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Environmental News from the Great Lakes Region

Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg launch international fund for clean energy tech
Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and a slate of A-list entrepreneurs have launched a new fund called "Breakthrough Energy Coalition" to research and develop clean energy technologies. Source: PBS NewsHour, 12/1/15

Cascara 'Tea': A Tasty Infusion Made From Coffee Waste
Cascara is made by brewing dried coffee cherries, which typically would have otherwise ended up as compost. Source: NPR, 12/1/15

How Climate-Skeptic Organizations Have Influenced American News and Presidents
Why do so many ordinary Americans not believe that climate change is real and human-caused? Here at Pacific Standard, we've long explored the personal, psychological characteristics that make Americans climate skeptics. But a new study suggests there are larger forces at play too--namely, private organizations that don't believe in climate change and want to make sure the average American voter doesn't, either.

Source: Pacific Standard,12/1/15

Report Report: Are countries moving toward a low-carbon future?
The Report Report brings you highlights from recent reports that are worth a look. Too often, reports from business groups and analysts gather dust on desks, or virtual dust in email inboxes. This edition examines high-profile reports released around COP21 in Paris. Source: GreenBiz, 12/1/15

How Dow educates future sustainability leaders
The company's Sustainability Fellows program hopes to reach a broader student base. Source: GreenBiz, 12/1/15

Lunch Has a Footprint -- and a Sustainability Label of One to Five Stars
UVA students have tried out a new way to encourage people to think about the impact of their eating habits -- not on their waistlines, but on the Earth's well-being. Students in the Nitrogen Working Group, which is part of UVA's Environmental Stewardship Subcommittee under the University Committee on Sustainability, came up with a pilot project to give a sustainability rating label to foods sold in the Clark Cafe -- not based on the ingredients, but on the carbon, nitrogen, and water involved in the food's production. Source: University of Virginia, 11/23/15

How the circular economy could end take-make-waste businesses
What makes a company circular? Start with a rethinking of product design and your core business model. Source: GreenBiz, 12/1/15

Monday, November 30, 2015
How Do We Define 'