Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

Energy from waste: $6.8 million for cow-inspired biodigesters

Read the full story from the University of Michigan.

University of Michigan leads a collaboration of academic, municipal and private institutions to advance a renewable methane system.

Global standards are being set. Where are the Americans?

Read the full story at Financial Executives.

To make the prospect of global harmonization real, CFOs need to get involved and authorize their companies to substantively engage at the SEC, IFRS and EU.

PFAS in cosmetics: Clearya and GSPI found PFAS in 1,000 products from 120 brands

Read the full story from Clearya.

Clearya is a browser plug-in and a mobile app for iPhone and Android phones that works automatically while consumers are shopping online. When users browse products on Amazon, Sephora, and other online stores, the cosmetics’ ingredients are automatically analyzed. As a result, the user is then instantly notified of unsafe chemicals it detects, including PFAS. The goal is to make it easy for shoppers to choose products without chemicals of concern and make informed decisions.

Health impact assessments: A new tool for analyzing land use plans, zone changes, and development projects

Read the full post at the Green Law Blog.

Health Impact Assessments have been a tool mainly used by state and federal health agencies to review and avoid the adverse public health impacts of their plans and large-scale capital projects. Local land use officials are beginning to employ Health Impact Assessments (HIA) to review community design issues in formulating comprehensive plans and reviewing land use projects to prioritize public health.

New resource outlines nature-based solutions for dealing with flooding

Read the full story at Treehugger.

Managing flood risk will be increasingly important for a huge number of communities and jurisdictions over the coming years. As extreme weather events become more frequent, and sea levels continue to rise, flooding will be a more common issue in many locations. New international guidelines which outline nature-based solutions for flood risk management are something that could help boost resilience moving forward. 

The International Guidelines on Natural and Nature-Based Features for Flood Risk Management” is a new resource designed to provide practitioners and decision-makers with the information they need to manage flood risk using “natural and nature-based features” (shortened with the acronym NNBF), rather than traditional hard infrastructure. This is the first time that a robust resource of this type has been developed that provides value beyond specific nations, mandates, missions, organizations, and communities. 

Scientists find eco-friendly way to dye blue jeans

Read the full story from the University of Georgia.

New dyeing technology is sustainable, uses less water and has better color payoff.

Worth its salt: Ohio startup aims to lower energy storage costs with molten salt system

Read the full story in Centered.

Cleantech advancements sometimes feature emerging concepts like artificial intelligence or carbon-based nanomaterials. But Euclid, Ohio, advanced materials startup Cratus is using a more familiar material: salt.

Salts, highly heated until they’re practically liquid, are a critical piece of Cratus’ large-scale energy storage technologies. The startup is commercializing a high temperature molten salt thermal energy storage system that can be paired with any power or heat source, but it works particularly well with solar power and nuclear power generation, said founder Andy Sherman

University of Michigan, Northwestern University, Argonne to lead groundbreaking research and educational collaboration with bioenergy industry

Read the full story from Argonne National Laboratory.

The Integrated Biochemical and Electrochemical Technologies to Convert Organic Waste to Biopower collaboration has a workforce component that will bring new technologies to the bioenergy industry.

Outstanding in their field: Tractor efficiency increased, thanks to Purdue hydraulics research

Read the full story from Purdue University.

Modern agricultural tractors contain so much cutting-edge technology, they rival even the latest spacecraft. But the back end is still old-school, relying largely on fossil fuels. So any optimization in tractor efficiency is a huge win for the environment.

With this in mind, Purdue University researchers have undertaken a $3.2 million Department of Energy project to optimize the hydraulic systems that connect tractors and implements.

Can we move our forests in time to save them?

Read the full story in Mother Jones.

Trees have always migrated to survive. But now they need our help to avoid climate catastrophe.

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