Day: October 3, 2019

Safe solution to mop up oil spills

Read the full story from the Queensland University of Technology.

Researchers have come up with a new, safe way to clean up oil spills using compounds equally useful as common household cleaning products.

Reusing Food Waste in Food Manufacturing Companies: The Case of the Tomato-Sauce Supply Chain

Secondi, L.; Principato, L.; Ruini, L.; Guidi, M.(2019). “Reusing Food Waste in Food Manufacturing Companies: The Case of the Tomato-Sauce Supply Chain.” Sustainability 11, 2154. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11072154 [Open access].

Abstract: The importance of reducing food loss and waste (FLW) has recently been emphasized at a European level with the amendment to the European Waste Framework Directive, according to which the effective reduction of food waste can be carried out by adopting a circularity approach that facilitates the transition to more sustainable management of materials. Likewise, the importance of concentrating on FLW produced within specific food supply chains has emerged as an effective starting point for quantifying the overall amount of wastage produced, emphasizing possible prevention actions as well as re-using and valorising waste.

From this perspective, our study focuses on the tomato-sauce supply chain with a threefold aim. First, to quantify the amount of FLW generated along the tomato-sauce supply chain from cultivation to retail. Second, to understand the most important related causes. Finally, to assess if and to what extent FLW can be reused according to the Circular Economy (CE) approach.

By adopting the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard, the analyses focused on the production of the Barilla Tomato and Basil sauce in Italy, as well as the related inventory. It was revealed that this supply chain can be considered an example of a true circular economy, in which almost nothing is lost because more than 85% of the total FLW are valorized into alternative sectors or activities

EPA Researchers Help Prepare Drinking Water Utilities for Natural Disasters

Read the full story from U.S. EPA.

To help communities and their drinking water utilities, researchers from EPA and the Sandia National Laboratories developed the Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR), a comprehensive scientific software package to help assess a drinking water systems’ resilience to natural disasters. The software improves upon already available capabilities by fully integrating hydraulic and water quality simulation, damage estimates and response actions, and resilience metrics into a single platform. The software is available as an open source software package and can be applied to a wide range of disruptive incidents and repair strategies.

A new way to turn heat into useful energy

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

Scientists have figured out how to capture heat and turn it into electricity. The discovery could create more efficient energy generation from heat in things like car exhaust, interplanetary space probes and industrial processes.

Wildfire Smoke: A Guide for Public Health Officials

This document, originally developed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), is designed to help local public health officials prepare for smoke events, to take measures to protect the public when smoke is present, and communicate with the public about wildfire smoke and health.

Model helps choose wind farm locations, predicts output

Read the full story from Penn State.

The wind is always blowing somewhere, but deciding where to locate a wind farm is a bit more complicated than holding up a wet finger. Now a team of researchers has a model that can locate the best place for the wind farm and even help with 24-hour predictions of energy output.

Self-affirmation theory and pro-environmental behaviour: Promoting a reduction in household food waste

Ella Graham-Rowe, Donna C. Jessup, Paul Sparks (2019). “Self-affirmation theory and pro-environmental behaviour: Promoting a reduction in household food waste.” Journal of Environmental Psychology 62, 124-132. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.02.003

Abstract: Household food waste has a significant detrimental impact on the environment. However, despite national campaigns, people in high income countries throw away a sizeable proportion of the food they purchase.

The present study investigated whether self-affirmation could promote openness to information detailing the negative consequences of household food waste, with a particular focus on fruit and vegetable waste.

Participants (N = 362) completed either a standard self-affirmation manipulation, an integrated self-affirmation manipulation or a control task before reading the information and completing a series of measures assessing cognitive antecedents of behaviour. Household fruit and vegetable waste was self-reported one-week later.

Compared to their non-affirmed counterparts, participants in the standard self-affirmation condition wasted less fruit and vegetables at follow-up. The findings suggest that self-affirmation has the potential to promote engagement with pro-environmental behaviour. Research should continue to explore how to integrate self-affirmation successfully within pro-environmental campaigns.

Food for All Launches Social Campaign to Help End Food Waste

Read the full story at Waste360.

The campaign encourages individuals to pressure their favorite local restaurants via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to eliminate food waste.

Hundreds of community climate action plans, yet few include forests

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Hundreds of communities across the United States are developing ambitious climate action plans to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but most overlook a critical piece of the puzzle: trees. Forests and trees offset 13 percent of U.S. emissions. With improved conservation, restoration and land management, that number could jump to 21 percent (PDF). However, in a survey of more than 30 U.S. communities conducted by ICLEI-USA last year, less than 10 percent were including forests and trees in their GHG inventories.

One reason communities don’t include forest management in their climate action plans is that they don’t know how to account for forests and trees in their emissions estimates.

That’s why ICLEI partnered with the Woods Hole Research Center and WRI on an initiative funded by the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) and Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to develop guidelines for ICLEI’s Community Protocol for Accounting and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. These new guidelines walk U.S. cities and counties through the process of estimating annual emissions and removals from forests and trees outside forests, including urban trees and trees growing in other areas such as farms.

Why methane emissions matter to climate change: 5 questions answered

Read the full story at The Conversation.

The EPA on Aug. 29 unveiled a proposal to rescind regulations to limit methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. Critics said the rollback will worsen climate change and air quality. Reaction from energy companies varied, with some arguing the limits are unnecessary while others supported the federal regulations.

Colorado State University energy scholars Anthony Marchese and Dan Zimmerle last year published an extensive study on the extent of methane emissions from the oil and gas industry. They explain the sources of methane from natural gas and what this regulatory rollback could mean.

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