1) Forest garden with 500 edible plants takes a few hours of work a month
Working with nature instead of against it, forest gardens promise abundance, as well as the kind of resilience a changing climate demands. When you think about it, monoculture is just weird. We cover enormous swaths of earth with single crops that deplete the soil, require all kinds of chemicals, wipe out natural habitats and carbon-capturing trees, and whose lack of diversity makes them vulnerable to disease and weather events. And then there’s the forest garden. Rather than completely working against nature, forest gardens are designed to mimic natural ecosystems – and guess what? Nature knows how to do things pretty well. As UK-based forest gardening pioneer Martin Crawford explains in a short film by Thomas Regnault, “What we think of as normal, in terms of food production is actually not normal at all. Annual plants are very rare in nature, yet most of our agricultural fields are filled wit annual plants. It’s not normal. What’s normal is a more forested or semi-forested system.” We’ve written about Crawford before, but Regnault’s film offers an epiphany-inspiring illustration of just how much sense agroforestry makes.
2) This Lufthansa-owned airline will let you instantly offset your carbon when you buy a ticket
One airline is trying to make it easier for passengers to reduce their carbon footprint while exploring the world. Edelweiss, which is part of the Lufthansa Group, is letting passengers offset their carbon as easily as purchasing ticket. The airline has integrated the option to fly carbon-neutral directly into the booking process, adding offsets to the purchase price of the ticket. Here’s how it works: Book a flight on flyedelweiss.com (or austrian.com), and their partner MyClimate.org figures out how much carbon will be emitted during your flight, as well as the dollar amount required to offset the emissions. Then passengers can add that offset amount to the airfare cost directly when booking the tickets. MyClimate takes the fee and uses it to fund their projects around the world that work to counteract deforestation, reduce carbon emissions, and educate the world about environmental protection. This is the second airline in Lufthansa’s group to integrate carbon offsetting into their booking progress, and it will be rolled out to the group’s larger airlines soon, including Swiss and Lufthansa.
3) EU says electric cars must now make fake noise to warn others of their approach
The benefits of an electric vehicle almost always outweigh those of cars with a combustion engine. However, one difference between the two types of cars is either a plus or a minus depending on your point of view. That difference is the amount of noise (or lack thereof) an electric car makes compared to a car with a combustion engine. EVs are noticeably quieter than their combustion engine counterparts. And while that’s a win when it comes to noise pollution, the European Union says EV’s quiet factor makes them potentially more dangerous to pedestrians as people can’t hear as well when an electric vehicle is approaching. Matter of fact, research has shown that EVs are up to 40% more likely to be involved in an accident with a pedestrian. As the BBC reports , as of today the EU now mandates that all electric and hybrid vehicles sold in the bloc must include an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS). An AVAS will automatically generate a noise from a hybrid or electric vehicle when that vehicle is moving less than 12 miles per hour.
4) Can an electric car cover Canada and the U.S.? This man is driving 25,000 km to find out
Wade Anderson is in the middle of an epic two-month road trip to extreme points around North America in his Tesla. He hopes to hit 32 states and five provinces and territories. (Haydn Watters/CBC) Wade Anderson is hoping to drive to some of the most extreme points in Canada and the U.S.A. That is, if he can keep his car charged. The Tucson, Ariz., man is three weeks into a two-month road trip around the continent in his electric car, a Tesla Model 3. He left from Tucson last month and has already hit the southernmost and easternmost points in the continental U.S. — with many more “extremes” in his sights. “I’m just going on a journey,” he said at a pit stop in Woodstock, Ont., 16 days into his trip. “It’s important to get out there and just live life and have these experiences.” Just how far he can get — and how fast — all depends on charging though.
5) Billions of new trees could help stop climate change: Here’s how we get them
On this new global map , huge swaths of land are dotted in green pixels. These are the areas that could potentially be recovered with forests that have disappeared, according to a new study—and in total, could help capture as much as two-thirds of the carbon that humans have pumped into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution. Planting trees is far from the only thing that needs to happen to fight climate change. But the study makes clear exactly how much it can help. “Our research shows that it should really be considered to be a top solution that must be prioritized,” says Tom Crowther, a professor of global ecosystem ecology at ETH Zurich and one of the authors of the paper. [Image: Crowther Lab/ETH Zurich] A UN climate report last year suggested that the world needs another billion hectares of carbon-sucking forests to have a chance of hitting the critical goal of staying under 1.5 degrees Celsius of global temperature rise . But other researchers had only rough estimates of how much space exists to plant new trees. The new study looked at thousands of photos of forests in protected areas to build a predictive model.