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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Natural drainage: More bioswales coming to Waukegan lakefront
Waukegan's Sustainable Shoreline Plan received a $375,000 boost from a federal grant that will be used to construct bioswales -- drainage systems aimed at using nature as a natural filter for rainwater runoff -- along the Waukegan Municipal Beach parking lot and Sea Horse Drive. Source: Lake County News-Sun, 9/3/17

Potentially safer alternatives to BPA identified
NIEHS-funded researchers and colleagues have identified a group of potential substitutes for bisphenol A (BPA). These compounds demonstrate low potential for affecting estrogenic or androgenic endocrine activity, which means they are less likely to disrupt hormones produced by the body. Source: Environmental Factor, September 2017

Friday, September 1, 2017
Midwest researchers aim to make home energy management systems even smarter
In times of limited power availability, even today's smartest appliances may not be clever enough. However, a team of Midwestern researchers is hoping to devise a way to better align automated home energy management systems with what their users really want. Source: Midwest Energy News, 8/23/17

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Energy Efficiency Soars At Chemical Sites
The drive by some chemical companies to improve energy efficiency extends well beyond their production processes. For instance, Eastman Chemicals, BASF, AkzoNobel and Dow are working hard to find energy savings in all aspects of corporate life. Source: Chemical Processing, 8/28/17

Welcome to the future, where your phone can fix its own smashed screen
From self-healing phone screens to concrete that repairs itself, businesses are investing in futuristic materials. But can it curb our throwaway habits? Source: The Guardian, 8/30/17

Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Tattooed avocados and shampoo bars: the businesses curbing plastics waste
Excess or unnecessary packaging is being shunned by forward-thinking firms. Here are some examples of progress. Source: The Guardian, 8/29/17

Illinois biennial report recognizes positive, voluntary steps to reduce nutrient loss
As part of the state's on-going commitment to reduce nutrient losses, the directors of the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) and Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the release of the state's Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy Biennial Report. This document, unveiled at the 2017 Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, describes actions taken in the state during the last two years to reduce nutrient losses and influence positive changes in nutrient loads over time. Source: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program, 8/28/17

Hennepin County continues its Zero Waste Challenge to reduce household trash
Last year, 35 select households decreased the amount of waste they produced by 20 percent. They were selected from over 200 applicants for the program. The commitment included attending several workshops and weighing their waste every week. A county staffer frequently met with the households, assessing waste patterns to develop a reduction plan. Even with relatively few households in the program, its results were significant. Participants cut the amount of waste they produced by 20 percent. On average, they recycled or composted 62 percent more of their waste stream, which is nearly 20 percent higher than the countywide diversion rate. Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/26/17

Friday, August 25, 2017
Can Anyone, Even Walmart, Stem The Heat-Trapping Flood Of Nitrogen On Farms?
Walmart has promised big cuts in emissions of greenhouse gases. To meet that goal, though, the giant retailer may have to persuade farmers to use less fertilizer. It won't be easy Source: NPR, 8/21/17

Anthony Bourdain Would Like To Talk To You About Food Waste
If anyone can make the very important and urgent topic of food waste sexy and interesting maybe it's Anthony Bourdain? The chef and TV host is the executive producer Wasted! The Story Of Food Waste, a documentary film on the subject that premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, with a wider release coming in October. Source: Gothamist, 8/24/17

Researchers identify cheaper, greener biofuels processing catalyst
Fuels that are produced from nonpetroleum-based biological sources may become greener and more affordable, thanks to research performed at the University of Illinois' Prairie Research Institute that examines the use of a processing catalyst made from palladium metal and bacteria. Source: University of Illinois, 8/25/17

Can business save the world from climate change?
A growing number of initiatives are giving corporations the resources to help achieve global climate goals regardless of government support. Source: Ensia, 8/15/17

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