Sustainable America Blog

Author Archives: Nicole Rogers

Lemon Trees for All in San Francisco

A project called Just One Tree has a singular but ambitious goal: to make sure San Francisco can grow all the lemons it consumes. To do this, the community will need to produce 461 tons of lemons annually—that’s a lot of lemons! But Dr. Isabel Wade, founder and executive director of Just One Tree, thinks it’s possible. She’s put together a program to encourage residents to plant new lemon trees and register existing ones to meet the goal.

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What Is Hugelkultur?

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Practiced for centuries in Eastern Europe and Germany, hugelkultur is the process of making raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. The result is a low-maintenance garden that doesn’t require irrigation or fertilization. Hugelkulture beds have naturally good drainage and produce incredibly rich, fertile soil that retains moisture. It’s also a great way to upcycle woody debris. Hugelkultur is often utilized in permaculture systems and even works in the desert!

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Auto Racing Shifts to Green

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As the world of professional sports strives to become more sustainable, auto racing has become a somewhat surprising leader in the field. NASCAR and Formula E can be credited with making some of the first and biggest steps forward for sustainability in the sport.

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What is a Food Hub?

Food hubs are a crucial, but often invisible, part of the local food system. They help small farms grow by offering a combination of production, distribution, and marketing services. There are now 236 food hubs in the U.S., with more popping up all the time.

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Four Ways to Help Bees

One-third of U.S. honeybee colonies died last winter, threatening our entire food system. Insects pollinate a third of everything humans eat – that’s one in three bites you take – including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and the forage that feeds livestock. Put in simplest terms, as the bee population declines, so does our food supply. We provide a few ways you can help the bees right now.

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Frankenburger or Food of The Future?

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This week, scientists revealed the result of a two-year project that cost Google founder Sergey Brin $325,000 – a single hamburger. But this isn’t just any burger, this is the world’s first in-vitro burger. Grown in a lab, using stem cells from a cow shoulder muscle, this burger is being hailed as the future of food by many.

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EV Charging Goes Wireless

Imagine walking into your garage every morning to a car with a full tank of “gas.” Now imagine the ability to refuel while you drive. This is the promise of wireless electric vehicle charging and it could eliminate the problem of range anxiety once and for all by providing EV drivers with better options for charging than conventional drivers have for refueling.

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Indianapolis to Launch Largest All-Electric Car Share Service in U.S.

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is at it again. At last month’s Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) Conference, Ballard announced that he will bring the French company Bolloré’s electric car-sharing service, already a great success in Paris, to Indianapolis.

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Americans Want More Renewable Fuel

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Americans have had their fill of volatile gasoline prices, due at least in part to the impact those prices have on normal family activities. A poll of 1,000 adults commissioned by renewable-fuel advocate Fuels America found that when gas prices rise, American households make sacrifices to social, family-related activities.

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5 Ways to Curb Food Waste at Home

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From student design projects to crowd-funded food savers to apps that help manage expiration dates, there are all sorts of high tech options on the horizon that hold promise for food waste crusaders. Read on for a round-up of food waste innovations, plus some common sense tips to help you reduce food waste today!

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By the Numbers

Currently 50 million households suffer from food insecurity, meaning that family members cannot always meet their basic food needs.

10 million people a year could be fed through the recovery of just one-fifth of food waste.

Only 2% of food waste is composted or otherwise recycled—62% of paper is recycled.

Consumers throw out about 40% of the fresh and frozen fish they buy.

The U.S. produced 208 pounds of meat per person in 2009—60% more than Europe.

Low income commuters spend a much higher proportion of their wages on gas—8.6% versus 2.1% at $4 per gallon.

Food prices rose 35-40 percentage points between 2002–2008.

Americans consume 25% of the world’s produced oil, but our nation holds less than 3% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

The International Energy Agency says greenhouse gas emissions rose 3.2% last year, with a 9.3% increase in China offsetting declines in the US and EU.


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