A Regional Water Supply Framework for Champaign County and East Central Illinois

This report is the result of a multi-jurisdictional effort to recommend informed action in the spheres of research, public policy, and outreach. The report includes 35 strategies, all with the goal of protecting water quality and quantity in East-Central Illinois now and in the future.


Photographs and graphics from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

From the MPCA web site:

The MPCA has a wealth of photos available on the agency’s Flickr site. You don’t need to sign in or have an account to access our Flickr photos. The images are organized by topic and easily downloadable. To download, click the image you want, click on the down arrow icon on the right side under the photo, and choose the image size.

MPCA photos cover topics such agriculture, air pollution, solid waste and recycling, water quality, alternative energy, blue-green algae, stormwater, and more. You can also find images from the MPCA’s annual Eco Experience exhibit at the Minnesota State Fair.

Images on the Flickr site generally have caption and background information included. We request that you attribute the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as the source of any image you use.

Edge Effects

Edge Effects is a digital magazine produced by graduate students at the Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE), which is part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. From the About page:

Written by members of the CHE community (with occasional guest posts) and edited by CHE grad students, it offers a wide array of content relating to environmental and cultural change across the full sweep of human history. Its name—about which you can read more here—invokes our commitment to publishing across boundaries, at the intersections of the sciences with the humanities, of academe with the public, of narrated pasts with imagined futures.

Edge Effects features content in many formats—text, image, audio, video—while maintaining a commitment to clear, accessible prose. Its content is grouped into six broad categories: Essays, Commentary, Reviews, Exhibits, Fieldnotes, and Checklists.


2015 Was Officially The Deadliest Year Ever For Environmental Activists

Read the full story in Fast Company.

These are not good times to be campaigning to protect the environment, especially in countries governed by repressive regimes and powerful corporate interests.

Killings of environmental activists around the world have been on the rise for several years, as Co.Exist reported on a piece about this year’s death of Honduran indigenous activist Berta Cáceres, who was shot in her home in March.

A new report from the organization Global Witness says that trend is continuing to get worst. Last year, it says, had the most killings of environmental activists since it started tracking over the last decade, averaging to more than three activists killed every week around the world in campaigns related to mining, agribusiness, logging, and hydropower. Indigenous activists—who often stand up to powerful development interests in relatively remote regions—have it the worst, representing 40% of those killed. Brazil (50 deaths), the Philippines (33), Colombia (26), Peru (12), and Nicaragua (12), and the DRC (11) are particular hot spots.

Like to get more bang for your sustainability-boosting buck? Here’s how.

Read the full story from the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.

Manufacturers, retailers, governments and other buyers are under a lot of pressure these days to preferentially purchase products with relatively low environmental footprints. But options can be overwhelming: Is it better to favor suppliers who use renewable electricity to produce their products, or those that use recycled cardboard for the boxes that contain them?  Until now there has been no easy way to answer that, since measuring the impact of green products can be costly and comparing the relative environmental and economic merits of different products is next to impossible.

Now, researchers at the University of Minnesota and University of Michigan have developed a method for assessing and comparing the various costs and benefits of green products — making it possible for purchasers to get the most environmental bang for their sustainability-investment buck.

  • The research, published in the scientific journal Environmental Science & Technology, was led by Rylie Pelton and Mo Li, research fellows with the Northstar Initiative for Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, and was funded by the Global Environmental Management Initiative.
  • The new approach, known as the Hotspot Scenario Analysis-Procurement Portfolio Optimization (HSA-PPO) method, makes it possible to assess environmental impact across multiple product purchases and maximize environmental benefits under specified budget constraints.
  • The researchers estimated that a purchaser could save 36 and 54 percent more greenhouse gas emissions and water, respectively, for a given amount of money by using HSA-PPO across the portfolio of product input purchases rather than just considering one product purchase at a time.

The business case for sustainable electronics

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

In the late 1990s, the main goal was simply to create electronics that worked. Then, concerns about emissions prompted IT manufacturers to implement health and safety protocols. Environmental concerns emerged at the dawn of the new millennium, ushering in the green manufacturing era.

Most recently, social responsibility has become an issue as reports of labor abuses and unethical manufacturing practices have come to light. With growing consumer awareness of all of these issues, finding a path to sustainability is becoming increasingly important.