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Environment

Gardening tools
Pixabay.com

With lives upended due to the coronavirus, many of us are spending some unexpected time at home. The silver lining is we have more time to work in the garden. Here's a review what to do, and not do, in the garden now.

Mixed flower garden bed
Marilylle Soveran (Flickr) / Creative Commons

There's nothing like the sight and smell of fresh cut flowers in your home from spring to fall. While it's great to support local growers and florists, you can grow your own cut flower garden, too. Here's how.

Witch Hazel
sharin (Flickr) / Creative Commons

This time of year we're all starved for color. Maybe a few snowdrops, crocus and hellebores are blooming, but we need more! One shrub to the rescue is an unusual one because it blooms either now or late fall, depending on the species, with colorful, spider-like blossoms. It's the witch hazel.

Paul Wade / NOAA Fisheries

Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would ban the sale and breeding of certain whales held in captivity. 

Tomato seedlings
JP Goguen (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Tomatoes are the most popular home garden vegetable for good reason. They're easy to grow and there are tons of varieties. Tomato varieties range from tiny plants like 'Micro Tom' to monsters like 'Giant Belgium'. But if you want to experiment with growing novel tomato varieties you're probably going to have to grow them from seed. So here's a refresher on growing tomato seeds indoors.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The nonprofit organization representing Connecticut’s 169 municipalities says more cooperation is needed to manage environmental fallout from a family of contaminants that have remained in products for decades.

overhead power lines
Karim D. Ghantous / Creative Commons

More than 100,000 Connecticut consumers could soon see a refund on their electric bills if they used a third-party electric supplier.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

The Metropolitan District Commission approved a controversial water discount for high-volume users Monday night. Right now, the measure stands to benefit only one customer: Niagara Bottling, a bottled water company.

reservoir
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

The Metropolitan District Commission is slated to vote Monday night on a water proposal that would give a discount to its biggest customer, a bottled water company. 

Celery
John Sheldon (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Celery is an ancient and trendy vegetable. Wild versions from the Mediterranean, were used medicinally in 850 BC. Relatives of celery, though, can be found around the world. The Italians started growing it as a vegetable in the 17th century creating taller stalks that weren't as strongly flavored. Today, celery-based smoothies are popular for detoxing the body.

solar panel
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

If you rent or can’t put solar panels on your roof but you want to support solar energy, you can subscribe to what’s called “shared solar” and get a credit to lower your electric bill. But regulators in Connecticut say the state’s two biggest electric utilities are dragging their feet on developing rules for the program.

Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

Listen Tuesday at 9:00 am.

Amid the constant discussion of Connecticut residents leaving the state, the shoreline may soon be home to five new residents: Beluga whales. 

Mystic Aquarium has petitioned the federal government for permission to import five captive belugas to join its wildlife on display. Mystic says the move would help research to aid conservation efforts. But critics say the proposal is not only hazardous for the whales but also against US law.

twojciac / Creative Commons

This year residents of Waterbury could be seeing a number of trees trimmed or removed. That’s because nearly 170 miles of city streets are slated to be targeted by tree trimming crews from Eversource, the state’s largest utility.

A scene from the 2018 Philadelphia Flower Show
The West End (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Indoor flower shows are a very unique American phenomena. It all started in Philadelphia when gardeners got tired of winter and began holding events to show off their prized indoor houseplants and flower arranging skills. What started as a simple get together among garden clubs has bloomed into a huge industry. The biggest show is the Philadelphia Flower Show, but I like the smaller local shows like the one in Connecticut.

In Connecticut, Low-Income Customers Will See Solar Savings Appear On Bills

Feb 18, 2020
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Utilities — not solar developers — will be tasked with signing up lower-income customers under final rules for a Connecticut shared solar program.

The model, recently adopted by state regulators, is meant to simplify the subscription process and better protect consumers while improving access to solar savings for low- to moderate-income households.

The Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut

Experts in the local maple syrup industry are concerned that mild winter weather could lead to a drop in production.

PFAS chemical contamination
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

The proposed budget adjustments announced earlier this month by Gov. Ned Lamont include the addition of nearly $1 million to address a growing environmental concern: per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

Connecticut Towns Want Permission To Buy Clean Power On Behalf Of Residents

Feb 15, 2020
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A growing list of Connecticut towns want to play a bigger role in procuring clean energy, but first they need state lawmakers to give them the authority.

Known as community choice aggregation, the model gives local governments the right to buy power on behalf of their residents, enabling them to focus on buying more renewable energy or lowering costs, or both.

Do you know where your roses came from?
Han N (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Valentine's Day is the traditional time to give and get cut flowers. But it might be good to be a discerning shopper when buying cut flowers. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

After months of negotiation, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont said a deal to revitalize State Pier in New London is finalized. 

Updated at 11:00 p.m.

After more than a year and a half of mediation, the U.S. EPA New England office, General Electric and cities and towns along the Housatonic River have agreed to dispose some toxic PCB sediment at a site near the Lee-Lenox line, about 1,000 feet from the river. But not all participants in the mediated settlement agree with the decision. 

Mike Mozart / Flickr

How often do you buy new clothing?

Stores like H&M and Forever 21 sell new styles at low prices, making it easy to constantly update your wardrobe. But, this hour: the environmental and social costs of "fast fashion". 

From unsafe garment factories to pollution in rivers, we hear about impacts of the fashion industry from journalist Jasmin Malik Chua.

Charlie Nardozzi has some tips about planting and growing trees.
oatsy40 (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Americans are moving less. In 2019 less than 10 percent of the population changed homes and locations. That's the lowest level since 1947. For gardeners that means it's an opportunity to plant more longer lasting plants like trees.

veteran protests for environmental protection
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

Holding colorful picket signs, wearing shirts reading “Frack No” and doing lots of chanting, protesters made their way from the headquarters of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in Hartford to the steps of the state Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

PFAS chemicals
Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

State officials announced Tuesday that PFAS levels in a polluted portion of the Farmington River appear to be dropping. As a result, an earlier ban on eating fish taken from the river has been relaxed to one meal a month.  

ice climbing
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Paige Cox and I can relate. When it comes to climbing ice, we’re both freaked out. 

“It’s water and it melts. I’m terrified. But it’s going to be great,” Cox said.

Wood Thrush
Paul J. Fusco

Have you noticed fewer sparrows or warblers flitting about your backyard? Bird populations in North America have been declining for years, but in 2019, the data was particularly grim. Two-thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction due to climate change and urbanization, according to recent studies. What does that mean for Connecticut’s birds?

Houseplants.
F. D. Richards (Flickr) / Creative Commons

It seems everyone is growing houseplants. But with their popularity, comes problems. Not all houseplants are easy to grow and some are more prone to dry indoor conditions, lack of light, and insects. Here's are some solutions to your houseplant problems.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Wanjiku Gatheru is the daughter of Kenyan immigrants and a first-generation American. Now, the UConn senior has made university history as the school’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar.

The State of Connecticut

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced a new initiative, the Opportunity Zones Program, to spur investment in the nation’s most distressed communities. The state of Connecticut is home to 72 Opportunity Zones. What efforts are being made to attract investors to these regions? This hour, we find out, and we also hear from you. Do you live in or near an Opportunity Zone? 

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