Issues

  Measuring a person’s carbon footprint includes a number of factors. Choices we make, from the food we eat, to the products we use and industries we support, to the distances we travel, play into the amount of greenhouse gases we add into the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide,…

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  From his backyard in Augusta, Maine, astronomer Jon Silverman can look into the night sky and see light emitted from stars hundreds, thousands, even millions of years ago. Anyone can. All it takes to see light coming from, say, the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest galactic neighbor at 2.5 million light-years away, is a simple pair…

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One of every three bites of food we eat comes from a plant that was pollinated by something. Despite their size, pollinators—those tiny bees, birds, bats, and insects that aid in the reproduction of plants by carrying pollen from one flower to another—are vital to the success of a healthy ecosystem. “We’ve come to a…

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Three months after many Americans began physical distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, most states are beginning the slow process of reopening their economies and public spaces. For outdoor enthusiasts, this means a return to some natural recreational areas that haven’t been accessible for the last several months. But despite the urge to get…

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  Every day, the average American family uses 300 gallons of drinking water, for consumption, bathing, cooking, laundry, and other household chores, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Where that water originates and how it is cleaned are questions we rarely consider, though, and we forget that much of the process starts at the…

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  I’m standing in the dining room at AMC’s Madison Spring Hut, and even though it’s late August, I can’t get warm. Two friends and I have just returned from Mount Madison’s 5,366-foot summit, where a sturdy gale-force wind battered our sweat-soaked bodies already weary from a climb that covered 3,500 feet of elevation in…

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  For more than four decades, Ken Powley has made his living on the Lehigh River. The founder of Whitewater Challengers, a whitewater rafting company in Weatherly, Pa., Powley has guided thousands of visitors over rapids, through a forested gorge and rugged terrain reminiscent of the famed whitewater rivers of the West. For Powley, this…

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Whether it’s a bag stuck in a tree or a bottle floating in a pond or stream, litter of single-use plastics is not only an eyesore; it is damaging to the natural environment, endangering our trails and waterways. Each year, the nonprofit Break Free from Plastic—a “global movement working to stop plastic pollution for good”—sets…

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Hispanics enjoy regular time outdoors at nearly twice the rate they did a decade ago—and population changes aren’t the only reason why. Moderate outdoor participation—defined as happening about once a month—occurred among 10.3 percent of self-identified Hispanics in 2018, up from 5.3 percent in 2008, according to the 2019 Outdoor Participation Report, an annual survey…

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Every fall since 2013, Dave and Monica Metsky of Somerville, Mass., have loaded their mountain bikes onto their car and driven the nearly 200 miles to Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vt. There, they check into a rental home and spend several days biking at what Dave calls “the mecca of New England mountain biking.”…

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