Why the World Stays Green

The world is green with plants. The world also has thousands of species of plant-eating insects and other organisms. Why don’t all those insects eat all the plants? Why does the world stay green? TCR White, an entomologist from New Zealand, asks this question in a book (White 2005) and a series of fascinating papers. White argues that the answer is not…

Lawn with large tree in center

How Do Grocery and Meal Kit Deliveries Impact the Carbon Footprint of Our Food?

I explored opportunities to reduce environmental impact related to food preparation and food waste in previous Perspectives on Sustainability articles. However, transportation in the food supply chain is a significant contributor to carbon emissions: all the transportation and miles in between the farm and your plate are part of …

A cardboard box containing a meal kit.

Biodiversity, Healthy Soils, and their Combination in Regenerative Agriculture can Reduce but not Replace Fertilizer

“Dependent on off-farm inputs…” Can it be otherwise? People inside and outside of science like to point to how nature needs no inputs, yet still produces. Then, as above, they wonder…

Tropical rainforest

Vermifiltration: A low-cost, environmentally sustainable way to treat dairy waste?

What do you call the worm that ate Mozart? A DECOMPOSER! But for one central Washington dairy, a treatment system is using worms, not to decompose manure but to address the knotty and chronic issue of excessive nutrient levels. And now WSU researchers are studying just how helpful those worms might be to the Washington dairy industry.

Hand holding clump of worms and worm castings

Closing the Loop: How Well Could Fertilizer Derived from Dairy Manure Meet Crop Nitrogen Demand in Whatcom County, Washington

Manure can play a valuable role in crop production because of its ability to build soil fertility and soil health. Ironically, manure can pose a waste disposal issue for livestock producers. Why does this situation…

Map relating dairy location and N output to geographic crop N requirements