Read the full story from the University of Illinois.
Tackling nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico is a big job, requiring coordination between dozens of states whose waters flow into the Mississippi. Although a 2011 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency memo set a framework for each state to reduce its nutrient load, it was up to the states to set their own policies in motion.
More than a decade on, critics have questioned the effectiveness of state nutrient reduction strategies, noting the still-massive hypoxic dead zones in the Gulf. In a new University of Illinois-led study, social scientists looked at the process states took to develop and implement their strategies, identifying key strengths and challenges that can inform other large-scale cooperative efforts.
Read the full story from Ideastream.
While meeting with a local farmer two years ago, Eric Diamond of Central Kitchen, a food business incubator in Cleveland, Ohio, learned that the farmer wasn’t able to sell all the carrots in his fields. Some of the carrots – while perfectly nutritious – weren’t the right size or shape for grocery stores’ and restaurants’ specifications. That sparked a question, and a business idea was born.
“I said to him, ‘What do you do with the carrots?’ and he said, ‘We leave them to rot in the fields because we don’t have an end market,’” said Diamond. “So, I said, ‘What if we buy the ones that don’t meet your specifications, and we process them and sell them to school districts?’”
Soon afterwards, the farmer, Wayward Seed Farm in Fremont, Ohio, began taking the carrots that would otherwise have been thrown away and dropping them off at Central Kitchen. They processed the carrots into 5-pound bags and sold them to school districts. Recently, with the help of a $30,000 grant from Circular Cleveland, Central Kitchen bought a new commercial grade food processor called a Robot Coupe which allows them to process carrots much faster.
“We had five people with knives cutting up carrots and dumping them into bags,” said Diamond. “We could only do 1,500 pounds in an eight-hour shift. Now, we can do 1,500 pounds in a couple of hours – and no calluses.”
Business and civic leaders in Cleveland like Diamond are turning to a new idea termed the “circular economy” – premised on reusing materials and turning them into new products rather than throwing them away – to help grow jobs and businesses, reduce waste, and improve the environment. Those would be welcome benefits in Cleveland, which is one of the poorest big cities in the country, with a poverty rate of 29.3% in 2021, according to the U.S. Census. According to the International Labor Organization, the circular economy could create a net increase of six million jobs globally by 2030.
Read the full story at Utility Dive.
Clean energy investments soared in a recent three-month period, totaling $40 billion and equaling the entire amount invested in 2021, according to an industry group.
The report by American Clean Power, a trade group, covers a period of growth the clean energy sector saw between Aug. 16, the day the Inflation Reduction Act was signed into law, and Nov. 30, including the announcement of 20 new clean energy manufacturing facilities or facility expansions.
Read the full story at Restaurant Dive.
McDonald’s and the five member companies comprising the chain’s North American Logistics Council will buy renewable electricity from Enel North America’s Blue Jay solar project, according to a press release published Wednesday.
McDonald’s logistics partners will purchase an estimated 470,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year once the Blue Jay Solar project, located in Grimes County, Texas, is completed in 2023.
The deal would mean McDonald’s logistical supply chain, including all warehouses and distribution centers, would be powered by renewable energy, Bloomberg reports.
Read the full story at Smart Cities Dive.
“The federal government is making unprecedented investments in climate action,” and implementation efforts in 2023 will prove critical, said Madison, Wisconsin’s mayor, the network’s new chair.
Read the full story from the University of Saskatchewan.
In everything from shiny gift wrapping to kids’ dance costumes to makeup for adults heading to parties, glitter is everywhere this time of year. But custodians and environmentalists hate the stuff, because it’s almost impossible to clean up, both indoors and especially outdoors.
Now, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has developed an innovative glitter product that is biodegradable and uses light-reflecting shapes to create sparkles unlike any other – with the potential to mitigate plastic pollution around the world.
Read the full story in Time.
Ice-free roads may be good for drivers, but scientists warn that salt is seeping into lakes and rivers, including the Mississippi, killing wildlife and posing health risks to humans. Salt also corrodes asphalt and metal, causing some $5 billion in damage each year to roads and cars. And it lures deer and moose onto highways to lick it up, triggering accidents.
And yet, North Americans are addicted to road salt. Road crews have been pouring the stuff in ever greater quantities since the 1950’s, when cars and highways began to proliferate across the region. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the amount of salt used on U.S. roads ballooned from 1 million tons in 1954, to 10 million tons in 1985, to around 24 million tons a year by 2019, as drivers demanded increasing levels of safety and convenience. “Fifteen years ago, it wasn’t common practice to expect dry pavement after snow,” Gleason says. “But somehow this idea has taken over that everyone should be driving like it’s summer in the winter.”
Kim S, Beier A, Schreyer HB, Bakshi BR (2022). “Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of a Novel Cultivated Meat Burger Patty in the United States.” Sustainability. 14(23):16133. https://doi.org/10.3390/su142316133
Abstract: The meat industry has a substantial negative impact on the environment. As a result, this industry is in a period of change to alternative meat to mitigate the environmental issues caused by conventional meat production. Cultivated meat is highlighted as an alternative to conventional meat-based diets. SCiFi Foods has developed such a novel cultivated meat burger as a potential successor to the currently available burgers. Based on the process information provided by SCiFi Foods, this work performed a life cycle analysis on the novel cultivated meat burger and compared it with alternatives. The life cycle impacts of the novel burger were evaluated using four indicators: greenhouse gas emissions (CML-IA); energy use (cumulative energy demand); land use (ReCiPe midpoint); and water use (ReCiPe midpoint). The study found that the cultivated meat burger generated 87% less greenhouse gas emissions, required 39% less energy, had 90% less influence on land use, and 96% less water use than the comparable beef patty. The effects of uncertainty in the data, sensitivity to major assumptions, and the effect of the manufacturing plant location were analyzed. The studied burger was also found to have a life cycle environmental impact that is comparable with plant-based commercialized burgers that are currently available.