KAB teams up with EREF for K-12 food waste programs

Read the full post at Waste Dive.

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) and Keep America Beautiful (KAB) have signed a memorandum of understanding that will lead to collaboration on food waste research and education in K-12 schools.

We will close the loop on waste by 2030

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

On Labor Day, a typical American shopper bought a bag of chips, a tub of salsa and a six-pack to bring to a friend’s barbeque. Behind that purchase are a variety of actors, including brands, retailers and packaging manufacturers.

If that shopper does not recycle, instead disposing of the empty bag and tub in the trash, the shopper will add to a growing problem of vast amounts of waste floating in our oceans, littering parks and filling landfills.

Solutions to this problem exist. The development of circular supply chains — closing the loop on consumer packaging and post-consumer waste by connecting consumers, municipal recycling infrastructure and product manufacturing — at massive scale would provide the following benefits annually:

  • Save cities more than $20 billion.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 500 million tons of CO2 (equivalent).
  • Drive revenues of at least half a trillion dollars across multiple industries.

Air Pollution From Industry Plagues Houston In Harvey’s Wake

Read the full story from NPR.

Much of the public health focus in Houston has been on the hazards posed by flood waters, but the city is also facing a crisis in air quality. Even under normal circumstances, “air quality is a big problem in Houston,” says Loren Raun, the chief scientist for the Houston Health Department. “We put out more emissions than any other city.” At least 7 million pounds of pollutants have been emitted in and around Houston as a result of the storm so far, according to an analysis by the Environmental Defense Fund.

Storm surges are the worst part of a hurricane — and will get even more destructive

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Because so much water is involved, surges are frequently a hurricane’s deadliest symptom. Many of the estimated 1,500 deaths from Hurricane Katrina could be attributed to the storm surge along the Gulf Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. In Mississippi, the surge achieved “historical proportions,” with the highest elevation marked at more than 28 feet.

Two major factors control how a storm surges: the strength of a hurricane’s wind and the shape of the coastline. The Atlantic continental shelf is relatively flat, affording a hurricane there more shallow water that it can push into a surge. What’s more, the counterclockwise rotation of the hurricane’s northeast quadrant shoves the water toward land instead of away from it, Balaguru said.

Predicting a storm surge is difficult. Even slight changes in the hurricane’s center and strongest winds can influence its path, explained Rebecca E. Morss, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

240-year-old nautical maps show coral loss is much worse than we knew

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Between 1773 and 1775, George Gauld, a surveyor with the British Admiralty, immortalized the coast of the Florida Keys in ink. Though his most pressing goal was to record the depth of the sea — to prevent future shipwrecks — Gauld embraced his naturalist side, too. He sprinkled his maps with miscellany that later charts would omit: where sea turtles made their nests, or the colors and consistency of sand.

Gauld also took note of the corals he saw. And in doing so he created the oldest known records of Florida reefs.

“With the early charts you can actually see the reef itself being drawn,” said Loren McClenachan, a marine ecologist at Colby College in Maine. “It matches almost exactly with the satellite data.” In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, McClenachan and her colleagues compared those 240-year-old observations with present-day satellite images.

Flint water crisis led to lower fertility rates, higher fetal death rates, researchers find

Read the full story from the University of Kansas.

Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis caused fewer babies being born there — through reduced fertility rates and higher fetal death rates — compared with other Michigan cities during that time, according to a working paper that includes a University of Kansas researcher.

“Having children in America is expensive and resource-intensive, and we want people to have the number of children they want when they want to have them. We, as Americans, are very much about individual people getting to make the choices that are the best for their families, and this is one of the most fundamental ones,” said David Slusky, assistant professor of economics.

The research by Slusky and co-author Daniel Grossman, assistant professor of economics at West Virginia University, appears in a working paper distributed as part of the KU Economics Department’s Working Papers Series in Theoretical and Applied Economics.

Fight over labeling of ‘flushable’ wipes headed to federal court

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The question of whether flushable wipes — used by potty-training toddlers and people looking beyond traditional toilet paper — are clogging sewer systems will be hashed out in federal court, where a manufacturer has sued the District over a new city law regulating when such wipes can be labeled “flushable.”