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London Introduces The World’s First All-Electric Double-Decker Bus

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London’s iconic double decker buses are getting an environmentally friendly makeover. Transport For London has announced plans to create five new electric buses, each of which will cost in excess of £350,000 (around $499,000) to construct. According to The Evening Standard, the shiny red buses will retain their famous exterior, but beneath the hood they will be 100 percent electric.

The first of the brand new fleet is set to hit the streets starting next month and will be the world’s first fully electric double-decker bus. The buses are part of a pilot program, which means if all goes well, more electric buses could be in store for Londoners.

According to Tech Story, the new buses were designed to run all day on a single charge, and will be able to travel up to 180 miles before they need to be plugged in. Buses take four hours to completely re-charge, which means they’ll likely be charged each night in preparation for the next day’s journey.

In addition to cutting down on air pollution, the near-silent buses will also cut down on noise pollution and represent a step towards a healthier London.

“We know London’s air quality is not as good as it should be,” Leon Daniels of Transport For London told The Evening Standard. “Buses represent a material amount of the vehicles on the roads. Cutting their emissions will make a material difference to London’s air quality.”

[h/t Evening Standard]

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All National Parks Are Offering Free Admission on April 21
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Looking for something to do this weekend that's both outdoorsy and free? To kick off National Park Week, you can visit any one of the National Park Service's more than 400 parks on April 21, 2018 for free.

While the majority of the NPS's parks are free year-round, they'll be waiving admission fees to the more than 100 parks that normally require an entrance fee. Which means that you can pay a visit to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite, or Yellowstone National Parks without reaching for your wallet. The timing couldn't be better, as many of the country's most popular parks will be increasing their entrance fees beginning in June.

The National Park Service, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016, maintains 417 designated NPS areas that span more than 84 million acres across every state, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

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environment
How the Planet Has Changed Since the First Earth Day in 1970
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The first Earth Day in 1970 was celebrated with protests, nature walks, concerts, and other activities meant to spark interest and engagement in the planet's well-being. Since then, April 22 has been a day to reflect on our impact on the environment, on broad and individual scales. So just how much has the Earth changed since the first Earth Day 48 years ago? According to this video from the American Museum of Natural History, it's changed a lot, and not for the better.

The world's population has doubled since 1970, from 3.7 billion then to over 7 billion today. While there are more people consuming resources, more resources are also being consumed per person. On average, we're each burning 37 percent more fossil fuel than we were in 1970, eating 60 percent more meat, and taking 495 percent more plane trips. All that consumption adds up to 1.2 trillion tons of CO2 emitted in the past five decades, which contributed to ocean waters warming 1°F and sea levels rising more than 5 inches.

Those numbers look pretty grim, but it isn't all bad news: Humans have also made significant strides toward protecting the environment in that same period, including passing the Endangered Species Act, designating protected marine areas, and signing international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe.

People are also more aware of what can be done on a personal level to reduce their carbon footprint. For tips on how to be greener this Earth Day, check out our list of eco-friendly habits.

[h/t American Museum of Natural History]

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