Day: October 23, 2018

There’s probably microplastic in your poop

Read the full story in Fast Company.

Tiny pieces of plastic have been found in beer, fish, sea salt, honey, and other food. It’s not surprising, then, that a new pilot study also found microplastic in human poop.

Don’t be afraid to talk about the costs of dealing with climate change

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Climate advocates have struggled to persuade half of the U.S. public of the need to do more to slow the pace of global warming.

But even as climate scientists are sounding louder alarms about the urgency of the situation, they disagree among themselves about how to proceed.

As political scientists who study the politics of climate change, we wanted to find out how to get more people to take the risks of global warming seriously. So we designed an experiment.

The Dutch Can’t Save Us From Rising Seas

Read the full story in CityLab.

Dutch engineers are renowned for their ability to keep cities dry. But their approach doesn’t necessarily translate to an American context.

The science of sustainability

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Can humans drive economic growth, meet rising demand for food, energy and water, and make significant environmental progress? The short answer is ‘yes,’ but it comes with several big ‘ifs.’ New research shows that we can put the world on a path to sustainability if we make significant changes within the next 10 years.

3 models of collaboration for sustainable packaging innovation

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Public awareness of the perils of plastic waste never has been higher, thanks to National Geographic’s June magazine dedicated to the problem. Company recycling commitments and governmental bans are on the rise, even as China’s ban on U.S. recycled materials continues to reverberate across the industry.

This pivotal moment of crisis and opportunity is a chance to reimagine and rebuild the U.S. recycling industry. As Nina Goodrich, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, said in her keynote address at the recent SPC Advance conference: “We need to take the opportunity of the wakeup call from China to build the infrastructure that’s going to manage the materials of the future and not get caught flat-footed by looking to the past.”

One of the biggest challenges is creating market demand for new post-consumer materials. “If everything is recyclable, but nobody wants it, is it recyclable?” Goodrich exhorted the crowd.

Companies can help solve this conundrum by working with both their supply chains to design materials that are more recyclable, and with the recycling industry to ensure that materials recovery is economically viable.

Green Roof Requirements Are On the Rise

Read the full story in Governing.

To meet their energy goals, cities are starting to make new buildings have solar panels or vegetation atop.

Applying Auto Industry’s Fuel-Efficiency Standards to Agriculture Could Net Billions in Corn Sector, Researchers Conclude

Read the full story from NYU.

Adopting benchmarks similar to the fuel-efficiency standards used by the auto industry in the production of fertilizer could yield $5-8 billion in economic benefits for the U.S. corn sector alone, researchers have concluded in a new analysis.

Study reveals best use of wildflowers to benefit crops on farms

Read the full story from Cornell University.

With bee pollinators in decline and pesky crop pests lowering yields, sustainable and organic farmers need environmentally friendly solutions.

One strategy is to border crops with wildflower plantings to attract pollinators and pest predators. But scientists have suggested that such plantings may only be effective when farms are surrounded by the right mix of natural habitat and agricultural land.

For the first time, a Cornell study of strawberry crops on New York farms tested this theory and found that wildflower strips on farms added pollinators when the farm lay within a “Goldilocks zone,” where 25 to 55 percent of the surrounding area contained natural lands. Outside this zone, flower plantings also drew more strawberry pests, while having no effect on wasps that kill those pests.

In North Carolina, hurricanes did what scientists could not: Convince Republicans that climate change is real

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

While President Trump continued this week to deny the effects of climate change in the face of overwhelming scientific agreement that it is occurring — most recently noted in a landmark United Nations report that he has dismissed — a discernible shift appears to be occurring among Republican voters in North Carolina, a state pummeled by two hurricanes in two years.

The impact, say residents of this conservative congressional district, lies right before their eyes, prompting conversations among farmers, fishermen and others on how climate change has hurt the local economy and environment.

Prototype systems to show how renewable energy can power devices

Read the full story from South Dakota State University.

A five-year, $725,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help South Dakota State University researchers show how new solar cell and battery materials can work in real-world applications, according to Professor Qiquan Qiao. The Harold C. Hohbach Endowed Professor in Electrical Engineering is the director of the Center for Advanced Photovoltaics and Sustainable Energy and coordinator of the electrical engineering graduate program.

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