Historic cultural records inform scientific perspectives on woodland uses

Read the full story at Phys.org.

Scientists at the University of York and University College Cork have investigated how cultural records dating back 300 years could help improve understanding of the ways in which science interprets the many uses of woodland areas.

The researchers hope that the work will give a cultural narrative to environmental data collected over time, but also give new insight into the ways in which woodland management systems can be adapted to increase a sense of ownership amongst communities that live near woodland areas.

Full research article: Suzi Richer et al, From Rackham to REVEALS: Reflections on Palaeoecological Approaches to Woodland and Trees, Environmental Archaeology (2017). DOI: 10.1080/14614103.2017.1283765

It Just Got A Lot Harder To Toss Your Old Ikea Couch

Read the full story from Fast Company.

Millions of people around the world own Ikea couches because they’re cheap and relatively well-designed. That also makes them more disposable. When it’s time to move or redecorate, many of us would rather toss our old couches than get them reupholstered.

That’s something the Swedish interior design company Bemz is trying to change. The 12-year-old company makes custom slipcovers for Ikea couches and chairs. The aim? To keep furniture out of landfills while also giving consumers a way to change the look of their living space.

Corporate Procurement Officers Say Sustainability Now Key Criteria For Purchases

Read the full story at Ecosystem Marketplace.

More and more companies are incorporating sustainability criteria into their procurement activities, according to new research released February 7.

The 2017 Sustainable Procurement Barometer, published jointly by Paris-based sustainability consultancy EcoVadis, and the Hautes études commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris) business school, is the first Barometer report since 2013, and it shows a sharp increase in sustainability awareness. The findings echo those of the Forest Trends Supply Change project, which shows steadily increasing corporate action to halt deforestation.

You can’t have lasting sustainability without social inclusion

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Solar panels that only the rich can afford. Urban bike-share programs that limit participation to those using credit cards. Pricey organic grocery stores for communities where many people rely on SNAP benefits. No matter how well-intentioned, if a solution isn’t appropriate for part of the population, then it is not truly a sustainable solution.

In the five videos below, all produced at GreenBiz events, we hear a constant refrain: If we want sustainability solutions to be effective and lasting, and sustainable in their own right, they must address diverse interests. This involves reaching out to low-income communities and communities of color as bases of knowledge and experience. This also makes business sense — companies that consider these communities with their sustainability strategy have the opportunity to grow their customer base and markets.

If nothing else, these videos entreat us to stop for a moment when we hear a proposed solution, be it a new city policy or a new mobile app, and to ask ourselves, “A solution for whom?”

Climate mitigation set to help air pollution

Read the full story at Environmentalresearchweb.

Reigning in both climate change and air pollution is crucial if we are to maintain the planet as a healthy and comfortable environment for humans. But how well do the separate policies for these issues work together? A team from Europe, the US and Japan has investigated.

Study of fracking in four states uncovers over 6,600 spills

Read the full interview at ResearchGate.

A new study investigating spills from hydraulically fractured oil and gas uncovered 6,648 spills in just four states over a ten-year period. Part of the SNAP Partnership, the study examined data from Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Significant differences in reporting requirements across states made this analysis difficult. Lauren Patterson, a water policy specialist at Duke University, and her coauthors say making this kind of state-level data more uniform and transparent would help regulators and industry reduce the number of incidents. We spoke with her to learn more.