Why is it bad when species go extinct?

Endangered species—those at risk of going extinct—often tend to get a lot of press and attention. Aside from climate change, they are among the best known environmental issues. Groups like the IUCN spend huge amounts of time and money trying to protect species that might go extinct. Likewise, people like me spend their entire careers studying how to prevent extinctions. …

Green non-profits to support on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a chance to step outside of the consumerist mayhem of the holidays and give something back to the world. If you’re a nature lover, consider supporting an environmental NGO (non-governmental organization). Many NGO’s are doing fantastic and important work to protect the outdoors all over the world. In this post, I’ll share my top list of green …

Why do we need forests?

Forests are perhaps the most iconic and recognized biome on Earth. When most people hear the word nature, a forest is what comes to mind. And with good reason! Forests make up around 1/3 of all the land on Earth. Meanwhile, all of those trees are the foundation of many land-based food chains. At the same time, people all over …

Why are invasive species a problem?

In early spring, wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) vines and honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) bushes bloom fragrantly all over North America. The plants are abundantly green, and their elegant blossoms pour their perfume out into the warming air. It’s delightful, even magical, but any ecologist or naturalist will tell you it’s a bad sign for the environment. These plant species, introduced to North …