Stories

New Balance says its sneakers will leave zero carbon footprint by 2050

April 13, 2022

The World Bank says the fashion industry is responsible for about 10% of global emissions, leading some brands to take stock of their outsized carbon footprints. New Balance Athletics operates three factories in Maine and has pledged to be net zero by 2050. The company’s factories churn out thousands of sneakers every day. An MIT…

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Vermont organic industry celebrates change in federal dairy rule

March 30, 2022

Members of Vermont’s organic industry are celebrating after the U.S. Department of Agriculture closed a loophole in dairy standards. The USDA Origin of Livestock rule outlines how organic dairy farms can source the cows they use to produce milk. Generally, organic dairy farms can only transition cows from conventional care — using antibiotics and cheaper, non-organic feed…

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As New England winters warm, moose are getting overwhelmed by winter ticks. Some scientists say hunting could help.

March 30, 2022

On a cold, sunny day in a remote part of Vermont’s rugged Northeast Kingdom, Nick Fortin — Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s lead moose biologist — holds onto his snowmobile helmet as he gestures to some young trees. The new growth from logging at this spot, in addition to its remote and mountainous setting, makes for…

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Corrie Folson-O'Keefe of Audubon Connecticut (right) and Suzanne Paton (left) of the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service trudge through the mud in the Great Meadows Marsh in Stratford, Conn. The marsh is being regraded by a company specializing in marsh restoration as the federal government works with the Audubon Society to increase the marsh's resiliency.

New England once took salt marshes for granted. But the tides are changing

March 28, 2022

Plunked on a southern New England shoreline is an understated and misunderstood ecosystem: Great Meadows Marsh in Stratford, Conn. For decades, that site was treated as an ugly nuisance, but it’s the focus of a $4 million restoration project aiming to make the coast more resilient to climate change. Rick Potvin, manager of the Stewart…

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A space remains open for an electric vehicle at a EV charging station in Monterey Park, California on May 18, 2021.

Electric vehicle rebates for lower-income buyers go virtually unused in Connecticut

March 20, 2022

A Connecticut-run incentive designed to help low- to middle-income buyers purchase an electric vehicle continues to struggle. New data show income-eligible rebates accounted for only about 1% of all rebates issued through the state’s Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) program. “That’s not a significant uptake,” said Anthony Cherolis, who is with the…

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Mechanical engineer Kalina Yang prepares a section of an iron-air battery for testing.

Rusting batteries could help power the electric grid of the future

February 24, 2022

The same chemical process that ruins your bike chain and eats away at your outdoor grill could help power the electric grid of the future, and perhaps even help save the planet from catastrophic climate change. Company officials from Somerville startup Form Energy are developing batteries powered by rust, and claim their low-cost, long-duration technology can…

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A salt story: New research shows how salt can damage New Hampshire lakes

February 22, 2022

Lakes across the world are getting saltier. New Hampshire is no exception. In New Hampshire, road de-icing salt is the main culprit – that’s the salt we sprinkle on highways in the winter. And climate change is exacerbating salinization – more rain and snow in the winter, along with an increase in freeze and thaw…

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Stephen Foster, director of Facilities at Plymouth State University, and Bill Johnstone, business development executive at the New Hampshire Electric Co-op, stand in front of PSU's EV chargers. The school plans to get two new ones in the spring.

How an EV charging pilot program at Plymouth State could help transform the grid

January 25, 2022

If you’re not looking for them, Plymouth State University’s electric vehicle chargers don’t stand out as much as the town’s Irving Oil and Citgo. But soon, the school will have two new chargers that are part of a much bigger project — a pilot program to test out technology that could help power New Hampshire’s…

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A portrait of Professor of Mechanical Engineering Yan Wang at his laboratory at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Mass. startup transforms old electric car batteries into better-than-new ones

January 25, 2022

The switch to electric vehicles is accelerating worldwide. There are about 10 million battery-powered vehicles on the road today, and by the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency predicts there could be 230 million. But there’s a problem down the road. All those EVs are powered by batteries, and when they come to end of…

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Maine's Wells Beach at low tide after a nor'easter in October 2021.

Early data suggest 2021 was one of the hottest years on record in Gulf of Maine

January 12, 2022

Surface water temperatures in the Gulf of Maine this fall hit new seasonal highs, and it looks like 2021 overall will be one of the hottest ever in the gulf. Researchers at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute said that this fall, temperatures in the gulf ran more than four degrees Fahrenheit above the historical norm. “It…

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