Month: February 2016

New anti-bacterial packaging doubles the shelf-life of perishable food

Read the full story from Science Alert.

Covering leftovers with plastic wrap (aka cling wrap) is a good way of keeping your food fresher for longer, but these films can be fairly limited, because they mainly prevent spoilage by sealing everything off from oxygen.

But a new kind of natural packaging wrap derived from the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans could go significantly beyond the preservation potential of today’s plastic wrap. Researchers have spent three years developing their new composite material, which they say can double the shelf-life of perishable food such as bread.

The film’s main constituent is chitosan, a polymer synthesised from the exoskeletons of crustaceans. According to team from the National University of Singapore, chitosan is an ideal material for use in food technology applications, as it’s bio-degradable and possesses an excellent film-forming ability.

Why companies see circular thinking as an emerging strategy

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Pushing reuse and deriving new value from the materials of production, Ellen MacArthur is branding a new economic model.

Accounting for Climate Change in Federal Environmental Impact Statements – New Report and Database

Read the full post at the Climate Law Blog.

The Sabin Center has just published a new report on the consideration of climate change in federal Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The report describes the results from a survey of 238 federal EISs published from July 2012 through December 2014. The survey is a follow-up to a prior assessment of climate change considerations published from January 2009 through July 2012. The report is accompanied by an Excel database which lists each of the EISs that was surveyed and identifies where and how these EISs discuss specific topics related to climate change.

Job announcement: Energy Engineer — Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is hiring an Energy Engineer with specialization in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  This position also works closely with the IUPUI Office of Sustainability to track GHG emissions, educate the IUPUI community on carbon footprint and footprint reductions, and lead sustainability efforts for IUPUI’s operations team.

For details and to apply:

Posting closes 3/12/16.

Webinar: New Data Tools for Supporting Analysis of Equitable Development and Environmental Justice

Fri, Mar 11, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM CST
Register at

Understanding the economic, social, and environmental challenges and opportunities communities face is a prerequisite for making investments that achieve their goals. To respond to this need, environmental justice stakeholders have begun developing analytical tools that can give communities rich and accessible information for supporting local goals for environmental protection and equitable development in cities and regions.

This webinar will cover two of these tools: EPA’s EJSCREEN, an environmental justice screening and mapping tool; and the National Equity Atlas, a comprehensive data resource to track, measure, and make the case for inclusive growth, developed by PolicyLink and the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity.

The presentations will explain what these tools are and how they have been used in real world scenarios to advance equity in local and regional development practices, followed by a question and answer session.

New grocery store in Denmark sells only castoff foods

Read the full story in Grist.

The world wastes a shocking amount of food. By some estimates, a third of the food we produce each year gets tossed out, left to rot on the vine, or spoils en route to the consumer. It’s shameful.

Solutions to the food waste problem have been proposed around the world, from campaigns to embrace ugly produce in France to President Obama’s initiatives to reduce food waste in the U.S. by 50 percent. And now, some Danes have come up with their own novel solution: A grocery store that sells castoffs.

Wefood, a crowdfunded and volunteer-run store in Copenhagen that opened earlier this week, sells only surplus food, or the stuff conventional stores toss out. And it does it at 30 to 50 percent cheaper than regular stores.

EDF Climate Corps Fellow helps DreamWorks Animation reduce energy use

Read the success story.

Lydia Krefta identified data center efficiency measures as well as campus-wide chiller savings.

Glow-in-the-dark bacterial lights could illuminate shop windows

Read the full story in New Scientist.

Bacteria may light up the future. Glowee, a start-up company based in Paris, France, is developing bioluminescent lights to illuminate shop fronts and street signs.

After a successful demo in December, Glowee has launched its first product – a bacteria-powered light that glows for three days. The company is now working on lights that will glow for a month or more.

University of Iowa researcher finds connections to Flint water crisis

Read the full story from the University of Iowa.

News of the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Michigan is leading researchers around the world to see if their communities might be susceptible to similar forms of contamination. Among them is UI Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and CGRER co-founder Jerry Schnoor.

In a February perspective in the journal Science, Schnoor and researchers in the U.S. and western Europe offered their insights into the best ways to reduce tap water contaminants. Among their preliminary findings is that residual disinfectants like chlorine may not be necessary if sufficient infrastructural standards are already in place.

Snyder removes communications director, press secretary

Read the full story in the Detroit Free Press.

Gov. Rick Snyder removed his communications director and press secretary Thursday amid the  Flint drinking water crisis, after each had been in their posts only a few months.

Meegan Holland is out as communications director and will be replaced by Ari Adler, who was press secretary to former House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall, and has held several other senior communications positions in the executive and legislative branches.

Dave Murray is out as press secretary, Snyder’s office announced. A new press secretary was not immediately named.

Adler becomes the fifth communications director since Snyder took office a little more than five years ago. Geralyn Lasher, Jeff Holyfield, Jarrod Agen and Holland held the post previously.

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