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Environmental News


Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
How the circular economy is taking off in the US
Laptops made of plastic from old laptops. Aluminium car body parts made from old cars. Chemicals leased out, recovered, and leased again. These are just a few examples of how the circular economy, once seen as a Scandinavian speciality, is starting to spin in the United States. Source: The Guardian, 8/26/15

The circular economy's missing ingredient: Local
The latest P2 Impact column has been published over at GreenBiz. John Mulrow, Interim Director at Plant Chicago, writes about an often-overlooked aspect of the material reuse craze. Source:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
U. of I. to lead center for power optimization in mobile electronics
Heat is the enemy for people designing cars, construction machinery, aircraft and mobile electronics. When electrical systems do more work, they get hotter. When they get too hot, they operate inefficiently, fail or even melt. A new, $18.5 million Engineering Research Center led by the U. of I. is out to pack more power into less space for electrical systems. The center is funded by the National Science Foundation. Source: University of Illinois News Bureau, Inside Illinois, 8/20/15

Monday, August 24, 2015
Illini Gadget Garage will provide a space to repair electronics on campus
The goal of the Gadget Garage project -- part of the Sustainable Electronics Initiative at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center -- is to extend the useful life of electronic products and reduce electronic waste. Source: University of Illinois, 8/24/15

Helping Cities Navigate a Climate-Changed Future
A Q&A with Anu Ramaswami, an urban sustainability expert at the University of Minnesota, about a new program to make cities sustainable. Source: Inside Climate News, 8/21//15

Thursday, August 20, 2015
E-waste: The Nuts and Bolts of Why It Still Plagues our Landfills
Carol Baroudi of Arrow Electronics, Jason Linnell of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, and Wayne Rifer and Jonas Allen of the Green Electronics Council help illuminate the reasons why electronic waste continues to be a vexing issue. Source: Triple Pundit, 8/19/15

Why We Shouldn't be Collecting Electronics at the Curb
Jason Linnell of the National Center for Electronics Recycling discusses the reasons why curbside collection of electronics is not a good solution for electronics recycling, despite the potential convenience for consumers. Source: Waste 360

Inside Microsoft's wind energy strategy
Over the past two years, Microsoft has contracted for 285 MW of renewable power from two off-site wind energy projects. These two wind farms -- capable of generating enough electricity to power 125,000 U.S. homes -- could not have been built without the long-term off-take agreement provided by Microsoft, demonstrating the large-scale impact that companies can have on renewable energy deployment. Source: GreenBiz, 8/18/15

Institutional investors to Big Food: Come clean on water risks
In the latest evidence that water shortages and sustainability risks are a bigger deal than many companies are letting on to shareholders, 60 institutional investors managing a combined $2.6 trillion in assets sent a letter today to more than a dozen big food and beverage companies calling on them to reveal water risks. Source: GreenBiz, 8/19/15

Green Electronics in an Age of Endless Innovation
Global smartphone sales reached 1 billion in 2013 and 1.2 billion in 2014. By comparison, television sales may fall to below 200 million this year. There are profound trends in the works in the IT industry as our gadgets become increasingly mobile and sophisticated, with users demanding huge energy efficiency gains. Source: Triple Pundit, 8/10/15

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Old bras get new life on the red carpet
QVC star and intimate apparel designer Kathleen Kirkwood wants to recycle your old 36Bs. Source: Mother Nature Network, 8/13/15

EPA Proposes New Measures to Cut Methane Emissions from the Oil and Gas Sector
Continuing the Obama Administration's commitment to take action on climate change and protect public health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing proposed standards that would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposal is a part of the Administration's strategy under President Obama's Climate Action Plan to cut methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels by 2025. Source: U.S. EPA, 8/18/15

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