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.
Read the full story in The Hill.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has ended the federal government’s Obama-era moratorium on coal-mining leases on federal land.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read the full story at Pacific Standard.
The people of Flint aren’t the only ones who have faced an uphill battle for what is a fundamental human right. The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2017 Infrastructure Report Card gave our national water infrastructure a “D” grade due to the rapidly decaying system of lead pipes that dot population centers rural and urban. While Michigan officials have eked out an expedited plan to replace 18,000 lead pipes across Flint, there are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks annually across the United States, breaks that waste more than two trillion gallons of treated drinking water. And of the more than 51,000 community waters systems analyzed by the ASCE, just 5.5 percent serve more than 92 percent of Americans, or 272.6 million citizens.
Read the full story in The Guardian.
Mars Inc, Staples, The Gap and others speak out against Trump’s sweeping executive order that begins to dismantle Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
Read the full story from NPR.
Canyon Mansfield and his dog were walking the ridge line near his house in Pocatello, Idaho, when the 14-year-old spotted a curious device that looked like a sprinkler nestled in the ground.
When he reached down to inspect it, the device detonated, erupting with a “loud popping noise that knocked Canyon off his feet” and dowsed his face and clothes with an “orange, powdery substance,” The Idaho State Journal reports.
After cleaning himself off, Mansfield turned to his dog — only to find the 3-year-old lab with “red froth coming from his mouth and his eyes turning glassy,” Mansfield later told the newspaper.
The device that detonated in Mansfield’s face, sent him to the hospital and, ultimately, killed his dog on March 16 was an M-44. Often known as a “cyanide bomb,” it’s a device used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent predators such as coyotes from harming livestock on farm and ranch lands. When triggered, the M-44 spits a potentially lethal dose of sodium cyanide powder at the interloper.