Dear EarthTalk: Given the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last month, isn’t it high time the government put a stop to offshore oil drilling once and for all?
Dear EarthTalk: Which woods are OK to purchase, and which are not, in the interest of preserving forests and not harming those who depend upon them? — Jon Steiner, Boise, ID
Dear EarthTalk: What are the major threats to the Great Lakes in the United States and what’s being done to address them? — Saul G., Racine, WI
Dear EarthTalk: I pruned back an overgrown bush in my back yard last fall and now the soil around it is covered in dandelions and other weeds. Is there any way to get rid of these weeds without resorting to RoundUp and other chemical herbicides?
Dear EarthTalk: Oceans are in big trouble and I understand President Obama is creating a high level ocean council to address them. What are the major issues? — Steve Sullivan, Bothell, WA
Dear EarthTalk: A friend with many minor health problems recently switched to a diet of only raw plant foods and reports feeling much better. She also insists her new eating habits are better for the environment. Does this make sense or is the strange diet making her crazy? — Phil C., Reno, NV
Dear EarthTalk: My husband and I want to start a garden this year. I really want to make compost from leftover food scraps and yard materials. He says it will attract unwanted animals, and refuses to agree to it. Is he right?
Dear EarthTalk: Isn’t the interest in electric cars and plug-in hybrids going to spur increased reliance on coal as a power source? And is that really any better than gasoline/oil in terms of environmental impact? — Graham Rankin, via e-mail
Dear EarthTalk: I work for an office equipment company selling copiers, fax machines, computers and printers. Each year new models come out making old ones obsolete. What can we do with this old equipment?
Dear EarthTalk: When the plug-in Prius is released, how much electricity will it use? Will my electric bill double if my Prius is plugged in each night? Or will the increase be minimal? Also, will all this recharging put a strain on the existing electricity grid? — G.C. Marx, Colorado Springs, CO