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The University of Vermont Officially Recognizes ‘Neutral’ as a Gender

Wish schools would ditch the tired gender binary already? It’s happening.

Wish schools would ditch the tired gender binary already? Fret not, trans and genderqueer rights crusaders. The University of Vermont is leading the way.

Image via Creative Commons

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Vermont Farmers Pilot a Whiz-Bang Solution to Fertilizer

Pee-cycling saves water, feeds plants, and helps low-income farmers. What’s not to love?

More than 170 volunteers in the Brattleboro area have contributed urine to the Rich Earth Institute field trials.

For the past few years, a handful of folks up in Brattleboro, VT have been saving their pee in giant tubs. Or rather, they’ve been relieving themselves into the special urine-separating toilets provided at many public events in the small town of 12,000, which collect their potent leftovers into a giant vat, and are then handed over to local farmers. While most people might not enjoy receiving a giant vat of pee, these farmers are delighted with this traditionally repulsive gift. This exchange is part of a pilot program in Vermont, known colloquially as pee-cycling, and it may just serve as a brilliant and effective solution to the world’s waste disposal and agricultural woes at once.

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Vermont Kicks the War on Drugs

The state is tackling its heroin epidemic through public health efforts instead of a criminal justice crusade

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

In an April exposé, Rolling Stone magazine called “bucolic” Vermont “the new face of heroin,” contrasting its wholesome maple-syrup-and-flannel image with a frightening epidemic afflicting small New England towns and snatching the souls of its young people.

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The Ineffable Flavors of Maple Trees, Mapped The University of Vermont's Map of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is more flavors than just maple and sugar, and researchers have mapped out the sensory profile of North America's iconic wild sugar.

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Hundreds of Doctors Say They'd Move to Vermont for Single-Payer Healthcare

If Vermont passes universal healthcare, it can probably expect an influx of physicians, too.


One of the most used arguments against universal healthcare programs is that "the doctors hate them." Despite the fact that it's not true, the "doctors hate it" protestation tends to get more attention than it's due because it sounds scary: "If doctors don't like universal healthcare, does that mean we won't have any doctors if we adopt it?"

A world without doctors would indeed be scary. Luckily for us, that's not going to happen.

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Good News: Oregon Will Go Coal Free

Oregon is planning to close it's last coal power plant by 2020, at which point it will join a small club of coal-free states.


Oregon is planning to close its last coal power plant, that one in the picture above, ahead of schedule.

There's currently only one lonely coal-fired power plant in all of Oregon. But by 2020, there will be none—Portland General Electric Co., which operates the plant, has announced that it will either shutter the 585 megawatt Boardman plant or convert it to burn biomass. In less than 10 years, the state of Oregon will be coal-free.

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