Currents

Amid the ever-expanding library of apps available for your smartphone are several designed to nudge you into greener habits. These include eco-conscious social media platforms, games designed to reduce your carbon footprint, and hyper-local information sources. Here are four free eco-apps (some with premium add-ons) worth checking out this spring: Changers CO2 Fit hosts group competitions. The…

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In July 2014, working as part of a team surveying plants above the Alpine Garden on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, I came across many interesting native flora: arctic lichens, elfin tundra clubmoss, even a rare white-flowered rhododendron. The most remarkable find, though, was a distinctly unpleasant surprise: a patch of non-native dandelions blooming high on the…

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Downhill skiing and snowboarding might seem like close relatives, but the latter owes just as big a debt to surfing. And snowboarding’s surfing roots are returning in a big way. Riders are using shorter boards, without bindings, to re-create the experience of riding the waves on backcountry powder. One manufacturer, Grassroots Powdersurfing, reports that U.S….

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More than six decades after transitioning to newer methods, Pennsylvania is returning to a tried-and-true approach toward combating forest fires: fire towers. The state plans to replace up to 25 existing towers and to build two new ones by summer 2017. Fire wardens and volunteers will staff the towers during the height of fire season,…

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A new technology is helping ski resorts adapt to climate change and perhaps even extend their seasons beyond the winter. So-called dry slopes, or synthetic surfaces that transform a hill or mountain into a skiable slope year-round, are already in use throughout Europe. Now they’re gaining popularity in America. Makers of dry slopes include Perma-snow,…

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The good news: climate-change initiatives are working. The even better news? A 10-year-old program is about to crank things up a notch. When the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was announced in 2006 and implemented by 10 states in 2009, it became the first mandatory cap-and-trade program in the United States. Under the program, the…

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Outdoor enthusiasts with mobility impairments can now explore off-road, going where standard wheelchairs cannot. Developed by the Boston-based company GRIT, the Freedom Chair is propelled by a patented drive train of gears and levers. Unlike a push-rim wheelchair, which can waste up to 90 percent of a rider’s effort, the Freedom Chair operates more like a bicycle: The rider pumps the levers to go…

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UPDATE: On August 24, after this story went to press, President Barack Obama designated 87,500 acres as the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Elliotsville Plantation, Inc., donated the land to the federal government along with a $20 million endowment to assist with operational needs and infrastructure development, and a commitment to raise an additional $20…

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The first thing a visitor to Boston’s Breed’s Hill notices is the iconic obelisk honoring the Revolutionary War battle fought here and at nearby Bunker Hill. But a closer look reveals sights that don’t befit such treasured grounds. North of the monument, metal barricades block access to stairs that have fallen into disrepair. On the…

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It’s a sunny October day, and AMC staff scientist Georgia Murray is on the Tuckerman Ravine Trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, gathering data for an ambitious project that charts climate change on the Appalachian Trail (AT). As hikers set out, packs full and boots not yet muddy, Murray uses the Nature’s Notebook app on…

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