Polluted Parks: How America is Failing to Protect Our National Parks, People and Planet from Air Pollution

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Nearly every national park is affected by air pollution and climate change in adverse ways. NPCA’s “Polluted Parks” report evaluates damage from air pollution at 417 national parks based on harm to nature, hazy skies, unhealthy air and climate change. It also presents stories of people affected and clear and feasible solutions to benefit our air, parks and climate.

The ‘Invisible’ Pollution of Plastics

Read the full story in the Daily Nexus.

While many of us know about the harmful effects of plastics on marine ecosystems, including marine life getting snagged in plastic debris or ingesting microplastics, less apparent are their contributions to the air and climate change.

To get a more comprehensive understanding of greenhouse gas emissions that plastics produce, UC Santa Barbara researchers performed the first global-scale study focusing on the impact of plastics on climate change. Their findings have been published in the Nature Climate Change journal.

Holland & Barrett now first retailer to ban wet wipes

Read the full story at Retail Gazette.

Holland & Barrett has said it will no longer buy, sell or produce wet wipes as part of its “Clean and Conscious” pledge amid a sustainability demand.

The health and well-being retailer has become the first high street retailer to perform this initiative, after becoming the first to ban both plastic bags and microplastics back in 2009.

Ahead on recycling, this Maryland suburb is grappling with other types of trash

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

When Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) was elected last year, he vowed to close down the county’s trash incinerator — much to the delight of community and environmental groups, which had been working toward that goal for years.

But now that he’s in office, a vexing question remains: What should be done with the roughly 1,800 tons of trash Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction sends to its incinerator every day?

Many online climate change lessons are actually junk

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

When science teacher Diana Allen set out to teach climate change, a subject she’d never learned in school, she fell into a rabbit’s hole of misinformation: Many resources presented online as educational material were actually junk.

“It is a pretty scary topic to take on,” said Allen, a teacher at Sanford Junior High School, in southern Maine. “There are some pretty tricky websites out there. You kind of have to be an expert to be able to see through that like, ‘Oh, no, these guys aren’t telling you the truth.’”

There are materials produced by climate change doubters, lesson plans developed by the oil industry, and countless other sites with misleading or outdated information. The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network , funded by federal grants, reviewed more than 30,000 free online resources and found only 700 acceptable for use in schools.

Solar PV and Energy Efficiency in Residential Building Codes

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Both energy efficiency and renewable energy can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve a home’s resilience during power outages. Cost effectiveness is another important consideration. Recent energy code changes have raised the question of whether renewable sources like rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) panels can be substituted for energy efficiency measures like insulation and windows. But in the long run will it cost the homeowner more or less to make this substitution? This study compares the cost effectiveness of energy efficiency and an equivalent level of solar PV generation in the construction of new homes. We evaluate the net cost savings, amortized over 30 years, for cities in climate zones 2-6. In each city we find that homeowners would save money every month from energy efficiency measures whereas a solar PV system would actually cost them money.

Major recyclers deny still exporting plastic overseas

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

Plastics may still be getting exported to overseas markets, but major recycling companies say it isn’t coming from them. Responding to an audience question at WasteExpo on May 7, CFOs from Waste Management, Republic Services, Waste Connections, Casella Waste Systems and WCA Waste quickly confirmed they’re now keeping all collected plastics domestic.

While plastic has captured international media attention, for a variety of reasons there is growing sentiment among industry players that a larger story on fiber is being overshadowed. “It makes up around 60-70% of the recycling stream,” said Casella CFO Ned Coletta during the panel. “For the U.S. solid waste infrastructure, finding sustainable markets for paper and cardboard is very, very important economically.”

Another theme, which has been echoed repeatedly for many months, is recycling of any kind must now pay for itself, and further domestic market development is crucial. “We can control the types of services that we provide, but if there’s no end market for the recyclables it’s no good,” said Waste Connections CFO Mary Anne Whitney.

“Bomb Carbon” Has Been Found in Deep-Ocean Creatures

Read the full story in Scientific American.

The detection of this radioactive relic of nuclear weapons tests in a remote environment shows humanity’s far-reaching environmental impact

Why the Guardian is launching a major reader-funded project on the toxicity of modern life

Read the full story in The Guardian.

From pesticides in our produce to toxic dyes in cosmetics, Toxic America is an ambitious new series to investigate the health risks from exposure to chemicals in our everyday lives

Michigan solar developer emphasizes job training in low-income communities

Read the full story at Midwest Energy News.

Chart House Energy founder says the benefits of hiring and training local workers outweigh the added cost and effort.