Author Archive: Michelle Werts


Go! Fight! Recycle!

I love sports. All kinds, from the insanely popular — college football and basketball — to the fanatical — hi, MLS and NHL — to the not-for-everyone, but awesome — I’m looking at you tennis and cycling. Basically, if it’s a sporting event, especially live, I’m there. Also, there is lots and lots of waste, […]

Missing the Cold

As we experience what I’m affectionately dubbing the dog days of winter — aka the unseasonably warm temperatures that much of the country has been experiencing of late — the news that some cold-loving flora may not survive the coming decades because of warming temperatures is hardly surprising, but still mightily depressing. According to researchers […]

Forested Beauty

This week in history, five of our states officially joined the United States: Georgia (1/2/1788) Connecticut (1/9/1788) Utah (1/4/1896) New Mexico (1/6/1912) Alaska (1/3/1959). In celebration, I wanted to share some of the forested beauty that you can experience in each. Georgia Our fourth state contains two national forests: Oconee and Chattahoochee National Forests, which […]

Those Wacky Trees: A 2011 Retrospective

Earlier this month, while helping research and recall some of 2011’s top environmental stories for our year-in-review article, I came across some headlines and stories that represent what I like to refer to as “Who’d have thunk?” And in the few remaining hours of 2011, I thought it would be fun to look back at […]

Greening the Silver Screen

Every family has their own holiday traditions. In my family, we go to the movies — this year, Aunt Missy took some wee ones to a family friendly film to get them out from under busy, cooking feet. But while going to the movies might be a favorite holiday pastime — or year round one—the […]

Messing With Texas

Apparently, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that you “Don’t mess with Texas.” First, there were the fires: 27,411 of them in 2011 through November 21 that destroyed almost four million acres. That’s 47 percent of the acreage burned by fire in the entire country for 2011. Almost 3,000 homes were ravaged along with nearly […]

Brazilian Insects to the Rescue

Guava. It’s a juice-bar staple because of its abundant amount of fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid and other dietary minerals. In the wild, it’s a small tree, only three to 16 feet in height, with colored berries. It’s native to Brazil — and the Hawaiian forests wish it had stayed there. Brought to […]

Going to Pot

On a trek through many of Southern California’s national forests, you might stumble upon an unexpected invasive species: cannabis. Yes, the same cannabis that is more commonly referred to as marijuana. The illegal production of marijuana in our national forests was first detected in 1995, and since then, the problem has spread to 20 states […]

Storms Are A-Brewing

It’s fitting that in a week when climate change talks were heating up and concluding in Durban, NOAA (the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) announced that 2011 set a record for weather disasters in the U.S. 2011 bore witness to 12 weather disasters that cost more than $1 billion in damage each for a […]

’Tis the Season for Giving

What does December bring to mind? For me, it’s a chill in the air — any day now would be nice, D.C. (this Midwest girl needs her snow) — baking, shopping and family, although not necessarily in that order. For many, December is also synonymous with Salvation Army Santas, Toys for Tots and other worthy […]