Day: April 19, 2018

Don’t Call it Food Waste: Entrepreneurs Turn Surplus Food into Gold

Read the full story at Civil Eats.

Food startups are diverting raw materials from coffee-bean husks to spent beer-brewing grains from the landfill—and developing markets for upcycled products in the process.

Minnesota releases 2017 Toxics and Pollution Prevention Evaluation Report

Download the document.

Many of the products and packaging we use every day contain or were manufactured using hazardous chemicals. Some of these chemicals are intentionally added to products by the manufacturer for various reasons such as performance or cost. Other chemicals are found in the parts or ingredients a manufacturer uses to create the final product.

In Minnesota and elsewhere, concern about harmful chemicals in consumer products has continued to grow. These chemicals can cause concern to humans and the environment when we are exposed to them.

Because of the prevalence of these chemicals in products, Minnesota’s policy is to eliminate or reduce at the source the use, generation, or release of toxic pollutants and hazardous wastes.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) works to address the challenges our use of chemicals creates by:

  • Working with manufacturers to find ways to reduce chemical waste or avoid the use of toxic
    chemicals in the production process.
  • Working with companies to find ways to reduce or avoid the use of toxic chemicals in the
    products they make and ensure those products that contain toxic chemicals are properly
    managed at the end of their useful lives.

In selecting priorities on which to focus its work, the MPCA consults with partner agencies and
customers and considers as much data as possible, including environmental and biomonitoring,
chemical production and release reporting, hazard levels and potential for exposure, who may be
exposed (e.g. children or disadvantaged communities) and availability of feasible alternatives.

How a ‘Toxic Cocktail’ Is Posing a Troubling Health Risk in China’s Cities

Read the full story at e360.

A recent study in Chinese cities found a potential link between a hazardous mix of air pollutants and death rates. These findings point to the need for a new approach to assessing the dangers of urban smog in fast-industrializing parts of the developing world.

HelloFresh, Spoiler Alert Announce Results of Ongoing Partnership

Read the full story at Waste360.

Spoiler Alert, a technology and professional services company that helps food businesses manage unsold inventory, and HelloFresh, a world-leading meal kit company, have announced the results of their ongoing partnership.

The duo began their partnership in 2017 with a goal of deploying a standardized and scalable solution for recovering value from HelloFresh’s surplus food inventory. The program, which is now live across the U.S., has enabled HelloFresh to reduce landfill-bound waste from each of its distribution centers and increase food access for food-insecure families in its communities.

Berkeley, Calif., to Consider Disposable Foodware and Litter Reduction Ordinance

Read the full story at Waste360.

The ordinance aims to help reduce single-use disposable foodware.

Fighting ocean plastics at the source

Read the full story from Chemical & Engineering News.

Some 8 million metric tons of plastic escapes into the world’s oceans each year,most of it from countries in Southeast Asia, where plastics use has outpaced waste management infrastructure. The situation is approaching catastrophic proportions. Read on to learn how governments, companies, and other organizations are focusing on the region in the hope that stopping the flow of trash there will substantially decrease plastic pollution.

Michigan utility targets more renewable energy, critics say it’s not enough

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

DTE Energy, a major supplier of electricity to Southeast Michigan, plans to double its renewable energy capacity by 2021.

An Eye in the Sky Could Detect Planet-Warming Plumes on the Ground

Read the full story in the New York Times.

An environmental group says it will spend millions to launch a satellite that could help fight climate change by identifying methane leaks with pinpoint accuracy.

How good is your residential energy audit or assessment report?

Do you conduct home energy assessments or audits? Have you received a report from a home energy assessment or audit? If so, we need your help!

Home energy assessments and audits are key components of energy efficiency programs, but the results can sometimes be difficult to understand or unpersuasive for homeowners. With no guidelines on how to produce an effective home energy assessment report, these reports vary greatly across a number of variables (e.g., length, format, vocabulary and use of images).

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy is launching a study to look at the reports generated from residential energy efficiency assessments and audits. If you have prepared, used, or received one of these reports (or know someone who has), please send us some examples. These can be in-depth voluntary audits recommending deep retrofits, or general home assessments used mainly for directly installing rebated items (or anything in between). They could even be remote audit reports. With the help of a panel of experts and homeowners, we will examine the sample reports we receive. Ultimately, we hope to identify the best and worst examples, and determine which report elements are most important.

Please send your sample reports to Maxine Chikumbo. If you have any questions about the research, please contact Dr. Reuven Sussman.

The results will be presented at the annual BECC (Behavior, Energy and Climate Change) conference in Washington, DC (Oct 7-10), as well as report published by ACEEE. For more information about the conference, visit

Flexible Packaging Association Releases New Report on Sustainable Packaging

Read the full story at Waste360.

The report provides a holistic view on the sustainability benefits that flexible packaging offers.

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