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Green Living

From electric to plug-in to hybrid, there are more ways than ever to drive clean
    By now, we all know about the ­Toyota Prius.     I’m talking about the world’s best-selling gas-electric hybrid: a car that uses both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. You can drive it just like any other car yet use much less fuel. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that today’s Prius gets 52 miles per gallon in a mix of city and highway driving, compared to 32 miles per gallon for the similarly sized, similarly powerful, gas-fueled Toyota Corolla.
Only 2 of 13 indicators improve for a high D 
      Record rainfall increased pollution and reduced water clarity in the Chesapeake Bay, decreasing the score in the State of the Bay report, put out by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. The score dropped one point to 33, equivalent to a D+.       “Heavy rains caused extended high flows in the Susquehanna River, which flushed debris, sediment and other pollutants into the Bay,” reports Alison Prost, CBF’s Maryland executive director. 

Each of our Christmas ­evergreens tells a story

      Early Americans celebrated a long Yuletide from December 15 to Epiphany on January 6. Europeans started earlier on December 6, Saint Nicholas Day. In every tradition, evergreens have been part of the celebration.      Why do we decorate our homes with boughs of pine and holly?

10 Reasons to Remember Him

     1. Dick Lahn, who died November 22 at the age of 76, was really smart. Way back in 1967, at a League of Conservation Voters’ lecture, he saw the light: “I was working as a mathematician for NASA, and suddenly I knew that protecting our environment was what I really wanted to do.”      2. When Dick Lahn put his mind to a problem he always found the solution. He always made it fun and shared the credit with others.

What should we do to push back the tide?

      Dozens of islands in Chesapeake Bay were home to human populations, farms, forests, even a few stores and hotels, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Starting in the early 1900s, islanders migrated to the mainland. Now all but two of these offshore islands have disappeared or no longer sustain the communities that once thrived in isolation.
Chesapeake Country kids repurpose rubbish as art
      If you want something done right, ask a kid.        That’s what the Maryland Department of the Environment did. Since 2001, high school students have celebrated America Recycles Day by competing in the annual Rethink Recycling Sculpture Contest. The contest tests students’ sculpture skills. Their medium? Recyclables only.

Without even lifting a shovel

      At Christmas time, when so many trees are cut, the right gift for people who have most everything — or whom you wish to honor or commemorate — might be a tree. A tree is a gift that lasts, offering beauty, shade and habitat-enhancing air and water quality and reducing energy costs every day of its potentially long lifetime. All the better if your gift tree demands not a bit of care.       Maryland Department of Natural Resources promises to make the Gift of Trees effortless.

Winter Salt Watch monitors where the sodium goes

     The first snow has come. That means snow days, hot cocoa and hunkering down. It also means road salt — and lots of it.       Before the storms, the State Highway Administration preps the roads with salt brine.      “As for how much salt we’ll use this year, we have no idea,” Charlie Gischlar said. “That’s up to Mother Nature.”

People and groups making a better world

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” –Robin Williams  
Climate stewards take aim at ­herbicides, tout healthy soils 
      It takes good soil for plants to grow healthy and vibrant. It takes brave souls to push for better legislation to make that happen.      Last year, environmentalists and organic farmers scored a win when the Maryland Legislature passed the Healthy Soils Program and Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill. The program works to sequester the global-warming bad guy, carbon, in Maryland soil while increasing its biological activity.