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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, March 5, 2015
New CMI process recycles valuable rare earth metals from old electronics
Scientists at the Critical Materials Institute have developed a two-step recovery process that makes recycling rare-earth metals easier and more cost-effective. Source: Critical Materials Institute, 2/26/15

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
The natural refrigerant set to reduce supermarket energy use
A new waste product derived from sugar beet could help cut supermarket energy consumption from refrigeration. Source: The Guardian, 3/4/15

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar flies toward energy independence
In the March P2Rx P2 Impact article for GreenBiz, Andre Villasenor reveals how the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar won an EPA Federal Green Challenge Award for their mix of recycling, renewables and water conservation. Source: GreenBiz, 3/3/15

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Pay-As-You-Feel Cafe Feeds Thousands on Food Waste
Adam Smith knows food. A trained chef who has worked in numerous restaurants, the 29-year old also knows firsthand how much perfectly good food is wasted. Smith hails from Leeds, England, but it was a year spent working on farms in Australia that inspired The Real Junk Food Project (TRJFP), which changed the direction of his life. A pay-as-you-feel cafe model, TRJFP intercepts food headed for the landfill and turns it into restaurant-quality meals. Source: Shareable, 2/23/15

2015 Indiana Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence accepting nominations
The State of Indiana is seeking nominations for the 2015 Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence. These awards recognize Indiana's leaders who have implemented outstanding environmental strategies into their operations and decision-making processes. The Governor's Awards are open to all Indiana manufacturers and other organizations with projects that qualify under the categories of Pollution Prevention, Energy and Renewable Resources, or Environmental Stewardship. Nominations must be received (not postmarked) by IDEM by 5 p.m. (EDT) on Friday, April 17, 2015. Source: Indiana Department of Environmental Management, 3/3/15

Monday, March 2, 2015
EPA Approves New Climate-Friendly Refrigerants
As part of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing the options for refrigerants used in various kinds of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment in the United States that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This final action addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan that calls on EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals. Source: U.S. EPA, 3/2/15

ISTC Now Accepting Applications for 2015 Governor's Sustainability Award
The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Awards.The deadline for submitting your application is close of business May 22, 2015. Source: ISTC, 3/2/15

5 Ways to Get People to Recycle More Electronics
Despite states' e-recycling laws, electronics are the fastest-growing type of waste in landfills. Source: Governing, 3/2/15

HP Setting Industry Standard with Zero-Tolerance Policy on Forced Migrant Labor
Last fall, HP became the first company in the IT industry to require direct employment of foreign migrant workers in its supply chain with the release of the HP Foreign Migrant Worker Standard. Three months after HP the release of this new standard for preventing exploitative labor practices and forced labor, Sustainable Brands spoke with Bob Mitchell, Global Manager of Supply Chain Social & Environmental Responsibility, to learn how the program is enabling HP to ethically recruit and manage foreign migrant workers. Source: Sustainable Brands, 3/2/15

Green Electronics Council Catalyst Awards: Now Accepting Nominations
The Green Electronics Council is now accepting nominations for its 2015 Catalyst Awards, a global celebration of innovative solutions and tangible environmental accomplishments throughout the lifecycle of electronic technologies. Organizations and individuals may now submit their nomination online. The inaugural Catalyst Awards recognize electronics and related infrastructures' positive impact on the circular economy, where circular economy is defined as "an economic system that is safe and restorative by intention and seeks to eradicate waste through the careful design, manufacture, use and handling of products and components." Any organization, individual, or combination of organizations and individuals collaborating may apply for an Award. Nominations must focus on the greening of electronics and be for products, processes, policies and programs launched during the past five years. Winning entries must exist in the public domain at the time of submission. Source: Green Electronics Council, 2/25/15

Thursday, February 26, 2015
How Walmart's green label aims to drive supplier 'race to the top'
Walmart announced on Tuesday that it would be awarding a new "sustainability leader" label to 150 suppliers selling products on the retailer's burgeoning e-commerce site. The badge is intended to highlight those companies that are making an effort to implement broad organizational changes and to incite a little friendly competition among its suppliers. The retail giant worked with The Sustainability Consortium--an organization that aims to drive consumer-based product sustainability--to gauge a variety of metrics across their supply chain. However, the exact tools for measurement remain unclear. Source: GreenBiz, 2/25/15

Second Nature Sustainability Sit-Downs Video #6
Sustainability Sit-Downs #6 is out. This week's video features M. Lee Pelton, President of Emerson College, discussing higher education's role in making a sustainability society. Sustainability Sit-Downs is a new Second Nature video series consisting of 12 short interviews with sustainability leaders in higher education and partner organizations. A new video will be released every Wednesday. Source: Second Nature, 2/25/15

Call for Presentations: The Groundwater Foundation's 2015 National Conference
Abstracts are now being accepted for The Groundwater Foundation's 2015 National Conference. Anyone interested in making a presentation at this year's conference should submit a 250 word abstract for review. No product sales/services pitches. Presentation formats include 25-minute classroom presentations, plenary speakers, field trip presentations, workshops, and poster sessions. Presentations should focus on experiences, solutions, tools, resources and practices that will be needed as we move into the next 30 years of groundwater education and protection. Source: The Groundwater Foundation, 2/26/15

How to make your old MacBook Pro run like new again
If you've got a pre-Retina display MacBook Pro, it probably feels like it's running pretty slow. It's easy to give your machine a boost by swapping in a Solid-State Drive and more RAM. Source: Business Insider, 2/26/15

Reducing food waste could save the global economy $300 billion a year
Reducing consumer food waste could save between US$120 and 300 billion per year by 2030 according to a new report by WRAP (The Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. To achieve this would require a 20-50% reduction in consumer food waste. Source: WRAP, 2/26/15

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