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There a number of threats to the health and safety of drinking water in Ann Arbor, and there are some major decisions to be made in the near future. The discussions center on whether to keep the city’s water autonomous and invest in local facilities or create the infrastructure needed to get water from the Detroit system. Either way, there will be …
 
Nestled on the eastern side of Ypsilanti Township is a neighborhood park that is largely grass-covered and is an underutilized resource. That is changing. Tajalli Hodge is an elected member of the Ypsilanti Township Parks Commission and has taken initial steps to make the park a community gathering place that also enhances the area’s environmental …
 
For many, Monarch butterflies symbolize some of nature's beauty. Yet, you may have noticed fewer of them around in recent years. Erin Zylstra is a postdoctoral researcher in Michigan State University's department of integrative biology. She joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the human impact that has put the monarch on a path toward extinction.…
 
Many Washtenaw County residents prefer their bicycles instead of cars as a means for transportation. In fact, the popularity of non-motorized transportation continues to grow. Larry Deck is on the board of the Washtenaw Bicycling and Walking Coalition. He joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss work being done on the Border-to-Border Trail and the Camp…
 
Washtenaw County had already declared an official climate emergency, and it has set a goal of getting the entire county carbon neutral by the year 2035. The "Climate Action Planning Team" has been formed, and the next steps are being taken. Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners chair Sue Shink joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the work ahead.…
 
When it comes to environmental protection and sustainability, getting a better handle on America’s “throw away culture" is important. That's the motivation behind the upcoming "Trash Talk" tour in Ann Arbor. WEMU’s David Fair checked in with Dan Ezekiel from the Washtenaw Zero Waste Coalition to learn more about the tour, what it offers those who p…
 
Glyphosate, which is usually found in stores as the product Roundup, is the most frequently used herbicide in the world. While it is effective in killing weeds, it is also harmful to health. A recent study out of the University of Michigan links exposure to pre-term births. WEMU's David Fair spoke with the study's senior author, Dr. John Meeker, ab…
 
Whether you frequent fast food restaurants or only stop by occasionally, the wrappers your food comes in may be doing harm to your health. Recent s tudies have found PFAs and other harmful chemicals in food packaging. State Representative Yousef Rabhi of Ann Arbor has introduced legislation to ban the use of such chemicals in food packaging. He joi…
 
The City of Ann Arbor has set an ambitious goal of achieving communtiy-wide carbon neutrality by 2030. The steps are set forth in the city's A2Zero plan. It is likely, however, that, to meet the target, taxpayers will have to help. Mayor Christopher Taylor recently presented a one-mill, 20-year, property tax plan to make it possible. He joined WEMU…
 
For many in Washtenaw County, environmental justice is lacking. Low income residents and people of color often find themselves subjected to environmental hazards, while the more affluent do not. Washtenaw County Commissioner Justin Hodge has made environmental justice a priority and discusses the successes and challenges that remain with WEMU's Dav…
 
Flooding, pollution, and overall water quality have dominated the news lately. While municipal water systems cover the majority of state residents, 35% operate on a septic system. Regulations and code varies from place to place, and many of the systems are aging and in deteriorating shape. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County environm…
 
The buses and heavy trucks that travel our towns and highway system contribute a significant part of the emissions causing climate change. We are in the midst of transition, as manufacturers are moving more toward electric vehicle production. WEMU's David Fair and Charles Griffith, the director of the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center's climate and en…
 
Washtenaw Community College has announced it plans to run 100% on renewable energies by the year 2029. In part, it plans to get there by signing on to DTE Energy's MIGreenPower program. The utility's renewable solutions director, Brian Calka, joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the agreement with WCC, the program itself, and DTE's plans for a more …
 
Energy poverty is a problem all too many low-income households have to contend with. While more affluent households leave a bigger carbon footprint, it is usually people of color that suffer the most economic and health consequences. University of Michigan assistant professor and Urban Energy Justice Lab director Dr. Tony Reames explores the issues…
 
Curbside recycling is common practice, yet many residents are still placing unrecyclable materials in their bins. That's why the Washtenaw Regional Resource Management Authority (WRRMA) has started an audit and educational program to help property owners make better recycling decisions. Della DiPietro, who serves as both Ann Arbor Township treasure…
 
When it comes to our environment and natural resources, it's important to know how your tax dollars are being spent. Every five years, the Washtenaw County Conservation District (WCCD) gets the public's opinion through an online survey, and the latest is underway. The WCCD's executive director, Megan DeLeeuw, joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the…
 
It's a great time of year to get outdoors! But, there are some potentially harmful critters waiting for you. Ticks have expanded their habitat in Michigan, and there is a major increase in the populations in Washtenaw County and Southeast Michigan. WEMU's David Fair checked in with Michigan State University entomologist Howard Russell to find out w…
 
Over many years, there has been a precipitous decline in our bee populations and that has a significant and negative impact on agriculture and the health of our ecosystem. Bees are one of our great pollinators, and human habitat is a major problem. University of Michigan doctoral candidate Gordon Fitch shares with WEMU's David Fair a novel approach…
 
Gardening season is in full swing, and folks are ready to buy the essentials, such as natural fertilizers. Yet, buyers should beware. A national study conducted by the Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center and the Sierra Club found a number of top-selling fertilizers contain the "forever chemicals" known as PFAS. Jeff Gearhart is research director for Hea…
 
The apparel industry is always changing but rarely with sustainability in mind. You might be surprised at how damaging the industry is to the environment. WEMU's David Fair spoke with someone who is not and who is doing something about it. John Ames Jr. is co-founder and CEO of JOOB Activewear, and sustainability is at the center of his personal an…
 
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