Limited Resources and the Vision of a Circular Economy

Read the full story in Governing.

Natural resources like water, minerals, oil and timber are the feedstock of an economy. The predominate pattern of their use is a linear flow of resources into manufactured goods and then on to consumers, product end of life and, finally, disposal. There are, of course, serious problems with this linear-flow, consumption-oriented economy, not the least of which is resource depletion.

But is there another way? Yes, say those who advocate for moving toward a “circular economy,” one in which materials would no longer be consumed but rather would be used and then fully recovered to be remanufactured again and again — ideally with no degradation and of equal quality to virgin materials. “In the circular economy we are no longer consumers and there’s no end of life for products,” noted Ellen MacArthur at a recent conference. “We are all just users.”

Species may be listed as threatened based on climate change projections, court says

Read the full story in the Los Angeles Times.

Federal authorities may list a species as “threatened” based on climate models that show habitat loss in the coming decades, an appeals court decided Monday.

The state of Alaska, oil company groups and Alaskan natives had challenged a decision by the federal government to list a sea ice seal subspecies as threatened and deserving of protection.

The  challengers maintained the subspecies’ population was currently healthy and the climate projections were speculative.

A three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed. The ruling would allow government protection of all sorts of wildlife likely to be affected by climate change in the decades ahead.

Antarctica’s Ice Sheets Are Melting Faster — And From Beneath

Read the full story at NPR.

Antarctica’s ice has been melting, most likely because of a warming climate. Now, newly published research shows the rate of melting appears to be accelerating.


Antibiotic waste is polluting India and China’s rivers; big pharma must act

Read the full story in The Guardian.

In India and China, where a large proportion of antibiotics are produced, the poorly regulated discharge of untreated wastewater into soils and rivers is causing the spread of antibiotic ingredients which cause bacteria to develop immunity to antibiotics, creating superbugs.

AASHE’s 2016 Sustainable Campus Index

The 2016 Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) recognizes top-performing colleges and universities in 17 distinct aspects of sustainability, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). In response to feedback, this year’s publication includes a new section on top performers overall by institution type (Associate, Baccalaureate, Master’s and Doctoral/Research). This report also highlights over 70 innovative and high-impact initiatives from institutions that submitted STARS reports in the 12 months prior to July 1, 2016.

This App Helps You Save Food Waste (And Money) At Local Restaurants

Read the full story at Fast Company.

The app, Food for All, connects its users with unsold food at local restaurants to help eliminate food waste. Customers save 50%-80% off the regular price. The app will also soon show detailed data about how much their purchase of an entree or salad helped the environment by keeping it out of the trash.