Featuring great stories and great solutions, OnEarth is a survival guide for the planet. Published by the Natural Resources Defense Council since 1979, we explore the challenges that confront our world, the solutions that promise to heal it, and the way we can use those solutions to improve our homes, our health, our communities, and our future. Follow OnEarth on Facebook or Twitter.


Is your shampoo making you fat?

More research suggests that the toxic chemicals present in our everyday lives play a role in the obesity epidemic.

What ever happened to the party of national security?

This OnEarth column was written by George Black. I don’t spend a lot of time listening to Rush Limbaugh. But driving through Wyoming recently, I chanced upon his distinctive cadences on my car radio. I couldn’t find a reliable signal for NPR, I don’t like Mötley Crüe, and I was getting tired of listening to the preacher on a Christian station who was giving listeners his interpretation of the stream of crazy weather events and disasters this spring — raging wildfires in Arizona, floods on the Mississippi, epic tornados in the Southeast, record snowfall in the Rockies. The preacher told …

How to build a better playground

This story was written by Shanti Menon. In her new book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation, Berkeley-based environmental planner Sharon Danks explores the ways in which landscape design, architecture, child development, and nutrition converge in the schoolyard. OnEarth sat down with Danks, whose firm, Bay Tree Designs, Inc, is helping redevelop some 29 San Francisco schoolyards, to talk about how communities are transforming the asphalt playgrounds of the past into green spaces conducive to better learning, eating, and playing. Q. How have playgrounds changed since we were kids? A. Playgrounds these days are influenced largely by liability …