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For nearly 100 years, the Empire State Building has stood as a testament to the industriousness and economic power of the United States. Now, it can also be considered a beacon for the future of sustainable energy. Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) signed a deal in early February to convert the Empire State Building, along with all of its other real estate holdings, to 100% renewable energy.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A Batesville School District rooftop solar array. Entegrity

By Diana Madson

In Batesville, Arkansas, teachers are getting raises – thanks, in part, to solar power.

Megan Renihan is communications coordinator for the Batesville School District. She says that four years ago, teacher salaries were below average for the state, and lower than other districts in the county.

"In order to attract and retain our staff, we wanted to increase the pay," she says.

So the district started looking for ways to cut costs.

At the time, it was spending more than half a million dollars a year on utilities. To reduce its energy costs, the district installed thousands of LED lights, replaced windows and HVAC units, sealed leaks, and improved building insulation.

And it installed almost 1,500 solar panels that now generate about half of the district's electricity.

"We were the first school district in the state of Arkansas to invest in solar panels," Renihan says.

Together, the solar power and energy efficiency improvements are saving the district more than $300,000 a year. Along with other cost-cutting measures and state funding, those savings have helped raise teacher pay across the district.

"And that money is going to continue to go back into our teachers' salaries. That's the whole goal," Renihan says. "We want to be the best in the area for teachers, because that means that our kids are getting the best."

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy / ChavoBart Digital Media.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

stocknroll / Getty Images

More and more Americans are retrofitting their bathrooms with high-end bidets, allowing them to enjoy cleanliness and hygiene without creating as much paper waste. Not all bidets are created equal, however, and before deciding on a particular brand, it's important to do your homework. Take a look at our comprehensive Toto bidet review, and our reviews of Tushy and Omigo, to learn more about all of their options.

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Some conservatives are blaming wind turbines for Texas' power grid failure following a severe winter storm. Orjan F. Ellingvag / Corbis / Getty Images

While Texans suffer from freezing temperatures and extensive power outages, frozen wind turbines are being used as a ploy to spread skepticism on the reliability of renewable energy.

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Renewable energy scientists are advocating a "re-design of the global energy system." yangna / E+ / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Setting out to rebut defeatist and cynical claims that transitioning the entire global energy system to 100% renewables by 2035 is infeasible, a group of dozens of leading scientists from around the world unveiled a joint declaration Tuesday arguing that such a transformation of the fossil fuel-dependent status quo is not only necessary to avert climate disaster but eminently achievable.

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Philippe TURPIN / Getty Images

Energy efficiency is more important than ever. Getting a home energy audit can be crucial for identifying any potential air leaks and other issues that could be keeping your energy use (and energy bills) high. Learn how a home energy audit can help you with energy efficiency upgrades to reduce your energy consumption.

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A man walks his bicycle past a cliff edge in Happisburgh, England on Jan. 27, 2021. Global climate change causes sea level rise and erosion of land. Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

Climate campaigners on Thursday pointed to a study showing that Earth is hotter than it's ever been during the entire epoch of human civilization as the latest proof of the need to treat human-caused global heating like the dire emergency that it is.

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U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about climate change issues in the State Dining Room of the White House on January 27, 2021 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker-Pool / Getty Images

President Joe Biden signed a sweeping executive order Wednesday to address the climate crisis.

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Candles spell out, "Fight for 1 point 5" in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany on Dec. 11, 2020, in reference to 1.5°C of Earth's warming. The event was organized by the Fridays for Future climate movement. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Taking an unconventional approach to conduct the largest-ever poll on climate change, the United Nations' Development Program and the University of Oxford surveyed 1.2 million people across 50 countries from October to December of 2020 through ads distributed in mobile gaming apps.

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Activists rally on Jan. 19, 2021 in New York City to demand that U.S. President Joe Biden take immediate executive action to "Build Back Fossil Free." Lev Radin / Pacific Press / LightRocket via Getty Images

By Kenny Stancil

While President Joe Biden's top climate envoy John Kerry told world leaders at a virtual climate summit that the U.S. will fulfill its commitment to provide financial support to developing countries as they grapple with the deadly consequences of a warming planet, campaigners are urging the U.S. to follow the lead of European Union officials who on Monday pledged to stop subsidizing fossil fuels and instead invest in a just transition toward clean energy.

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Michael Mann photo inset by Joshua Yospyn.

By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.

The New Climate War: the fight to take back our planet is the latest must-read book by leading climate change scientist and communicator Michael Mann of Penn State University.

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A new study finds leaving lights on at night contributes almost two million tons of CO2 emissions a year. Design Pics / Kelly Redinger / Getty Images

Leaving the lights on at night could collectively cost parents $911 million a year, a recent study found.

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Workers install solar panels on a house near downtown Oakland, California. Grid Alternatives

By Galen Barbose, Eric O'Shaughnessy and Ryan Wiser

Until recently, rooftop solar panels were a clean energy technology that only wealthy Americans could afford. But prices have dropped, thanks mostly to falling costs for hardware, as well as price declines for installation and other "soft" costs.

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