WNPR

Environment

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

Pixabay

From self-driving cars to all-electric Teslas, Silicon Valley is imagining an automobile beyond the internal combustion engine and steering wheel we all grew up with. Meanwhile, app-based companies like Uber and Lyft are radically shifting the way we interact with cars.

Asian pears
See-ming Lee (Flickr) / Creative Commons

What fruit looks like an apple, but tastes like a pear? It's the Asian pear. Although we know European pear varieties such as Bartlett, many gardeners are still unfamiliar with this ancient fruit. Asian pears have been grown for more than 3,000 years in Japan and China. There are yellow- and brown-skinned varieties. Both are round and crisp like an apple, but sweet and juicy like a pear. 

Seth Eastman

Researchers at UConn are teaming up with local history groups to create a state “Blue Trail.” The idea is to build an interactive outdoor museum on Connecticut’s coast, that’s accessible through your phone.

Upheavals in global markets will soon be felt in Vermonters’ pocketbooks. The international market for some recyclable material has crashed, and that has forced some municipalities and solid waste companies to start charging for recycling.

The federal government has ordered a new environmental impact study of Plum Island. The government says the study will postpone the planned sale of the island by several years.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Sophie Zezula, 10, unveiled her “Snow Straw” at a Ridgefield invention convention five months before American cities began outlawing plastic straws and five months before lawmakers in other Connecticut towns like Hamden and Stonington revealed that they were pondering a ban.

Tony Hisgett / flickr creative commons

Sand is the most abundant material on Earth. And, other than water and air, sand is the natural resource we consume more than any other -- more, even, than oil.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is blocking research trips and other public visits to Plum Island, according to the environmental advocacy group Save the Sound.

The federal government owns the island off Long Island’s North Fork -- it’s been used for an animal disease research lab for 60 years. In 2008, they decided to move the lab to Kansas and sell Plum Island.

Jim, the Photographer (Flickr) / Creative Commons

I like growing flowers that are unique and fun. One easy-to-grow perennial that fits the bill is the balloon flower.

Lucy Nalpathanchil / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

This hour, we take you on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Monrovia Nursery Company in Granby, Connecticut.

We meet up with self-proclaimed 'plant geek' and Connecticut Garden Journal host Charlie Nardozzi, and get a lesson on the company's history and cultivation techniques.

On a quiet street by Green Hill Pond in Charlestown about a mile away from the ocean, Andrew Baer walks onto his front lawn and asks for help sliding the cap off his well. Luckily, he's having solar panels installed and there are plenty of hands at-the-ready. 

Cyclists on a street in Amsterdam
Atauri / Flickr

Should streets be designed for cars? Some urban planners think we should be making our streets less efficient for automobiles, not more. This hour, can reimagining our streets create better communities?

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

State officials say they’ll fight a White House proposal to loosen pollution standards for new vehicles. Many leaders are fearful the Republican idea will put federal mandates ahead of state law.

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