Understanding Changes in Raccoon River Nitrate

Read the full story from the University of Iowa.

As Iowa farmers have planted more acres of corn to meet the demand driven by the corn-based ethanol industry, many models predicted that nitrate concentrations in Iowa streams would increase accordingly. However, recent IIHR research based on water monitoring and published in the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation casts doubt on these predictions.

The Rozalia Project Wants You to Stop Polluting the Ocean

Read the full story in Boston Magazine.

Whether you know it or not, you’re polluting the ocean.

Each time you wash clothes made with synthetic materials—think polyester, rayon, nylon, and the like—as many as 1,900 tiny microfibers break off, flow through your washing machine drain, and continue on to waterways. Once in the water, they’re ingested by all forms of marine life, threatening both their health and yours. Consider this: In a 2015 study, 67 percent of species purchased from a California fish market were found to contain microfibers, meaning there’s a very real chance that plastic is ending up on your plate.

There’s not conclusive data about what, exactly, microfibers do to human health, but Rachael Miller, co-founder of the New England-based ocean conservation group Rozalia Project, says it’s safe to assume they’re not a desirable part of your seafood spread.

Why CO2 ‘Air Capture’ Could Be Key to Slowing Global Warming

Read the full story at Yale e360.

Physicist Klaus Lackner has long advocated deploying devices that extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to combat climate change. Now, as emissions keep soaring, Lackner says in a Yale Environment 360 interview that such “air capture” approaches may be our last best hope.

Point/Counterpoint on Ethanol

Yale Environment 360 has an interesting point/counterpoint on ethanol.

  • The Case Against More Ethanol: It’s Simply Bad for Environment: The revisionist effort to increase the percentage of ethanol blended with U.S. gasoline continues to ignore the major environmental impacts of growing corn for fuel and how it inevitably leads to higher prices for this staple food crop. It remains a bad idea whose time has passed.
  • The Case for More Ethanol: Why Green Critics Are Wrong: The criticism of ethanol by environmentalists is misguided and just plain wrong. In fact, thanks to improvements in farming techniques, increasing the amount of corn ethanol in U.S. gasoline would reduce air pollution, provide significant health benefits, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

We need the full picture to plan for climate change impacts

Read the full story from AAAS.

How can society plan for the future if we only look at individual issues in isolation? Climate change impact studies typically focus on a single sector such as agriculture, forestry or water, ignoring the implications of how different sectors interact. A new study, published in Nature Climate Change, suggests that an integrated, cross-sectoral approach to climate change assessment is needed to provide a more complete picture of impacts that enables better informed decisions about climate adaptation.

Appreciating the Value of Sustainability in Health Care

Read the full story at Knowledge@Wharton.

“Hospitals and care systems that pursue sustainability initiatives find benefits in multiple areas,” noted a 2014 report from the American Hospital Association and the Health Research and Educational Trust, Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency.

Providers, environmental groups launch green purchasing co-op

Read the full story in Modern Healthcare.

Four major health systems have partnered with two environmental organizations to launch a purchasing cooperative focused on “green” products that could compete with traditional group purchasing organizations.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dignity Health, Gundersen Health System and Partners HealthCare want supplies and services that are environmentally friendly, so they’ve teamed up with Health Care Without Harm and Practice Greenhealth to launch a sustainable marketplace. The for-profit Greenhealth Exchange will offer an online catalog backed by a network of suppliers.

Practice Greenhealth announces Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award winners

Read the full story from Becker’s Hospital Review.

Practice Greenhealth has recognized more than 500 hospitals and health systems for their outstanding environmental achievements, including 25 organizations that received Practice Greenhealth’s 2016 Environmental Excellence Award.

5 types of light pollution and their environmental impact

Read the full story at Treehugger.

From radically disrupting ecosystems to increased CO2 emissions, light pollution goes far beyond just eliminating our view of the stars.

The Promise of Big Data: Revolutionizing Health Care Sustainability

Read the full story from Knowledge@Wharton.

For people working to make U.S. health care purchasing more green, it’s not data that’s lacking, it’s discovering the meaningful part. “That’s the big question now: How can we leverage technology in a way that converts data into meaningful information that purchasing managers can use to do their jobs better?” asked JoAnna Abrams, CEO of MindClick, a supply chain sustainability company.