Covering Climate Now

Colleen Allard looks on at the playhouse in her backyard on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. It was made with materials salvaged by WasteNot, a company on Cape Cod that finds materials to be repurposed for various construction projects. (Raquel C. Zaldívar/New England News Collaborative)

Climate change “super” solutions, like increasing solar and wind power, are well underway in New England. But in a region where residents see the effects of climate change year round, everyday solutions are also essential: like how we bury our dead or get the kids to school.

For Earth Day 2023, journalists from the New England News Collaborative worked together to tell stories of people in New England who are finding unexpected and creative ways to act on climate change.

For more climate coverage, visit Maine Public’s Climate Driven series and NENC partners including NHPR’s By Degrees, Vermont Public, Connecticut Public, WBUR, WSHU, NEPM, CAI Cape and Islands and GBH.

This page includes our archive from Earth Day 2022 and 2021, featuring stories on how climate change is affecting food systems in New England, as well as what our region is doing to lower emissions. These stories dovetailed with Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. For ongoing stories on climate change in New England, click here.

Inquisitive cows at Burley-Demeritt Organic Dairy Research Farm in New Hampshire.

Cow burps drive global warming. Scientists think feeding them seaweed could help

Walter Wuthmann | April 22, 2022

On a recent winter afternoon, a long line of brown Jersey cows lined up for feeding time, jostling for position. At the end of the railing, Blueberry snorted in anticipation. Today, her meal at the University of New Hampshire’s organic dairy farm was a standard mixture of hay and grain. But soon, she and her fellow dairy…

A Peels & Wheels Composting worker dumps a wheelbarrow of chopped food scraps and leaves into a bin that will be filled and left to decompose. The business uses bicycle trailers to pick up food scraps from subscribers around New Haven, Conn. The compost is then given to subscribers or donated to local community gardens.

Out of the trash, saving cash: How food waste could transform New England’s garbage

Patrick Skahill | April 21, 2022

Tucked away inside a trash facility in central Connecticut is a pile of nondescript orange and green plastic bags. To the untrained eye, the mound of rotting waste looks like all the other trash piled up here, but Jack Perry, one of the owners of HQ Dumpsters & Recycling, said this trash is special. “The…

From field to pint: How cans of craft beer are supporting regional farmland

Andrea Shea | April 20, 2022

When you see a can of beer do you think of agriculture? Well, grain — an essential ingredient in beer — grows on farms that are usually far away from the Northeast. Now an alliance is working to build a regional grain supply chain that supports local farmland, one pint at a time. To find…

VIDEO: How making compost could help fix our trash problem

Ryan Caron King | April 20, 2022

Getting food scraps out of the trash and into the soil will save money and protect the environment. Expert composter Domingo Medina shows you the best ways to do it. This video by Connecticut Public’s Ryan Caron King is part of special coverage from the New England News Collaborative on how climate change is affecting…

More local food could increase New England’s climate resilience. Animal processing capacity isn’t ready.

Mara Hoplamazian | April 19, 2022

Jeff Backer and Dave Viola are raising about 400 pigs on their farm in Northwood, New Hampshire. The pair sell specialty sausage and salami to customers throughout New England. But they’ve had some trouble getting appointments to bring their animals to the slaughterhouse and process their meat into the products they sell. Backer and Viola…

A tap at in a sugar maple on the property where Gray Jay Mapleworks operates.

Maine county may become last bastion of maple syrup producers in New England

Steve Mistler, Esta Pratt-Kielley | April 18, 2022

The iconic maple syrup industry is an economic driver in New England and in Maine, the third largest producer in the U.S. But rising temperatures and erratic sap runs are posing big challenges and foreshadowing even bigger changes. If scientists’ predictions are correct, the northernmost reaches of Somerset County could become one of the last…

Seed saving has deep ties to Maine’s past. In the face of climate change, it’s a future imperative

Nicole Ogrysko | April 17, 2022

The ground is starting to thaw on a gray Saturday afternoon in late March, which means it’s almost time for Albie Barden to prepare his fields for corn. Barden usually plants two or three varieties of corn at his home every year in Norridgewock, Maine. When growing season is over and the corn is harvested,…

Climate change impacts farmers and global supply chains. Maine’s growing grain economy could help

Esta Pratt-Kielley | April 17, 2022

Sean O’Donnell started growing grains about 10 years ago at Rusted Rooster Farm, 45 minutes north of Skowhegan on the border of Maine’s Somerset and Piscataquis counties. He began on a small scale, using grains as a cover crop planted in rotation with other crops to improve the health of the soil. He and his…

Listen Up, New England: Goodwill Doesn’t Want Your Trash

Todd Bookman | April 23, 2021

Just before 10 o’clock most mornings, cars begin lining up outside the Goodwill donation center in Seabrook. They’re offering trunks full of treasures, yes, but also perhaps some unsellable, un-recyclable wares that also make it into the bins — and strain Goodwill’s trash bill. “We hope everyone brings great things that helps our programs, but…

On Revere’s Pearl Avenue, Residents Grapple With The Rising Tide Of Climate Change

Miriam Wasser | April 23, 2021

In the Beachmont neighborhood of Revere, there’s a street called Pearl Avenue. It’s a wide quiet street with views of the Atlantic Ocean, Belle Isle Marsh and the Boston skyline — the sort of place that’s great to raise a family, residents say. And in fact, many of its residents are part of one big,…