Neighborhood redefined: A photo tour of the EcoVillage at Ithaca

The EcoVillage at Ithaca is a showcase of sustainable living that demonstrates how humans can live more lightly on the land, clustering buildings together at the heart of a mass of native plantings, vegetable gardens and wildlife-friendly woods and pastures. Our photo tour captures the flavor of this grand experiment in low-carbon living, though we only scratched the surface of this green community marvel in upstate New York.

Sharing the land in India, supporting farmers in Mexico and Australia and other cool ways people are stopping desertification

Desertification threatens lands across the planet as weather extremes worsen and development strips areas of protective trees and vegetation.The process displaces farms, wildlife, green areas and impoverishes local people by stealing their means of support. But groups around the world are finding unique, organic and sustainable solutions that push back desertification.

Portland residents reject fluoridation, thwarting City Council that had mandated it

Portland voters soundly rejected fluoridation of the city’s water, reversing a 2012 mandate by the city council. Anti-fluoride forces are calling the vote a victory for modern science, which has identified excessive fluoride exposures as contributing to thyroid disease, bone damage and lower IQs among children.

Hollywood stars (and thousands of regular Americans) align to point Obama toward climate solutions

The Forward on Climate rally, being organized by, Sierra Club and the Hip Hop Caucus wants to press President Obama to aggressively fight the greenhouse gases causing climate change. For starters, the groups would like Obama to deny the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which would add a heavy carbon burden to the planet but also has heavyweight support in Congress.

Interfaith Power & Light promotes Global Warming Preach-In

IPL unites all religions in the fight for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Interfaith Power&Light, a coalition of religious groups that promotes stewardship of the earth and energy conservation, has organized a Global Warming Preach-In for Feb. 10-12.

The Preach-In is intended to help pastors, priests, rabbis, imams and other faith leaders educate their congregations on how to become better stewards of the earth, thereby answering God’s call to protect life on Earth and provide for continued human existence. captures Earth’s woes and hopes from space

Climate action group wants us to see, really see, what’s happening as the result of climate change here on Earth.
So it’s taken to space to get a better view. Satellites began snapping photos of giant art installations, many involving humans forming pictures, last Friday and will continue through this week. The photos include one of a giant eagle in Los Angeles, created to represent the “Earth to Sky” solutions to climate change; a mural in New York City that shows how the area would look after the seas rise; a picture of a girl on a delta in Spain and a flash flood in New Mexico created by humans with blue posters.

10-10-10 Work Party shows that thousands worldwide want climate action

Climate change has been a matter of debate in government circles and a talking point on news channels for many years now. But increasingly, the climate change discussion — the need to slow global warming pollution, deforestation and the loss of wildlife — is becoming a citizens’ round table.
This past weekend’s 10-10-10 work parties, rallied people of all ages, economic strata and religious beliefs who turned out in groups of 5, 10, or 100 to build gardens, promote carbon neutral transportation, plant trees and protest fossil fuels.

Public health leaders send Congress a message: Let EPA regulate carbon pollution

America’s public health leaders have raised their voices against Congressional waffling over climate action, releasing a letter today signed by 120 top public health groups that urges Congress not to interfere with the EPA’s plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

The EPA’s mandate to regulate carbon emissions has been a lightning rod in Washington, with some in Congress saying the agency does not have the authority to set carbon guidelines and penalize violators. States, such as Texas, have sued over the issue, also trying to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.

Mother Nature can teach the children well

Kayaking with the LEAF program (Photo: The Nature Conservancy)

The kids are heading back to the classroom – if they aren’t already there sitting in rows in front of a blackboard – and parents are plotting how to give their children an academic advantage. Some are buying DVDs, books or computer programs. Some are paying for tutors or study skill seminars. All well and good. But if you want you kids to be smarter, some experts say, push them out the backdoor to play in the dirt, hunt for bugs and pollywogs, and explore the nearby park.

Put Solar On It campaign challenges heads of state

Climate activists have launched a campaign calling on world leaders to take tangible clean energy action by putting up solar panels on the presidential digs.

The advocates are enlisting the public’s help in the Put Solar On It movement by providing a way to send an online note to U.S. President Barack Obama, India’s President Pratibha Patil, China’s President Hu Jintao, Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon, Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron and Australia’s Julia’s Gillard.

Hands Across the Sands: The story in photos

In a symbolic but moving gesture, the Hands Across the Sands oil drilling protest on Saturday brought out people from Miami to Melbourne to stand in solidarity for clean beaches, and against more offshore oil drilling.

There were events around the world, but the turnout was especially heavy in the U.S., spanning the nation from High Line Park in New York City and Nags Head in North Carolina in the East, to Puget Sound and Los Angeles and several beaches in between on the West Coast. People lined up in Anchorage and Maui.

Get your beach ready for bare feet with the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue

If ever there were a year that Americans had beaches on their minds, it would be this one, with the BP oil spill reminding us daily to not take our natural resources for granted.

But it’s not just the gulf coast that needs sprucing up.

Unfortunately, most of America’s beaches, coastal and inland, require a pick-me-up every year. This ongoing need inspired Barefoot Wine to partner with the Surfrider Foundation in 2007 to form the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project.

Honor motherhood with a gift to help struggling moms in Haiti and other crisis areas

This Mother’s Day you can honor your mom by helping mothers in Haiti, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, the Congo, Afghanistan and about three dozen other countries who face daily challenges to feed and protect themselves and their children.

A mother in Tanzania (Photo: International Rescue Committee)

A mother in Tanzania (Photo: International Rescue Committee)

The International Rescue Committee has set up an online plan where people can “buy” specific items desperately needed by mothers coping with wars, disasters, homelessness, food shortages, unsanitary living conditions and other dangers. Many of these women are vulnerable to exploitation and sexual crimes because they live in war zones or in crowded refugee camps, such as those serving as shelter in Haiti since the 7.0 earthquake devastated that country in January.

U.S. Green Building Council adds certification for neighborhoods

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced a new “LEED for Neighborhood Development” rating system today that aims to reward communities that try to reduce urban sprawl, increase walkability and transportation options, and decrease automobile dependence.

The new certification, developed with the Congress for the New Urbanism and the Natural Resources Defense Council, hopes to encourage development within or near existing communities and public infrastructure to reduce the impact of sprawl. It is the seventh rating system for the USGBC, which certifies residential, commercial and other properties based on their environmental footprint.

Anti-idling campaign targets schools, children’s health

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The Earth Day Network, the Clean Air Campaign and UPS have launched a campaign that challenges an American tradition – idling your car outside the neighborhood school while waiting to scoop up the munchkins.

The groups are targeting active idlers because the practice needlessly pollutes the air, contributing to global warming and aggravating kids’ respiratory health issues.