Award-winning clothes repair service looking for public investment

Read the full story in Resource.

The award-winning clothes repair service, Clothes Doctor, has launched a campaign on Crowdcube for public investment. In just a few hours, it raised £100,000 – a sixth of the way to its target – as investors back this sustainable start-up.

Helping customers prolong the lifespan of their clothes and address our throwaway culture, Clothes Doctor collects, repairs and returns clothing so that consumers can avoid the traditionally inconvenient and time-consuming chore.

Aquariums Up the Ante to Cut Plastic Pollution

Read the full story at Waste360.

FirstStep campaign presses for new public, policy commitments through Earth Day 2019.

Scientists find a ‘switch’ to increase starch accumulation in algae

Read the full story from AAAS.

Results from a collaborative study by Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tohoku University, Japan, raise prospects for large-scale production of algae-derived starch, a valuable bioresource for biofuels and other renewable materials. Such bio-based products have the potential to replace fossil fuels and contribute to the development of sustainable systems and societies.

Updated app helps you determine when your food spoils

Read the full story from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

An updated app from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service is offering food safety tips to help keep your food from spoiling.

The USDA Foodkeeper app was updated last month to include information on more than 650 food and beverage items, information on how long foods last, cooking safety tips and how to store for maximum quality.

EIA: Reduced electric demand has halved carbon emissions in power sector

Read the full story from ACEEE.

Finally, some good news! Recent hurricanes and major climate reports have heightened awareness of climate change and the dire need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This week, a blog post from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows energy efficiency is a vital climate solution. Half of the carbon dioxide emission reductions in the electric power sector since 2005 have come from stopping growth in demand for electricity, as shown in the EIA’s graphic. Other research finds that a large part of the demand reduction is due to consumer energy efficiency.


“Plastic Island” Imagines the Possibilities of Reusing Oceanic Waste in Architecture

Read the full story at ArchDaily.

With rising sea levels and incessant consumption of plastic, the state of the earth’s oceans is rapidly deteriorating. Instead of discarding or burning this plastic, architects Erik Goksøyr and Emily-Claire Goksøyr questioned whether any architectural potential exists in this neglected material. By conducting an extensive material study, the duo designed three prototypes to postulate this theory.

‘Living With Water’: Facing Climate Change, Cities Trade Sea Walls for Parks

Read the full story at Stateline.

As climate change forces cities to grapple with rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms, coastal cities must prepare for a heightened likelihood of flooding, whether tidal flooding from rising sea levels or a hurricane that could dump inches of rain in a short period of time.

For the last hundred years, protecting neighborhoods has often meant relying on sea walls — large, concrete barriers designed to withstand strong waves and rising waters. Beyond not being particularly attractive, they are expensive, can cause erosion and harm marine life.

City planners now say they are increasingly turning to methods aligned with the Dutch concept of “living with water.” Instead of resisting water, cities are channeling it to where they want it to go. Boston’s reimagined waterfront would be designed to handle at least 21 inches of sea-level rise, which the city anticipates by 2050.

Insect populations are declining around the world. How worried should we be?

Read the full story at Ensia.

Widely reported studies this year and last led to headlines globally of an “insect Armageddon.” The real story is more nuanced — but probably just as unsettling.

Stop Sucking: What’s the Deal with Plastic Straws?

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Editor’s note: In recent months, we have seen – and written about – numerous initiatives around the world addressing the problem of waste from single-use plastics, including straws. Here, guest author Robert Kravitz shares some background on the issue.

A New York City diner, famous for its milkshakes, started doing something a bit differently beginning in July 2018.  Along with the milkshakes was a note reading, “Missing something in your drink? There’s a reason for that.”

The note did not say what was missing or why it was missing. But what they were referring to were the plastic straws typically delivered with the milkshakes. The diner decided it would be best if patrons asked what was missing and why. This way, the server had an opportunity to discuss what happens to plastic straws once they are disposed of.

This is just one example of the stop using plastic straws campaign. It has proven to be so successful in New York and around the country that there is even a trending hashtag, #StopSucking, which has been getting quite a bit of attention.

Improving climate models to account for plant behavior yields ‘goodish’ news

Read the full story in Science Daily.

Climate scientists have not been properly accounting for what plants do at night, and that, it turns out, is a mistake. A new study has found that plant nutrient uptake in the absence of photosynthesis affects greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere.