- Plants are an important part of medicine. And not just to eat! Many drugs are derived from plants, like yew tree, hoodia, autumn crocus and magnolia, all of which help treat cancer. But pollution, over-harvesting, and habitat destruction are threatening 15,000 species of medicinal plants; via DiscoBlog.
- The rainforest houses the world’s largest collection of plants and animals. Scientists call it our heart and lungs, but the Brazilian Amazon has suffered major deforestation, more and more land is being cleared for cattle pastures. In some areas, deforestation has increased by 50% in 1 year; from LiveScience.
- Maybe old people can replant the rainforest! A new study suggests gardening helps older men and women feel better. Researchers claim on most days gardeners meet the recommended 30 minutes of moderate physical activity and in the spring many people spent an hour gardening; Reuters reports.
- A Berkeley, California company wants to farm rooftop vegetables. It involves building hydroponic greenhouses on top of local supermarkets to grow fruits and vegetables and then sell them to the customers below. This could cut transportation and production costs by 80%; via GreenUpgrader.
- And a Japanese firm plans to manufacturer CD and DVD cases with rice-plastic. The composite material is 10% rice and consumes significantly less fossil fuel during production and emits 10% less carbon dioxide than traditional materials, but the hybrid cases are more expensive; from CleanTechnia.
- To cut costs, and save the environment, many schools are going paperless, using digital filing systems and online fliers. No paper allowed. It’s going well! Some school districts claim 95% of students are subscribing to school newsletters online. And, it’s keeping junk out of kids’ heavy backpacks; via ENN.
Image credit: Zanthan Photos