His family fished for generations. Now he’s hauling plastic out of the sea.

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

One catch at a time, Lefteris Arapakis is cleaning the Mediterranean.

Your local park has a hidden talent: helping fight climate change

Read the full story from NPR.

City parks are crucial precisely because they are mundane. Their accessibility is what gives them their power. There are about 2 million acres of public parkland in the 100 largest cities in the United States, according to the Trust for Public Land.

All that parkland helps protect millions of Americans from the effects of global warming. Pools and splash pads offer a place to cool off on dangerously hot days. Trees provide shade, pull carbon dioxide out of the air and even lower the temperature in nearby neighborhoods. Marshes, ponds and meadows soak up water when it rains to help keep roads and homes dry.

Living in timber cities could avoid emissions – without using farmland for wood production

Read the full story from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Housing a growing population in homes made out of wood instead of conventional steel and concrete could avoid more than 100 billion tons of emissions of the greenhouse gas CO2 until 2100, a new study by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research shows. These are about 10 percent of the remaining carbon budget for the 2°C climate target. Besides the harvest from natural forests, newly established timber plantations are required for supplying construction wood. While this does not interfere with food production, a loss of biodiversity may occur if not carefully managed, according to the scientists. The study is the first to analyze the impacts of a large-scale transition to timber cities on land use, land-use change emissions, and long-term carbon storage in harvested wood products.

Pregnant people exposed to cancer-linked chemicals in household items, dyes: study

Read the full story at The Hill.

Pregnant people are being exposed through various household products to toxic compounds that can increase the risk of cancer and harm child development, a new study has found.

Scientists identified two such compounds — the industrial chemical melamine and its byproduct cyanuric acid — in the urine of almost all the pregnant subjects they tested, with the highest levels occurring in women of color and in those with greater exposure to tobacco.

Four types of chemicals used in dyes, called aromatic amines, were also present in the urine of nearly all pregnant participants, according to the study, published in Chemosphere on Tuesday.

Washing dishes with superheated steam more effective, earth-friendly

Read the full story from AIP Publishing.

Conventional dishwashers often do not kill all the harmful microorganisms left on plates, bowls, and cutlery. They also require long cycle times that use large quantities of electricity, and the soap pumped in and out is released into water sources, polluting the environment.

Superheated steam dishwashers could provide a more effective, environmentally friendly solution. In a recent article published in Physics of Fluids, researchers from the Technical University of Dortmund and the Technical University of Munich simulated such a dishwasher, finding that it killed 99% of bacteria on a plate in just 25 seconds.

Study finds minimal risk of exposure to legionella from irrigated wastewater at a safe distance

Read the full story from the Prairie Research Institute.

Potential exposure to legionella bacteria in municipal wastewater used to irrigate crop fields will likely not pose a health threat to residents living downwind, according to a postdoctoral researcher at the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Using reclaimed wastewater from water treatment plants to irrigate crops can be a viable solution to ease the effects of drought and reduce stress on local surface and groundwater resources. Yet, legionella pneumophila, which is widespread in man-made water systems, can survive the aeration and air transport from irrigation systems with potential harmful effects. People who inhale the tiny water droplets can contract Legionnaires’ disease, a serious form of pneumonia.

Brightmark launches medical waste recycling program with Jamar Health products

Read the full story at Recycling Today.

Brightmark, a global waste solutions provider based in San Francisco, and Jamar Health Products, a Wisconsin-based health care product manufacturer, have announced a strategic partnership to recycle plastic medical waste.  

Brightmark says it provides a sustainable and circular solution for chemically recycling and converting Jamar’s proprietary Patran slide sheets, made of low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene, into low-carbon fuels and the building blocks for circular plastics.  

Lithium and the Future of Electrification

DOE’s new Lithium StoryMap lays out the relationship between geothermal energy and lithium while exploring why the DOE is investing in technologies supporting lithium extraction from geothermal brines. Using an easily digestible format, visitors can scroll through the role of lithium in renewable energy today, how the critical material is currently obtained, and why the Salton Sea region of California may prove to be a key domestic source—with a little help from geothermal energy. As lithium demand continues to grow, geothermal energy may soon play a greater role in our lives and in the green economy.

‘A poster child’ for diversity in science: Black engineers work to fix long-ignored bias in oxygen readings

Read the full story at Stat.

Like many people who are Black, Kimani Toussaint was concerned when he learned that the pulse oximeters relied on so heavily by physicians to treat and monitor Covid-19 patients didn’t work as well on darker-skinned patients.

Unlike many people who are Black, he could do something about it. Toussaint is an optics expert whose lab at Brown University creates precision techniques to image and assess biological tissues. This was a problem he was built for.

Now Toussaint and his doctoral student Rutendo Jakachira are literally using tricks of the light to develop a next-generation pulse oximeter they hope will work well on patients of all skin tones, not just those with lighter skin.

Meanwhile, Valencia Joyner Koomson, a Black associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Tufts University, is working on a different solution: “smart” oximeter devices that are adaptable and less sensitive to skin tone.

Loving the Least of These: Addressing a Changing Environment

Download the document.

This edition of “Loving the Least of These” covers some of the changes since the first edition in 2011 and highlights the need for action now. Our environment, changing in so many ways, requires our attention. This document covers four ideas: a biblical basis for Christian engagement, a look at changing environments around the world, insight into how environmental variability and extremes affect poverty conditions, and thoughts on what Christians should do about our rapidly changing
environment. Each section includes reflection from an expert, and examples from people working with the issues are sprinkled throughout.