Photo Credit: Rockaway Youth on Banner by user Light Brigading

Cutting Back: IP Authors Reflect On Their Carbon Footprints

With the end of COP 21 and the signing of the historic Paris Agreement, it’s not just countries that are thinking about how to reduce emissions—individuals are reflecting on how their habits and actions impact climate change as well. Island Press authors shared what they’re doing to reduce their carbon footprints and, in some cases, what more they could be doing. Check out their answers and share your own carbon cutbacks—or vices—in the comments. 
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On Interning at Island Press: Corpse Flowers and Mythical Creatures

In this installment Web and Social Media Intern Jennifer Chow discusses how the summer's biggest trends helped her promote Island Press' media pages. Summer 2013 will always be remembered as the summer of the blooming Corpse Flower in the Smithsonian Botanical Gardens, the rumors of the extinct Megalodon, and days at Island Press filled with Tweets about breaking environmental news. All of this laid the perfect platform for witty tweets and Facebook and our Island Press Field Notes blog headlines.
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It Is a Matter of Scale or What is the Connection between Brain Size and Sprawl

Scale is fundamental to urban design. If you get it right, and achieve a well-proportioned space between buildings, you have a sound basis to build upon. Even if the architecture is far from perfect, the public realm you create can be decent and comfortable. If you get the scale wrong and your master plan is built, even the most lustrous architecture won’t remediate the failure of space-making; people might still use it for utilitarian reasons (think the parking lot of a Wal-Mart), but will not enjoy it.
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Reduced or Not, the Mortgage Interest Deduction Can Help Fix Sprawl

As of late, the mortgage interest deduction (MID), a tax break many Americans have become accustomed to, has become the focus of much debate and controversy. It first became the subject of heated discussion when President Obama’s debt commission suggested its reduction. They argued that in addition to reducing deficits, such reform could also help slow the growth of sprawl.
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Seeking Sustainability, One Shrimp at a Time

Students at Pace University have produced this mini-documentary on sustainable shrimp farming. It tells the story of Linda Thornton, an aquaculture entrepreneur pushing the frontiers of sustainable shrimp farming in Belize.
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Bird Survey Suggests If You Plant It, They Will Come

The results of last month's annual Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge Bird Survey indicate that birds may colonize reforested areas much faster than experts had predicted. This year's surveyors spotted all five of the common native forest birds and four endangered forest birds within sections of the refuge that two short decades ago had been treeless areas dominated by non-native plants and animals. "I never thought I'd live to see this," said Jack Jeffrey, who coordinated this bird survey and was the refuge biologist from 1990-2008.