Day: July 16, 2019

The massive emissions-cutting and cost-saving potential of chemical reuse

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Chemicals used in products such as plastics and fertilizers are scrutinized for their negative impact on the environment and human health. Surprisingly, chemicals used for acids and lubricants receive much less attention, yet when managed improperly, the detrimental effects of these processes are no better…

Companies could adopt new chemical usage strategies by circulating the molecules tied up in chemicals that have reached the end of their life span, and reuse chemicals more than once. This would result in capturing the value of those chemicals, while reducing their environmental impact.

Enforcement of NYC Foam Ban Begins

Read the full story at Waste360.

The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) began enforcing its foam ban law on July 1—the end of its six-month warning period.

Well-meaning climate measures can make matters worse

Read the full story from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Lifestyle changes can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and help protect nature. While some actions offer great potential, some aren’t as effective as we think and may even require more land and water, such as shifting to renewable energy.

We need to change our lifestyle if we want to make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. But not all changes proposed in the name of climate mitigation are for the better, according to research from NTNU and others.

Wood products mitigate less than one percent of global carbon emissions

Read the full story from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The world’s wood products — all the paper, lumber, furniture and more — offset just one percent of annual global carbon emissions by locking away carbon in woody forms, according to new research.

Levi Strauss & Co. Signs $2.3M Deal to Cut Water Use and Emissions

Read the full story from Environmental Leader.

Levi Strauss & Co. recently signed a $2.3 million cooperation agreement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. This deal is expected to help the denim maker meet its goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use in its supply chain.

11 Kitchen Hacks to Cut Down on Food Waste in the Tastiest Way

Read the full story from FoodTank.

With growing awareness of how food waste affects the environment, many conscious eaters are looking for ways to reduce their impact. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the global greenhouse gas emissions from food waste are larger than those of all countries except for China and the United States. Part of curbing those emissions may take many revolutionary changes in the food system, but individuals can also reduce their own foodprint by using every part of their grocery store haul.

What might be viewed as waste, or even the traditionally less-valued part of an ingredient, can have big flavor and nutrition that home cooks may be ignoring. Preventable food waste also carries a hefty price tag. Data from the Natural Resources Defense Council shows that it costs the average United States household of four US$1,800 per year. According to the Australian Government, food waste costs its economy roughly US$14 billion per year while adding millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Considering a nose-to-tail, fin-to-fin, and leaf-to-root approach may not only help lower the environmental burden from food waste, but can also add new and exciting flavors to everyday meals without breaking the bank­—or the trash bin. Below is a list of 11 underrated parts of foods to help get the most out of your grocery shop.

Most illustrations of the water cycle are missing an important ingredient: people

Read the full story at Ensia.

Some 80% of wastewater worldwide goes back into ecosystems without getting treated for pollution. Human-caused climate change is making droughts more common and water more scarce, threatening to displace tens to hundreds of millions in the next decade. People use water to grow crops, cool power plants, flush toilets and more. And global demand for water keeps climbing, with a projected rise of 20–30% over the next 30 years.

But if you just looked at sketches of the water cycle — the diagrams that pop up everywhere from elementary school textbooks to scientific publications — you wouldn’t know about this human impact. In fact, most water cycle diagrams don’t show humans affecting water at all, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience earlier this month by researchers from North America and Europe. Of 464 diagrams from a dozen countries they examined, only 15% depicted humans interacting with water.

There’s a new EPA air sheriff in town, and she’s got a shaky grasp on climate

Read the full story at Grist.

Out with one EPA official with close ties to big polluters, in with Anne Idsal, a little-known, politically connected Texan with a shaky grasp on climate science.

Bill Wehrum, the EPA’s top air quality official who helped roll back Obama-era rules, announced earlier this week that he would step down amid an ethics investigation into his ties to former clients the agency regulates. The move has opened up a spot for Idsal, who has been serving as principal deputy assistant administrator in the agency’s Office of Air and Radiation and reporting to Wehrum.

The office is a powerful part of the EPA, responsible for administering the Clean Air Act and overseeing regulations over air pollution. Historically, the office has been responsible for some of the country’s most ambitious efforts to clean up the air. But under the Trump administration, the department has taken a more business-friendly approach. Wehrum has led the charge on halting improvements to automobile efficiency standards and repealing the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a policy to cut emissions from coal plants.

As interim director, Idsal will be responsible for continuing that work. The office recently replaced the Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy rule, which loosens emissions regulations (and is sure to face legal challenges). California and 16 other states have also sued the agency over its rollback of fuel efficiency standards.

Cereal company expands its beer brewing initiative to help fight food waste

Read the full story at Planet Ark.

Last year, the cereal giant Kellogg’s began turning its unused Corn Flakes into a popular beer, the “Throwaway IPA”, created in partnership with Seven Bro7hers Brewery in northern England.

Earlier this month, the company went even further by doing the same thing with two of its other famous cereals. When the rice-based flakes used to make Coco Pops or Rice Krispies did not meet the strict standards required before entering supermarkets, they would usually end up in landfill. Now, the overcooked, discoloured, or slightly imperfect grains go into brewing the new “Sling-It Stout” and “Cast-Off Pale Ale”.

Opinion: To succeed, the Green New Deal must tap the power of collective action

Read the full story at Ensia.

The Green New Deal offers valuable insights on how to drive transformational change. Does it have what it takes to pull it off?

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