Green news you can use

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Photo courtesy of From A Second Story at Flickr.com.

Here at the Practical Environmentalist, we’re green news junkies. We keep an eagle eye out for the latest science, social, and environmental developments and try to sum up the big picture on your screen. A lot of exciting things are going on right now.

First off is an uplifting story about how a species was brought back from the brink of extinction. The Aleutian Cackling Goose is one of the few animals that has been successfully taken off of the Endangered Species list, and it was saved, in large part, by the efforts of a single guy. How cool is that? Imagine if every person adopted one of the species on the list!

Often, when environmental activists work to preserve the environment, they face resistance from developers, local businesses, and sometimes even their own neighbors. Some people fear environmentalism as a force that closes doors and blocks possibilities, others simply oppose change in any form. Yet, new studies are showing that untamed spaces can be a positive force.

Environmental activism can achieve personal health goals, and benefit public health at the same time. Just like wild animals, human beings are hardwired to appreciate nature. People who spend more time outdoors have been found to recover from stress faster and have stronger immune systems; they also have and lower rates of disease associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Children who spend more time outdoors have lower risks of obesity and they even develop better vision.

It’s easy to see how land conservation and sustainable agriculture is changing the world, but the spread of composting, non-chemical fertilizers, and free range ranching doesn’t always make the news. For example, did you know that roughly a quarter of the world’s organic farms are in Africa? Growing demand for organic produce is having a huge impact on some of the poorest farmers in the world, and there are still millions of acres of African farmland that use organic techniques which can be improved to be even more productive. Organic crops have the potential to transform Fair Trade and increase food stability in many African countries.

One last thing – if you have a few moments to kill, Comedy Central has created a really addictive environmental flash puzzle. It challenges you to step into the President’s shoes and prevent global warming with an array of different technologies. After you lay down each puzzle piece, they will morph and interact with other pieces already on the board. For instance, recycling technology will cause disaster if you don’t build up an industrial outlet for the recycled goods. There’s a moral lesson worth taking to heart.

What do you think the biggest story is right now? Feel free to post comments below and share your green news with the world.

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