Earth Beat, 18 May 2012. Stories of sharing. We explain how not to look a gift horse in the mouth (especially when there’s free energy at stake) and meet the people turning every bit of green space in their town – ditches, roundabouts, abandoned parking lots – into glorious edible gardens where the fruit and vegetables are for the taking.
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It sounds like the script for a cheesy British comedy: a group of ladies get together to grow enough free fruit and vegetables to feed their friends.
But the town of Todmorden is no fairy tale – it’s a unique experiment in food production. View photos.
The (expensive) gift of life
They say there’s no greater gift than a newborm baby and Earth Beat contributor Joel Stickley is about to find out if that’s true or not. As he and his wife prepare for parenthood, he writes a letter of thanks – and apologises for the extra pressure his offspring will put on the planet.
In the US, a hundred million rainbow trout are released into lakes and rivers every year. And the Sierra Nevada region in California is no exception.
According to Anders Halverson, author of An Entirely Synthetic Fish - a book all about the rainbow trout - it’s the perfect place to fish. But what was once seen as progress and a joy for anglers also comes with an environmental cost.
Many now are on a mission to reduce the numbers of the rainbow trout and restore the destroyed ecosystems. Anders spills the beans on the gift that went awry. View photos.
On Valentines Day 2011, Lucy and Tito Gehon tied the knot on the Filipino island of Palawan. But the wedding arrangements were not as you might imagine.
They were joined by 100 other couples taking up the offer of a free wedding. The major of Puerto Princesa offered this generous wedding gift on condition that each couple planted a mangrove sapling to help rejuvenate the plantation. View photos.
Lucy and Tito were the oldest couple taking part and describe their wedding day with a difference.
Dr Françoise Barbira Freedman was 22 and in the Peruvian Amazon with a native tribe, when her wisdom teeth started coming through, causing her huge amounts of pain. Her hosts gave her a wad of leaves that proved a very effective painkiller.
Fast forward 30 years and that "toothache plant" - acmella oleracea - is almost ready to join others on the pharmacy shelves.
And Dr Freedman is making sure that some of the profits go back to the Keshwa Lamas community who shared their botanical knowledge with her.
What if you could capture the heat created by compressors and generators used to force oil and gas through pipelines and turn it into green electricity? Turns out you can.
Victor Juchymenko from Great Northern Power Corp. lives in Canada’s oil-rich province of Alberta and has spent the last 10 years developing a system adaptable to the 10,000 compressors that crisscross the province – but so far, there haven’t been many takers, even though the energy’s free and green.