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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Thursday, November 10, 2016
Low-carbon aviation fuel soars onward
You may be surprised to learn that air travel is already efficient. In fact, a flight between New York and Los Angeles achieves the equivalent of about 80 miles per gallon per passenger.

Airplane manufacturers, such as Boeing and Airbus, prioritized reducing fuel consumption because jet fuel is the No. 1 expense for airlines, and they have achieved great success in doing so. Source: GreenBiz, 11/10/16

Replacing grass with water-wise landscapes may harm water quality
In many water-starved cities, homeowners are being encouraged to replace their lawns to conserve water. But how does this affect soil concentrations of nutrients such as nitrates? Now a team from the US has examined what happens to converted lawns in real homes. Source: EnvironmentalResearchWeb, 11/9/16

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Greenpeace: Samsung's Exploding Phone Presents Opportunity for Leadership
Samsung embarked upon an aggressive recall program that promises customers can exchange or refund their Note 7 phones. But Greenpeace insists 4.3 million of those smartphones were sold before Samsung halted their distribution, which poses a huge electronic waste (e-waste) challenge. As Reuters reported last week, Samsung said it will remain "in full compliance with relevant local environmental regulations" as it sorts out what to do with the recalled phones, which contain valuable metals such as gold, tungsten and palladium. But Greenpeace is calling on Samsung to be more transparent as to how it will process all of those smartphones. Source: Triple Pundit, 11/8/16

Monday, November 7, 2016
How much does that fertilizer REALLY cost?
University of Minnesota researchers create a tool for quantifying adverse impacts of nitrogen, identifying where reduced use will have the most benefit. Source: University of Minnesota, 10/5/16

Cobalt Supply Chain Under Scrutiny for Congo Links
Cobalt isn't officially a "conflict mineral" of the kind that's subject to strict reporting requirements under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but a study published Wednesday says companies are treating the metal as if it were. Increased pressure from non-government organizations and trade associations advocating responsible mining practices is leading many companies to adopt the same supply chain due diligence programs they use for conflict minerals--gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum. Cobalt is the main raw material in lithium-ion batteries powering cell phones and electric vehicles, and although relatively abundant, mining of the metal is concentrated in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The conflict minerals rule was aimed specifically at depriving Congolese warlords of funds through requiring companies to scrub their supply chains, so the mining of cobalt there could raise the same concerns about proceeds of the metal fueling conflict. Source: The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/16

Electronics Recycling Collection to Resume in Naperville (IL)
Naperville's Environmental Collection Campus will once again serve as a collection point for electronics recycling beginning Monday, Nov. 7. Source: Naperville Patch, 11/3/16

3-D-printed permanent magnets outperform conventional versions, conserve rare materials
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have demonstrated that permanent magnets produced by additive manufacturing can outperform bonded magnets made using traditional techniques while conserving critical materials. Source: Phys Org, 11/1/16

Friday, November 4, 2016
Restoring Pollution Prevention and the Concept of Positive Freedom
Rick Reibstein advocates for pollution prevention to help companies comply with the new TSCA revisions. Source: RegBlog, 11/2/16

Why we must design as if we're part of nature
The bad news: We only have a few decades left to shift to regenerative design. But there's good news too. Source: GreenBiz, 11/4/16

Thursday, November 3, 2016
25 Companies, Organizations Honored for Sustainability Achievements in Illinois
Abbott Laboratories won an Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award for the 15th time on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at a ceremony at the Union League Club of Chicago. They were among 25 companies and organizations to be honored for their commitment to sustainable business and operations during the Awards' 30th anniversary year. Source: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, 11/1/16

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