More in C-U answering call of ‘duty’

Read the full story in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette.

Scott Willenbrock’s two-story brick home in Champaign looks like any other. Built in 1929, it used to be drafty, racking up big energy bills. It would leak heat in the winter and cool air in the summer.

“I thought it was a lost cause,” said the University of Illinois physics professor.

But after doing some research, he discovered it wasn’t. He weatherized the home, sealing cracks and adding insulation. He put in LED lightbulbs and replaced appliances, installing a heat-pump dryer that dehumidifies clothes. He added geothermal heating and cooling, using the ground’s natural 55-degree temperature to regulate his home’s air. He added solar panels, providing enough energy for his entire home and one or two of his electric cars, depending on the year.

But the easiest thing he did was recycle.

A Look at One Woman’s Effort to Create a National Clearinghouse for Local Recycling Rules

Read the full story at Waste360.

It wasn’t until Tracy Bugh started researching recycling guidelines in Los Angeles to create a PSA that she learned she should be tossing her Starbucks cup in the trash, not the blue bin. She also learned that same holder for designer Joe is compostable in Santa Monica and recyclable in West Hollywood.

Three neighboring California cities and three different waste streams for the same single-use product…

Bugh doubled down with her savings and expertise in simplifying concepts for the general public to bootstrap Recycle by City, a website that she hopes to build into a national clearinghouse for local recycling information.

How the circular economy is taking off in the US

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Laptops made of plastic from old laptops. Aluminium car body parts made from old cars. Chemicals leased out, recovered, and leased again. These are just a few examples of how the circular economy, once seen as a Scandinavian speciality, is starting to spin in the United States.

The Latest Thing in Green: FIT students test environmentally friendly ways to reuse textiles

Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal.

Mention the Fashion Institute of Technology, and green innovation isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. But two FIT students are undertaking a project that they hope will make the fashion industry’s use of textiles more environmentally friendly.

While the recycling of plastic, aluminum and paper is now commonplace, the recycling of organic fabric is rare, because no one has come up with an easy, environmentally friendly way to do it.

But Lydia Baird and Willa Tsokanis hope to change that. Students in FIT’s textile development and marketing program, they found themselves asking why the school routinely tossed out reams of muslin, a cheap strain of cotton used throughout the industry to test designs, once students were finished with it. While biodegradable, it takes longer to break down when mixed with other landfill refuse.

From $0 to $9M In Two Years: Dukies Change Face of E-Waste Recycling

Read the full post at ExitEvent.

As co-founders of Smart Metals Recycling just outside Charlotte, former Duke students Shelly Li and Arun Karottu are tackling e-waste head on.

‘Human Resources,’ Season 2 (or How TerraCycle Hopes to Pave the Way for ‘Green’ on Reality TV)

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

“Human Resources” brings viewers behind the scenes and into the fast-moving environment of the TerraCycle office, following our efforts to develop new recycling models, create new products out of waste, and roll out new programs across the country. We realized that a precious balance would have to be maintained to keep the show fun and entertaining, yet valuable enough that our underlying message wasn’t lost in translation. The result is a fun, dynamic look into TerraCycle’s corporate culture, following various TerraCycle employees and the struggles and successes they encounter at a young, mission-driven company from Trenton, NJ.