About five years ago, the residents of a small village in Peru discovered that a nearby mountain had suddenly burst into color. The snow that once capped the mountain had melted away, revealing a marvelous spectrum of multicolored soils on its peaks. Word about the “Rainbow Mountain” soon spread throughout Peru and then the world, instantly transforming this remote region into a bustling tourist destination.  

Local guides lead about 1,000 hikers to the site every day, charging $3 per Continue reading

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April 26, 2018

Americans spend roughly $30 billion each year on food for their dogs. As millennials have grown to be the top dog-owning demographic, they’re changing the way our furry friends eat. The growing trend, at first created for humans and now for pets, is to increase foods’ nutritional value while also keeping food sources environmentally sustainable.

American dogs are the fifth highest consumers of meat in the world. In addition, pets are responsible for 64 million tons of greenhouse gasses each Continue reading

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March 13, 2018

Last week McDonald’s scored a major marketing hit when the company flipped its famous Golden Arches into a “W” in honor of International Women’s Day. But the logo is far from the only thing the burger chain plans to turn upside down in 2018. In an effort to appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, McDonald’s recently announced some big changes that will make it more sustainable. Along with getting rid of styrofoam cups, the chain is also switching to fresh beef Continue reading

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March 8, 2018

Last year the shipping industry transported more than $4 trillion worth of goods all over the world on huge container vessels. Although these mighty boats are now the backbone of global supply chains, shipping wasn’t always so efficient. This video takes a look at how these metal behemoths revolutionized an ancient industry and the ways they continue to innovate today.

Questions:

  1. How did large container vessels revolutionize the shipping industry?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using large container Continue reading
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February 22, 2018

From keeping lodges toasty to powering chair lifts that must frequently scale mountains, ski resorts go through enormous amounts of energy during the winter months. Along with taking a toll on the environment, this heavy dependence on power can also be quite expensive. That’s why many ski resorts throughout the country are setting up their own utility systems to produce energy efficiently and sustainably.

Colorado’s Aspen Skiing Company, for instance, generates 24 million kilowatt hours of energy per year to Continue reading

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January 12, 2018

There are few things better than having dinner delivered directly to you, especially during these chilly winter days. But even the most basic takeout orders can have a significant environmental impact due to the plastic containers and utensils provided by many restaurants. This video shows the unsustainable packaging methods used by some eateries while also offering suggestions on how they can change their ways for the better.

Questions:

  1. How can restaurants benefit by reducing the materials they include in takeout Continue reading
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December 8, 2017

Over the last few months, we’ve posted a couple of stories about Bitcoin’s enormous gains in 2017. First we marveled at how the cryptocurrency’s value had risen to $4,000 in August after starting the year at just $985. By November, a single Bitcoin became worth more than $7,200. Since then the cryptocurrency has climbed even higher while also experiencing some major fluctuations. Last night, for instance, Bitcoin’s value reached a record high of $17,153 before eventually falling to around Continue reading

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December 1, 2017

During the upcoming holiday season, analysts estimate shoppers will spend more than $100 billion online. The majority of these purchases will likely be made on Amazon, which has attracted millions of loyal customers over the years through perks like free two-day shipping. But while undoubtedly convenient, quick shipping is far from environmentally sustainable. This video outlines the problem while also offering a few potential solutions.

Questions:

  1. How does Amazon’s free two-day shipping program cause more trucks to end up on Continue reading
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October 6, 2017

frankieleonTwo years ago General Mills made an admirable announcement when the company pledged to remove all artificial flavors and colors from its cereal brands. The Minnesota-based business noticed that sales of sugary, processed foods had been falling for some time as more consumers turned towards organic and natural options. General Mills figured it could win over these healthy eaters by switching to simpler ingredients. The plan seemed to work at first as the reformulated recipes increased cereal sales by 6 Continue reading

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September 26, 2017

drivingEvery day thousands of semi trucks crisscross the country transporting goods from one from place to another. But although big rigs are a key component of the distribution process, these gas-guzzling vehicles have never been particularly efficient. The average tractor trailer gets less than 7 miles per gallon of gasoline, making it one of the least green vehicles on the road. All told, the nation’s approximately 1.7 million semi trucks burn through more than 26 billion gallons of diesel fuel Continue reading

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