Where the US stands on federal food waste policy

Read the full story at WasteDive.

While it may have been overshadowed by recycling commodity issues, and other big shifts in federal environmental policy, food waste is still on the agenda in Washington, D.C. and gaining momentum.

That has been one of the key messages so far at this year’s U.S. Food Waste Summit — hosted by the Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic (HFLPC) and ReFED in Cambridge, Massachusetts — among participants from business, government, philanthropic organizations and other sectors. Some of the more than 350 attendees even traveled internationally, with a wait list and livestream available for overflow.

Much of the work that’s happening is being driven by the private sector, or state and local government, but activity is also ongoing nationally. One June 26 panel discussion highlighted some of the key areas to watch for the rest of 2018.

Smart sprinklers slashing lawn water use in Woodbury

Read the full story from Minnesota Public Radio.

Most people with home sprinkler systems in the Twin Cities suburbs are wasting water on their lawns.

But in Woodbury, residents are latching onto a program that gives them a big discount on a device that helps their irrigation systems conserve water and, ideally, cut their utility bills.

This year, the city sold out of 1,000 Rachio controllers that connect to sprinkler systems and analyze weather reports to see when a lawn needs watering and how much. Woodbury sold the devices for $20; they retail for $200.

Company makes old polystyrene new again

Read the full story at Sustainable Life.

A company in Tigard has created a way to recycle polystyrene into more polystyrene. A very small amount of polystyrene is currently recycled and often ends up in landfills or the ocean.

Gumdrop Turns Old Gum into New Products

Read the full story at Waste360.

The company recycles and processes chewing gum into compounds that can be used in the rubber and plastics industry.

Infographic: Plastic Recycling Codes

Via Earth 911.

If you’re puzzling over the recycling codes on your plastics, here’s the scoop on what those codes mean. If you want to know which plastics you can toss in your curbside bin, please check with your local recycling service provider, as the types of plastics accepted differ by location.

list of plastic recycling codes and symbols with short descriptions


General Mills Takes P&G’s Cue on Supply Chain Scorecard Project

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

“We don’t need a sustainability strategy, we need a strategy that is sustainable.”

So said Jerry Lynch, the Chief Sustainability Officer of General Mills, during recent a briefing with the GreenBiz.com editorial staff.

Although Lynch was quoting another CSO, Peter Graf of SAP, in recounting the quote, the idea is the same, a mission of seeding sustainability throughout operations, rather than building a green team to spearhead a sustainability initiative.

Inside the energy efficient campus of the University of Minnesota: BTN LiveBIG

Read the full story from the Big Ten Network.

Universities are big. Think about it; you have housing for thousands, lecture halls, arenas, hospitals, laboratories, supercomputers, server banks, dining facilities; the list goes on and on.

To say that each and every university in the Big Ten is in itself a small city, wouldn’t even touch on hyperbole.

Yet, we often only focus on the “what” that is being done therein, not the “how.” To power the innovation of the Big Ten takes an army of engineers, mechanics and associated staff members working around the clock. For these unsung heroes, the accolades are few, but the impact is mighty. And, frequently their work is helping to make our world a little greener.

Take, for instance, the University of Minnesota, where facilities staffers have converted the once-shuttered coal-burning Old Main Energy Plant into the newly revamped natural gas-powered Main Energy Plant for the flagship Twin Cities campus. According to Jerome Malmquist, director of energy management for the university, it was a labor of love and no small amount of practicality.

Department of Energy Launches $3 Million Prize Competition to Boost Domestic Solar Manufacturing

Read the full story from the DOE.

Today, U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced the launch of the American-Made Solar Prize, a competition to revitalize U.S. solar manufacturing. The program will support entrepreneurs as they develop transformative ideas into concepts and then into early-stage prototypes ready for industry testing.

Entrepreneurial individuals and teams will compete through a series of three successive prize contests designed to develop new products to be made in America. Competitors will have access to mentoring and other supportive resources through a network of national labs, incubators, investors, and industry experts.

California wine’s sustainability dilemma

Read the full story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

This spring, as the first wines from California’s 2017 vintage are released — those rosés and light white wines destined for early consumption — some bottles will carry two brand-new stamps of earth friendliness on their back labels: the California Certified Sustainable logo, and the Sonoma County Sustainable logo.

These two similar-sounding logos are different, mind you, from the organic label, different from the biodynamic label, and different, too, from the Napa Green, Sustainability in Practice (SIP), Lodi Rules and Fish Friendly Farming certification programs.

It’s enough to make you wonder: Has California reached sustainability certification saturation?

Thousands of Bourbon Barrels Come Crashing Down in Kentucky

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Bourbon is flowing in Kentucky, but don’t grab a glass.

Thousands of full barrels of bourbon, and possibly other spirits, came crashing down when a storage warehouse in Bardstown, Ky., partly collapsed on Friday.