Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable
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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Stanford engineers develop state-by-state plan to convert U.S. to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050
One potential way to combat ongoing climate change, eliminate air pollution mortality, create jobs and stabilize energy prices involves converting the world's entire energy infrastructure to run on clean, renewable energy. This is a daunting challenge. But now, in a new study, Mark Z. Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford, and colleagues, including U.C. Berkeley researcher Mark Delucchi, are the first to outline how each of the 50 states can achieve such a transition by 2050. The 50 individual state plans call for aggressive changes to both infrastructure and the ways we currently consume energy, but indicate that the conversion is technically and economically possible through the wide-scale implementation of existing technologies. The study is published in the online edition of Energy and Environmental Sciences. An interactive map summarizing the plans for each state is available at Source: Stanford University, 6/8/15

Dairy generates buzz about environmental sustainability
Sometimes it's the simplest solutions that create the most buzz. In the case of Dorrich Dairy near Glenwood, innovation comes in the form of tiny wasp larvae. The six-legged insects may be small, but they're having a huge impact controlling the farm's fly population, improving cow comfort, reducing the use of pesticides, and reducing the 400-cow operation's impact on the environment. Source: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 6/9/15

Monday, June 8, 2015
From oil to algae: eco-friendly asphalt could be the route to greener roads
Standard asphalt is energy- and resource-intensive and is blamed for failing roads. The race is on to develop sustainable alternatives like algae and cooking oil. Source: The Guardian, 6/8/15

This is why people are so clueless about how much energy they use
Nobody really disputes that saving energy is a good thing -- we pay less on our bills when we do, and cause fewer carbon emissions to boot. Getting people to cut back, though, has often proved pretty tricky. We like our comforts and routines. And, if a new study is to believed, we widely misperceive where the bulk of our energy use comes from -- thinking that devices such as computers use much more energy than they actually use, even as we underestimate the contributions of major energy gluttons, such as home and water heating. Source: Washington Post, 6/2/15

Catalyst Removes Cancer-Causing Benzene In Gasoline
Northwestern University scientists are experimenting with ways to eliminate a cancer-causing agent from gasoline by neutralizing the benzene compound found in gasoline. They developed a catalyst that effectively removed benzene from the other aromatic compounds in gasoline, making it cleaner and more efficient. Source: Northwestern University, 6/5/15

Friday, June 5, 2015
Can the plastics industry create a collaborative model for change?
Plastic is an inherently ubiquitous and valuable material -- which is why it's time to finally move the needle on doing a better job reusing it. Source: GreenBiz, 6/1/15

How the apparel industry is cleaning up textiles
These important tools are keeping hazardous chemicals out of clothing from the outset. Source: GreenBiz, 6/5/15

Business leaders and academia work together toward a new economy
Collaboration generates fresh ideas and breaks old patterns. A new publication with articles by Unilever and HP execs serves up food for thought. Source: GreenBiz, 6/5/15

2015 Newsweek Green Rankings
Newsweek has released its 2015 Green Rankings. This post links to the lists and a GreenBiz summary. Source: Environmental News Bits, 6/5/15

Thursday, June 4, 2015
Bringing behavioral psychology to composting
This blog post discusses how Harvard students took the principles they learned in a behavioral psychology class and applied them to the problem of campus composting. Source: Harvard University Green, 5/11/15

Meet the startup keeping Amazon and eBay returns out of landfills
Retailers are reducing waste, but less so when handling billions of returned goods. Optoro aims to rethink and reduce the impacts. Source: GreenBiz, 6/2/15

Water in the Bank: One Solution For Drought-Stricken California
A potential answer to California's severe water shortages is groundwater banking, which involves creating incentives for municipalities, farmers, and other water users to percolate water down into sub-surface aquifers for later use. Source: Yale Environment360, 5/7/15

Have surfers discovered the future of sustainable design?
Surfboard materials are experiencing a wave of innovation with big implications for other industries. But could familiar concerns about performance, appearance and costs hinder sales? Source: GreenBiz, 6/4/15

Friday, May 29, 2015
EPA Announces $54.3 Million to Assess and Clean Up Contaminated Sites, Revitalize Communities, Leverage Jobs and Promote Economic Redevelopment Nationwide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the selection of 243 new grant investments totaling $54.3 million to 147 communities across the U.S. This investment will provide communities with funding necessary to assess, clean up and redevelop contaminated properties, boost local economies and leverage jobs while protecting public health and the environment. Recipients will each receive approximately $200,000 - $600,000 in funding toward EPA cooperative agreements. Source: U.S. EPA, 5/28/15

The Case for Taxing Bottled Water
The public should be able to recoup some of the social, ethical, and environmental costs of bottled water. Source: CityLab, 5/28/15

Other Environmental News

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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