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Weekly Environmental Updates
Real or faux Christmas tree... that is the perennial question this time of year. Based on figures gathered in 2015, 77 percent of Americans surveyed put up a Christmas tree and 81 percent used an artificial one. Only 19 percent put up a real tree, which they displayed for an average of 11 years. The average price for a live tree was $25.00 versus $50.00 for a faux version.
A humpback whale recently showed up in New York City's Hudson River, causing excitement among residents and tourists as well as speculation as to what it was doing wandering so near the city. Captured multiple times on video and in pictures that were viewed by marine experts, the whale reportedly did not appear sick nor injured. One observer was quick to create a Twitter account for the famed whale (#Hudson River Whale) that included Thanksgiving greetings, political views, and the whale's thoughts on its lack of success in obtaining tickets for "Hamilton".
Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) has become a buzzword for our increasing proclivity to spend more time indoors and less time in natural spaces. Nature Knowledge Deficit, our failure to understand the world outside our artificial environment, is its cousin. The cure is to make an effort to regularly connect with nature by taking walks in green spaces or even just sitting in a garden and observing the wildlife.
The Northeast coast of the U.S. could be in for more frequent and powerful hurricanes in the future as changing weather patterns cause storms to shift further northward, according to a recent U.K. study. An increase in carbon dioxide and aerosol emissions as well as global warming are reportedly pushing hurricane tracks toward the north. Citing the damage done by Superstorm Sandy, the lead author of the study recommends that plans be developed to protect financial and population centers in the Northeast.
Popular outdoor retailer Patagonia pledged to give all of its profits from Black Friday sales to environmental groups in response to the recent presidential election. The company, which already donates 1 percent of daily sales to environmental groups, surpassed its goal of $2 million dollars in sales and made $10 million on Black Friday. The money will be shared with a network of nearly 800 environmental organizations worldwide.
Kale haters may be hearted by the news that scientists are trying to come up with a make-over for the vegetable that inspires some to utter a hardy "yuck". Currently bred for drought and disease resistance, strains now available don't always appeal to consumers who want a less fibrous leaf and bitter flavor. However, it won't be an easy job and people who hate the current varieties will have to wait at least eight years for a more palatable product.
Roman Hills