Day: November 13, 2019

Methane Detectives: Can a Wave of New Technology Slash Natural Gas Leaks?

Read the full story at e360.

Along Colorado’s Front Range, researchers are working to develop new ways of detecting methane leaks, using everything from lasers to light aircraft to drones. Their technologies could curb a potent contributor to climate change, while saving industry billions of dollars in lost gas.

Your hand soap is bad for the planet. Try this clever product instead

Read the full story in Fast Company.

A startup called Blueland launched earlier this year to create more eco-friendly cleaning products. It has just launched a new hand wash system that significantly cuts down on the environmental footprint of, you know, having clean hands.

Detroit Entrepreneurs Fight Food Insecurity With Lessons Of The Past

Read the full story from NPR.

On a cold, sunny day in early February, Raphael Wright and his business partner, Sonya Greene, check out a vacant building in Detroit’s Linwood neighborhood. Inside, wood panels are on the floor, and drywall is being placed over exposed brick. The only clue to the building’s past is a sign out front, with the words “Liquor, Beepers, and Check Cashing.”

Located on the west side of Detroit, the Linwood neighborhood remains underdeveloped, with few retail businesses, countless empty lots and many vacant buildings. But Wright and Greene see potential here. It’s why they’ve chosen this neighborhood to open a bodega that sells healthy food. Like other neglected neighborhoods in urban areas, fresh fruits and vegetables aren’t a basic necessity here — they’re a luxury.

After the water

Read the full story from NPR.

When a flash flood ripped through Old Ellicott City in Maryland, residents thought it was a freak occurrence. Instead, it was a hint about the future. And adapting to that future has been painful.

Unfamiliar Ground: Bracing for Climate Impacts in the American Midwest

Read the full story at Inside Climate News.

Reporters from across the Midwest explore the climate risks and the strategies communities are using to adapt.

AIC Invites Nominations for Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to Preservation and Care of Collections

Together with the Foundation for Advancement in Conservation, the American Institute for Conservation supports conservation education, research, and outreach activities that increase understanding of our global cultural heritage.

To that end, AIC is inviting applications for the Ross Merrill Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Preservation and Care of Collections. The annual award honors institutions in North America that have shown an exemplary and sustained commitment to conservation and collections care through interpretation, research, scholarship, education, and/or public outreach.

Nominees should be North American not-for-profit organizations of any size responsible for the conservation of cultural property. Cultural property is defined by AIC as material that may be artistic, historic, scientific, religious, or social and is an invaluable and irreplaceable legacy that must be preserved for future generations. Collections can include fine arts, library and archival materials, natural history, natural science, musical instruments, textiles, technology, archaeology, ethnography, and photography. If a collection is located in a historical building or site, that building or site should be considered part of the collection. 

Nominators should provide evidence of the nominee’s sustained and exemplary commitment to the preservation and care of its collections through description of its conservation and preservation activities, special programs, and the involvement of conservation professionals in decision-making processes.

Organizations may act as their own nominators, but additional letters of support are welcomed.

Detection and removal of biologically active organic micropollutants from hospital wastewater

Meza, Piotriwski, et al. (2019). “Detection and removal of biologically active organic micropollutants from hospital wastewater.” Science of the Total Environment 700, 134469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134469

Abstract: The presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), such as antibiotics, antimicrobial disinfectants, nonprescription drugs, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and steroids, in water resources can impact aquatic and human health. A large portion of the CECs entering regional wastewater treatment plants originate from hospitals. The purposes of this study were to conduct exploratory analytical work to characterize two hospital wastewaters and to evaluate treatment of CECs at hospitals before dilution with domestic wastewater. A 24-h batch reaction with biogenic manganese oxides coated onto coir fiber was used to treat the wastewaters. Organic contaminants in the wastewaters were concentrated by both liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and solid-phase extraction (SPE). LLE extracts were analyzed by Comprehensive Two-Dimensional Gas Chromatography/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (GC × GC-TOFMS) while SPE extracts were analyzedby UltraHigh Performance Liquid Chromatography/Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-TOFMS). Fifty-two organic micropollutants were detected (26 by GC × GC-TOFMS, 25 by UHPLC-TOFMS, 1 by both) in the wastewaters, while 29 were removed by >90% and six were degraded by <50% after treatment. Control experiments revealed that sorption to coir fiber and oxidation by manganese oxides were the primary contaminant removal mechanisms. Both the LLE and SPE extracts were used to evaluate potential human toxicity of the hospital wastewaters before and after treatment. Twenty-eight human cell-based bioreceptor assays were used to screen the wastewaters, and secondary tests were run to quantify toxicity equivalents to activated receptors. The wastewaters initially contained organic micropollutants that strongly activated the Androgen Receptor, Estrogen Receptor β, and the Mineralocorticoid Receptor but no bioactive compounds were detected after treatment. Point-of-entry treatment of hospital wastewater should reduce bioactive compounds from entering the environment.

Nestlé’s Gerber and TerraCycle partner for recycling programme

Read the full story from FoodBev Media.

Nestlé-owned Gerber has joined forces with TerraCycle to help give hard-to-recycle baby food packaging a new life.

‘An essential piece of the puzzle’: Food giants join forces with palm oil producers to map and track deforestation

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

The likes of Mondelēz, Nestlé and Unilever have joined a new scheme aiming to improve deforestation transparency. Just as well, as palm oil may be next to witness ‘the Attenborough effect’.

How do biodiversity conservation initiatives expand their reach?

Read the full story at Ensia.

For biodiversity conservation efforts to have a big impact, they must scale up. But how does that happen? A study published earlier this month in Nature Sustainability offers some insights into what helps and hinders the dissemination of conservation programs, policies and projects.

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