More stories

  • Sustainability in Israel: The Present and the Future

    Israel, a country perhaps best known for its religious heritage and rich history, has quietly been taking steps toward a sustainable future. The country is not large, with an expected population of just 11 million residents by 2030 (from 8 million nowadays), but it faces some extreme challenges in terms of sustainability. More

  • World Forest Area Still on the Decline

    Forests provide many important goods, such as timber and paper. They also supply essential services—for example, they filter water, control water runoff, protect soil, regulate climate, cycle and store nutrients, and provide habitat for countless animal species and space for recreation. Human demand for their products, though, keeps them in a state of decline globally. More

  • We Can Reforest the Earth

    Protecting the 10 billion acres of remaining forests on earth and replanting many of those already lost are both essential for restoring the earth’s health. More

  • Radical New Market-Based Campaign Aims to Make Forests More Valuable Alive than Dead

    Over the past 2 decades, since the first Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, we have witnessed the launch of many initiatives to stop deforestation. Despite the good intentions of each approach tried, we have continued to lose an area the size of New York City every other day to deforestation. These activities account for 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire global transportation sector. Code REDD plans to harness the economic activities that create deforestation as tools to fight it. More

  • Full-Cost Pricing: Getting the Market to Tell the Truth

    The key to restructuring the economy is to get the market to tell the truth through full-cost pricing. If the world is to move onto a sustainable path, we need economists who will calculate indirect costs and work with political leaders to incorporate them into market prices by restructuring taxes. Full-cost pricing that will create an honest market is essential to building an economy that can sustain civilization and progress. More

  • The Rocket Stove: Fueling Health and Opportunity in Kenya

    Wood-burning cook stoves may not be the sexiest pieces of technology, but they can be literal life savers in the developing world: the World Health Organization estimates that the pollution caused by indoor cooking over open fires kills 1.6 million people every year. They’re also economically and environmentally beneficial: because well-designed stoves burn wood more […] More

  • 5 Successful Reforestation Projects

    Between the Arab Spring, the weird weather, and, well, the Casey Anthony trial, you may have missed the fact that 2011 was proclaimed “The International Year of Forests” by the UN General Assembly. This celebration is long overdue: forests not only provide habitat to animals and plants, but also purify air and water, prevent soil […] More

  • More Evidence of the Importance of Forests: They’re Even Bigger Carbon Sinks than Thought

    Want to see clear connections between environmental degradation and economic struggles? Deforestation provides about as clear a picture as any example: the loss of ecological services (flood control, water and air purification, topsoil protection, etc.) have direct economic impacts ranging from disaster recovery costs to food prices to increased need for health care spending. And, […] More

  • WWF UK Asks "What Wood You Choose?"

    Nope, that’s not a typo above: the World Wildlife Fund in the UK is concerned about wood… particularly wood that comes from illegal logging. Most of us know that deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, but WWF UK’s starts off its report on traceability of forest products with a staggering statistic: “Illegal and […] More

  • Topsoil: Civilization's Foundation Eroding

    By Lester R. Brown The thin layer of topsoil that covers the planet’s land surface is the foundation of civilization. This soil, typically 6 inches or so deep, was formed over long stretches of geological time as new soil formation exceeded the natural rate of erosion. But sometime within the last century, as human and […] More

  • Eating Vegan: The Soy Dilemma, Part Two

    Did you miss the first installment of The Soy Dilemma? You can check out part one right here. [social_buttons] When you start cutting out meat and dairy, it’s easy to fall into what I call the Soy Trap. Before you know it, you’re eating soy with every meal! Soy milk in your cereal and coffee, […] More

  • Eating Vegan: The Soy Dilemma, Part One

    [social_buttons] When you start cutting out meat and dairy, it’s easy to fall into what I call the Soy Trap. Before you know it, you’re eating soy with every meal! Soy milk in your cereal and coffee, soy cheese on your sandwich at lunch time, tofu at dinner. When you’re eating that much of anything, […] More

  • Reduce, Recycle, and Replant – Data Highlights on Restoring the World's Forests

    The world’s forests, which cover a third of Earth’s land area, provide us with many essential services. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and give us oxygen, limit soil erosion, aid in flood control and aquifer recharge, and host a wealth of biodiversity. But as human populations have grown, so, too, have the demands […] More

  • Greenpeace Ends Kleercut Campaign Against Kimberly-Clark

    [social_buttons] It’s a good day for Kleenex.  After almost five years of hard campaigning, Greenpeace promised to end its Kleercut campaign against Kimberly-Clark, the world’s largest tissue-product manufacturer of Kleenex, Scott and Cottonelle products.  During a joint news conference in Washington D.C., the large corporation and the controversial non-governmental organization (NGO) announced an historic agreement […] More

  • Climate Change and Deforestation Engaging in Vicious Cycle of Destruction

    [social_buttons]Most of you know by now that deforestation, and the emissions that cleared forestlands add to the atmosphere, exacerbates climate change. But it may come as a surprise to learn that the opposite is true. New scientific findings suggest that climate change is threatening remaining forests more dramatically than previously suspected. Until recently, climate scientists […] More

  • Earth Policy Institute: Shrinking Forests — The Many Costs

    By Lester R. Brown In early December 2004, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo “ordered the military and police to crack down on illegal logging, after flash floods and landslides, triggered by rampant deforestation, killed nearly 340 people,” according to news reports. Fifteen years earlier, in 1989, the government of Thailand announced a nationwide ban on […] More

  • Earth Policy Institute: Planting Trees and Managing Soils to Sequester Carbon

    By Lester R. Brown As of 2007, the shrinking forests in the tropical regions were releasing 2.2 billion tons of carbon per year. Meanwhile, expanding forests in the temperate regions were absorbing 0.7 billion tons of carbon annually. On balance, a net of some 1.5 billion tons of carbon were being released into the atmosphere […] More

  • Life After Desk: Don't Toss that Tropical Hardwood

    Simran Sethi and Sarah Smarsh are writing a series on the surprising journeys of everyday things. They will be posting previews on Green Options before launching the posts on Huffington Post. Here’s a sneak peek at the desk you threw away. How can a mahogany desk, made of slow-growing hard wood plundered from the Amazon, […] More

  • Brazil Raids Illegal Ranches, Gives Cattle To Poor

    Brazil’s new environment minister, Carlos Minc is committed to serious punative action when it comes to the estimated 60,000 cows that are raised on illegally deforested land in the region of Amazonia. In fact, cattle pasture now covers 7.8% of the Amazon region, with an ever growing presence as worldwide demand for beef skyrockets. Illegal […] More