Day: January 12, 2018

In Vancouver, shipping containers are the new tool libraries

Read the full story at Shareable.

This spring, Vancouverites may find renting a set of camping equipment as easy as borrowing a book from the library. The Thingery project is a recent initiative launched by Vancouver Tool Library founder Chris Diplock. The first Thingery pilot project was carried out in summer 2016, and Diplock reached agreements over the following months with the city of Vancouver, a local credit union, and various neighborhood groups to bring the idea to life.

Soaring Popularity Of Grass-Fed Beef May Run Into Roadblock: Less Nutritious Grass

Read the full story from WILL.

One hundred and twenty miles west of Kansas City, researcher Joe Craine kneels in the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to grab a handful of grasses.

From the road, this looks like an unbroken wave of green. A close look at Craine’s hand shows a variety of grasses, a small sample of the preserve’s hundreds of different species.

The prairie is so diverse, in fact, that to study it, Craine and researchers from Texas A&M University don’t actually study the plants themselves. They study poop, collected between 1994 and 2016 everywhere from Texas to Kansas to Montana.

“Somewhere on the order of 50,000 cow pies got shipped to Texas for this study,” says Craine, who co-owns Boulder, Colorado-based Jonah Ventures.

What he’s found is a trend in the nutritional quality of grasses that grass-fed cattle (and young cattle destined for grain-heavy feedlots) eating. Since the mid-90s, levels of crude protein in the plants, which cattle need to grow, have dropped by nearly 20 percent.

Co-op and Iceland back bottle deposit scheme to reduce plastic pollution

Read the full story in The Guardian.

Iceland and the Co-op have become the first supermarkets to support a bottle deposit scheme after the government sought views on the idea to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.

The retailers came out in favour of setting up a mandatory deposit return scheme (DRS) in England and Wales as the environment secretary, Michael Gove, began to review the results of a seven-week consultation on whether to introduce a system to increase recycling rates of plastic bottles and reduce leakage into the oceans.


Videos from Midwest Food Recovery Summit now available

The first ever Midwest Food Recovery Summit was held September 6-8, 2017 in Des Moines, IA. Attendees from 18 states including Washington D.C. and Ontario joined together for two-and-a-half days of keynote presentations, breakout sessions, networking, and events.

Watch videos of the sessions here.

Missing From Amazon’s Search For A Second Home: The Climate Effects

Read the full story in the Huffington Post.

When Amazon kicked off a bidding war for its second North American headquarters in September, the company laid out a vision of its perfect suitor. The ideal city would have more than a million people, mass transit, an international airport, attractive housing and “stable and business-friendly” regulations.

But the retail goliath apparently isn’t worried about how surging seas, extreme weather and deadly heat waves might affect its operations or the 50,000 employees it promises to hire in its new $5 billion “second home.” The company also doesn’t seem overly concerned with how much its ravenous appetite for energy and reliance on fleets of fossil-fueled delivery trucks are making those things worse.

The science that’s never been cited

Read the full story in Nature.

Nature investigates how many papers really end up without a single citation.

Local Roots: Farm-in-a-box coming to a distribution center near you

Read the full story from Ars Technica.

Ars checks out shipping-container farming that’s said to have price parity with farms.

E.P.A. Contractor Has Spent Past Year Scouring the Agency for Anti-Trump Officials

Read the full story in the New York Times.

One of the top executives of a consulting firm that the Environmental Protection Agency has recently hired to help it with media affairs has spent the past year investigating agency employees who have been critical of the Trump administration, federal records show.

Interior rescinds climate, conservation policies because they’re ‘inconsistent’ with Trump’s energy goals

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Interior Department’s No. 2 official issued a secretarial order just before Christmas rescinding several climate change and conservation policies issued under the Obama administration, saying they were “inconsistent” with President Trump’s quest for energy independence.

Secretarial Order 3360, signed Dec. 22 by Interior Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt, wipes away four separate directives and policy manuals aimed at showing departmental employees how to minimize the environmental impact of activities on federal land and in federal waters. It also calls for the review of a fifth, which applies to the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Instead, it directs officials to reinstate and update guidance issued during the final year of George W. Bush’s second term by Jan. 22.

Assessment of Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Organochlorine Pesticides, and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in the Blood of Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus Humboldti) from the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area, Peru

Michael J. Adkesson, Jeffrey M. Levengood,John W. Scott, David J. Schaeffer, Jennifer N. Langan, Susana Cárdenas-Alayza, Santiago de la Puente, Patricia Majluf, and Sandra Yi (2018). “Assessment of Polychlorinated Biphenyls, Organochlorine Pesticides, and Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers in the Blood of Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus Humboldti) from the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area, Peru.” Journal of Wildlife Diseases In-Press. DOI:

Abstract: Persistent organic pollutants were assessed in Humboldt Penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) from the Punta San Juan Marine Protected Area, Peru, in the austral winter of 2009. Plasma samples from 29 penguins were evaluated for 31 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners and 11 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) by using gas chromatography coupled to an ion trap mass spectrometer and for 15 polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners by using gas chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry. The detection rate for PCBs in the samples was 69%, with congeners 105, 118, 180, and 153 most commonly detected. The maximum ΣPCB concentration was 25 ng/g. The detection rate for DDT, DDD, and/or DDE was higher than for other OCP residues (90%; maximum concentration=10 ng/g). The detection rate for PBDEs was 86%, but most concentrations were low (maximum ΣPBDE concentration=3.81 ng/g). This crucial breeding population of S. humboldti was not exposed to contaminants at levels detrimental to health and reproductive success; however, the identified concentrations of legacy and recently emerged toxicants underscore the need for temporal monitoring and diligence to protect this endangered species in the face of regional human population and industrial growth. These results also provided key reference values for spatial comparisons throughout the range of this species.

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