5 Environmental Stories You Don't Want to Miss

By Stephanie Steinbrecher

July 16, 2015

Plastic water bottle litter

Photo by iStock/firina

WATER BOTTLENECK: The House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would overturn the National Park Service’s restrictions on disposable plastic water bottles. Bottled water industry lobbyists have rallied hard to keep bottles in parks.

ALASKA AFLAME: According to the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center, wildfires have consumed over 4.4 million acres in the state so far this year, making it one of the worst fire seasons in its history. 

MONUMENT MAN: President Obama designated three new national monuments, earning his administration major kudos. The new monuments cover over 700,000 acres in total by protecting Waco Mammoth in Texas, Basin and Range in Nevada, and Berryessa Snow Mountain in California.

COAL DEPOSED: According to a report by SNL Energy, natural gas has replaced coal as the largest source of American electricity. Additionally, the Sierra Club announced the 200th coal plant retirement this week—a sign of the energy source's decline.

TREE HAPPY: A study published by Scientific Reports indicates that living around trees has major health benefits. Scientists looked at Toronto’s urban green space and residents’ health records to determine that neighborhoods with higher tree density have higher health perceptions and less cardio-metabolic conditions.

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