Gizmo Attaches To Garbage Disposals, Turns Food Waste Into Compost

Read the full story from the Huffington Post.

A tiny tweak can have a huge impact.

Six students at Rice University have created a motor-operated device that attaches to your food disposal and turns food waste into compost, which can be used as nutrient-rich soil.

The mechanical gadget, called BioBlend, is activated whenever someone turns on a food disposal. BioBlend then separates food waste by chopping it up and straining out water.

The water is then sent to a municipal wastewater treatment, while the food waste is stored under your sink until it can be composted — or used for biogas generation, which uses waste to generate gas for cooking.

These 4 Games Will Teach Kids How We Can Tackle Climate Change

Read the full story in Fast Company.

For both kids and adults, games are sometimes a great way to learn about social issues and brainstorm creative solutions. The nonprofit Games for Change has worked on this idea for more than a decade, and at its upcoming annual festival in New York, it will present four new games that tackle the most pressing challenge for humanity: climate change.

Practice Greenhealth announces Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award winners

Read the full story from Becker’s Hospital Review.

Practice Greenhealth has recognized more than 500 hospitals and health systems for their outstanding environmental achievements, including 25 organizations that received Practice Greenhealth’s 2016 Environmental Excellence Award.

Indiana Department of Environmental Management seeks applications for 2016 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM), in conjunction with the Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb’s Office of Energy Development, the Indiana Department of Administration and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, is seeking nominations for the 2016 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

The Indiana Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence is the state’s most prestigious environmental recognition award. IDEM accepts nominations from all Indiana citizens and organizations, and the selection process is highly competitive. All projects must demonstrate significant, measurable results. The projects must be innovative, comprehensive and thoroughly documented, and only one winner will be selected. Award applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. ET on Friday, May 13, 2016.

“Indiana businesses have demonstrated that determination and ingenuity can benefit the environment while boosting the bottom line,” said IDEM Commissioner Carol S. Comer. “The 2016 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence will honor the achievements of Hoosier companies and individuals for their exemplary work.”

To learn more about the 2016 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence nomination process, visit www.idem.IN.gov/prevention/2358.htm or contact Nathan Christian, program coordinator with IDEM’s Office of Program Support, at (800) 988-7901 or nchristi@idem.IN.gov.

Researchers Aim to Put Carbon Dioxide Back to Work

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Think, for a moment, of carbon dioxide as garbage, a waste product from burning fossil fuels. Like other garbage, almost all of that CO2 is thrown away — into the atmosphere, where it contributes to climate change. A small amount is captured and stored underground to keep it out of the air.

But increasingly, scientists are asking, rather than throwing away or storing CO2, how about recycling some of it?

At laboratories around the world, researchers are working on ways to do just that. The X Prize Foundation has created an incentive, a $20 million prize for teams that by 2020 come up with technologies to turn CO2 captured from smokestacks of coal- or gas-fired power plants into useful products.

Vote for your favorite data stories video

Science Magazine’s Data Stories competition is still accepting votes for their People’s Choice award. The competition asked people to submit short-form (90 second) videos that use data visualizations to tell stories. View all of the submissions here.

EPA Administrator McCarthy Announces 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing 24 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners across 12 states, the District of Columbia and Canada for outstanding achievement in the design, manufacture, promotion and use of a range of cleaning and other household products that carry the Safer Choice label. Administrator McCarthy announced the winners at an event at a local hardware store in San Francisco today.

“Everyone wants products with ingredients that are safer for their kids, pets, communities and the environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Using technology and innovation to turn challenges into profitable opportunities makes our businesses stronger and more competitive, our families and workers healthier, and our environment cleaner.”

The Safer Choice standards were developed through a multi-stakeholder process, with a range of businesses and public interest groups, including environmental and health advocacy organizations. EPA assesses ingredients for the Safer Choice program based on a full chemical identification. Where necessary, EPA requires studies to prove safety of the chemicals used, and applies the expertise of chemists and toxicologists who have assessed thousands of chemicals.

These stringent human and environmental health safety standards mean that consumers can know with certainty that a product’s safety claims are backed by science. Safer Choice currently has around 500 formulator-manufacturer partners who make more than 2,000 products for retail and institutional customers.

The 2016 Partner of the Year award winners represent a wide variety of leadership organizations. Participants include Fortune 500 companies, small- and medium-sized businesses, and non-governmental organizations. The 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year Awards will be presented at 2:00 p.m. on May 9, 2016 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. The winners fall under the following categories:

Safer Formulator-Manufacturer: Boulder Clean (Boulder, Colo.), BISSELL (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Case Medical, Inc. (South Hackensack, N.J.), Clean Control Corporation (Warner Robins, Ga.), The Clorox Company (Pleasanton, Calif.), Futurescape Inc. (Port Orange, Fla.), Jelmar, LLC (Skokie, Ill.), Osprey Biotechnics Inc. (Sarasota, Fla.), RB (Parsippany, N.J.) and Seventh Generation Inc. (Burlington, Vt.)

Safer Chemical Innovator: BASF Corporation (Florham Park, N.J.), Ecolab (Eagan, Minn.), Osprey Biotechnics (Sarasota, Fla.) and Virox Technologies Inc. (Oakville, Ontario, Canada)

Purchaser/Distributor: Solutex, Inc. (Sterling, Va.)

Retailer: Albertsons Companies (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. (Rochester, N.Y.)

Program Supporter: American Sustainable Business Council (Alexandria, Va.), The Ashkin Group (Los Angeles), Consumer Specialty Products Association (Washington, D.C.), Environmental Defense Fund (New York, N.Y.), Federal Sustainable Acquisitions and Materials Management Practices (SAMM) Working Group (Washington, D.C.), Healthy Schools Campaign (Chicago), ISSA, the Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association (Northbrook, Ill.), Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families (New York, N.Y.)

When companies demonstrate a commitment to the health of their customers and the planet, consumers respond. Not only does the Safer Choice program put the power of choice into the hands of consumers, it actually incentivizes manufacturers to change the ingredients in their products – so they can meet the strict safety criteria the Safer Choice label demands.

More on the 2016 Safer Choice Partner of the Year award winners, and registration for the Awards Ceremony, can be found at http://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/safer-choice-partner-year-awards.