Day: February 6, 2018

Reports: Foodservice, restaurant industry reputations hinge on less food waste

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

ReFED, a national nonprofit, has released two new action guides for the foodservice and restaurant sectors. Developed in partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, and with technical assistance from Eunomia Research and Consulting, the guides highlight the profit potential in prevention, recovery and recycling.

Are we defining economic success all wrong?

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

A new study asks: Can countries meet citizens’ needs without over-consuming resources?

Scientists have found more evidence that the Flint water crisis led to an outbreak of Legionnaire’s Disease

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

New research suggests that, when officials in Flint, Michigan, didn’t properly treat their water, they created the conditions for a deadly bacteria to grow.

The Arctic is full of toxic mercury, and climate change is going to release it

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

We already knew that thawing Arctic permafrost would release powerful greenhouse gases. On Monday, scientists revealed it could also release massive amounts of mercury — a potent neurotoxin and serious threat to human health.

Permafrost, the Arctic’s frozen soil, acts as a massive ice trap that keeps carbon stuck in the ground and out of the atmosphere — where, if released as carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas would drive global warming. But as humans warm the climate, they risk thawing that permafrost and releasing that carbon, with microbial organisms becoming more active and breaking down the ancient plant life that had previously been preserved in the frozen earth. That would further worsen global warming, further thawing the Arctic — and so on.

That cycle would be scary enough, but U.S. government scientists on Monday revealed that the permafrost also contains large volumes of mercury, a toxic element humans have already been pumping into the air by burning coal.

New Swedish Fitness Trend, “Plogging,” Combines Jogging with Picking Up Litter

Read the full story at Core77.

When Erik Ahlström moved from Åre, a ski resort town in central Sweden to Stockholm, he had a strong first impression of the capital: “Det ser ju ut som en soptipp,” which translates as “It looks like a dump.” Ahlström, an environmentalist, was put off by the amount of litter on the streets and in the parks, and resolved to do something about it.

The Forgotten Renewable: Geothermal Energy Production Heats Up

Read the full story from NPR.

Geothermal energy uses the earth’s natural heat to create electricity. While there are several different ways to accomplish this, the most common is to take super-heated water from geothermal hot spots and pipe it to the surface. It then turns into steam and spins a turbine, which generates electricity.

It’s completely renewable, and generates clean energy around the clock, unlike wind and solar.

White House withdraws controversial nominee to head Council on Environmental Quality

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The White House has withdrawn its controversial nominee to head the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen Hartnett White, whose selection failed to gather momentum with some Senate Republicans raising questions about her expertise.

Oklahoma’s earthquakes strongly linked to wastewater injection depth

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Human-made earthquakes in Oklahoma are strongly linked to the depth at which wastewater from the oil and gas industry are injected into the ground, according to a new study.

Minneapolis prepares for the ‘most transit-reliant Super Bowl ever played’

Read the full story in Smart Cities Dive.

The Twin Cities’ light rail system, which began operating in 2004, generally accounts for about 13% of Metro Transit’s total ridership — but it will be the transportation star on game day. “For most of the locations into U.S. Bank, we are sequestering the rail line” and pulling nearly all of the trains out of normal service to provide direct service to the game from two starting points, Benedict said. “All that we’ll be transporting by train will be ticket holders who also have in their possession this Metro Transit electronic ticket on their smart phones.”

A surprising amount of air pollution comes from farms

Read the full story in The Week.

Air pollution is a well-known villain in the modern world. The dark smoke emanates from cars and factories, while big cities have been blamed for everything from climate change to the reduced visibility of the stars in the night sky.

But the scourge of urban smog isn’t the only thing that contributes to air pollution. In fact, it might be time to point the finger of blame at a surprising culprit: farms.

Agricultural land in California alone contributes to between 25 and 41 percent of the nitrogen oxide in the air, a dismaying new study conducted by the University of California at Davis found. Nitrogen oxide is a blanket term for several compounds made of nitrogen and oxygen that contribute heavily to air pollution. While harmless in small quantities, large amounts of these gases can cause smog and even, in extreme circumstances, acid rain.

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