Vibrant Environment

All | Biodiversity | Climate Change and Sustainability | Environmental Justice | Governance and Rule of Law | Land Use and Natural Resources | Oceans and Coasts | Pollution Control

All blog posts are the opinion of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of ELI, the organization, or its members.

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Compost Waste Recycle

NRDC and the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) recently released a Model Ordinance Establishing a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) Program for Residential Municipal Solid Waste that can help municipalities reduce the amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) sent to landfills and incinerators and, at the same time, institute more transparent, efficient, and fair pricing for residential waste management. 

glass bottles and jars

Household recycling can reduce demand for virgin materials, limit waste sent to landfills, and lessen the cost of producing metal-, glass-, and paper-containing products. Understanding the policies most conducive to promoting recycling is key to success. The November 2023 issue of ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter looks at the efficacy of state and local recycling policies and identifies contexts where the greatest improvements are possible. Using the most comprehensive data set on U.S. household recycling behavior, authors Joel Huber, W.

Smokey the Bear
This past summer, devastating fires ravaged Hawai’i and smoke from Canada’s record-breaking wildfire season blanketed communities across the American East. The fires offered a vivid reminder of the destructive capabilities of wildfires such as those that burned on American shores during the record- breaking 2020 wildfire season that choked western cities.

On May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated a major swath of CWA protections when it issued its decision in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. In the Court’s view, the CWA extends to only those "wetlands with a continuous surface connection to bodies that are 'waters of the United States' in their own right," such that they are indistinguishable from those waters.

South Pole Sign - 6248 KM away

Something Was Messing With the Earth’s Axis. The Answer Has to Do With Us.” I have to take that headline in the New York Times personally, as a potentially responsible party more at fault and liable for damages than most.

Plastic Alien - photo by derekGavey / CC by 2.0 Deed

In late June, ELI co-hosted Moving Beyond Plastics: The Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Production, along with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and WilmerHale LLP.

Plastic bottles

Over the past decade, the issue of plastic waste has received growing attention, as powerful images of plastic in the natural environment have reached global audiences.

climate protest

In 1972, amidst calls for reform and on the heels of the nation’s first Earth Day, Montana amended its constitution to include an inalienable “right to a clean and healthful environment.” According to Art.


The fashion industry is growing exponentially, as are marketers’ use of claims about “sustainability” and other environmental attributes of fashion garments. This month’s featured article in ELR—The Environmental Law Reporter explores recent instances of greenwashing in the fashion industry and efforts to address the problem, and proposes specific ways that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should improve its guidelines for environmental marketing claims and expand enforcement.

Mount Trashmore

For decades, the East End neighborhood of Bridgeport, Connecticut, has faced the environmental, health and economic ordeal of Mount Trashmore, a three-story abandoned waste dump. In the 1990s, local community members’ advocacy helped clean up the site. Unfortunately, remediation was incomplete. The site became a magnet for illegal dumping, health hazards, disinvestment, and crime.