Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
How one bacterium could help ease reliance on food crops for biofuel
A lowly bacterium, once sidelined in biofuel production, may help reduce production costs in converting crop residue and other non-crop plants into fuel. Source: Christian Science Monitor, 2/2/15

Michigan's bald eagles full of flame retardants
Michigan's bald eagles are among the most contaminated birds on the planet when it comes to phased-out flame retardant chemicals in their livers, according to new research. Source: Environmental Health News, 2/9/15

Ecolab brings solar to Twin Cities, hoping the Midwest sees the light
Ecolab is signing up to be an anchor tenant -- not in a mall, but in community solar gardens in Minnesota. Headquartered in St. Paul, the Fortune 500 company will run completely on solar in Minnesota by purchasing space at solar gardens being built by SunEdison. Source: GreenBiz, 2/9/15

Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Worried You're Breathing Polluted Air? There's An App For That.
We have smartphone apps to tell us where our friends are checking in for drinks, the best restaurant within walking distance, and even the quickest route to the nearest bathroom. But did you ever expect you'd be checking your phone to figure out the best place to take a deep breath? That's exactly what entrepreneur Ziv Lautman would like you to do. Lautman is the co-creator of BreezoMeter, an app that tracks and displays real-time air quality reports, allowing users to see not only the cleanliness of what they're breathing in, but also where in their city they can find cleaner, fresher air. Source: Good Magazine, 2/9/15

Monday, February 9, 2015
What you need to know about the new phone unlocking rules
Beginning February 11, carriers will be required to honor your unlock request so that you can take your phone to whatever other carrier you please. The carriers and the FCC have all offered up their own informative FAQ on the matter, but if you'd rather not trudge through all of that, here's a quick run-down on everything you need to know about unlocking your device. Source: Greenbot, 2/9/15

A Closer Look at the Flawed Studies Behind Policies Used to Promote 'Low-Carbon' Biofuels
Nearly all of the studies used to promote biofuels as climate-friendly alternatives to petroleum fuels are flawed and need to be redone, according to a University of Michigan researcher who reviewed more than 100 papers published over more than two decades. Source: University of Michigan Energy Institute, 2/5/15

Finelite takes an enlightened approach to reusable packaging
In the latest P2 Impact column, author Justin Lehrer points out that the green lighting company's bright ideas for innovations in recycling and reuse deliver awards, customer satisfaction and tangible cost savings. Source: GreenBiz, 2/5/15

Friday, February 6, 2015
How to start the new data collection conversation
New sustainability reporting requirements may catch some by surprise. Now's the time to ask new questions that get you more useful answers. Source: GreenBiz, 1/6/15

How to do business in a world running out of water
Respecting human rights to water should be embedded into operations, says new U.N. guidance. Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co. and Nestle are on board. Source: GreenBiz, 2/5/15

Environment as economic threat: How sustainability redefines risk
Disasters that knock factories offline, scarce resources and shifting social dynamics -- welcome to the daunting new world of sustainable business. Source: GreenBiz, 2/4/15

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
'Clicking Clean:' The Overlooked Opportunity and Scalable Benefits of Sustainable Web Design
According to a phenomenon known as Jevons Paradox, the increase in efficiency with which a resource is used tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of that resource's consumption. In other words, the easier it becomes to use something, the more said thing gets used. It happened with coal, it happened with automobiles, and now it's happening with the Internet; we are unwittingly tweeting and posting our way to a warmer planet. With sustainable web practices, however, the latter doesn't have to follow the same environmentally disastrous path as the two former. Source: Sustainable Brands, 2/4/15

These Companies Want to Make Your Smartphone Truly Smart
Mike Hower discusses modular phone designs (like the Puzzlephone, Phonebloks, and Project Ara), as well as Fairphone, which focuses on a more ethically manufactured product. Source: Sustainable Brands, 1/27/15

More big businesses push for stricter environmental regulations
For many companies, it's becoming increasingly clear that you cannot be successful in a society that fails. Source: The Guardian, 2/4/15

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