Algramo Makes Zero Waste Shopping Affordable and Convenient

Read the full story at Treehugger.

This Chilean company, recently arrived in NYC, refills cleaning products from vending machines.

Solar-plus-storage already a compelling economic proposition for coal-retiring Midwestern US states

Read the full story at Energy Storage News.

There has been growing uptake in battery energy storage in Midwestern US states that have traditionally depended on burning coal for electricity, with some “very big projects planned,” an analyst has said.

Research and analysis firm IHS Markit recently shared with some of the key details of a recent report that includes a 10GW forecast for global energy storage deployment during 2021, more than doubling the 4.5GW that the company believes was installed in 2020.

N.C. State turfgrass researchers collaborate with NCDOT for roadside grasses

Read the full story at the Richmond Observer.

North Carolina State University’s Turfgrass Program has been working on the selection, installation and evaluation of zoysiagrasses along roadsides throughout the state in collaboration with the N.C. Department of Transportation.

One-Third of Farmland in the U.S. Corn Belt Has Lost Its Topsoil

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

More than a third of farmland in the U.S. Corn Belt — nearly 100 million acres — has completely lost its carbon-rich topsoil due to erosion, according to a new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The loss of topsoil has reduced corn and soybean yields in the Midwest by 6 percent, resulting in a loss of nearly $3 billion a year for farmers, and increased runoff of sediment and nutrients into nearby waterways, worsening water quality.

Current trends and analytical methods for evaluation of microplastics in stormwater

V.C. Shruti, Fermín Pérez-Guevara, I. ElizaldeMartínez, Gurusamy Kutralam-Muniasamy (2021). “Current trends and analytical methods for evaluation of microplastics in stormwater.” Trends in Environmental Analytical Chemistry e00123.

Abstract: Stormwater runoff is an important source of microplastics (plastic particles <5 mm) into the aquatic environment and studies documenting the microplastics abundance and their characteristics are constantly expanding. The lack of standardized methods as well as the development of many analytical techniques to evaluate microplastics greatly influence reported results and calls for a better understanding of approaches adopted by microplastic studies in stormwater. Hence, this paper aims to systematically review currently employed methods for sampling, isolating and identifying microplastics and to summarize the data on the abundance of microplastics in the samples of water, sediment and biota collected from stormwater, stormwater catchment areas and stormwater discharging sites. There were significant methodological variations between the studies throughout the experimental procedures and different techniques including, sieving, digestion (chemical and enzyme), density separation and filtration were reported for microplastics extraction from sample matrix. A combination of visual sorting and spectroscopic approaches such as infrared and Raman was adopted to identify and study microplastic characteristics such as shape, size, color and polymer. The microplastic abundance in each sample matrix was different with relatively high concentrations of smaller size particles (10-500 µm), majorly fibrous shaped (51%) and polymers of polypropylene (27%) and polyethylene (26%). Finally, we conclude by identifying analytical challenges and suggesting appropriate methods that can be implemented to enable effective monitoring and comparison of microplastic contamination in stormwater.

Florida man uses COVID stimulus to build garden, spread message of food independence

Read the full story at WMNF.

An East Tampa man is gaining notoriety after he used his COVID-19 stimulus check to start a garden at his home. He’s trying to share his produce with the neighborhood and teach others about food independence.

The stuff you buy isn’t nearly as recyclable as you think. Blame corporate America

Read the full story at Fast Company.

There’s a huge discrepancy between how consumers believe recycling works and the system that actually exists. Companies can do better.

Predator Fish That Can Walk and Breathe Air Is Making Headway in the US

Read the full story at Treehugger.

It doesn’t get much spookier than the toothy northern snakehead, a carnivorous fish that grows to at least three feet in length, can breathe air and can survive for several days out of water. It can survive for even longer periods in mud and moist environments. Oh, and it travels over land by wriggling its body along the ground.

The fish inspired exclamatory headlines when it made an appearance in New York City’s Central Park, but the more concerning news is that it keeps on showing up in places it shouldn’t be. Snakeheads have been found in at least 14 states.

Lawyers Are Working to Put ‘Ecocide’ on Par with War Crimes. Could an International Law Hold Major Polluters to Account?

Read the full story in Time.

In December 2020, lawyers from around the world gathered to begin drafting a legal definition of ecocide. If they succeed, it would potentially situate environmental destruction in the same legal category as war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. But even within the movement, questions remain on how far the law should go — and who might fall under its jurisdiction.

5 environmental stories to look out for in 2021

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From policy, to plastic, this year holds a lot in store for Restoring our Earth. Here are five topics to keep a lookout for this year.