Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region
|Thursday, January 9, 2014|
Developing world overtakes the U.S. in e-waste
When it comes to e-waste, countries such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa are making up for lost time. E-waste is expected to surge 33 percent between 2012 and 2017, led by the developing world. Source: GreenBiz, 1/9/14
|Wednesday, January 8, 2014|
Harvesting invasive plants to convert into ethanol is not an easy process
According to a recent study at the University of Illinois, harvesting invasive plants for use as biofuels may sound like a great idea, but the reality poses numerous obstacles and is too expensive to consider, at least with the current ethanol pathways. Source: Mattoon Journal-Gazette and Times-Courier, 1/7/14
U.S. Midwest utility Integrys creating residential solar fund
Midwest utility company Integrys Energy Group Inc said on Wednesday it was partnering with startup Clean Power Finance Inc to create a fund for residential solar projects. Source: Reuters, 1/8/14
|Tuesday, January 7, 2014|
Clean, Green Breweries: Goose Island Beer Co.
The abundant freshwater of the Great Lakes region is increasingly used for craft beer brewing. Breweries compete for customers with an eclectic array of beers and a raft of sustainable efforts.
Some companies recycle used grain, others use recycled packaging. Some run delivery trucks on vegetable oil or harness wind and solar power. Some even donate proceeds to watershed projects. Over the next few weeks, Echo will briefly profile some of the eco-friendly brewing around the Great Lakes.
Today, we look at Goose Island Beer Co. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 1/7/14
Can companies cut food waste and feed the world?
Americans throw out more than 40 million tons of edible food each year, or as much as 40% of the food produced in the U.S., writes Janet Forgrieve. Food retailers and restaurants are trying to find ways to reduce that waste and divert unwanted food toward the 50 million Americans who need it. Source: SmartBlog on Food & Beverage, 1/6/14
Intel Announces First "Conflict-Free" Microprocessor
Tech giant Intel on Monday announced that its entire 2014 line of microprocessors would be free from so-called "conflict minerals," making them the first in the rare mineral-heavy industry to completely phase out their use in one of their products. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich was speaking at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on the company's strategy and new products to be released over the coming year when he revealed the culmination of their efforts. The tantalum, tungsten, tin, and gold that Intel purchases -- all of which play heavily into the manufacturing of microprocessors and other electronics -- will all be guaranteed to not have come from mines that pass their profits on to armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and other mineral-rich areas of Africa. Source: ThinkProgress, 1/7/14
|Monday, January 6, 2014|
Chemistry getting greener at Michigan companies, universities
A movement to make chemical manufacturing more environmentally friendly has gained steam and turned Michigan into a national leader. Source: Great Lakes Echo, 12/18/13
|Friday, January 3, 2014|
From Nitric Acid Dip Cleaning To Closed-Loop Solvent Cleaning
Superior Products in Ohio has reduced annual water consumption from two million gallons to zero, dropped daily cleaning labor from 15 hours to one per day, and has achieved better cleaning results. Source: Products Finishing, 1/1/14
Why electronic ingredient lists should be a 'must-see' at CES
Those attending the Consumer Electronics Show, taking place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas, can feast their eyes on 3,200 exhibitors' sparkling new products. What attendees won't be able to see are those products' ingredient lists. With more "ingredients" than in your typical morning cereal or shampoo, electronic products have long global supply chains, making it difficult for electronics companies to completely and definitely answer the question: "What's in my products?" Source: GreenBiz, 1/2/14
New science-based study looks at who's really leading on climate
The nonprofit group Climate Counts has taken a science-based approach to answering the question "how good is good enough" when it comes to corporate action on climate change. Source: GreenBiz, 12/18/13
Interface's plan to vacuum carbon out of carpet manufacturing
If you really want to make a carbon-neutral carpet, Interface reasoned, you should be able to vacuum it without generating emissions. That, the company concluded, was impossible as long as vacuum cleaners are run on fossil fuels. A carpet typically lasts seven years, and that much vacuuming and cleaning leads to about three times the carbon emissions that were generated during its manufacture. What's more, even if Interface limited its carbon-neutral ambitions to the manufacturing process, the cost of squeezing the last bits of greenhouse gas out of the process would drive the cost of their carpets through the roof. Source: GreenBiz, 12/26/13
Why we should eliminate the "B word" from sustainability conversations
At first blush, it certainly sounds like a good word, a warm and fuzzy word. A word that surely belongs hand-in-hand with the many R words we use in sustainability conversations. It's a word that conveys a sense of closing nature's loop and returning materials right back into the bosom of mother earth. But the B word--"biodegradable"--has no place in modern sustainability conversations. Source: Packaging Digest, 1/2/14
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