Hi, welcome to our blog highlights. Every 15 days, we post a collection of blogs that talk about sustainability, global issues, environmental issues, and so on. These are some of the best blogs found on the internet in the sustainability realm from reliable sources. Enjoy our selection this week.

windmill Decoupling of Global Emissions and Economic Growth Confirmed

Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) – the largest source of man-made greenhouse gas emissions – stayed flat for the second year in a row, according to analysis of preliminary data for 2015 released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

“The new figures confirm last year’s surprising but welcome news: we now have seen two straight years of greenhouse gas emissions decoupling from economic growth,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol. “Coming just a few months after the landmark COP21 agreement in Paris, this is yet another boost to the global fight against climate change.” (Read More)

thermostat Conserving Energy is a Great way to Focus on your Finances

With tax day, it’s no wonder that Minnesota and the nation recognize April as Financial Capability Month. It’s a great reminder for us that one of the best ways to save money is by saving energy!

There are many basic no- and low-cost measures you can take to reduce energy use, cutting your utility bill and putting more money in your pocket.

Here are a few energy- and money-saving opportunities:

  • Use a programmable thermostat to reduce your heating and cooling costs.
  • Turn off computers and monitors when not in use. (Read More)

energyTop 5 Hybrid Energy News (Solar- and Wind-Diesel Hybrid + Microgrids)

The April edition of our “Top 5 Hybrid Energy News” underlines the boom of solar-diesel hybrid installations. We see more large installations and an increasing interest in storage solutions. This edition features a solar-diesel hybrid system with 30 MWp PV in Egypt by Masdar, an AES “microgrid” with 46 MWp PV from Wärtsilä in Jordan, 7.5 MWp of PV and 45MWh of Fluidic Energy storage for microgrids in Madagascar, from Solarcentury a 600 kWh storage system as part of a $2.5 million PV project in Kenya and 250kWp PV from DHYBRID for the island resort LA RACHA. (Read More)

herbsTen Culinary Herbs to Grow and Dry This Summer

When Shakespeare said that “rosemary and rue keep/seeming and savor all the winter long,” he may have been observing the herbs’ ability to withstand England’s moderate winter temperatures. In climates with long growing seasons, many culinary herbs can be harvested year round. And although rue is not as common as it was in Shakespeare’s time (the bitter little herb causes stomach upset in many people), the availability of herbs in winter is just as attractive as ever. (Read More)

extinct trees One in Five of World’s Plant Species at Risk of Extinction

Global report highlights threat to food security and medicine supplies but also reveals 2,000 new species are discovered each year.

One of the biggest factors threatening plant species is the destruction of habitats, including for farming, such as palm oil production (pictured) and cattle ranching. Photograph: Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images

One in five of the world’s plant species is threatened with extinction, according to the first global assessment of flora, putting supplies of food and medicines at risk.

But the report also found that 2,000 new species of plant are discovered every year, raising hopes of new sources of food that are resilient to disease and climate change. New finds in 2015 included a giant insect-eating plant first spotted on Facebook and a 100-tonne tree hidden in an African forest. (Read More)

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