Dowser is welcoming new writers/contributors; please send us a note at info@dowser.org with a writing sample.

Solutions for New York City’s Sewer Problem

Last week, Harlem residents held their noses as millions of gallons of untreated sewage water flowed straight into the Harlem and Hudson rivers because of a sewage plant fire. On…

Citizen scientists set out to quantify the value of urban farms

In cities all over the U.S., urban agriculture has joined the farmer’s market as an accessible, even trendy, way for city dwellers to assert their commitment to living sustainably. But…

Creating the sustainable city: Are imagination and leadership enough?

Without imagination, humans would be incapable of innovating. So it’s no surprise, with over half the population worldwide living in  overcrowded and resource-strapped cities, there are vibrant movements to re-imagine…

The importance of reaching out: Chris Clark of Sunflower Solutions

In this series social entrepreneurs discuss the importance of reaching out. From transforming strangers into business partners to saving flooded headquarters, our contacts and future contacts routinely prove integral to…

Slideshow: How Mafuta Sasa turns waste cooking oil into clean biodiesel

Michael Mwakilasa is not your typical Tanzanian entrepreneur, and Mafuta Sasa Ltd is not your typical African energy company. After spending a year experimenting with converting wasted vegetable oil (WVO)…

Big Solutions Start Small: How Ioby uses local crowdfunding to transform the global environment

Each Earth Day, programs, events and tree-plantings try to galvanize public awareness about environmental concerns.
But sometimes, widespread problems–like climate change–can seem so massive that individuals and grassroots groups may find it difficult to conceptualize how they can really make a difference–or even where to start.
NYC-based Ioby (In Our Back Yards) aims to change that.

Smaller isn’t always greener: why aren’t American homes more efficient?

Average American homes today are using essentially the same amount of energy per year as they were in 1970s – which seems odd, given the improvement of heating systems and…

BoP Slideshow: KOMAZA, innovations in microforestry and sustainablity in Africa

KOMAZA helps rural families in Africa plant and maintain small-scale, income-generating tree farms,  a new concept they call microforestry.  KOMAZA’s direct impact is threefold: First, KOMAZA workers hope to alleviate…

Interview: St. Bernard Project founders on risk-taking

In our risk-taking series, Tulane University and Ashoka U students Katie Smalley and Laura White shed light on the value of risk-taking. By interviewing social innovators about bold steps they’ve…

Growing Austin’s urban roots

Urban Roots started four years ago to connect students in Austin, Texas to their environment and food; today the project grows more than 25,000 pounds of vegetables and herbs each…

A sun-powered collective

At first blush, installing solar panels on your roof may seem like a great deal, both for your wallet and the environment. But as many homeowners have learned, residential solar…

New structures for helping Haiti rebuild

While most of the Haitians that were displaced by the devastating earthquake of more than a year ago are still living in tent cities and shacks made of plywood, one…

New York City’s bike share program to launch in 2012

New York City has been on a green-bent the last few years. The city kicked cars out of portions of Times Square creating pedestrian enclaves and painted a green network…

How to get action on climate change? Hint: Don’t scare us out of our wits.

We’ve been told time and time again that telling a child they can’t do something just makes them want to do it more. It is particularly difficult to resist a…

Broken City Labs: Using public art for urban renewal

Can public art projects effectively draw attention to areas of a city that need change? Cyclists from Broken City Labs believe so: they set up these large, brightly-colored letters reading…