Day: April 12, 2016

Cities Create Their Own, Greener Transit Apps

Read the full story in Governing.

In an effort to help people become less car-dependent, cities like Denver are getting directly involved in the creation of transportation apps.

How U.S. Laws Do (and Don’t) Support E-Recycling and Reuse

Read the full story at Knowledge@Wharton.

There is no U.S. federal law that requires the recycling of electronic waste or prohibits it from being exported to developing countries. Some in Congress have tried to pass a bill that would make the overseas dumping of toxic e-waste illegal, but the Responsible Electronics Recycling Act (RERA) has been stuck in a House subcommittee for more than two years.

An existing law, the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) does cover some toxic electronic waste, but according to the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC), virtually all electronic components that are being exported for recycling are exempted. The only exception, as of December 26, 2014, is the federal CRT (cathode-ray tube) Rule, which led to the much-publicized prosecution of a single Michigan e-waste trader in March 2015.

That’s it, legislatively, at the federal level. The EPA facilitated discussions between 2001 and 2003 to try to reach consensus on what could be a national e-waste law, said Scott Cassel, chief executive officer and founder of the Product Stewardship Institute, but without success.

Clean energy can produce jobs, economic growth, study says

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Thousands of Michigan jobs in the clean energy industry could be created in coming years, according to a recent report.

MSU assists Flint residents worried about pets’ health

Listen to the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

Current State producer April Van Buren brings us a story about an effort to help Flint’s four-legged residents during the water crisis.


Study suggests commercial bumble bee industry amplified a fungal pathogen of bees

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Scientists hoping to explain widespread declines in wild bumble bee populations have conducted the first long-term genetic study of Nosema bombi, a key fungal pathogen of honey bees and bumble bees.

Their study, reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that N. bombi was present in the U.S. as early as 1980, well before several species of wild bumble bees started to go missing across the country. The study also found that N. bombi infections in large-scale commercial bumble bee pollination operations coincided with infections and declines in wild bumble bees.

California Bill Seeks to Change Labeling Rules to Tackle Food Waste

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Food waste has become a major issue in the past year, as awareness of the adverse environmental and social impacts of throwing so much food away just because it was aesthetically unpleasing has become more widely known. The numbers are staggering: According to the UglyFruitandVeg campaign, nearly 26 percent of all food produced in the United States is wasted. In a country where millions of households face food insecurity, this just should not be a problem.

At the front lines of the push to reduce food waste are major retailers — which often throw away completely edible foods, often not even donating it to food banks or other charities. One of the key reasons they do this is due to expiration dates that, amazingly, are almost completely up to the whim of producers and have no standards. That’s right: There are few federal, state or local regulations on food date labels, who sets them and what they actually represent.

A new bill proposed by Assemblyman David Chiu, (D-San Francisco) aims to address this head-on in California. AB 2725, if passed, would implement a statewide standard on all foods that display date labels by creating two phrases: “Best if used by” would signify the date after which the food’s quality may begin to deteriorate, whereas “expires on” would signify after when a high level of risk would be associated with consuming the food product.

This bill hopes to solve a real problem – the staggering amount of healthy, consumable food wasted every day in California.

Construction, demolition waste deals help county hit recycling goal

Read the full story in the Bloomington Pantagraph.

Officials believe new agreements for handing construction and demolition waste in Bloomington and Normal will help McLean County clear a longstanding goal of recycling 40 percent of its waste in the next two years — and help hold down costs for residents.

Energy Landscapes: An Aerial View Of Europe’s Carbon Footprint

Read the full story and view the photos at Yale Environment360.

Europe and the United States have very similar standards of living, but significantly different carbon footprints — with Europe’s per capita carbon emissions less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. Aerial photographer Alex MacLean decided to document this phenomenon in an attempt to understand how the highly developed nations of northern Europe are able to spew significantly less carbon into the atmosphere. Flying over Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Wales with camera in hand, MacLean came away with an appreciation for how a country’s carbon footprint is directly related to how efficiently it designs, moves through, and powers its built environment.

New Green Challenge: How to Grow More Food on Less Land

Read the full story from Yale Environment360.

If the world is to have another Green Revolution to feed its soaring population, it must be far more sustainable than the first one. That means finding ways to boost yields with less fertilizer and rethinking the way food is distributed.

Why Women Could Be the Key to Curbing Water Pollution

Read the full story in Governing.

In Minnesota, women will be paid to persuade resistant farmers to care and do something about the state’s increasingly polluted waterways.

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