Environment and Health

The Cure for A Taxing Allergy

The Cure for A Taxing Allergy

Millions of families live in constant dread of what an unexpected encounter — with a bee or a food additive or even a dye — could bring. One slip, and breathing could quickly become difficult, or a heartbeat dangerously low. Severe allergies, untreated, can kill. But...

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Greater Than the Sum of Our Parks

Greater Than the Sum of Our Parks

It's the 100th anniversary of our national parks and in 2016, to date, I've visited Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Yosemite, King's Canyon, the Grand Tetons, and Yellowstone. The price tag for admission? $80. That's the cost of an annual pass to all of America's...

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Stop Playing Politics With Reproductive Rights

Stop Playing Politics With Reproductive Rights

Young women voters have a lot to worry about this election cycle, from a flurry of anti-abortion messaging to diminishing access to reproductive services. Just this month, in fact, Congress put the brakes on vital legislation that would fund efforts to prevent the...

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Federal Marijuana Laws Reek of Hy-Pot-Crisy

Federal Marijuana Laws Reek of Hy-Pot-Crisy

For a few brief months, it looked like America might take a step closer to sanity. And then came the news: the Obama administration will not loosen federal restrictions on marijuana after all. Before delving into the issue of marijuana, consider its two fellow...

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Waste Not, Save More

Waste Not, Save More

On average, each person in the U.S. throws away five pounds of solid waste each day. While many eco–conscious citizens do their due diligence to recycle, compost, and reduce waste, others remain apathetic about preserving the environment. Wherever you might land on...

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The Challenges of ‘Leaving No Trace’

The Challenges of ‘Leaving No Trace’

I just got back from hiking 95 miles in the Sierras. (Yes, just like that Reese Witherspoon movie Wild, only far fewer miles.) I returned from my trip with something eating at me. Backpackers are supposed to "Leave No Trace." It's not just a nice concept, but a...

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Is Solar Energy Really Too Expensive?

Is Solar Energy Really Too Expensive?

In order for solar power to compete with other forms of energy, the conventional thinking goes, it needs to become way cheaper. Installing rooftop solar panels can be prohibitively expensive, after all, and it takes years before the resulting energy savings pay off....

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To Stop ‘Bomb Trains,’ I Honeymooned in Jail

To Stop ‘Bomb Trains,’ I Honeymooned in Jail

It was a few days after my wedding. I was supposed to be honeymooning at a nearby winery with my newly minted husband, celebrating our unlikely marriage at age 55. Instead, I was sitting on the railroad tracks in the pouring rain. Along with 20 other brave souls, some...

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A Yellow-Brick Road for Immigrant Women

A Yellow-Brick Road for Immigrant Women

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies as kid growing up in Trinidad. I liked thinking that a magical storm could take you somewhere new, where you could meet fun new friends and even take your pet dog along. Heck, even a new pair of shiny red shoes awaited...

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The Miserable Catch 22 of Mental Illness

The Miserable Catch 22 of Mental Illness

I'm depressed. I've dealt with mental health issues for decades now. Nothing fancy or interesting like multiple personalities or hallucinations. Just run-of-the-mill boring ones — good old depression and anxiety, and maybe some undiagnosed PTSD to go with it. Mental...

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