Local governments and hotels are struggling to come to terms with the growing phenomenon of Airbnb room rentals, which help residents find short-term paying guests that often provide an economic lifeline to help them pay their bills, rent or mortgage. It’s an affordable, convenient and comfortable alternative for travelers. Critics claim

Swedish design firm and retailer IKEA is introducing a new line of “no waste” products that includes seating, vases and kitchen cabinets made of recycled materials. IKEA hopes that the design will help people see waste not as garbage, but as just another material that can be used in creating

Nederlandse Spoorwegen reports that all of its electric trains are now running on energy harvested from wind. Working with Eneco, a sustainable energy supplier in the Netherlands, the goal was to operate the trains via wind turbines by January 2018, but they beat their own deadline. Electric locomotives don’t use conventional engines;

Worldwide, six of the seven sea turtle species are threatened or endangered because of human activity. A ray of hope now shining from conservation efforts is that nesting sea turtles have posted record numbers of successful hatchlings in South Carolina the last three years, with Georgia and Florida reporting similar

Helium-filled balloons look pretty when released at special events, but they eventually become earthbound trash littering land and water, often traveling great distances before reaching their final resting places; spans of up to 1,300 miles have been recorded. The Ocean Conservancy recently picked up nearly 94,000 balloon remnants in the

Chicago has created 100 miles of new bike lanes in the last five years and plans to add another 50 miles of upgraded lanes with curbs to protect riders from cars by 2019. Beyond that, a series of floating, solar-powered bike paths along the edge of the Chicago River is

California is the fourth state to pass a law making it legal to swap seeds and collect them in non-commercial libraries. That’s good news, because the U.S. Department of Agriculture Federal Seed Act, in place for 80 years, mandates that any activity involving non-commercial distribution of seeds must be labeled,

The French government has expanded the Réserve Naturelle Nationale des Terres Australes Françaises, a highly protected marine reserve in French-controlled, sub-Antarctic waters of the southern Indian Ocean, from about 8,000 to more than 46,000 square miles, including seven areas surrounding the islands of Crozet and Kerguelen. France intends to designate 10

We watch the graceful flight of colorful butterflies and appreciate their crucial role as pollinators. Establishing butterfly gardens or accommodating them in yard plantings increases food sources radically threatened by reductions in blossom-rich landscapes due to development, intensive agriculture, insecticides and climate change. The National Wildlife Federation reports that butterflies are

Kiara Nirghin, a South African teenage girl and recent winner of the Google Science Fair’s Community Impact Award for the Middle East and Africa, is pioneering a new technology to fight drought. The Holy Web, her super-absorbent polymer, can store reserves of water hundreds of times its own weight. Drought remains

According to data service Mercaris, the U.S. had a record 4.1 million acres of organic farmland in 2016, an 11 percent increase over 2014. As of June 2016, the number of certified organic farms reached 14,979, including 1,000 startups. The top states in organic cropland after California, with 688,000 acres, are

In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, the tiny hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life sucking sap and eventually killing the tree. The bug is one example of an expanding horde of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global

When air pollution blanketed Paris for three days, authorities called it the worst bout in 10 years and made public transit free. For the fourth time in 20 years, the city instituted a system based on alternating odd and even license plate numbers to keep certain vehicles off city streets,

Many grocery store foods are wrapped in plastic packaging that creates non-recyclable, non-biodegradable waste, even though thin, plastic films are not efficient at preventing spoilage. Some plastics are also suspected of leaching harmful compounds into food. Researcher Peggy Tomasula, D.Sc., is leading a U.S. Department of Agriculture team developing an

The Pacific island nation of Kiribati has established the world’s second-largest (1.3 million-square-mile) shark sanctuary, which bans commercial fishing throughout, and has also expanded the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary. The possession, trade and sale of sharks and shark products are also prohibited in these areas as is the use of

Concerned citizens will unite on April 22 for a March for Science in Washington, D.C., and locations around the world to champion robustly funding and publicly communicating science for the common good as a pillar of freedom and prosperity. The group is calling on political leaders and policymakers to enact