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.

Eminent domain opens doors for fossil fuels — could it do the same for renewable energy?

Read the full story at Grist.

Environmentalists have long opposed it for fossil fuel projects. Now, the legal power could be vital to building renewable infrastructure.

‘Regenerative farming practices can help restore the earth’: PepsiCo discusses its Positive Agriculture Programme

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

By 2030, PepsiCo wants to have spread regenerative farming practices to 7m acres of cultivated land, the equivalent of its entire agricultural footprint. FoodNavigator hears from David Wilkinson, Senior Director of European Agriculture for PepsiCo Europe, to learn more.

Sports going solar cuts costs, creates jobs and is climate positive

Read the full story from the Australian Conservation Foundation.

Installing solar panels on major sports stadiums and on the roofs of cricket, soccer and AFL head offices could generate around 20,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy – enough to power 2,890 households, new research has found…

The research was conducted by the School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) at the University of New South Wales and the Australian PV Institute (APVI).

‘Supercharging adoption of sustainable solutions’: The Coca-Cola Company joins AB InBev 100+ Accelerator

Read the full story at Beverage Daily.

The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Unilever have joined AB InBev’s 100+ Accelerator to fund and pilot sustainable innovation in supply chains.

Environmental justice fueled by social science, engagement

Read the full story from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Under the midday sun, several people sat fishing on the bank of a meandering river. They were just downstream from a nuclear power plant.

“Most people don’t fish in the middle of a weekday,” said Dave Anderson, an economist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). “It turns out, they were fishing for food.”

Since 1994, PNNL has been assessing environmental justice related to licensing large, complex energy infrastructure projects, which sometimes occur near minority and low-income communities. Like the people fishing, these communities can be directly affected by the noise, chemicals, traffic, and other effects of industrial areas and may not see any of the economic benefits toward their long-term quality of life. When a site is proposed, multidisciplinary teams from PNNL are behind the scenes identifying potentially affected communities and conducting evaluations to see if there are disproportionate impacts to underserved groups.

Austria’s waterdrop brings sustainable ‘microdrinks’ to the US

Read the full story at Food Dive.

Austria-based drink startup waterdrop is debuting in the U.S., according to a press release emailed to Food Dive. The company sells “microdrinks” — hydrating compact sugar-free cubes that dissolve in water. It also sells steel, glass and bamboo bottles.

Made with fruit and plant-based extracts, the microdrink cubes in the U.S. are in four flavors: Boost (blackcurrant, elderflower and açai), Youth (peach, ginger, ginseng and aloe), Glow (mango, cactus fruit and artichoke) and Zen (starfruit, thyme and lemongrass).

The company’s goal is helping consumers increase their water consumption while reducing single-use plastic bottles. About 35.7 billion tons of plastic were created in 2018, according to statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than three-quarters of this ended up in landfills. 

New research finds quick action on methane could significantly cut into global warming

Read the full story at The Hill.

Swift action to cut methane emissions could reduce the planet’s near-term warming by as much as 30 percent, according to a new study. 

The study, published in Environmental Research Letters, found that it’s possible to cut methane emissions from human activities in half by 2030.

It said that “pursuing all mitigation measures now” could slow near-term warming by around 30 percent, avoid one-quarter degree celsius of warming by the middle of the century and chart the course for avoiding more than one-half degree of warming by 2100. 

Consumer demand for sustainable packaging holds despite pandemic

Read the full story at Food Dive.

Two-thirds (67%) of consumers consider it important that the products they buy are in recyclable packaging, and the same percentage consider themselves environmentally aware — the same share as before the pandemic, according to Trivium Packaging’s 2021 Global Buying Green Report. The report is based on a survey conducted with Boston Consulting Group with 15,000 consumers in Europe, North America and South America. 

More than half (54%) take sustainable packaging into consideration when selecting a product. Younger consumers — those 44 years and younger — are leading the charge, with 83% reporting that they are willing to pay more for it, compared to 70% of all consumers. However, the pandemic has caused about one in three consumers to lower the importance they place on sustainable packaging.

Despite their willingness to support sustainable packaging, many consumers are misinformed about the recycling rates of different materials. Survey respondents believed that 48% of metal was recycled, when the real rate is 64%, according to figures from Global Recycling and the International Aluminum Institute cited in the report. However, the recycling rates for glass, plastic and liquid cartons were much lower than consumers expected. 

Upcycled cocoa fruit waste sweetens deals in confectionery, bakery and beverage

Read the full story at Food Navigator.

Swiss chocolatier Lindt and Italian confectioner Venchi are among the brands incorporating upcycled cocoa fruit into their products.

After a Trump-length pause, the EPA is relaunching a major climate change report

Read the full story at Grist.

Drawing on data from 50 government agencies, the EPA has published 54 indicators of global warming.

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