Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
The greenhouse that acts like a beetle and other inventions inspired by nature
For a new generation of innovators, biomimicry -- the imitation of nature's ecosystems -- may help solve some of humanity's toughest resource problems Source: The Guardian, 4/10/16

Net Impact's Sustainable Food Idea Competition
Forward Food Competition invites proposals that present sustainable food ideas to industry experts. Ideas should focus on addressing a food systems challenge such as creating more sustainable products or addressing food waste. Application submission deadline is May 15. Source: Net Impact, 4/12/16

Waste not: Food recovery keeps surplus from becoming trash
The Daily Bread trucks rumbling through Fargo-Moorhead last year collected enough food to provide 2.45 million meals that fed the equivalent of one of every 10 metro residents.

Not all that many years ago, all of those leftovers would have been dumped in landfills instead of being delivered to homeless shelters and soup kitchens, or turned into more than 165,000 food baskets for the needy.

The food recovery program, run by the Great Plains Food Bank, is the area's largest and most comprehensive effort to prevent food from going to waste. Source: Bismark Tribune, 4/11/16


Thursday, April 7, 2016
Researchers cook up new battery anodes with wild mushrooms
Carbon fibers derived from a sustainable source, a type of wild mushroom, and modified with nanoparticles have been shown to outperform conventional graphite electrodes for lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at Purdue University have created electrodes from a species of wild fungus called Tyromyces fissilis. Source: Purdue University, 4/6/16


Food Companies, Retailers Urge Stricter Big Rig Emissions Rulesl
The EPA and US Department of Transportation's proposed rules to cut carbon pollution from heavy-duty trucks should be stricter, according to a dozen major food and retail companies. Source: Environmental Leader, 4/7/15

Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Getting chemicals out of health care settings, with a little help
U.S. health care spending accounted for nearly 18 percent of GDP in 2014. The health care sector's immense purchasing power is effectively tipping the marketplace in favor of suppliers adopting safer chemicals policies and practices. Source: GreenBiz, 4/1/16

Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Good News for our Health at Home: Safety Sells
Last spring, EPA unveiled a new label to help consumers make informed choices about the products they use at home. Today, hundreds of products with the Safer Choice label are on store shelves at major retailers in all 50 states. Source: U.S. EPA, 4/5/16

Why sustainability reporting is a key tool for savvy managers
Responding to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) can be a lengthy process. Addressing the breadth of economic, social and environmental issues covered requires the participation of subject matter experts from across your organization.

For some companies, the investment of time and resources may have their leadership team asking, "Is it worth it?" Source: GreenBiz, 4/5/16


Landscape architects probe health effects of rain gardens
University of Illinois PhD students Pongsakorn "Tum" Suppakittpaisarn and Fatemeh Saeidi-Rizi study rain gardens--but not in the way you'd expect. Instead of measuring infiltration rates and pollution reduction capacity, Tum and Fatemeh want to know what happens in our brains and bodies when we see this green infrastructure practice. Source: Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant, 4/5/16

MN: Going green one paint job at a time
Wayne's Auto Body in Hastings took a big step toward being more environmentally friendly. The business made some big changes in its operations in order to reduce the amount of VOCs it produces. Source: Hastings Star Gazette, 4/2/16

Thursday, March 31, 2016
Snyder signs bill to require accurate Michigan recycling data
Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation creating a statewide data collection system so that Michigan can track its recycling efforts. Source: Detroit Free Press, 3/29/16

What Apple's reuse robot says about sustainability and tech
Somewhere in between the technicolor iWatches, cheaper iPhones and revamped iPads, a relatively run-of-the-mill Apple i-device showcase Monday briefly veered into the company's vision for high-tech sustainability. The showstopper was "Liam," a robot capable of deconstructing used iPhones and removing component parts for reuse or recycling. Precious metals such as the silver present in the phone's motherboard, for example, could be stripped and re-purposed for solar panels, said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives. But the window into Apple's massive product supply chain -- the company had sold 700 million iPhones alone as of last year -- also raises familiar questions about the role that consumer electronics companies play in encouraging a throw-away culture that perpetuates global issues such as e-waste. Getting used electronics back to manufacturers (and their robots) in the first place is no easy task. Liam also won't do anything for consumers who want to fix their iPhones themselves instead of buying a new one, nor the processors handling countless other gadgets on the market today. Source: GreenBiz, 3/21/16

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