Photographed on June 6, 2018. Gregory Rec / Portland Press Herald / Getty Images

Americans take great pride in their lawns. A centuries-old practice adopted from Great Britain and Northern France, lawns have become a status symbol; a standard fixture of American communities.

In the United States, more than 40 million acres of land are covered in grass, making it the single largest irrigated crop in the country, requiring more labor, fuel, toxins, and equipment than industrial farming. These vast areas of monoculture (the practice of planting only a single crop) do ultimately have devastating consequences for ecosystem health.

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Adil Abdrakhmanov / iStock / Getty Images

Have you ever wanted to have your own fruit tree, growing right there in your front yard? If so, one option to consider is the Meyer lemon tree. This unique citrus tree has become a favorite among home gardeners, as well as those who simply want tantalizing citrus fruits available anytime.

But what is the Meyer lemon tree, exactly? What makes it so popular? And what should home gardeners know about caring for one? In this guide, we'll cover all those subjects and more.

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Georgijevic / E+ / Getty Images

Whether you're tending to plant life outside or caring for houseplants inside, there's a lot of satisfaction to be found in keeping your flora vigorous and vibrant. Of course, one of the preliminary steps in the gardening process is actually purchasing your plants.

There are plenty of venues for buying plants online. With so many websites and marketplaces available for plant shopping, how do you know the best places to order from? We've put together a guide to some of the top online plant retailers for plants, potting soils, and more.

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dropStock / iStock / Getty Images

Nurturing plant life can be a highly fulfilling activity, no matter where you choose to garden. Through indoor gardening, you can maintain more delicate or climate-sensitive plants, including succulents and herbs, while also filling your home with vivacious greenery.

Whether you're just getting started with indoor gardening or you're an old pro, it's helpful to know some of the best indoor houseplants. In this article, you'll find a guide to some of the top flora for indoor gardening enthusiasts.

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YinYang / Getty Images

Investing in an indoor herb garden is a great way to ensure you always have fresh flavors in your kitchen. They eliminate the need for store-bought herbs (which often come in plastic packaging) and give your home a bright spot of green. Plus, when you end up with more basil than you've ever seen in your life, they encourage you to tap into your culinary creativity.

We've researched the best indoor herb gardens on the market, and in this article, we'll review our top six picks for any space and budget. You can also find our review of the best indoor grow lights to help you get started.

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Planting dandelions could help reduce deforestation caused by traditional rubber plantations. Tashka / Getty Images

By Jack McGovan

In 1931, Soviet scientists were on the hunt for a natural source of rubber that would help the USSR become self-sufficient in key materials.

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ToonPhotoClub / Getty Images

Indoor grow lights can help you grow a range of indoor plants year-round. These lights work by mimicking the sun's natural light to provide your houseplants or indoor garden with the color range they require for photosynthesis. There are plenty of options to choose from, and our review can help you determine the best grow light bulbs and setups to fit your plant cultivation needs.

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Botanicals used to flavor spirits, such as absinthe, shown here, grow in alpine regions near glacial ice. Climate warming is now causing this ice to retreat. Moussa81 / Getty Images

By Stacy Kish

Many of the botanicals used in traditional medicines and to flavor spirits, from absinthe to eau de vie, grow in alpine regions near the toes of glacial ice. As the planet warms and glacial ice retreats, this unique environment is changing and altering the diversity of the plant community.

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Growing cannabis indoors is an energy-intensive process. Plantlady223 via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA

By Jason Quinn and Hailey Summers

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

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A late snowfall could set back the growth of this budding lilac. oddharmonic / Flickr, CC BY-SA

By Richard B. Primack

Weather patterns across the U.S. have felt like a roller coaster ride for the past several months. December and January were significantly warmer than average in many locations, followed by February's intense cold wave and a dramatic warmup.

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