Biofuels: could agave, hemp and saltbush be the fuels of the future?

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Oilier plants, new processing technologies and multipurpose crops could put the biofuel industry back in the race for greener transport fuels.

Portland to fuel city vehicles with sewage fumes

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

Portland, Oregon’s reputation for setting itself apart from the pack — and then some — is well deserved.

And while not the first city to capture noxious sewage gas and convert it into vehicle fuel, Portland’s newly approved $9 million “poop-to-power” scheme is certainly ambitious, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 21,000 tons annually while producing enough homegrown, revenue-generating natural gas to power the equivalent of 154 sanitation trucks for a year.

Webinar: Rethinking Thinking about Sustainability Curriculum

June 7 from 2:00-3:00 pm CDT
Register at http://www.aashe.org/calendar/rethinking-thinking-sustainability-curriculum/

If a snap of the fingers could reverse the environmental destruction of the past 400 years, we would start repeating our mistakes tomorrow, unless we have changed. The environmental crisis is a symptom of human thinking and we need to think differently to resolve it. Split brain science is explained from major findings of “The Master and his Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World” (2009, Yale University Press), by psychiatrist and clinical psychologist Iain McGilchrist, which provides profound insight into the workings of the human brain from combining clinical research in split brain science with its evidence in western history and philosophy. This remarkable book explains how dominant thinking has deluded society into its current predicament, warns of the dangers involved and what Einstein meant. Christopher Haines will discuss implementing these insights into higher education curriculum on sustainable development, with examples from the author’s experience. This session will be interesting to anyone concerned with environmental curriculum that will effectively address problems.

 

Upcoming RCRA Changes and How They’ll Affect Your Business

Read the full story from the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.

The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the law that oversees the proper management of hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste, is seeing some major updates go into effect on May 30, 2017. A majority of the rules within RCRA are from amendments made in 1984 so this marks the first time in over 30 years that we’re seeing major changes that affect our clients.

By the Numbers: The Business Case for Reducing Food Loss and Waste

Read the full story from the World Resources Institute.

We are all interested in seeing value for money – whether we are individuals, businesses or government. Now, a new report makes plain the very sound business case for reducing food loss and waste. The figures will turn the head of even the hardest-nosed budget director.

Cities Boost Efforts to Reduce Energy Waste: Here’s How They Rank

Read the full post from ACEEE.

As the federal government weighs budget cuts to energy efficiency programs, cities are stepping up efforts to reduce energy waste. More mayors and local lawmakers in America’s largest cities are turning to energy efficiency to reduce energy costs for consumers and businesses, strengthen the resilience of their communities, and reduce pollution, according to the third edition of the City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released today by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Treating wastewater wastes energy, but it doesn’t have to

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Wastewater treatment plants are energy hogs. A 2013 study by the Electric Power Research Institute and Water Research Foundation reported that they consumed about 30 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, or about 0.8 percent of the total electricity used in the United States.

Wastewater treatment’s high energy footprint is ironic because the organic matter in wastewater contains up to five times as much energy as the treatment plants use, according to the American Biogas Council (PDF). Reducing treatment plants’ energy footprints through energy efficiency and using the currently wasted energy could save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite all that energy seemingly there for the taking, reducing the fossil fuel demand of treatment plants is challenging and requires myriad approaches. Around the world, the industry is experimenting with new technologies, evaluating them for not just energy benefits but also cost and unintended consequences, such as additional waste streams to be managed.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) has set a target to be energy-neutral by 2023, following the lead of plants in the United Kingdom, Denmark and the East Bay Municipal Utility District in Oakland, California, which has moved beyond net-zero energy to actually selling energy back to the grid. These innovators are using a variety of technologies to reduce the electricity they use through energy efficiency and to generate electricity onsite to offset what they do use.