A Little Greener

Come join friends and environmental educators, Casey and Sara, as they discuss all things nature and explore how we can all live “A Little Greener.” This weekly podcast features conversations on topics ranging from backyard birding to global conservation projects, and everything in between.

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Thursday Jun 23, 2022

First up in our energy series: solar! How do we harness the energy from the sun to produce electricity? Why should we? What are the environmental impacts?   Resources for this episode: National Renewable Energy Laboratory How Does Solar Work (energy.gov) End of Life Solar Panels: Regulations and Management How to Have Your Solar Farm and Keep Your Regular Farm Too (NPR) Solar Panels are Starting to Die (Grist) Life Cycle Assessment Harmonization Land Use Requirements of Solar

Thursday Jun 16, 2022

With works like the documentary My Octopus Teacher appearing on Netflix and  National Book Award Finalist honors given to Soul of an Octopus, more and more people are coming to appreciate these graceful and intelligent cephalopods. But, what is a cephalopod, you ask, and what is it really that makes the octopus so amazing? And what's the plural of octopus, anyway? Casey and Sara answer all this and more as they geek out over the octopus on this week's episode!   Resources for this episode: Cephalopods (Smithsonian) Octopuses Keep Surprising Us (The Natural History Museum) Vision and Camouflage (Scientific American) Cephalopod Brains (Frontiers) The Case Against Octopus Farming (Arizona State University) World's First Octopus Farm Stirs Ethical Debate (Reuters)

Thursday Jun 09, 2022

Frogs and toads are an incredibly diverse group of animals. They're found nearly everywhere around the world, are a critical component of the food web, and are valuable environmental indicators. On this episode, learn how you can get involved in frog conservation (and have some fun) by learning the unique calls of the frogs in your area.   Resources for this episode: FrogWatch USA Chapter List Frog and Toad Calls, Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (USGS): calls used in episode FrogID: citizen science program in Australia Frog Fact SheetThe FrogID dataset: expert-validated occurrence records of Australia’s frogs collected by citizen scientists Frogs and Toads of Pennsylvania

Thursday Jun 02, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, over 9 out of 10 people live in areas with excessive air pollution, and yet, it's something many of us may not often think about. Join Casey and Sara for a discussion on what causes air pollution, its impacts on health and the environment, and what we can do about it.    Resources for this episode: Deadly Denora Smog of 1948 (Smithsonian Mag) Air Pollution (WHO) Air Pollution: Everything You Need to Know (NRDC) Effects of Air Pollution (Center for Science Education) Air Pollution: Current and Future Challenges (EPA) Air Pollution Laws Aimed at Human Health also Help Birds (Cornell) Urban Environment and Cancer in Wildlife

Thursday May 26, 2022

It might be tempting to dismiss cities as nature wastelands, but not only are cities here to stay, and only projected to grow, they actually have some environmental benefits. Sara and Casey discuss the pros and cons of cities, and what we need to do to make cities sustainable in the future.    Resources for this episode: Field Guide to Conservation In Cities (The Nature Conservancy) Cities Aren't the Wildlife Deserts Scientists Once Feared Large Cities Fall Behind in "Neighborhood Biodiversity" How to Tell if You Live in the Suburbs Public Health Reviews: Urbanization, A Problem for the Rich and the Poor? Cities Can Be Part of the Solution in Sustaining Species Plan Melbourne: Inclusive, Vibrant, and Healthy Neighborhoods

Thursday May 05, 2022

What is HPAI and what does it have to do with the price of eggs (get it)? While this may not immediately seem relevant to conservation, the fact is that both human health and our food supply are intrinsically connected to nature--and diseases like HPAI are a reminder of this. This week, Casey and Sara discuss the origin, impacts, and control of the current strain of avian influenza. 

Thursday Apr 28, 2022

From color change to flight to pulling water from the air, plants and animals have some pretty amazing adaptations. Biomimicry is the idea that we can look to and learn from the natural world to find innovations and solutions to challenges that we might face. On this episode, Sara and Casey discuss favorite animal adaptations and share a few examples of biomimicry in action.   Resources for this episode: www.asknature.org Biomimicry: A History (Ohio State University) Butterfly Wings Have a Hidden Structure That Rivals Vantablack in Its Darkness Researching the Kingfisher's Hydrodynamic Design  

Thursday Apr 21, 2022

You may have seen or heard about the IPCC climate change reports in the news on a fairly regular basis recently--often connected to talk of climate deadlines and dire warnings. So, what does this mean? Is there hope in the face of climate change? Join Casey and Sara for a discussion on the IPCC, fears, faith, and finding hope to fight climate change.   Resources for this episode: MRSC Local Climate Response Project Scientific American: Climate Report Offers Some Hope but the Need for Action is Urgent Christian Science Monitor: Amid the Gloom of Climate Change there is Hope Climate Home News: Saudi Arabia dilutes fossil fuel phase out language with techno fixes in IPCC report

Thursday Apr 14, 2022

Fossil fuels provide the bulk of our energy supply today, but how did we get to this point? What other options are out there? Join Sara and Casey for a quick history of energy and a closer look at where we get the energy that powers our daily lives.  To complete your weekly challenges, visit: eGRID Power Profiler: https://www.epa.gov/egrid/power-profiler#/ US Energy Mapping System: https://www.eia.gov/state/maps.php   Resources for this episode: Energy timelines: https://alternativeenergy.procon.org/historical-timeline/ https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-017-07506-z Data from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine: http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-use/home-work/ http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/energy-sources/ Power grid information and eGRID: https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/how-does-us-power-grid-work#chapter-title-0-2 https://www.epa.gov/egrid  

Thursday Apr 07, 2022

If you're searching for ways to live a little greener, one of the suggestions you'll likely come across is to reduce your dairy intake. This week, Sara and Casey discuss the environmental impacts of dairy and consider the pros and cons of some of the available alternatives. Resources for this episode: How Dairy Milk has Improved its Environmental and Climate Impact (UC Davis) GHG Emissions by Livestock (UN FAO) Dairy Vs. Plant-Based Milk: What are the Environmental Impacts (Our World in Data) Nutrient Density of Beverages in Relation to Climate Impact Milking the Planet (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy) Should I Give Up Dairy Because of Climate Change? What Plant Milk Should I Drink?  

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