Why is it important to preserve native vegetation?

While the perfect green lawn is the envy of many American homes and businesses, there are numerous benefits to restoring native vegetation to our green spaces. Our film review of “Hope in a Changing Climate” mentioned that native vegetation is vital to an ecosystem’s health. Plants thrive in the ecosystems in which they evolved as they are adapted to the specific climate and precipitation patterns, and thus require fewer inputs (such as fertilizer and irrigation) than non-native species.

5 New Year's Resolutions for the Planet

The New Year is when many people commit to making positive lifestyle changes, from adopting an exercise plan to spending more time with family and friends. This year, the Population Education staff is also creating "eco-resolutions" that will help us reconnect with nature and have a positive effect on the planet. Here’s our 2014 resolutions:

Hope in a Changing Climate – Film Review

It’s easy to feel hopeless about the impacts of our rapidly changing climate. So, it was refreshing to view a documentary on successful programs can help revitalize local environments to mitigate global warming. “Hope in a Changing Climate,” narrated by John Liu and co-produced by The Open University and the Environmental Education Media Project, is a short film that provides several intriguing examples of community projects that benefit people and the environment.

Book Review – Countdown: Our Last Best Hope for a Future on Earth?

As a “population educator,” I’m often asked to recommend a book on population – one that’s for a general audience (including high school students), covers lots of facets of the issues in an interesting way (environmental impacts, social trends), not just a litany of statistics, and balances often-sobering facts with hope for the future. A tall order? Absolutely, and I’m often at a loss for such a book to suggest. Not anymore.

What is Carrying Capacity?

We all know that living things need resources in order to survive. We often, however, don’t make the connection that the amount of available resources dictates the size of a population – that a population will grow when resources are in surplus, decline when resources are scarce, and stabilize when the population is at the maximum level that can be sustained.

NAEYC Conference: A Reminder on the Importance of Books and Play

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to be a part of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conference taking place here in Washington. I presented a bright and early 8 am session titled, “Hands-on Activities for Global Citizenship in the Primary Classroom,” and was fortunate to find myself spending 90 minutes with a wonderful group of early-education, early-risers.