How Some Governments and Nonprofits are Working to Reduce Food Waste

Read the full story at Waste360.

Some local governments and nonprofits are addressing the issue of food waste through multipronged approaches, such as scalable consumer education programs and supports for businesses. Meanwhile, a new federal act has been introduced attempting to tackle all food waste types, with a spectrum of potential solutions.

For Your Next Adult Coloring Book, Shade In Data On Climate Change

Read the full story in Fast Company.

In a new coloring book, you can trace a line around the border of arctic sea ice in 1996 and shade in what has been lost since then–an area the size of India–or you can color-code each day of 2015 based on the level of air pollution in Beijing. You can also color in coastlines to show the land that will be lost to sea level rise, or challenge yourself to color in 20 football fields in a minute, the rate at which global forests are disappearing.

Natural gas generators make up the largest share of overall U.S. generation capacity

Read the full story from the Energy Information Administration.

In 2016, natural gas-fired generators accounted for 42% of the operating electricity generating capacity in the United States. Natural gas provided 34% of total electricity generation in 2016, surpassing coal to become the leading generation source. The increase in natural gas generation since 2005 is primarily a result of the continued cost-competitiveness of natural gas relative to coal.

“Science Is Antithesis of Fake News,” Says Wildlife Conservation Society President Ahead of Earth Day and March for Science

The following statement was issued today by Wildlife Conservation Society President and CEO Cristian Samper on the importance of science to wildlife conservation:

“Science is at the core of wildlife conservation. It allows us to understand how to conserve wildlife and wild places and measure the impact of our work to save them. At WCS, we march for science every day through our field work in nearly 60 nations and in our zoos aquarium in New York City.

“We could not do our work without science. Our WCS scientists produce more than 400 research papers a year. Science has informed our work throughout our 122-year history – helping to discover new species, to prevent the extinction of species, to achieve recovery of species, to establish protected areas, and to inform policies that help wildlife and communities thrive together.

“In our early years, science helped us prevent the extinction of the American Bison; it helped us inform the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and it helped us inform a ban on commercial whaling, among many other conservation successes during our first century.

“More recently, science has given us important data that will help with the recovery of forest elephants that have been decimated by poaching. In a paper published last year in the Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers found that forest elephants begin breeding later and have much longer calving intervals than other elephants, which means the population takes much longer to increase. Low birth rates mean that it will take forest elephant populations at least 90 years to recover from their losses. WCS scientist Andrea Turkalo, lead author of the study who collected data over several decades, said this research provides critical understanding regarding the dire conservation status of forest elephants.

“In another paper published last year in Nature Communications, a team of scientists revealed a complex story of how humans are altering natural habitats at the planetary scale. WCS scientist, James Watson, a co-author of the paper, noted that the data and maps in the research show that three quarters of the planet is now significantly altered and 97 percent of the most species-rich places on Earth have been significantly altered.

“Those are just a few examples of the importance of science as we work to protect nature and wildlife. And that is why I will be marching in Washington, DC, on the 47th anniversary of Earth Day at the March for Science with my family, our WCS colleagues across the globe, and hundreds of our WCS advocates. All together, we are marching on six continents.

“By marching, we aim to celebrate science, not to politicize it.  While science is the fine print in all smart policy – at WCS, we want to highlight at the March for Science the importance of science to all our work. Science is behind the good news and bad news about wildlife conservation but it has nothing to do with the fake news. Science is the antithesis of fake news.

“In 1970, more than 20 million marched on the first Earth Day. I will be honored to march with the millions who are expected to march from around the world on Earth Day 2017 in recognition of the power of science. Science helps us navigate the complicated world of wildlife conservation with the facts. Nothing we do at WCS in our efforts to save wildlife is accomplished without science.”

 

Planting an Earth Day garden? Consider climate’s ‘new normal’

Read the full story at Climate.gov.

Among the most important factors determining which plants will thrive in a given location is how cold the winter is. Some plants and trees can’t tolerate sub-freezing temperatures, for example, while some require a chilling period of a minimum legnth in order to break winter dormancy and flower. If you’re planting a garden this Earth Day, this set of maps can help you see how planting zones where you live may have shifted over the past few decades in response to warming climate.

University uses 1,250 gallons of bad mayonnaise for power

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Last December, Michigan State University was faced with quite the conundrum. Freezing temperatures compromised the stores of mayonnaise for its dining services — 500 2.5-gallon containers of the stuff. It wasn’t spoiled, but it wasn’t usable either.

Usually when food products are not quite right, the MSU Food Stores donates them to the local food bank, but because of the lower quality and the huge amount, that wasn’t an option. It was also too much mayo to just throw out and waste.

Luckily, the school has sustainability officers tasked with curbing waste that came up with a great idea. The university has an anaerobic digester that helps to power farm areas and buildings on the south side of campus.

Marijuana meets Big Food: Why green weed isn’t easy to grow

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

One byproduct of patchwork laws governing marijuana in the U.S. is that businesses only legal in some states can’t expect the Department of Agriculture to sign off on their organic status. Third party groups and consultants are increasingly offering up their own sustainability certifications for cannabis, often for a fee.