City Trees

This interactive map features Champaign IL city owned trees.  Zoom in close to see common name labels, clicking a tree will show its attributes.

How can we unite people when talking about energy?

Read the full story from ACEEE.

Words matter. Using the right ones can bring people together, while choosing the wrong ones (e.g., you’re actually smart) can get you in trouble. For this reason, I am pleased that our Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings next month will explore a broad range of topics, including energy messaging that can unite rather than divide us.

One of our speakers will be Suzanne Shelton, president and CEO of the Shelton Group, a marketing communication agency that focuses exclusively on the energy and environment sectors. She will describe the results of her 2017 study, which surveyed 2,000 people and focused on the sustainability terms that all Americans can agree on, regardless of political affiliation. I caught up with Suzanne to get a sneak peek of her presentation, entitled “Multiple Americas: Are there messaging strategies that can bridge the divide?” I hope you join us at Summer Study to see Suzanne’s full presentation and those of our other 350-plus speakers on dozens of topics.


REMADE funds plastics and e-scrap recycling research

Read the full story in Resource Recycling.

Projects advancing plastics and scrap electronics recovery will receive funding through a federal initiative to save energy and support U.S. manufacturing.

The REMADE (Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions) Institute announced July 11 its first round of projects to receive funding. The REMADE Institute launched in early 2017 and has been working through the selection process since last summer.

REMADE is funded partially through the U.S. Department of Energy, and its goal has been to develop technologies reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing by improving recycling, remanufacturing and reuse.

Fossil Fuel Interests Have Outspent Environmental Advocates 10:1 on Climate Lobbying

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

More than $2 billion was spent on lobbying climate change legislation in the United States from 2000 to 2016, with the fossil fuel industry, transportation companies, and utilities outspending environmental groups and the renewable energy industry 10 to 1, according to a new analysis published in the journal Climatic Change.

To Feed the World Sustainably, Repair the Soil

Read the full story in Scientific American.

New technologies and genetically modified crops are usually invoked as the key to feeding the world’s growing population. But a widely overlooked opportunity lies in reversing the soil degradation that has already taken something like a third of global farmland out of production. Simple changes in conventional farming practices offer opportunities to advance humanity’s most neglected natural infrastructure project—returning health to the soil that grows our food.

Sinking land, poisoned water: the dark side of California’s mega farms

Read the full story in The Guardian.

The floor of the Central Valley is slumping, and there is arsenic in the tap water. Now it seems the two problems are connected

American Farmland Trust calling for increased carbon sequestration

Read the full story at Delta Farm Press.

The loss of agricultural capacity, in acres of land and inches of soil, is unsustainable from a farming perspective and contributes to the impact toward climate change.

As Seas Rise, Americans Use Nature to Fight Worsening Erosion

Read the full story from Climate Central.

Centuries of dredging, diking and development have replaced wetlands throughout the U.S. with more than 10,000 miles of rocks, concrete and metal. For every seven miles of coastline in the Lower 48, scientists in North Carolina calculated that about one mile is hardened with a seawall, bulkhead or other hard structure to protect land and property.

Rising costs from flooding and erosion are prompting Americans, military bases and government agencies to opt for more natural alternatives. State and federal governments are changing permitting rules and taking other steps to encourage the switch, which can improve water quality, support fisheries and protect against storms and rising seas.

Illinois EPA cites owner of coal-ash pits for damaging Middle Fork

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

A former Vermilion County coal plant heavily criticized for contaminating groundwater has received a violation notice for alleged contamination of the Middle Fork River.

DIY: Managing Used Oil and Automotive Byproducts in the U.S.

In a multipart series at Waste360, Rob Arner, consultant with Re-gain Enterprise, will examine the complexity of defining and regulating used oil and automotive byproducts. Read part one here. Read part two here. Read part three here.