Day: August 1, 2018

Harvard Food Law & Policy Clinic

The Food Law and Policy Clinic of Harvard Law School (FLPC), a division of the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, was established in 2010 to link Harvard Law School students with opportunities to work with clients and communities on various food law and policy issues. Their initiatives include food waste and sustainable food production. You can find their list of publications here.

Large Animal Feeding Operations On The Rise

Read the full story from Iowa Watch.

The number of new concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) has increased across the United States over the past seven years – bringing the total operations just under 20,000, according to data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

How can technology reshape energy efficiency? Summer Study speakers offer insights

Read the full post from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

A dizzying array of cutting-edge energy efficiency technology is available in today’s marketplace. Though many smart products are affordable, they remain vastly underutilized. The efficiency field seems to have a persistent and stubborn adoption gap. To explore the issue, ACEEE’s Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings will hold a tech-focused plenary in addition to dozens of related sessions.

As Summer Study’s 2018 co-chair, I helped organize and will moderate the tech plenary on Monday, August 13th, entitled “Making Efficiency Easy and Enticing — Does Technology Help or Hurt?” To give you a taste of our discussion, I posed a few questions to the plenary’s speakers: Emma Bassein, VP of Strategic Initiatives at Carbon Lighthouse; Fatima Crerar, Director of Social Impact and Sustainability at ecobee; Colin Sng, Director of Customer Success at First Fuel; and Yeye Zhang, head of West Region Energy Partnerships at Google.

Stop buying crap, and companies will stop making crap

Read the full story in Fast Company.

It’s hard to believe that our purchasing decisions have any impact on the fashion industry. But this week, we saw that they do.

A social tool for evaluating the environmental impact of residential buildings

Read the full story at Science Daily.

The research group ARDITEC from the Higher Technical School of Building Engineering at the University of Seville has led a pioneering European project to calculate the environmental impact of residential buildings. The novelty of this initiative is that for the first time an open-source computing tool which can, simply and intuitively, calculate the CO2 emissions in each phase of a building project, in order to obtain a global picture of its carbon footprint from its conception and to help decide every variable in the construction process.

 

Drywall Waste Explored as Building System

Read the full story at ENR Northwest.

A team from Washington State University wants to take one of the construction industry’s largest source of waste and turn it into a plausible building solution. And the project will next move beyond the laboratory and into scale with a demonstration structure.

EPR and the China Sword

Read the full post from the Product Stewardship Institute.

In July 2017, China formally announced new import restrictions on recyclables, which came into effect in 2018. U.S. municipalities are now feeling the Sword’s sting. A lack of investment in domestic recycling infrastructure, dependence on other nations to accept contaminated recyclables, and failure to account for the full lifecycle costs of packaging have resulted in significantly increased costs for local governments and taxpayers. China’s policy shift revealed flaws in U.S. recycling systems, which currently rely on voluntary action on the part of packaging producers.

In British Columbia, however, where an extended producer responsibility (EPR) law is in place for packaging and paper products, the effects of the Sword are muted. There is now increasing interest in EPR for packaging in the U.S. – which will only grow as the impacts of China’s policies continue to unfold.

The Bike-Share Oversupply in China: Huge Piles of Abandoned and Broken Bicycles

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

Last year, bike sharing took off in China, with dozens of bike-share companies quickly flooding city streets with millions of brightly colored rental bicycles. However, the rapid growth vastly outpaced immediate demand and overwhelmed Chinese cities, where infrastructure and regulations were not prepared to handle a sudden flood of millions of shared bicycles.

Geese Fly to Exhaustion in Race Against Climate Change

Read the full story from Live Science.

Every spring, thousands of barnacle geese make a grand migration from their temperate winter habitat in northern Europe and northwestern Russia to their summer nesting grounds in the Arctic. It’s a journey of more than 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) that usually takes about a month, but new research has found that rising temperatures in the Arctic are pressuring the geese to make the trip in a grueling one-week sprint.

Berkeley Lab-Developed Digital Library is a Game Changer for Environmental Research

Read the full story from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Having access to environmental data is crucial for everything from planning for our water and energy needs and safeguarding against environmental threats to building resilient infrastructure.

Now a digital tool developed by a collaboration of scientists led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) will make it much easier to use high-quality observations collected over years to power computer models and examine and predict ecosystem and watershed behaviors over time scales stretching from seasons to decades to centuries.

The tool, called ESS-DIVE (Environmental System Science – Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem), serves as a repository for hundreds of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded research projects under the agency’s Environmental System Science umbrella, which includes the Subsurface Biogeochemical Research and Terrestrial Ecosystem Sciences programs.

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