Day: April 15, 2020

Food Waste Reduction Toolkit for Illinois Schools and COVID 19 tools from the Wasted Foods Action Alliance

Just in time for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day, the Wasted Food Action Alliance is pleased to announce the release of the Food Waste Reduction Toolkit for Illinois Schools. Though schools throughout the state are currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this toolkit will allow districts and food service staff members to make plans for food waste reduction efforts when schools are able to welcome back students and staff in person.

COVID-19 is likely to have a prolonged impact on the health and well-being of residents in the greater Chicago foodshed which includes a 4-state region. A collaboration of local and regional food systems advocates created a tool to act on challenges faced by those businesses and nonprofits serving the regional food system.

Finally, they’re conducting a survey [English, Spanish, Arabic] of small- and medium-size farms and for-profit and nonprofit food businesses/organizations impacted by COVID-19. This is not a one-time information-gathering process, but an ongoing effort to respond to challenges that can lead to a more sustainable food system. This is not a research project. You can complete the questionnaire multiple times as new challenges arise. Producers from all over Illinois are encouraged to complete the survey.

NRDC Wins: EPA Can’t Bar Grant Recipients from Science Advisory Panels

Read the full story from the NRDC.

The Environmental Protection Agency must stop categorically barring its grant recipients from serving on the agency’s scientific advisory committees, a federal judge in New York ruled today in the latest litigation win by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The ruling, by Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court in New York, rejected EPA’s plea that the directive, issued by then-EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, be allowed to remain in effect while the agency searches for a rationale for the policy.

The Biggest Emergency

Read the full story from Columbia Journalism Review.

Journalists were missing a critical moment for the people of Standing Rock—one arguably as important as the 2016 resistance. In this way, the established press continued its pattern of climate coverage, wherein solid enterprise reporting about environmental affairs takes a back seat to breaking-news assignments about extreme weather events. Standing Rock had been no different. Journalists only traveled to the reservation after police doused demonstrators with water on a subfreezing night, an event so shocking that it made the anti-pipeline resistance impossible to ignore.

The oversight also illustrated the media’s myopic gaze, its stubborn failure to see the importance of Indigenous stories. Within the conversation about climate change, too little attention is paid to the people who possess wisdom about sustaining the land. The catastrophic bushfires in Australia, predicted by Aborigines years ago, provide one recent example. 

3D Printed Corals Provide More Fertile Ground for Algae Growth

Read the full story from UC San Diego.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and the University of Cambridge have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work, published Apr. 9 in Nature Communications, could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels. It could also help researchers develop new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs.

Yet Another Consequence of the Pandemic: More Plastic Waste

Read the full story in Wired.

This new normal means mountains of single-use plastic—and few places to put it but the dump.

A pipeline runs through Southern news deserts

Read the full story in the Columbia Journalism Review.

The proposed path of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline snakes 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Construction of the 42-inch-wide natural gas pipeline was halted in December 2018; later this month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over a key permit that it would need to start up again. 

If the pipeline is built, then one of its three planned compressor stations—massive facilities that help compress and transport natural gas—will be located in Northampton County, North Carolina, a swampy, rural region where the vast majority of residents are black. The county is already home to industrial hog farms, a wood-pellet plant, and large landfills—other industrial projects that have enormous effects on the surrounding land and its residents. 

Northampton is also one of six counties in North Carolina without a newspaper, according to a University of North Carolina report on expanding news deserts. The number of newspapers in the state has declined by 22 percent since 2004. Pipeline updates—concerning permits, protests, hearings, lawsuits, and risks—are not consistently  covered in state newspapers or newspapers in neighboring counties, if they’re covered at all. 

All three states crossed by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline have a dearth of local newspapers, according to the UNC report. West Virginia has three counties without a newspaper; Virginia has seven. In about half of the 25 counties along the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, print news comprises a single weekly paper; several weekly or daily papers cover more than one county. 

Dumped milk, smashed eggs, plowed vegetables: Food waste of the pandemic

Read the full story in the New York Times.

In Wisconsin and Ohio, farmers are dumping thousands of gallons of fresh milk into lagoons and manure pits. An Idaho farmer has dug huge ditches to bury 1 million pounds of onions. And in South Florida, a region that supplies much of the Eastern half of the United States with produce, tractors are crisscrossing bean and cabbage fields, plowing perfectly ripe vegetables back into the soil.

After weeks of concern about shortages in grocery stores and mad scrambles to find the last box of pasta or toilet paper roll, many of the nation’s largest farms are struggling with another ghastly effect of the pandemic. They are being forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell.

Dishwashers and data laid the groundwork for California city’s landmark waste reduction ordinance

Read the full story at Waste Dive.

The ReThink Disposable program, designed to help restaurants switch to reusables, was a model for Berkeley’s foodware ordinance set to fully take effect this summer.

COVID-19 turns some recycled fiber market dynamics on their head

Read the full story at WasteDive.

Surges in consumer toilet paper and e-commerce purchases are causing a boom in demand for certain types of recycled fiber, but supply is falling short.

Advanced ECHO Webinar – Water

Tue, Apr 28, 2020 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM CDT
Register here.

This webinar will explore how to access and use various water tools and reports available on ECHO, such as:

  • Water Facility Search
  • Detailed Facility Report
  • Effluent Charts
  • Water Pollutant Loading Tool
  • Data Downloads and Web Services

These ECHO tools allow users to access and interpret EPA data for water pollutant discharges and facility compliance related to the Clean Water Act. These case studies will demonstrate how ECHO can be used for advanced analyses of permitted water facilities.

These examples are drawn from user questions. If you are interested in a specific topic or would like to suggest a question to answer during the webinar, please send feedback to ECHO Support.

%d bloggers like this: