Environment

Raise the Green Roof

A Q&A with Recover Green Roofs Co-founder Brendan Shea Tell us about yourself and how you got to the point of founding this company. I started working for a wastewater engineering company that used plants and bacteria to treat wastewater. We were using living systems to provide a traditionally mechanical function for a building.  I […]


Greentown Labs All Stars: Autonomous Marine Systems

When you consider how much of the planet is covered in water, we don’t know all that much about our oceans. Less than five percent of the ocean has been explored, according to Autonomous Marine Systems (AMS) CEO Ravi Paintal. The ways that researchers currently collect ocean data are costly and inefficient, Paintal argues. Most […]


‘No Ph.D. Needed’: How Regular Citizens Can Help Prevent Biodiversity Loss

Only about 12 percent of Americans are literate in ecological issues, according to Claire O’Neill, founder of Somerville-based Earthwise Aware. The environmental advocacy organization’s goal is not to throw money at big beautification projects or to find a miracle solution for climate change and habitat loss, but to make gradual change through learning. “There is […]


Greentown Labs All Stars: Biobot Analytics

What’s the key to gathering more information about epidemics? Looking at sewage, Biobot Analytics Co-founder and CEO Mariana Matus suggests. Matus first became attuned to the vast data available in sewage while getting her Ph.D. in computational biology at MIT. She and fellow co-founder Newsha Ghaeli made a list of all the things they could […]


Groundwork Somerville Taps into New England Heritage

The sap was flowing on Tufts University’s campus in late January, where more than a hundred people gathered for Groundwork Somerville’s first tree tapping of the year.  Children took turns slowly drilling into the trees, hammering small spiles into the bark, and tasting droplets of sap, while program leaders explained how to identify and tap […]


Tufts to Research Air Quality in City’s Affordable Housing

Researchers from Tufts University will spend the next three years studying the air quality inside affordable housing built near busy roads in Somerville. The study will focus on Route 28, Route 38, and McGrath Highway, according to John Durant, the project’s principal investigator and an associate professor in civil and environmental engineering at Tufts. The […]


Food For All Expands to Farmers Markets

There’s nothing that ruins a weekend outing to the farmers market quite like a surprise thunderstorm. But while it’s always a bummer to slog home with rain-soaked canvas tote bags, the consequences of a midday downpour—or a heatwave, or a citywide event, or an unannounced MBTA closure—can be dire for the small, family-owned businesses that […]


‘We Envision Gas Stations As Hubs of Environmental Advocacy’

You use reusable shopping bags. You recycle, and maybe even compost. You take the T whenever you can. But sometimes, driving is unavoidable—maybe your job is inaccessible by public transit, or maybe the bus never showed. You take your car, even though you cringe when you think of the impact non-electric cars have on the […]


Food For All, Except the Dumpster

If you’re a restaurant, you never want to run out of food. Customers expect that you’ll have options available at all times, even near closing. They might find sparse shelves off-putting, and you’ll lose money if you don’t have what a customer wants to order. This expectation from customers pushes restaurants, especially grab-and-go establishments, to overproduce. […]


How to Reverse Your Car’s Environmental Impact

You use reusable shopping bags. You recycle, and maybe even compost. You take the T whenever you can. But sometimes, driving is unavoidable—maybe your job is inaccessible by public transit, or maybe the bus never showed. You take your car, even though you cringe when you think of the impact non-electric cars have on the […]