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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Friday, March 17, 2017
Don't Plant Those Bee-Friendly Wildflowers Cheerios Is Giving Away
Bee populations are in decline, and Cheerios wants to help. So far, so good. But they are sending free packets of wildflower seeds to people all over the country--and some of the flowers included are invasive species that, in some areas, you should probably not plant. Source: Lifehacker, 3/17/16

Top Value Added Chemicals: The Biobased Economy 12 Years Later
In 2004, the United States Department of Energy published a landmark report titled "Top Value Added Chemicals from Biomass," in which they highlighted a dozen molecules as the most promising framework molecules that could potentially replace commonly used petroleum-based molecular building blocks. These 12 biobased value-added chemicals would provide prospective routes for everything from biofuels to less toxic paints and adhesives. Despite the fact that these innovations took almost 13 years to garner attention and be developed on an industrial scale, these molecules now embody the promising future of the biobased economy. The following update features four biobased chemicals with recent innovations on the market: Itaconic Acid, Glucaric Acid, 3-Hydroxybutryolactone, and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural. Source: ACS Green Chemistry Blog, 3/16/17

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Study quantifies role of 'legacy phosphorus' in reduced water quality
For decades, phosphorous has accumulated in Wisconsin soils. Though farmers have taken steps to reduce the quantity of the agricultural nutrient applied to and running off their fields, a new study from the University of Wisconsin--Madison reveals that a "legacy" of abundant soil phosphorus in the Yahara watershed of Southern Wisconsin has a large, direct and long-lasting impact on water quality. Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3/14/17

Thursday, March 9, 2017
What Hospitals Waste
The nation's health care tab is sky-high. Pro-Publica is tracking down the reasons. First stop: A look at all the perfectly good stuff hospitals throw away. Source: ProPublica, 3/9/17

Sustainable: Organizations warming to geothermal energy
Cargill Philanthropies is one of a handful of organizations in Minnesota that have installed geothermal systems over the last few years. Although geothermal exchange systems require a significant upfront investment, the equipment generally lasts for decades and the fuel source, the Earth, costs nothing. Source: Minnesota Finance & Commerce, 3/7/17

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Corporate Sustainability Efforts Yield Millions in Increased Sales, Cost Savings
Corporate spending on sustainability and circular economy initiatives is on the rise -- and yielding increased sales and cost savings, according to consulting firm Pure Strategies, which says its latest survey found more than 80 percent of companies expect a sustainability budget increase from 2016 to 2017 with a third anticipating double-digit growth. Source: Environmental Leader, 3/7/17

Tuesday, March 7, 2017
GE Turns Recycled Water into Wine (or rather Winery Process Water)
General Electric has partnered with wine industry services provider Winesecrets and the University of California Davis to pilot a program using captured rainwater in wine production. Source: Environmental Leader, 3/2/17

Is Your Company Prepared for the New TSCA Chemical Reporting Rule?
Almost all companies across most industries are subject to a new, one-time reporting requirement imposed by the amended Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).

Beginning in the third quarter of 2017, companies will have 180 days to identify and report to the EPA each chemical it has manufactured or imported in the past 10 years. Chemicals not reported will be designated "inactive," and thus illegal to manufacture or use in the US. Source: Environmental Leader, 3/6/17

Turning food waste into tires
Researchers at The Ohio State University have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century. Source: The Ohio State University, 3/6/17

Report: Environmental Hazards Kill 1.7 Million Kids Under 5 Each Year
According to two new World Health Organization reports, about 1.7 million children under the age of 5 die each year because of environmental hazards. It's the first such estimate of the child death toll from environmental causes. Source: NPR, 3/7/17

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GLRPPR is a member of the Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange, a national network of regional information centers: NEWMOA (Northeast), WRRC (Southeast), GLRPPR (Great Lakes), ZeroWasteNet (Southwest), P2RIC (Plains), Peaks to Prairies (Mountain), WSPPN (Pacific Southwest), PPRC (Northwest).


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