Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

There are many non-profit organizations in the Champaign-Urbana area that accept donations all year. My ISTC colleague Joy Scrogum compiled a list several months ago and I’ve added to it. If there are any I missed, let me know in the comments.

Updated August 19, 2015 to the Champaign-Urbana Theater Company’s donation policies. Continue reading Where to donate your used stuff in Champaign-Urbana

Clean Power Plan: Manufacturing Boon or Bust?

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

The Clean Power Plan has its day in court tomorrow. And as the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit prepares to hear oral arguments on the carbon pollution rules, two new studies suggest the Clean Power Plan will make manufacturers more competitive, not less as manufacturing and other industry groups have argued.

The Clean Power Plan requires existing coal-burning power plants to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. In February the Supreme Court stayed implementation of the rule while the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit determines its legality.

Twenty-seven states and dozens of industry groups including the National Association of Manufactures have challenged the Clean Power Plan, saying it will lead to unreliable energy supplies and be too costly for US businesses.

These new reports, however, seem to suggest otherwise.

The reports are:

Pipeline Protests a Pipedream?

Read the full story at the Society Pages.

Thousands led by Native Americans from across the country have converged on rural North Dakota over the past month to stop construction of the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Opponents say the pipeline is a threat to culturally and spiritually sacred sites as well as vital drinking water sources. Protesters have erected an encampment and are leading daily marches to the construction site demanding that the company and federal government halt construction in order to protect water and adhere to treaties with Native American tribes. This post outlines the issues and provides links to related research papers.

Fed Up: Aerial views of industrial feedlots illuminate their toxic impact on the land

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

Once upon a time, pigs and cows grazed on the same land where crops grew, moving from field to field with each new season. The livestock feasted on the cover crops; the soil, on the livestock’s enriching manure. Then, as demand for meat skyrocketed, a new model emerged: cramming thousands of animals onto muddy or dusty square miles called feedlots, where they are fattened mostly on bushel upon bushel of cheap corn. The high concentration of livestock and its waste releases excessive amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and bacteria into the water and air, but one of the biggest threats comes from elevated levels of ammonia, which can encourage algal blooms and weedy invaders in nearby lakes and streams.

Designing Our Future: engaging students on how to plan with an environmental justice mindset

Read the full post from EPA.

About the Author: Kofi Boone is an Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at North Carolina State University. His work focuses on the changing nature of communities and developing tools for enhanced community engagement and design.

Communities negatively impacted by city planning processes are most often the communities that lack the opportunity to participate in designing the environment around them. Whether it be the placement of amenities like parks or access to public transportation infrastructure, the narrative tends to be the same: low-income and minority populations aren’t involved in the design-making.

But I think that this problem presents an increasingly important opportunity for students interested in designing and planning for environmental justice.

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Download the document.

Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology — commonly referred to collectively as “nanotechnology” — is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits.

Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention particularly to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness in the field ; and  environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics and two others: nanomanufacturing and public attitudes toward nanotechnology.