Day: February 6, 2019

Bill introduced to keep HOAs from banning rooftop solar panels

Read the full story in the Idaho Press.

An Idaho House committee agreed Thursday that homeowners’ property rights would be better protected if homeowners associations couldn’t ban rooftop solar panels.

Ben & Jerry’s Ditches Single-Use Plastic in Scoop Shops

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Ben & Jerry’s plans to phase out single-use plastic from all of their Scoop Shops worldwide starting early this year. As a first step, the ice cream company will no longer offer plastic spoons and straws.

Packaging Giant Challenges Designers and Engineers to Develop ‘Creative Solutions’

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Packaging company Smurfit Kappa is calling on the industry – and its own designers – to develop sustainable packaging solutions. The company is challenging designers, engineers, inventors and “creative thinkers” to come up with packaging innovations that will replace existing, un-recyclable packaging waste…

To back up its call for innovation in the industry, the company has launched a “Better Planet Packaging Design Challenge.” Winners of the challenge – those who offer solutions to solving concrete problems in sustainable packaging design – will receive 8,000 euros, and their ideas will be showcased at an event in May, 2019.

 

The solution to agriculture’s water quality impacts is bigger than WOTUS

Read the full story from EDF.

The Clean Water Act continues to provide critical protections for America’s drinking water, lakes and streams. While this bedrock, bipartisan law put the worst industrial water pollution largely behind us, the hard work of addressing nonpoint source pollution remains.

Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulations were created to help mitigate nonpoint source pollution and protect isolated wetlands, but the long-running controversy over the scope of WOTUS illustrates the limitations to using broad and blunt regulations to solve complex problems.

Nutrient runoff from farms is one of the causes of dead zones and contaminated groundwater – the drinking water source for nearly half of all Americans. In addition, 43 million Americans, mostly in rural communities, drink water from private wells – 16 percent of which contain groundwater that exceeds federal nitrate limits.

As WOTUS revisions make their way through a public comment period and face likely legal challenges, water quality improvements can’t wait. Here’s why, and what we can do in the meantime.

New report lists steps for Boston to become carbon neutral

Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.

A report commissioned by the city of Boston, Carbon Free Boston, lays out steps the city can take to meet its long-term goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The report says to meet its goal, Boston must focus on three overarching strategies: deepening energy efficiency while reducing demand, electrifying as much as possible and purchasing 100% clean energy. Specific steps include performing energy retrofits on buildings, implementing a $5 congestion fee for downtown motorists, free or reduced-fare transit and adding electric vehicle infrastructure.

Carbon Free Boston will influence updates to the city’s Climate Action Plan this year.

Why Disney World Is Betting On Clean Energy

Read the full story from EDF.

“Environmental stewardship and conservation were engrained in The Walt Disney Company from the beginning,” Angie Renner recently told me. Angie is an Environmental Integration Director at Walt Disney World Resort, and today she says the company is investing in new technologies and renewable energy projects that have thus far cut greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half. Why? Because as a Bloomberg story just noted, warmer temperatures are already impacting the “the comfort and health and well being of [the resort’s] customers.”

Plastic pollution causes mussels to lose grip

Read the full story in Science Daily.

A new study shows that microplastics are affecting the ability of mussels to attach themselves to their surroundings — potentially having a devastating impact on ocean ecosystems as well as a worldwide industry.

Climate change reshaping how heat moves around globe

Read the full story in Science Daily.

The Earth’s atmosphere and oceans play important roles in moving heat from one part of the world to another, and new research is illuminating how those patterns are changing in the face of climate change.

Optimizing Electric Fields Yields Better Catalysts

Read the full story from U.S. DOE.

Industries rely on catalysts. These materials lessen the energy used in refining oil, manufacturing plastics, and much more. Catalysts can also mean less waste is produced. Better catalysts would benefit industries and the environment. In a perspective article in Nature Catalysis, a trio of researchers offer a unique view into catalyst design. They showed that optimizing electric fields in computational systems could improve different types of catalysts.

The Rosewood Trade: An Illicit Trail from Forest to Furniture

Read the full story at e360.

The most widely traded illegal wild product in the world today is rosewood, an endangered hardwood prized for its use in traditional Chinese furniture. An e360 investigation follows the trail of destruction and corruption from the forests of Madagascar to furniture showrooms in China.

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