From KQED Science, find out how San Francisco’s 600 tons of compostable waste can be transformed into a dark, nutrient-rich material that will not only feed plants to improve the quality of what we eat and drink, but that also has the potential to offset America’s carbon emissions by over 20%. Above, agronomist Bob Shaffer takes us Inside the Compost Cycle.
Food scraps, mostly compostable, are over 30% of everyone’s garbage, and could instead help turn poor dirt into nutrient-rich soil where you live. If you’re interested in learning how to compost, check out these excellent links:
Watch more videos about sustainability, including the Moser Lamp, shaggy lawnmowers, Pierre’s high school greenhouse, Brooklyn’s Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, and how to use a paper towel.
Alaska: The Nutrient Cycle by wildlife filmmaker Paul Klaver.
Once they enter fresh water chum salmon stop feeding and morph into an aggressive creature intent only on mating. After spawning, they die and their bodies become a source of nutrients for everything in the forest and sea.
This 14 minute video had the kids riveted and shows how the end of the salmon’s life directly benefits the animals and ecosystem around them. A note a warning for more sensitive viewers: this video includes a lot of creatures eating very dead-looking fish.
There are more videos tagged with life cycle and death in the archives, including Radiolab’s excellent Whale Fall.
Via jtotheizzoe, watch Return of the Cicadas by Samuel Orr, a beautifully shot film that shows the insect’s unique 17-year life cycle in detail.
With soil temperatures along the East Coast now above the mid-60’s, the Brood II cicadas are up and chirping! Check out WNYC/Radiolab’s real-time Cicada Tracker map to see where they have been observed:
The video above is a jaw-droppingly superb look at the rise of the magicicada from its underground lair, their mass ascent to the trees, their monstrous metamorphosis into adults, and their brief mission to avoid being eaten and reproduce…
More cicada stuff:
If any of you on the East Coast have photos or video of abandoned shells, climbing juveniles, or chirping adults, I’d love to see them! Tweet me or email them to itsokaytobesmart at gmail dot com.
Sir David Attenborough with cicadas and so many insect videos(!) in the archives.