Day: January 10, 2018

Webinar: Infusing Sustainability Principles and Practices into Study Abroad

January 17 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CST
Register at http://www.aashe.org/calendar/sustainability-study-abroad/

As colleges and universities simultaneously promote both sustainability and study abroad, it is vitally important to ensure that these initiatives are working in harmony. Infusing sustainability principles and practices into study abroad programs can enable us to maximize the benefits of study abroad while also generating meaningful responses to the extra carbon emissions generated by international travel. Cross-cultural learning combined with sustainability education can help students to become ecologically-minded citizens prepared to work for sustainability in our world of diverse cultures and worldviews. In this webinar, the three presenters will set out three models for how to combine sustainability education and study abroad. The first centers on a cyclical, exploratory approach to travel that creates a renewable landscape of study that mentors new faculty and attracts a larger pool of travelers. The second involves a program that provides resources and guidance to leaders of abroad programs so that they can infuse sustainability principles and practices into their program regardless of its substantive or disciplinary focus. The third is an integrative, sustainability-focused, “traveling classroom” model that combines extensive on-campus preparation with an extended study trip. Following the presentations, there will be ample time for questions and discussion, with the aim of generating productive movement forward in this important area of sustainability work in higher education.

Webinar: Uncovering Risk in the Voluntary Carbon Market

January 31 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm CST
Register at http://www.aashe.org/calendar/voluntary-carbon-market/

Carbon offsets are often viewed by voluntary buyers as untrustworthy and providing little to no overall value to their core business. Six billion metric tons of carbon offsets trade annually, yet only 0.6% are traded voluntarily. The remaining 99.4% are traded in regulated ‘Cap and Trade’ markets. Worse yet, almost 36 million metric tons of carbon offsets made for the voluntary market remain unsold today. The voluntary carbon market has stagnated and failed to generate significant investment. Urban Offsets believes treating offsets like financial investments can partially address these market failures. In this webinar, Urban Offsets introduces a new method of measuring the significant hidden risks found in all carbon offset products. We will present a case study, walk through the risk valuation process, and provide comparison examples for prospective buyers. The goal of this webinar is to provide prospective offset buyers with actionable data in order to make better sustainability investments.

EPA Inspector General to audit Pruitt’s hiring

Read the full story from Greenwire.

U.S. EPA’s internal watchdog plans to review Administrator Scott Pruitt’s use of a special hiring authority to fill top political jobs at the agency.

In a notice dated yesterday, the EPA inspector general said it will begin “preliminary research” on the administrator office’s use of its authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act to fill “administratively determined” positions.

Extreme hurricanes and wildfires made 2017 the most costly U.S. disaster year on record

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria combined with devastating Western wildfires and other natural catastrophes to make 2017 the most expensive year on record for disasters in the United States, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Monday.

Fighting Climate Change, One Laundry Load at a Time

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A Danish biotechnology company is trying to fight climate change — one laundry load at a time. Its secret weapon: mushrooms like those in a dormant forest outside Copenhagen.

In the quest for a more environmentally friendly detergent, two scientists at the company, Novozymes, regularly trudge through the mud, hunting for oyster mushrooms that protrude from a fallen beech or bracken fungi that feast on tough plant fibers. They are studying the enzymes in mushrooms that speed up chemical reactions or natural processes like decay.

University of California Santa Barbara releases Food Recovery Program Safety & Operations Guide

Download the document.

This document provides the guidelines for a food recovery program at UCSB. Aiming to reduce food waste and food insecurity for UCSB students, this project will be run by a registered student organization (RSO) – FoodCycling, in association with the AS Food Bank or Miramar Pantry and the University Center.

Canadian Research Adds to Worry Over an Environmental Threat the Pentagon Has Downplayed for Decades

Read the full story at ProPublica.

A study released late last year gives environmental experts a way to quantify how much RDX, a chemical used in military explosives, is spreading into surrounding communities.

Axion launches ‘design for recycling’ service

Read the full story at Plastics News Europe.

Axion Polymers Ltd has launched a new ‘design for recycling’ service in order to help ensure that the plastic packaging placed on the market is optimised for end of life, while maintaining its primary function of product protection.

4 Steps to Building a Business Case for Efficiency (Hint: Avoid the ‘Poor Performer’ Tag)

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Many large organizations have lofty efficiency goals, but struggle to turn them into reality — often because there’s limited buy-in where it truly matters.

One of the most critical, often-overlooked steps to launching successful efficiency- and environmental-management programs is creating an effective business case that not only promotes projects internally, but helps to ensure success during the implementation phase and beyond. Far too many plans either don’t get approved, or are approved and then stall, earning the “poor performer” tag and positioning resource efficiency poorly on any future priority lists.

So how can energy managers turn their efficiency dreams into a company-backed reality? They should start by following these four steps as they build a business case to fund critical efficiency programs.

Regulators reject Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s plan to subsidize coal and nuclear plants

Read the full story from CNBC.

Federal regulators on Monday rejected a rule proposed by Energy Secretary Rick Perry that would have subsidized coal and nuclear power plants in some parts of the United States.

However, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission kept the issue alive by ordering the organizations that operate regional grids and power markets to submit reports to the commission on grid resilience issues in their areas.

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