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Environmental News

Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
To Go Green, Bars Try To Reuse Their Booze
Just as the restaurant industry has been waking up to its significant contribution to the food waste problem -- and coming up with creative solutions -- bartenders are realizing they can also turn some of their waste into something useful. It's just one dimension of the new sustainability movement in the drinking industry that's seeking ways to reduce water use, packaging waste and energy. Source: NPR, 12/14/15

P2 Impact: These businesses are coloring a triple win for industrial painting
In the latest P2 Impact column, MnTAP's Monique Dubos and Jon Vanyo discuss how businesses that operate paint lines can save time and money while reducing their hazardous air pollutant emissions. Source: GreenBiz, 12/14/15

Monday, December 14, 2015
Regulation-Driven Innovation
This article provides a review of some of the most relevant regulatory changes and trends in the silicone industry, demonstrating how research and development (R&D) efforts have risen to the challenges that these new regulatory demands have presented. Improvements and solutions that positively impact human and environmental health and safety have clearly been driven by regulatory mandates, and will undoubtedly continue to influence R&D and innovation into the future. Source: Paintings & Coatings Industry, 10/1/15

Environmental Group Launches Initiative for Pharmaceutical Producer Responsibility
The environmental group As You Sow has launched a waste initiative aimed at making major pharmaceutical companies take responsibility for the collection and disposal of unused and expired drugs and accessories. Source: Waste360, 12/11/15

Corporate sustainability is growing up, but can it evolve?
Many companies have reached the highest levels of the five stages of sustainability, but experts see a growing gap between these and those that have yet to evolve. Source: GreenBiz, 12/14/15

Thursday, December 10, 2015
9 Ways GE Executed Its Radical Green Reinvention
With Ecomagination, GE bet big on efficiency and clean energy. A decade later, it's made $200 billion, and is driving the future of the company. Source: Fast Company, 12/10/15

FTC Says Retailers Are 'Bamboozling' Shoppers With Fake Bamboo Fabrics
The Federal Trade Commission has announced complaints against four major retailers--Bed Bath & Beyond, Nordstrom, JCPenney and civil penalties totaling $1.3 million. The offense? Marketing bamboo products that aren't made of bamboo. Source: AdWeek, 12/9/15

A Washing Machine That Recycles Its Own Water
Three grad students have invented a filter that allows washers to reuse 95 percent of the water from each load. Source: The Atlantic, 11/25/15

The Global Food Waste/Energy Nexus: Is Buying Local Always the Best?
Calculating the environmental impact of our food purchases isn't always as simple as figuring the driving distance to the nearest point. Source: Triple Pundit, 12/3/15

Sustainable cocktails, zero-waste bars aim to change the way we drink
Behind the bar at New York's The Daily, Iain Griffiths whipped up a "Green" Sour in a blender: Ford's Gin, a coin of fresh cucumber, a whole egg, orange bitters, sea salt, raspberries, crushed ice and a lemon half, with the peel already removed. There was nothing left over but a single egg shell. Presenting: the (almost) zero-waste cocktail. Source: Daily Herald, 12/7/15

'Buzzed' from beer waste in 3D printing
"If good people drink beer, certainly they must build with it too," so goes the rallying cry of 3D printing material manufacturer 3Dom. After developing an eco-friendly 3D printing filament from used coffee grinds, they are now turning their efforts towards beer waste, too. Source: Springwise, 11/6/15

New Food Waste Recovery Bill Would Push Composting, Waste-to-Energy
A food waste recovery bill has been introduced into Congress that aims to reduce food waste at both the consumer and commercial levels, and would encourage various composting and waste-to-energy (WTE) initiatives. Source: Waste 360. 12/10/15

How One South Carolina City Recycles its Cooking Oil
Southern Fried Fuel. It's Columbia, S.C's. crispy solution for recycling cooking oil--a fluid, problematic waste stream that coats and clogs the drains of culinary kitchens throughout the city. Source: Waste 360, 12/10/15

How Target and Walmart led a push to make over makeup
After prioritizing their own strategies for years, the retailers are backing industry-driven leadership for sustainable cosmetics. Source: GreenBiz, 12/10/15

Cities and the Push for a Low-Carbon World Economy
Much of the talk in Paris is about bringing capital to bear on climate change. That would have a profound effect on our urban economies. Source: Governing, 12/10/15

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
How we can vanquish pollution within our lifetimes
Simply spreading the message could change the world. Source: Ensia, 10/26/15

Kenilworth, Ill., To Undergo 'Green' Street Tech Transformation
The Chicago suburb will use porous asphalt streets, absorbent turf and emergency storage for excess storm water. Source: FutureStructure, 12/8/15

Public Opinion and the Environment: The Nine Types of Americans
The inaugural poll of Americans' environmental attitudes, a collaboration between The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, reveals that contrary to common rhetoric, the American public is not simply polarized into pro- and anti-environment groups. Instead, the study identifies nine distinct types of Americans, each with a unique understanding of the environment, perspectives on key environmental issues, and different environmental behaviors. It also finds that Americans' environmental attitudes are partly motivated by political ideology and religion, but are also rooted in how individuals perceive, interact with, and experience nature. Source: Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 12/6/15

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
House votes to ban microbeads in soap
House lawmakers voted Monday to ban plastic microbeads from bath products such as soaps and body washes. The bill, introduced by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) earlier this year in an effort to protect the nation's lakes and streams from getting clogged with the little pieces of plastic, passed by voice vote. Source: The Hill, 12/7/15

Why Sustainability-Oriented Innovation Is Valuable in Every Context
SOI allows companies to reap the benefits of products and services that create social and environmental good. Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, 12/8/15

The Killer App for 3D Printing? The Circular Economy
3D printing is currently a niche technology -- but it has the potential to help us completely alter how we use and reuse materials to make custom goods. As a technology, it offers three factors that define sustainable systems: (1) materials parsimony, (2) power autonomy, and (3) value cycling. Guest editor Gregory Unruh explains how 3D printing represents a sustainability game-changer. Source: MIT Sloan Management Review, 12/8/15

Protein drinks and baby formula could offset Greek yogurt's dark side
Acid whey, a byproduct of Greek yogurt production, causes environmental problems but rebranding could create a market for it among the health-conscious. Source: The Guardian, 12/8/15

Why economists and practitioners need to work together to improve energy efficiency programs
This post looks broadly at how economists and energy efficiency practitioners can better avoid past problems, understand each other, and work together. Source: American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), 8/12/15

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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