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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Governor signs bill making Illinois first state to ban microbeads
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Sunday banning the manufacture and sale of personal care products containing synthetic plastic microbeads. The new law bans the manufacture of personal care products containing microbeads by the end of 2017, the sale of personal care products and the manufacture of over the counter drugs by the end of 2018, and the sale of over the counter drugs by the end of 2019. Environmentalists have said the non-biodegradable plastic particles used as exfoliants in many facial cleansers and soaps slip through sewage system filters and pile up in waterways, where they suck up toxins and harm wildlife. Preliminary studies in Lake Michigan have found millions of microbeads. Source: Chicago Tribune, 6/8/14

Performance Data for Comparing the World's Cities
The first-ever set of ISO standards for world cities has been created, giving city policymakers a way to compare their services and performance with other cities around the world. Source: FutureStructure, 6/4/14

From Trash to Treasure: Recapturing and Repurposing Our Garbage
Closing the loop on waste -- and integrating it with other systems -- may be more than a noble policy goal. In fact, it may make smart economic sense as well. Source: FutureStructure, 5/30/14

Why we desperately need chemical literacy
Consumers need to know what's in the products they buy, so companies must go up the supply chain to learn exactly what's in the products they sell. Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

4 ways cities can invest now in climate resilience
Protecting coastal cities from sea level rise will require a blend of solutions best offered through proactive planning. Source: GreenBiz, 6/11/14

Composting gains steam in suburban schools, homes
Across the suburbs, food scrap composting is taking hold at institutions and households that want to go beyond recycling. Composting diverts more material from landfills and lengthens their life spans. It also helps reduce greenhouse gases and cuts waste hauling costs. Further, the process recovers more nutrients than sending scraps down the garbage disposal, experts say. ISTC assisted Lewis University with establishing their composting program. Source: Daily Herald, 6/11/14

You Say Tomato; We Say Tom-Auto: Ford and Heinz Collaborate on Sustainable Materials for Vehicles
Researchers at Ford and Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. Specifically, dried tomato skins could become the wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects. Source: Ford press release, 6/10/14

How much fertilizer is too much for Earth's climate?
In a new study published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michigan State University researchers provide an improved prediction of nitrogen fertilizer's contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural fields. Source: Michigan State University, 6/9/14

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Can carbon emissions become a revenue stream?
CO2 waste streams can be turned into saleable, value-added feedstocks. Is it a pipe dream or crackable code? We'll find out soon. Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

Seventh Generation engages consumers for chemical policy reform
The green cleaning products giant's approach to health messaging shows how a grassroots health campaign can spur consumer engagement. Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

How to make electronics trade groups drive sustainability
If you work in the electronics hardware industry and your goal is to further corporate environmental sustainability, which industry associations will give you the most effective methods and tools for reducing environmental impacts? How can you drive forward the associatio Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

Embracing the UN's water goal is smart business
Increasingly effective tools and benchmarking standards can help businesses step up to the challenge. Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

8 new ways to reduce waste at your business
When you toss something in the trash at work, you're throwing money away. Follow these simple steps to turn garbage into profit. Source: GreenBiz, 6/10/14

FDA and EPA issue updated draft advice for fish consumption
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today issued updated draft advice on fish consumption. The two agencies have concluded pregnant and breastfeeding women, those who might become pregnant, and young children should eat more fish that is lower in mercury in order to gain important developmental and health benefits. The updated draft advice is consistent with recommendations in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Source: U.S. EPA, 6/9/14

Thursday, June 5, 2014
Archived recording available for GLRPPR's E3 in Agriculture webinar
The webinar archive, presentation slides, and list of links mentioned by Myla Kelly, the webinar speaker, are now available on the GLRPPR web site. Source: GLRPPR, 6/5/14

Do Newsweek's Green Rankings still matter?
The fifth edition of the Newsweek Green Rankings is out today. Does anybody really care? Source: GreenBiz, 6/5/14

Transforming the climate conversation through social video
Choice video is a powerful medium to influence consumer beliefs on climate change, especially when the message is shared from a trusted source. Source: GreenBiz, 6/5/14

New Desalination Technologies Spur Growth in Recyling Water
Desalination has long been associated with one process -- turning seawater into drinking water. But a host of new technologies are being developed that not only are improving traditional desalination but opening up new frontiers in reusing everything from agricultural water to industrial effluent. Source: Yale Environment360, 6/3/14

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign to sell carbon credits to Chevrolet
Because it has dramatically reduced its carbon dioxide emissions in the past several years, the U. of I. is selling an estimated 150,000 metric tons of certified carbon credits to Chevrolet, which is retiring them on behalf of the environment. Source: Inside Illinois, 6/5/14

Wednesday, June 4, 2014
How She Leads: Monique Oxender, Keurig Green Mountain
At Ford, she made sustainability non-threatening. Next, she will tackle Keurig Green Mountain's big recycling challenge. Source: GreenBiz, 6/3/14

Kaiser Permanente to phase out flame retardants
Kaiser Permanente, one of the nation's largest not-for-profit health care systems, announced a phase out Tuesday of toxic flame retardants in upholstered furniture used in their hospitals, medical offices and other buildings. Source: GreenBiz, 6/4/14

A sustainable work environment breeds a healthy, happy culture
Where we work has a huge impact on how we work. It is also fundamental in attracting and retaining exceptional employees. Source: GreenBiz, 6/4/14

How Much Each State Has to Cut Carbon Emissions Under New EPA Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency used a formula that considers where states are now and where they could be by 2030, leading to wide variation in emissions targets. Source: Governing, 6/4/14

The Value in Our Garbage
The food we don't eat gives us gas. But beyond renewable energy generation, organic waste holds the potential of big benefits for our communities. Source: FutureStructure, 5/28/14

The Blue Economy: New Strategies for Optimizing Our Most Precious Resource
The U.S. is on the cusp of a new era: big cities and rural communities alike are tackling their water challenges with innovative solutions that were once thought impossible. A new movement is afoot to find new small-scale sources of water in a world that is increasingly susceptible to the unpredictable whims of climate change. Source: FutureStructure, 5/30/14

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Pharmaceutical waste: Turning hazard into opportunity
What do regulations say, and how can healthcare sustainability leaders prevent waste from being generated while improving environmental impact through new practices, staff education and the pursuit of more healthful options? Source: GreenBiz, 6/2/14

How to engage consumers: 5 lessons from social movements
Corporations can take insights from social movements to create authentic sustainability initiatives that inspire consumer participation and propagation. This article explains five key principles of movement-building and gives modern examples of companies and organizations putting them into practices to drive engagement. Source: GreenBiz, 6/2/14

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