Stories

Nuts and dried fruit items at a grocery store.

It’s hard to avoid plastic while grocery shopping — even for a week

April 29, 2022

Essay from WBUR reporter Martha Bebinger. The thin plastic thread running between one leaf on my pineapple and its tag does me in. I don’t see it when I put the pineapple in my shopping cart, when I load the check out conveyor belt or when I unpack groceries at home. It isn’t until I…

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Eating less meat is better for the planet. Could my family go vegan for a month? Could I?

April 28, 2022

Commentary from WBUR reporter Barbara Moran. One of my son’s favorite recipes is “dinner en papillote” — it sounds fancy but it’s just sausage, potatoes, onions and mushrooms, wrapped in aluminum foil and baked for an hour. Voila — dinner is served! I expected the vegan version would be a hit. The soy chorizo looked…

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Jasmine McNish, 13, took an early ferry to the Vineyard with her mom to help plant beach grass on Lobsterville Road in Aquinnah. Mass.

Many hands in the sand: Aquinnah tribe, volunteers plant beach grass for climate-resilient coast

April 27, 2022

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head Aquinnah is determined to protect its homelands on Martha’s Vineyard from the impacts of climate change. To that end, tribe members and community volunteers are turning to beach grass: planting it one stem at a time to save an eroding sand dune and beach with deep roots in the…

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New England youth activists resist paralyzing climate anxiety with food sustainability

April 26, 2022

A survey of 10,000 young people found that climate change is causing severe “eco-anxiety” in young people around the world. Climate news — like the grim UN reports of global warming intensifying— is ripe for “doomscrolling,” a toxic habit of despairing over seemingly endless social media and information overload. Young climate activists in New England — which is heating…

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

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…

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Can you get there from here in Maine during wintertime? We put our electric vehicle to the test

April 18, 2022

Can you get there from here in Maine with a EV? That’s what Maine Public staff have tried to do while reporting on recent stories for Climate Driven. The main takeaway? EV drivers need to use extra care planning their trips outside of southern Maine, where most of the chargers are. Deputy News Director Susan…

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Increased visitorship in New England national forests leads to increased stresses on landscape

April 18, 2022

A lot more people have visited New England’s national forests throughout the COVID-19 pandemic than in years past, and researchers at the University of New Hampshire say that’s created issues for the trails, and for the hikers. Michael Ferguson, a professor of recreation management and policy at the University of New Hampshire, says visitorship in…

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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

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…

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

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,…

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

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…

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