Day: March 3, 2016

Webinar: Creating a Winning Collegiate Sports Sustainability Program

Thu, Mar 24, 2016 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CDT
Register at

Over the past decade, a growing number of collegiate athletic programs have initiated or expanded their sustainability systems. With athletics traditionally recognized as “the front porch of the campus,” campus sustainability efforts also benefit from the high profile and fan engagement that athletics initiatives bring. This webinar will highlight collegiate sports greening and its benefits to the campus, how athletics and sustainability staff and other stakeholders can work together to build a collegiate sports greening program, how to get credit for sports greening in STARS, and how to win new sponsors to help fund sustainability.

Panel Discussion Will Cover:

  • How to leverage colleges’ and universities’ biggest sustainability platform – sports
  • Engaging campus sports program: what do they want?
  • Fielding a sports sustainability team: student/staff/community power-plays
  • Kickoff: A zero waste ground game sets up the long pass
  • Paying it forward: sponsorships, bigger teams, and brighter lights

Speakers Include:

  • John Galvin | Assistant Manager of Athletic Operations & Facilities, CU-Boulder
  • Angie Gilbert | Zero Waste Events Manager, ESPN; Environmental Center, CU-Boulder
  • SarahDawn Haynes | Outreach Manager, Environmental Center, CU-Boulder
  • Allen Hershkowitz | President, Green Sports Alliance
  • Brandon Leimbach | Sr. Manager- Business Development, Learfield Sports
  • Dave Newport | Director, Environmental Center, CU-Boulder

Chief justice rejects plea to block air pollution rule

Read the full story in The Hill.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts rejected a plea Thursday to block a contentious air pollution rule for power plants in a big victory for the Obama administration.

Roberts’s order came despite his court’s 5-4 decision last year ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulation, known as the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, is illegal.

Michigan led a group of 20 states last month — empowered by the Supreme Court’s recent unprecedented decision to halt the EPA’s carbon dioxide rule for power plants — in asking the court to live up to its ruling last year and block the regulation’s enforcement.

Most Urban Farmers Aren’t Making a Living

Read the full story at CityLab.

A new type of agriculture has recently taken shape in American cities. Vacant properties and high-rise rooftops are morphing into farms, yielding fresh produce and honey, and exposing urban dwellers to the once strictly rural activity of food production. But sadly (and perhaps nor surprisingly), it might be a passing fad.

At least that’s what a new study published in the British Food Journal suggests. Carolyn Dimitri, the lead author and an associate professor of food studies at New York University, set out to assess the viability of American urban farming and to identify what drives urban farmers. She and her colleagues found that about two-thirds had a social mission that went beyond food production and profit. She also found that, regardless of their mission, roughly two-thirds of urban farmers say they’re failing to make a living, reporting sales below $10,000 per year.

How to tell your sustainability story

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Sustainability is essentially “an invisible idea,” but it doesn’t have to stay that way. That’s howSolitaire Townsend described it, reflecting the hopes of many attending our GreenBiz 16 event in Scottsdale, Arizona, last week.

Townsend, co-founder of Futerra Sustainability Communications, kicked off a lively presentation that blamed a surplus of acronyms and other barriers for preventing sustainability professionals from making their work known to the C-suite, consumers and so many stakeholders in between.

Does a Carbon Tax Work? Ask British Columbia

Read the full story in the New York Times.

In 2008, the British Columbia Liberal Party, which confoundingly leans right, introduced a tax on the carbon emissions of businesses and families, cars and trucks, factories and homes across the province. The party stuck to the tax even as the left-leaning New Democratic Party challenged it in provincial elections the next year under the slogan Axe the Tax. The conservatives won soundly at the polls.

Their experience shows that cutting carbon emissions enough to make a difference in preventing global warming remains a difficult challenge. But the most important takeaway for American skeptics is that the policy basically worked as advertised.

Is Nutritious Food In Peril, Along With Pollinators?

Read the full story from NPR.

Here’s an exercise in deductive logic, with implications for our food supply.

Fact: Insects such as bees and butterflies are helpful, and sometimes essential, for producing much of our food, including a majority of our fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Fact: Many of these pollinators, especially wild ones such as bumblebees, are in trouble. In Europe, where the phenomenon has been studied most carefully, about a third of all bee and butterfly species are declining, and 9 percent are threatened with extinction.

The seemingly logical conclusion? Food production will decline along with the pollinators.

Online Shopping Is Greener, But That Doesn’t Mean We’re Using Our Cars Any Less

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Is online shopping greener than hopping into the car and driving to the store every time we need something? The answer, according to researchers at the University of Delaware, is yes. But as you’d expect, it’s not quite that simple.

The model for online shopping is indeed greener. One van visiting your street each day, bringing goods to anyone who ordered them, is better than everyone in each street driving to the store each day in their own vehicle. But the newly published study shows that the situation is complex, and that the rise of home-delivery, thanks to online shopping, hasn’t led to a decrease in traffic at all.

Biofuel From Fungi: Barnyard Poop Has Potential To Be Broken Down and Turned Into Energy

Read the full story in Newsweek.

Next time you pass a roadside farm, don’t hold your nose. The source of that smell could fuel your car someday. Scientists have found out how to harness the power of fungi from the guts of horses, goats and sheep to break down biomass that can be used as fuel.

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara, have learned that these anaerobic gut fungi perform as well as the best fungi engineered by industry to convert plant material into sugars that are easily transformed into fuel. “Nature has engineered these fungi to have what seems to be the world’s largest repertoire of enzymes that break down biomass,” says UCSB professor of chemical engineering Michelle O’Malley, the lead author on a study published in the February 18 issue of Science.

Instead Of Just Sending Bottled Water To Flint, This Company Plans To Build Purification Stations

Read the full story in Fast Company.

As millions of bottles of water are donated to Flint as a stopgap for its lead contamination crisis, the city has a new problem: enormous piles of plastic trash.

Michael Moore has argued that homes should get 55-gallon drums instead, and daily deliveries from water trucks (and that anyone who wants to leave the city should be evacuated). A water filter company wants to try something else—new neighborhood refill stations that can purify tap water until the city can overhaul its broken infrastructure.

Can Crowdfunding Fill the Science Funding Gap?

Read the full story in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Science funding is an increasingly competitive game, with funding rates falling into single-digit percentages for some of the largest grant agencies. It’s more and more difficult for early career scientists to win significant grants — especially while rotating through a series of short-term postdoctoral fellowships. Meanwhile, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon, Experiment, and a plethora of others have been surging, with many projects attracting more than $1-million. That’s led scientists to ask the obvious question: Can I use crowdfunding to finance my research?

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