Minnesota’s JavaCycle turns coffee-bean waste into sweet-smelling fertilizer

Read the full story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The parent company of Hill Bros. Coffee and Chock Full O’Nuts has partnered with the tiny, Minnesota-based operation to convert millions of pounds of roasted coffee-bean waste into commercial fertilizer.

First Steps for Corporate Zero Waste

Read the full story from Triple Pundit.

Despite regional pressures on municipal landfills, the U.S. still has plenty of space in which to dispose of its garbage. The waste management industry is quick to dispel the concept of the disappearing landfill as a myth, and the costs of solid waste disposal are, at worst, increasing at a modest rate year-to-year.

Nevertheless, Americans generate a lot of garbage. One estimate suggests that if all the garbage collected in the U.S. over one year was dumped in a pit 400 feet deep, that hole would consume 1,000 acres of land.

At a time when companies are trying to cut costs wherever they can — and prove to their stakeholders that they are a lean, responsible or environmentally-conscious organization — tackling waste is one place to start. So it make sense that more companies are striving to go zero waste to landfill (ZWTLF), or as close to it as possible.

Cattle Associated Antibiotics Disturb Soil Ecosystems

Read the full story from Virginia Tech.

Manure from cattle administered antibiotics drastically changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil, leading to ecosystem dysfunction, according to a Virginia Tech research team.

The team analyzed soil samples from 11 dairy farms in the United States, and found that the amount of antibiotic resistant genes was 200 times greater in soil near manure piles compared with soil that wasn’t.

Furthermore, microbes with greater antibiotic-resistance showed higher stress levels. Their findings were published March 29 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Energy efficiency budget cuts could exact hefty price on businesses, workers, rural residents, and low-income families

Read the full post from ACEEE.

The administration’s proposal to zero out funding for ENERGY STAR® has drawn a lot of buzz. While preserving ENERGY STAR is vital for energy efficiency in many ways, it’s only one among many important efficiency programs on the chopping block. The full budget has not been released yet, and Congress certainly won’t approve it in its current form, but House Republicans are eager to reduce funding for many of these programs. The threat of deep cuts is real.

Here are some of the other programs that could be gutted under the budget and who would be harmed by the cuts. Most of these cuts are proposed for 2018, but I also note some proposals for 2017.

Innovative ‘Agrihood’ Project Helping to Feed, Revitalize Detroit

Read the full story at Sustainable Brands.

Community initiatives constitute a crucial component of the transformation taking place in Detroit, which has seen its fair share of difficulties following deindustrialization. And the Michigan Urban Farming Initiative (MUFI) is one of them. The all-volunteer non-profit based in Detroit’s North End neighborhood is using agriculture as a platform to promote education, sustainability and community in an effort to empower urban communities, address the social problems facing Detroit and develop a broader model for redevelopment for other urban communities.

MUFI’s primary focus has been on the development of a two-square-block area in Detroit’s North End, which is being positioned as an epicenter of urban agriculture. The space is heavily themed by “adaptive reuse of the built environment,” in which it hopes to demonstrate everything from best practices for sustainable urban agriculture and effective strategies for increasing food security to cost-competitive and scalable models for blight deconstruction and innovation in blue and green infrastructure.

The non-profit recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help convert a vacant three-story apartment complex into a 3,200-square-foot community resource center with gathering space for education programs and training opportunities, as well as two commercial kitchens and a healthy food café. MUFI’s campus currently includes a 2-acre urban garden, a 200-tree fruit orchard, a sensory garden and a water-harvesting cistern. Over the past four growing seasons, the project has provided more than 50,000 lbs. of mostly free produce to more than 2,000 local households, food pantries, churches and businesses in the area.

These scientists want to create ‘red teams’ to challenge climate research. Congress is listening

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Prominent scientists operating outside the scientific consensus on climate change urged Congress on Wednesday to fund “red teams” to investigate “natural” causes of global warming and challenge the findings of the United Nations’ climate science panel.