Fracking operation

Is fracking causing earthquake ‘swarms’?

Photo caption: Fracking activity is causing “swarms” of man-made earthquakes across Oklahoma and other parts of the Midwest and South. Credit: © Jbpribanic, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: Is there proof that fracking for oil and natural gas can by itself cause earthquakes? — James Mitchell, Hauppauge, NY Geologists used to believe that “fracking”—or hydraulic fracturing, the […]

Bioplastic sample

Biodegradable plastic helps reduce toxics

Photo caption: If we can get production costs down, there’s no technical reason not to replace conventional petroleum-based plastics with biomass-based biodegradable varieties. Credit: Doug Beckers, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: What are suitable materials for making biodegradable plastic besides corn and sugarcane? Is pineapple or peanut suitable? — Yu Hong Yap, Malaysia Biodegradable plastic is defined […]


Plants help fight indoor pollutants

Photo caption: Getting a few houseplants is one way to start cleaning up the air quality inside your home. Credit: Stephanie Vacher, FlickrCC. Dear EarthTalk: I’ve been having trouble sleeping and my doctor suggested that indoor air pollution could be a contributing factor. Do you have any tips for how to improve my home’s air […]


Holistic land stewardship taking root

Dear EarthTalk: What is so-called Regenerative Agriculture and why are environmentalists so bullish on it? — Jess Mancuso, Montgomery, PA Regenerative Agriculture (RA) describes farming and grazing practices that help reverse climate change by rebuilding the organic matter in soil and restoring degraded soil biodiversity. “Specifically, Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that […]