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Ensia

Ensia is a magazine showcasing environmental solutions in action. Powered by the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, we connect people with ideas, information and inspiration they can use to change the world.

Better photosynthesis for a better world?   Better photosynthesis for a better world? There’s no question that plants are better than most other life forms at converting carbon dioxide and sunlight into the sugars that form… Notable
How do those plants do that?   How do those plants do that? It will come as no surprise to Ensia readers that nature has a lot of answers we could use to solve our most dire problems related to the… Notable
The biggest source of plastic trash you’ve never heard of nbsp; Feature The biggest source of plastic trash you’ve never heard of  
Why geoengineering can be only part of the climate solution nbsp; Voices Why geoengineering can be only part of the climate solution  
“Linking” semi trucks can result in huge fuel savings   “Linking” semi trucks can result in huge fuel savings Over the past year one of the hottest tech trends has been the race to develop autonomous — or driverless — cars. The journal Nature even… Notable
Seasteading could be the answer to sustainably feeding 9 billion people nbsp; Voices Seasteading could be the answer to sustainably feeding 9 billion people  
What works for worms   What works for worms Looking for inspiration for your innovation? The AskNature collection of National Geographic’s Great Nature Project could be a good… Notable
Tracking pollution at a personal level   Tracking pollution at a personal level Two big stories from 2014 were the amount of air pollution in cities, especially in China, and the rise of “wearables” and other personal… Notable
How semi trucks can save billions of gallons of fuel   How semi trucks can save billions of gallons of fuel Each year, over two million long-haul trucks crisscrossing America consume nearly 36 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Researchers at… Notable
Visualizing the stories data can tell nbsp; Feature Visualizing the stories data can tell  
Climate resilience (with oysters)   Climate resilience (with oysters) Earth’s rising temperatures mean more glacier melt, sea-level rise and severe weather, and this translates to heightened threats for… Notable
The man behind Africa’s growing digital democratization movement nbsp; Article The man behind Africa’s growing digital democratization movement  
Sustainia wants us to start acting today, not tomorrow nbsp; Photo Sustainia wants us to start acting today, not tomorrow  
Well water win-win   Well water win-win Solve two problems with one filter? That’s what Drinkwell aims to do. Begun through a collaboration between researchers at Lehigh… Notable
A strategic approach to plastics   A strategic approach to plastics Plastic’s versatility renders it almost indispensable in today’s world, but plastic waste is a huge environmental burden. To make it… Notable
A New Generation of GMOs nbsp; Feature A New Generation of GMOs  
Second Life for Shipping Waste nbsp; Video Second Life for Shipping Waste  
Not Such a Nutty Idea   Not Such a Nutty Idea It’s an unconventional question: What do you get when you mix coconut husk fibers and recycled plastics? The answer: A sustainable material… Notable
Nets That Save Fish nbsp; Feature Nets That Save Fish  
Can Ants Help Slow Climate Change?   Can Ants Help Slow Climate Change? Ants are mighty little creatures. They inhabit every continent on Earth except Antarctica. They can lift 10 to 50 times their body weight… Notable
A Smarter Solution to Smog   A Smarter Solution to Smog Last year, Beijing’s concentration of fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) averaged nearly four times the World Health Organization’s… Notable
Why Our Buildings Should Be Made From Wood nbsp; Voices Why Our Buildings Should Be Made From Wood  
Chemicals Are Skin Deep   Chemicals Are Skin Deep Ever wonder if all those strange sounding ingredients in your shampoo, deodorant or lipstick are healthy or harmful for you and the… Notable
World of Solutions   World of Solutions In a world where climate disasters, pollution, and biodiversity loss dominate the news cycle, it’s easy to lose sight of the exciting… Notable
Climate Change up Close nbsp; Feature Climate Change up Close  
After the Oil Spill nbsp; Article After the Oil Spill  
Using Water to Clean Water   Using Water to Clean Water Clean drinking water is a basic necessity, and figuring out more efficient ways to purify water will be more important than ever as we move… Notable
Z Is for Inspiration nbsp; Feature Z Is for Inspiration  
Shrimp Shells to Plastic   Shrimp Shells to Plastic Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a revolutionary new alternative to… Notable
Connecting Health and Environment Data Dots   Connecting Health and Environment Data Dots Is there a link between hot, muggy weather and asthma? Will more or fewer people suffer fall-related sprains as cold-season climate warms… Notable
Biomimicry Goes To School nbsp; Video Biomimicry Goes To School  
Why Rare Earth Recycling Is Rare (And What We Can Do About It) nbsp; Feature Why Rare Earth Recycling Is Rare (And What We Can Do About It)  
A Long-term Forecast   A Long-term Forecast The impacts of climate change are being felt around the world, but have you ever wondered how they might affect your neck of the woods? If… Notable
Screen for Safer Chemicals   Screen for Safer Chemicals Inventors and others who want to factor in environment and health as they formulate new chemicals or make policy or procurement decisions… Notable
Can Today’s Technology Save Us? nbsp; Feature Can Today’s Technology Save Us?  
Growing Up   Growing Up If you’re in the market for a new place with a natural setting surrounded by lush vegetation and trees, you’re probably not looking at… Notable
We (Heart) Innovation   We (Heart) Innovation Do you like generating novel ideas? You can have fun thinking them up and put them to good use, too, as a participant in a Challenge Driven… Notable
The First Energy Technology nbsp; Voices The First Energy Technology  
Energy Savings in 3-D   Energy Savings in 3-D Additive manufacturing, more commonly known as 3-D printing, is among the many world-saving ideas favored by techies, as well as by a… Notable
Making Light of Gravity   Making Light of Gravity Combine a weight, a rope, an LED, inspiration and some savvy crowdfunding, and what do you get? GravityLight. Developed by British… Notable
The Worth of a Tree   The Worth of a Tree Trees provide communities with many benefits: They offer energy-saving shade and shelter from wind, absorb carbon dioxide, create habitat… Notable
3-D Sustainability   3-D Sustainability Which is more environmentally friendly: purchasing mass-produced small plastic components or making your own using a 3-D printer? Michigan… Notable
Landscaping for Sustainability nbsp; Article Landscaping for Sustainability  
Power Walk   Power Walk Power generation is taking a green step forward. Street tiles that capture the kinetic energy of footsteps — to power lights, digital… Notable
New Window on Energy Savings nbsp; Article New Window on Energy Savings  
Getting Our (Toxic Substances) Act Together nbsp; Feature Getting Our (Toxic Substances) Act Together  
Silent Green   Silent Green Among the many benefits green roofs and similar urban plantings provide is a quieting effect as leaves absorb sound bouncing off roads… Notable
Conservation Crowdsourcing   Conservation Crowdsourcing Conservationists may soon have a powerful new tool in the fight against illegal fishing. FishNET, developed by the Center for Ocean… Notable
Mobile Meteorology nbsp; Article Mobile Meteorology  
Bright Idea   Bright Idea For years light-emitting diodes have been seen as a greener alternative to incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. But they come with a cost… Notable
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