Webinar: Preventing Food Waste Upstream: A Source Reduction Approach

November 16, 2017 — noon-1:30 pm CST
Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/5416976415757959938

The top tier of EPA’s Food Recovery Hierarchy is source reduction, which is reducing the volume of surplus food generated. Source reduction can be challenging to understand, quantify, and implement. Businesses and organizations can learn to effectively prevent wasted food by taking source reduction steps such as inventorying supplies, changing processes, and buying less. Looking through a sustainable materials management lens, preventing wasted food provides the greatest potential for cost savings and resource conservation relative to the other food recovery hierarchy activities, as demonstrated by the US EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM). This webinar will introduce progressive examples from a state agency and the business community that prevent wasted food at the source.

How to Achieve a Zero Energy Building

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

Almost 48 percent of energy in the U.S. goes to residential and commercial buildings. Zero energy buildings drastically reduce that energy use by slashing the demand for energy, while supplying the remaining energy needs from renewable energy sources, such as solar panels. Zero energy buildings are connected to the grid, drawing power at night or during sunless days and sending power to the grid when the sun is shining. They not only cut net energy use and net carbon emissions to zero, but also lower cost of ownership and enhance the quality of life of their occupants.

The key components of a zero energy building include simple, off the shelf technologies beginning with energy modeling software, such as Energyplus for commercial buildings or REM/Rate for homes. This technology, used during the design phase, with the architect, engineer, general contractor, HVAC specialist and building energy consultant working together, helps determine the most cost effective mix of the following energy saving technologies needed to get to zero energy.

Cocktail tests on toxic waste called for

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Surprisingly low concentrations of toxic chemicals — from fungicides to antidepressants — can change the way some aquatic creatures swim and feed, according to new research. In addition, depending on the cocktail of toxins they can produce unexpected results.

Journal reference: N. De Castro-Català, I. Muñoz, J.L. Riera, A.T. Ford. “Evidence of low dose effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine and the fungicide prochloraz on the behavior of the keystone freshwater invertebrate Gammarus pulex.” Environmental Pollution, 2017; 231: 406 DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2017.07.088

Amazon, Microsoft and Google get low grades on recycling policy from Greenpeace

Read the full story from Waste Dive.

In a report from Greenpeace, Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Samsung all received low grades in the area of resource consumption. Fairphone received the highest grade, followed by Dell, HP, Apple and Lenovo. The organization also released a detailed report card, broken down into categories and sub-categories, explaining how it assigned rankings.

EPA to restrict settlements with environmentalists

Read the full story in The Hill.

The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pledging to crack down on settlements with environmental groups that sue the EPA.

“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in a statement on Monday announcing a new policy that seeks to increase transparency in the process through which the agency settles regulatory lawsuits with environmentalists and other outside groups.

IKEA signs circular economy deal

Read the full story in Innovators Magazine.

IKEA Finland has signed a deal with natural gas company Gasum to use food waste from its Finnish stores to produce biogas. Gasum gas stations will be built at Finnish branches of IKEA as part of the agreement, with the first one due to be in place at IKEA Espoo before the end of the year.

Evaporation could offer renewable energy

Read the full story at EnvironmentalResearchWeb.

Natural evaporation could provide most of the electricity used by the US and also save about one fifth of the water it uses, scientists believe.