A Little Greener

A Little Greener

Come join friends and environmental educators, Casey and Sara, as they discuss all things nature and explore how we can all live “A Little Greener.” This weekly podcast features conversations on topics ranging from backyard birding to global conservation projects, and everything in between.

Episodes

September 23, 2022 45 min

Stories of mythological dragons are found in cultures around the world--and continue to be prevalent in pop culture today. But are there real-life dragons? Sara and Casey take a look at a few species that we call dragons and discuss how and why animals like this can be important in connecting people to nature. 

 

Resources for this episode:

Popular Science: Are Dragons Real?

National Zoo: Komodo Dragon

Beware of the Dragon: A Case ...

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In this very special episode, Casey and Sara chat with Justin Gillis, an award-winning journalist who has written for multiple major newspapers, including the Washington Post and New York Times. He served as the lead climate reporter for the New York Times for nearly a decade.

Justin has written a book, along with co-author Hal Harvey, called The Big Fix: Seven Practical Steps to Save Our Planet. The book outlines specific areas th...

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September 9, 2022 1 min

Casey and Sara tease next week's very special episode of A Little Greener: an interview with climate journalist and co-author of the new book, The Big Fix: Seven Practical Steps to Save Our Planet, Justin Gillis.

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August 19, 2022 47 min

Go beyond the Venus fly trap with this week's episode on carnivorous plants. Sara and Casey discuss why some plants trap prey, how different carnivorous plants work, and which one would be the most horrifying way to go out. 

 

Resources for this episode:

Let's Talk Science: Needs of Plants

Southern Illinois University: Carnivorous Plants

Live Sciences: Killer Petunias and Murderous Potatoes Revealed

Natural History Museum: ...

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August 11, 2022 65 min

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 recently passed through the United States Senate, and while that may not sound like it has anything to do with the environment, this bill contains a number of items related to climate and emissions reduction, and is a big step forward in fighting climate change. Casey and Sara discuss what the bill does and doesn't do, and talk about the next steps as the bill moves to the House of Representa...

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August 5, 2022 50 min

Sara and Casey take a look at how animals perceive color and discuss the purposes of color and patterns in nature.

 

Resources for this episode: 

UK research shows how to build more effective monarch butterfly gardens

How Do We See Color?

The Eyes and Vision of Butterflies

Optimizing Countershading Camouflage

The 'Why' of a Leopard's Spots

 

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July 29, 2022 70 min

If you're asked to picture a butterfly, odds are the image that springs to mind pretty quickly is of the beautiful orange-and-black monarch. Despite being so well known and loved, the population of migrating monarch butterflies has been declining over recent decades, leading to their recent classification of endangered on the IUCN Red List. This week, Casey and Sara break down the amazing life cycle of monarch butterflies, disc...

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July 22, 2022 69 min

Sara and Casey take a look at the history of the United States' Environmental Protection Agency, and explore the recent Supreme Court decision in the case of West Virginia v. EPA.

 

Resources for this episode:

Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1970 (Nixon's message to Congress)

EPA: The Basics of the Regulatory Process

Laws and Executive Orders Related to the EPA

EPA Denies Petition to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Moto...

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July 15, 2022 70 min

Although coal has played an important role in the history of our country, it has some health and environmental impacts that are difficult to ignore. In this episode, Casey and Sara continue their series on energy and take a look at the pros and cons of coal, and the state of the coal industry in the United States today.

 

Resources for this episode: 

NASA Climate Kids: Coal

US Energy Information Administration: Coal Explained

Forbe...

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July 7, 2022 62 min

The beach is a fun and relaxing vacation destination for many people, but it is also part of a vital habitat for many species. Sara and Casey discuss some of the ways that we can incorporate sustainability into a day at the beach.

 

Resources for this episode:

Eco-friendly Sunscreen Guide

NOAA: Sunscreen Chemicals and Marine Life

PLOYS: items made from recycled pool inflatables

The Ecoboard Project

Sea Turtle Conservancy: What To ...

