Green Science

Green Science is the application of eco-friendly thinking to scientific disciplines. Learn about global warming, pollution and other impacts on nature and the planet, plus what we can do to combat them.

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Recycling is a pretty simple concept: take something that isn't useful anymore and make it into something new. Learn about the process and the good and bad of recycling.

By Ed Grabianowski

While actual footprints measure size, weight and speed, carbon footprints measure how much carbon dioxide (CO2) we produce in our daily lives. Do you know how big your carbon footprint is?

By Sarah Dowdey

Eco-conscious people purchase carbon offsets to help reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. But do offsets actually help, and what does Pink Floyd have to do with them?

By Sarah Dowdey


How do we reduce greenhouse gas emissions? A carbon tax is one answer. A simpler alternative to cap-and-trade schemes, a carbon tax encourages energy efficiency and reduced consumption.

By Sarah Dowdey

When the wind blows, particles in the gust of air are moving quickly. And that motion carries kinetic energy, which can be captured and harnessed to create electricity. The principle behind a wind-electric turbine isn't too different from an ordinary dam -- only it's capturing wind instead of water.

By Julia Layton

In 2023, the U.S. bottled water industry was worth $94 billion, even with the rise of popular reusable water bottle brands.

By Julia Layton

We know that paper comes from trees, but just how much does it take? Let's do the math and figure out how much paper your average tree can be made into.


During the summer I am always hearing about ozone warnings in my city. This ozone is bad. But then I hear about the ozone layer, which is good. How can ozone be both good and bad?

What happens to all of that trash you put on the curb every week? It doesn't just disappear into a parallel universe. Much of it probably goes to the local landfill, and how it gets handled there is a very involved system.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D. & Patrick J. Kiger

Climate change is the defining issue of our time, and we are at a defining moment of history. What can you do to make a difference? We've got 10 tips for you.

By Katie Lambert & Sarah Gleim

Recycling proponents tell us that everything that can be recycled should be. Some items, however, can use more energy to recycle than it would cost to make new ones. Are we better off throwing some things away?

By Jonathan Strickland


Most scientists agree that human interference in the environment has something to do with the recent trend of rising temperatures on the Earth. If we got ourselves in this pickle, what can we do about it?

By Jonathan Strickland

If ranchers and landowners invest in grass banks, will their payout be nothing but green? Or is grass banking a temporary solution, delaying Mother Nature's inevitable bankruptcy?

By Jennifer Horton

We've been warned plenty about the mercury content of fish. And most of us know our new high-efficiency CFLs also contain the shiny neurotoxin. So which source should cause us more concern?

By Julia Layton

Is the same substance that makes your shampoo so sudsy really going to give you cancer? Here's the real dirt on whether sodium lauryl sulfate is bad for you.

By Julia Layton & Valerie Stimac


Can you walk to restaurants from your home? Or do you have to hop in the car for every outing? How do you determine your neighborhood's walkability without taking to the streets yourself?

By Maria Trimarchi

When Thomas Malthus warned that the human population would eventually outpace Earth's resources, he wasn't anticipating the green revolution. So why do rising food costs have some folks worried we're running at capacity?

By Julia Layton

They may seem like a fun water sport or a noisy nuisance, but whatever your stance on personal watercraft, there's no denying they pollute. So how bad are they?

By Julia Layton

Green, clean energy sounds good at first: Harness the power of the wind to run our creature comforts. But could the sounds people hear (and don't hear) from wind turbines endanger their health?

By Julia Layton & Austin Henderson


We humans like to trade one problem for another. We give up drinking only to take up smoking. Will we also exchange a reliance on dwindling fossil fuels for a food shortage caused by ethanol production?

By Robert Lamb

Everyone knows air pollution isn't good for your lungs, but it turns out that it's not doing your heart any favors either. Why do the particulates in the air we breathe interfere with our heart's basic job: to keep things ticking?

By Julia Layton

The worst bad guys in the world of video games aren't virtual. Vampire power, overpackaging and energy-draining consoles make gaming unnecessarily bad for the environment. What are video game manufacturers doing to go green?

By Stephanie Watson

Plastic bags are generally unsustainable. Even if they are biodegradable, they take roughly 1,000 years to fully break down. Minnesota company NatureWorks has come up with a green plastic bag, but how eco-friendly is it?

By Josh Clark


You’ve probably seen some plastic labeled “BPA free,” but does that make it safer?

By Jennifer Horton & Sascha Bos

We know that humans are largely responsible for fueling global warming with our carbon emissions. So what if we could seize all that carbon and squirrel it away in a safe place? Well, we can. It's just hard and really expensive.

By Debra Ronca & Mark Mancini