Champaign County Grows Green Weekend October 17th to 19th

Starting this year, Midwest Grows Green, the Urbana Park District and the Urbana, Illinois – City Government will manage healthy, biodiverse and pesticide-free soils at the Urbana City Building and Canaday Park Ball Field by incorporating compost topdressing. See how we do it and commit to the natural lawn care approach by attending the multiple tutorials, demos and fun activities offered by CCGG Weekend. The events include:

Thursday October 17th
Compost Topdressing Lunch & Learn: Experience the steps and benefits of using compost to fertilize your lawn. During this CCNet brownbag, the Urbana, Illinois – City Government demos compost topdressing on their organic south lawn of the Urbana City Building, Noon – 1 pm.

Natural Lawn Care Green Drinks: Network and learn how to implement NLC and compost topdressing at a large scale with representatives of MGG, the Landscape Recycling Center in Urbana, the Urbana Park District and more. Location at Broadway Food Hall in Urbana, 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Saturday October 19th
Urbana’s Market at the Square: Visit MGG’s Ryan Anderson, ask questions about natural lawn care and take the pledge at Urbana’s Farmer’s Market.

How consumer products giant Unilever plans to dramatically slash its use of plastic

Read the full story in Fast Company.

The company plans to cut its use of virgin plastic packaging in half by 2025 through a series of steps—including selling toothpaste that comes in chewable tablets, among other things.

Circularity and the 45 percent climate solution

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Among the copious reports and white papers released during the third week of September — a.k.a. Climate Week (a good roundup can be found here) — was one that didn’t get much notice, but should. It neatly and powerfully places the circular economy at the center of untapped solutions to limit the worst impacts of a changing climate.

The report, like so much groundbreaking research on the circular economy, came from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with Material Economics, a Stockholm-based management consultancy firm focusing on sustainability strategy, technology and policy. Completing the Picture: How the Circular Economy Tackles Climate Change (PDF) makes the case that shifting to renewable energy and energy efficiency in buildings and transport can meet only about 55 percent of greenhouse gas reductions needed to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius cap in temperature rise set out by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The other 45 percent? We’ll need to redesign and rethink how we manage land and other resources, and how we produce everything from cars to cauliflower. In short: The world will need to embrace a circular economy.

Pacific Northwest Tribes Face Climate Change With Agricultural Ancient Practice

Read the full story from NPR.

Tribes in the Puget Sound region have a problem.

Many of them live on low-lying reservations surrounded by water. So, as climate change causes the oceans to rise, tribal land is disappearing. Climate change also threatens the fish and shellfish these groups rely on for food and income. Now, some tribes are looking at a surprising solution to these problems: clam gardens.

Believing in climate change doesn’t mean you are preparing for climate change, study finds

Read the full story from the University of Notre Dame.

Believing in climate change has no effect on whether or not coastal homeowners are protecting their homes from climate change-related hazards, according to a new study from the University of Notre Dame.

Webinar: Managing AFFF Impacts to Subsurface Environments and Assessment of Commercially Available Fluorine-Free Foams

October 17, 2019, 11 am CDT
Register here.

Remediation Options for PFAS-Contaminated Groundwater by Dr. Michelle Crimi

The historical use of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) formulations containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) for firefighting and training activities by the Department of Defense (DoD) has led to concern over the potential for contamination of groundwater at hundreds of sites. Because regulatory guideline concentrations for PFAS are 3 to 4 orders of magnitude lower than concentrations measured at several sites, cost effective treatment approaches are needed which consider the unique chemical properties of PFAS including high solubility, low volatility, emulsification behavior, recalcitrance, and presence as mixtures. This presentation will present viable approaches for treating recalcitrant PFAS and recent related research activity. Technologies of particular focus include sorption, ion exchange, oxidation, sonolysis, and plasma treatment. Challenges and limitations of these approaches, including the presence of precursors and co-contaminants and generation of byproducts will be discussed. The presentation will also highlight research activity at Clarkson University to advance and optimize PFAS treatment technologies, with a particular emphasis on treatment trains for more efficient and effective remediation.

Capabilities Assessment of Fluorine-Free Foams and Water Additives by Mr. Jerry Back

Legacy firefighting foams (AFFF) used by DoD are facing increasing regulatory scrutiny throughout the world due to both environmental and human health concerns associated with the fluorinated surfactants. This presentation will describe a two-year effort to assess the capabilities of environmentally friendly AFFF alternatives, including both traditional candidates such as fluorine-free foams and non-traditional options such as wetting agents and other water additives. The goal of the program is to provide an “apples to apples” comparison of the capabilities of the AFFFs currently used by the DoD and commercially available fluorine-free alternatives. The firefighting capabilities will be assessed against a range of representative real-scale scenarios and laboratory/approval scale. Results from the real-scale scenarios will be linked to smaller laboratory/approval scale test results to develop a better understanding of the approval scale test results for assessing firefighting capabilities. The final outcome of the program is to identify potential commercially available agents as alternatives for AFFF. A database of potential firefighting agents will be started for future reference.

Adapt Now: A Global Call for Leadership on Climate Resilience

Download the document.

This report focuses on making the case for climate adaptation, providing specific insights and recommendations in key sectors: food security, the natural environment, water, cities and urban areas, infrastructure, disaster risk management, and finance. It is designed to inspire action among decision-makers, including heads of state and government officials, mayors, business executives, investors, and community leaders.

Battery-Powered Vehicles Raise Questions for Which There Are No Answers, Yet.

Read the full story in Governing.

With more than 100 EV new models about to hit the streets, policymakers and utilities are grappling with how to best support the emerging technology.

Everyone’s AirPods will die. We’ve got the trick to replacing them.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

We shouldn’t let Apple turn headphones into expensive, disposable products because of bad battery design.

RB, TerraCycle partner to recycle health, hygiene products

Read the full story in Waste Today.

Global health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB), which makes popular consumer brands including Mucinex and Enfamil and is headquartered in the U.K., has announced it entered into a partnership with TerraCycle, Trenton, New Jersey, to offer consumers with a simple, free way to recycle their consumer goods packaging. According to a news release from TerraCycle, the RB Health & Nutrition Recycling Program will accept packaging waste from all brands of vitamins and supplements, upper respiratory, sexual health and well-being, infant formula and child nutrition, personal care items and foot care items.