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June 30, 2022 66 min

A wedding is a big event for many people, but if you're looking for a way to keep your big day from having a big environmental impact, there are lots of options out there for you! And even if you're not planning a wedding, Casey and Sara discuss some of the was we can be a little greener participants and attendees.

 

Resources for this episode:

Bastet Noir  

Dear Cleo

Wildlife Friendly Wedding Guide (Center for Biological D...

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June 23, 2022 63 min

First up in our energy series: solar! How do we harness the energy from the sun to produce electricity? Why should we? What are the environmental impacts?

 

Resources for this episode:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

How Does Solar Work (energy.gov)

End of Life Solar Panels: Regulations and Management

How to Have Your Solar Farm and Keep Your Regular Farm Too (NPR)

Solar Panels are Starting to Die (Grist)

Life Cycle Assessment...

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June 16, 2022 71 min

With works like the documentary My Octopus Teacher appearing on Netflix and  National Book Award Finalist honors given to Soul of an Octopus, more and more people are coming to appreciate these graceful and intelligent cephalopods. But, what is a cephalopod, you ask, and what is it really that makes the octopus so amazing? And what's the plural of octopus, anyway? Casey and Sara answer all this and more as they geek out over th...

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June 9, 2022 56 min

Frogs and toads are an incredibly diverse group of animals. They're found nearly everywhere around the world, are a critical component of the food web, and are valuable environmental indicators. On this episode, learn how you can get involved in frog conservation (and have some fun) by learning the unique calls of the frogs in your area.

 

Resources for this episode:

FrogWatch USA Chapter List

Frog and Toad Calls, Amphibian Res...

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June 2, 2022 59 min

According to the World Health Organization, over 9 out of 10 people live in areas with excessive air pollution, and yet, it's something many of us may not often think about. Join Casey and Sara for a discussion on what causes air pollution, its impacts on health and the environment, and what we can do about it. 

 

Resources for this episode:

Deadly Denora Smog of 1948 (Smithsonian Mag)

Air Pollution (WHO)

Air Pollution: Everyth...

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May 26, 2022 55 min

It might be tempting to dismiss cities as nature wastelands, but not only are cities here to stay, and only projected to grow, they actually have some environmental benefits. Sara and Casey discuss the pros and cons of cities, and what we need to do to make cities sustainable in the future. 

 

Resources for this episode:

Field Guide to Conservation In Cities (The Nature Conservancy)

Cities Aren't the Wildlife Deserts Scientists...

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May 5, 2022 40 min

What is HPAI and what does it have to do with the price of eggs (get it)? While this may not immediately seem relevant to conservation, the fact is that both human health and our food supply are intrinsically connected to nature--and diseases like HPAI are a reminder of this. This week, Casey and Sara discuss the origin, impacts, and control of the current strain of avian influenza. 

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April 28, 2022 43 min

From color change to flight to pulling water from the air, plants and animals have some pretty amazing adaptations. Biomimicry is the idea that we can look to and learn from the natural world to find innovations and solutions to challenges that we might face. On this episode, Sara and Casey discuss favorite animal adaptations and share a few examples of biomimicry in action.

 

Resources for this episode:

www.asknature.org

Biomimicr...

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April 21, 2022 56 min

You may have seen or heard about the IPCC climate change reports in the news on a fairly regular basis recently--often connected to talk of climate deadlines and dire warnings. So, what does this mean? Is there hope in the face of climate change? Join Casey and Sara for a discussion on the IPCC, fears, faith, and finding hope to fight climate change.

 

Resources for this episode:

MRSC Local Climate Response Project

Scientific Ameri...

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April 14, 2022 61 min

Fossil fuels provide the bulk of our energy supply today, but how did we get to this point? What other options are out there? Join Sara and Casey for a quick history of energy and a closer look at where we get the energy that powers our daily lives. 

To complete your weekly challenges, visit:

eGRID Power Profiler: https://www.epa.gov/egrid/power-profiler#/

US Energy Mapping System: https://www.eia.gov/state/maps.php

 

Resources for...

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