Day: January 4, 2018

How Harvey Hurt Houston, in 10 Maps

Read the full story in ProPublica.

Even before Hurricane Harvey hit, Houston was no stranger to devastating rainstorms. The city got two “100-year” storms in the two years before Harvey made landfall. All three storms flooded thousands of houses, many outside of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood plains.

Recycling Mystery: Gift Cards

Read the full story at Earth 911.

During the holiday season, you’ll likely be giving and receiving loads of gift cards for your favorite shops, restaurants and online retail destinations, but can these cards be recycled when the money is gone?

Science Friday looking for educator collaborators

The Science Friday Initiative is conducting a search for creative, highly motivated, and dedicated STEM educators to participate in the collaborative development of new multimedia-driven education resources. You’ll work directly with Science Friday staff to produce and share compelling approaches to STEM education inspired by interviews and stories from real scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. Science Friday will support your work with stunning visuals and multimedia, and will then share your content with a larger audience.

Why should I participate?
Participants in the collaborative will receive:

  • An opportunity to demonstrate your education expertise and insight to a large audience.
  • Creative and editorial guidance from Science Friday to develop educational resources.
  • A virtual visit to your classroom from a scientist, engineer, or mathematician, drawn from Science Friday’s community of STEM professionals.
  • Materials for implementing your activities with your students.
  • Bragging rights! The Science Friday Educator Collaborative is a nationally competitive program with only a select number of participants.
  • Connections to educator peers who are creating and sharing compelling approaches to STEM education across the nation.
  • Science Friday Swag (T-shirt!).
  • A byline. The multimedia-supported educational resource you develop will be featured on

Oh, and did we mention that you’ll also receive an honorarium of $500.00 for your work?

Who can participate?
Any educator working full-time in the United States with K-12 students in a classroom or in an after-school program, zoo, museum, or any other informal educational institution or program. Educators must have a proven track record of designing and implementing original educational experiences for students. Educators must have at least three years experience working with K-12 students and must submit the contact information for an administrator or supervisor who can attest to their professional excellence as an instructor and facilitator.

50001 Ready Navigator

The 50001 Ready Navigator has been developed by the U.S. Department of Energy to align with the energy management system best practices outlined in ISO 50001. Use of the Navigator ensures that your organization shares a consistent definition of energy management systems, and facilitates a team-based approach to its implementation. The Navigator is designed to help your organization build towards all parts of ISO 50001, so that you can self-attest to being “50001 Ready” or pursue ISO 50001 or Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification.

The 50001 Ready Navigator is comprised of 25 tasks, with each task corresponding directly with establishing the energy management system requirements specified in ISO 50001. Each task includes three tabs that describe the high level (“Getting It Done”), general synopsis (“Task Overview”), and technical requirements (“Full Description”) to help you complete the task.

Once you are logged in, you can use Navigator to track your progress on the completion of each task, and of the project as a whole. You can set up multiple projects in Navigator, with each project being a facility as defined in Task 1: Scope and Boundaries. You can also assign tasks to members of your energy team, and use the 50001 Ready Navigator to coordinate and streamline your team’s efforts.


U.S. FDA halts use of triclosan in health care antiseptics

Read the full story in Chemical & Engineering News.

The antibacterial compound triclosan, already banned in the U.S. from consumer soaps, will no longer be allowed in antiseptic products used in hospitals and other health care settings. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration on Dec. 20 deemed triclosan and 23 other antiseptic ingredients to not be generally recognized as safe and effective.

The most consequential environmental stories of 2017

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

President Trump made his mark in the energy and environment world during his first year in Washington. Many of his actions aimed to undo work from the Obama era. Trump all but abandoned the nation’s efforts to combat climate change, and he shrank national monuments that President Barack Obama had established or sought to preserve. Trump scaled back regulations on the fossil fuel industry and pushed for more drilling on land and at sea.

And in turn, much of the world pushed back. Protesters descended on Washington to oppose his policies and campaign against what they saw as an attack on science. Other nations denounced his decision to back out of an international climate agreement, leaving the United States at odds with the rest of the globe.

Meanwhile, extreme weather nationwide wrought devastation. Hurricanes leveled homes, triggered floods and upended lives from Puerto Rico to Texas. Wildfires ravaged California, burning entire neighborhoods to ashes. It was a tumultuous year. Here are some of the most consequential environmental stories we covered along the way.

To round out a year of rollbacks, the Trump administration just repealed key regulations on fracking

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

On the last business day of the year, the Interior Department rescinded a 2015 Obama administration rule that would have set new environmental limitations on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on public lands.

The regulation from the Bureau of Land Management, which had been opposed by the oil and gas industry and tied up in court, would have tightened standards for well construction and wastewater management, required the disclosure of the chemicals contained in fracking fluids, and probably driven up the cost for many fracking activities.

Report: 44.7M metric tons of e-waste generated in 2016

Read the full story in Waste Dive.

Globally, consumers generated 44.7 million metric tons of e-waste in 2016, according to a new report from the International Solid Waste Association, the United Nations University and the International Telecommunication Union. This number is 3.3 million metric tons higher than the reported tonnage of e-waste in 2014 — an 8% increase.

By 2021, there will be an estimated 52.2 million metric tons of e-waste generated, a 17% increase from 2016.

The report estimated raw material from e-waste had a total value of €55 billion in 2016. That’s based on the value of raw material in the devices, including copper, iron, gold, palladium, silver and plastics. Only 20% of e-waste is estimated to have been properly recycled in 2016.

Federal Appeals Court Gives EPA 90 Days To Propose Long-Awaited Lead Standards

Read the full story from NPR.

A federal appeals court has ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to propose a new standard for lead inside homes within 90 days. NPR’s Robert Siegel speaks with Eve Gartner, who litigated on behalf of groups suing the EPA to update the standards.

Revelator Reads: 6 New Environmental Books for the New Year

Read the full post at The Revelator.

January is always such a great time of year. We start the month well-rested, the pressures of the holidays are over, and we get a chance to look at the New Year with fresh eyes and new perspective. Maybe that’s why so many great environmental books are scheduled for publication this month — they provide a perfect primer for change and opportunity.

Here are our picks of the best new eco-books coming out in January 2018, covering topics ranging from climate change and sustainability to gorillas and Godzilla (yes, really). As usual we tried to pick books for inspired activists, interested kids and hard-working professionals — or anyone with a holiday gift card burning a hole in their pocket.

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