Opinion: As communities rebuild after disaster, we must keep nature in mind

Read the full story from Ensia.

To minimize future harm, protecting nature and the services it provides should be at the top of our post-disaster to-do list.

The New Instagram Feed Spotlighting Mass Extinctions

Read the full story at The News Lens.

Everyone knows the Dodo is extinct. But how many of us know that we are currently undergoing a sixth mass extinction event? To raise awareness about this under-reported story, Brit photographer-filmmaker Sean Gallagher founded Everyday Extinction, a specialized Instagram feed on Oct 1.

Can environmental toxins disrupt the biological ‘clock’?

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Can environmental toxins disrupt circadian rhythms — the biological ‘clock’ whose disturbance is linked to chronic inflammation and a host of human disorders? Research showing a link between circadian disruption and plankton that have adapted to road salt pollution puts the question squarely on the table.

EERE Success Story — Using Advanced Modeling Tools to Make More Efficient Fans

Read the full story from EERE.

The Energy Department’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) is researching opportunities to make homes safer and more efficient through the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR).

Mechanical Solutions, Inc. (MSI), a small business, is working to increase the energy efficiency of a radon mitigation technology that helps improve indoor air quality and reduce wasted energy.  Using Computational Fluid Dynamics, the radon fan was redesigned and is estimated to reduce energy consumption by a minimum of 25% compared to state-of-the-art units. After completing a successful Phase I SBIR for the Building Technologies Office, Mechanical Solutions was recently awarded a Phase II SBIR contract. This will enable a more detailed and optimal design to be developed, tested, and prepared for market with MSI’s radon fan commercialization partner, Fantech.

Solar greenhouses generate electricity and grow healthy crops

Read the full story in Science Daily.

The first crops of tomatoes and cucumbers grown inside electricity-generating solar greenhouses were as healthy as those raised in conventional greenhouses, signaling that “smart” greenhouses hold great promise for dual-use farming and renewable electricity production.

“We have demonstrated that ‘smart greenhouses’ can capture solar energy for electricity without reducing plant growth, which is pretty exciting,” said Michael Loik, professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and lead author on a paper that appears in the current issue of the American Geophysical Union’s journal Earth’s Future.

Unilever, PepsiCo wash hands of ‘biodegradable’ plastic

Read the full story from GreenBiz.

More than 150 organizations, including some of the world’s best-known brands, issued a call for governments around the world to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging over fears it can have harmful effects on marine and land environments.

In a statement organized by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, firms including M&S, Unilever and PepsiCo backed the phase-out of the plastic, which is widely used in packaging and plastic carrier bags and previously had been touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastics.

When Polluters Pay States for Their Damage, Who Should Benefit?

Read the full story in Governing.

Poised for settlement money from gas companies, New Jersey voters will decide next month whether it should be spent on the environment — or balancing the state budget.