Conservation

Baby Steps, Becoming Sustainable, and the Boy Scouts of America

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu famously said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. That wisdom certainly applies to sustainability. It’s all but impossible for an individual, a family, or a BSA council to fully embrace sustainability overnight. Instead, we start with baby steps—recycling aluminum cans, perhaps, or trading out incandescent…

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Save the Planet, Earn a Medal

At the end of a 10K race, most people are probably happy to hit the showers. But some people—those who’ve been bitten by the running bug—are just getting started. They consider 10 kilometers to be little more than a warmup for a half-marathon, a full marathon, or even an ultramarathon. The same thing is true…

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Surprising Ways to Save—and Waste—Water

When it comes to water usage, Americans tend to slurp rather than sip. Like Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain,” we blithely splash around in puddles as if we have more water than we know what to do with. As a result, Americans use—and waste—far more water than most other countries. In fact, only…

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Taking Out the Trash Is Complicated—but It Doesn’t Have to Be

Most businesses have one: that repository of old furniture, office equipment, and computers that have been removed from service but are still serviceable. The repository may be a closet, or it may be a warehouse, but it’s there nonetheless. And getting rid of what it contains can be as hard as getting rid of a…

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Keeping up with the Greens

Keeping up with the Joneses is as American as apple pie. When family members, friends, and neighbors do more and buy more, most of us feel an urge to do the same. A sibling’s vacation photos on Facebook get us dreaming of the tropics. A friend’s new car reminds realize how ratty our old beater…

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WaterSense Means Dollars and Cents for Consumers

“Water, water, everywhere/Nor any drop to drink.” Those familiar words from Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” have a decided urgency today. Although 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, less than 1 percent of the planet’s water is available for human use. According to a 2014 U.S.…

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