Photo: Ralph Daily/Flickr
Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, and that means backyard barbeques and trips to the beach. As you gear up to head outside, remember to take sunburn precautions. Nothing spoils the holiday fun like red, blistered, painful skin. Here are tips to prevent burning, and 184 top-rated beach and sport sunscreens.!--/end tags-->
Just as a bold piece of commentary recently published in Nature states in its title that we ought to “Classify Plastic Waste As Hazardous”, one researcher has come up with a unique proposal for making our societal addiction to plastic less harmful. Let’s use tree resin, suggests Chuanbing Tang from the University of South Carolina. That’s right: the impossibly sticky amber ooze that conifer, pine, and fir trees leak when something breaks their bark.!--/end tags-->
Next time you loan a book from your public library, consider checking out some seeds, too. Yes, you read that right. More than two-dozen libraries across the country, including 15 in California, now let patrons borrow DIY plants along with copies of The Great Gatsby and Moby Dick. As NPR’s The Salt reported last week, this new offering could be a way to entice more people into the brick-and-mortar book buildings. Plus, it fosters community and makes accessible all different types of seeds.!--/end tags-->
In each issue of Audubon, the editors review a mix of narrative nonfiction titles, as well as art books and children’s books about nature. For ease, we’ve compiled the dozens of fantastic works we reviewed in 2012 in one place, and we’ve added a few additional books that we covered exclusively online.!--/end tags-->
With Christmas just around the corner, and Hanukah underway, many of us are scrambling to buy presents for our loved ones. If there’s someone in your life who is passionate about wildlife or conservation, consider a symbolic adoption. Whether you’re looking for a gift for a birder, ocean lover, or outdoors enthusiast, here are options for nearly every eco interest.!--/end tags-->
Sandhill Crane, photo by Dwayne Longenbaugh
Don’t let that holiday turkey be the only bird your family encounters this Thanksgiving. Go for a hike. A post-feast nature walk can be as much a family tradition as cranberry sauce and stuffing. While burning off calories, you can enjoy the fresh air and see some wildlife. There are plenty of places to go. Visit one of Audubon’s 48 centers laced with trails. Or choose a National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge System encompasses 150 million acres, and there is at least one refuge in every state. Many of them are Important Bird Areas. The following 16 National Wildlife Refuge walks are family-friendly and relatively short. Each one offers a chance to see many birds and other wildlife in late November.!--/end tags-->
Midwestern gardeners who aim to create native landscapes that provide important habitat to birds and other wildlife have a valuable new resource: “The Midwestern Native Garden, Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, an illustrated Guide,” by Charlotte Adelman and Bernard L. Schwartz (Ohio University Press). In writing the book, the authors considered several of the major challenges faced by gardeners who want to grow natives. First, which plants are not native to a region? Second, what are alternative plants that are just as stunning and similarly capable of thriving in a garden that might otherwise be crowded with nonnative ornamentals.
Photograph courtesy of NASA
Now that the days are getting shorter, our lights burn brightly later into the morning and earlier in the evening. There may be no better visual reminder of where humans live on the planet than a photograph of the earth at night. Cities shine, suburbs twinkle, and the few remaining locales that don’t glow with electricity look both desolate and peaceful. Despite our love of light, so-called light pollution can have detrimental effects to wildlife and humans. That’s why the National Park Service and the International Dark-Sky Association, a nonprofit focused on preserving the night, protecting wildlife, and conserving electricity, have begun to identify dark sky reserves across the world.!--/end tags-->
Pomegranates have made a real leap to stardom the past few years, mostly in the form of their ruby red juice. But I personally love the seeds, called arils. And recently, I received two of these odd-shaped, aril-filled fruits as a gift—forcing me to think hard about how to use them. I have to say, I was pretty happy with the results.!--/end tags-->
This weekend, as I was packing away this week’s groceries on top of an unopened container of spinach and some other week-old produce, I realized just how easy it is to waste food. In my house, if we’re not careful produce ends up pushed to the back of the refrigerator. When we rediscover it, it’s often a little less new and shiny, so we toss it in the trash.
My family isn’t alone in this practice.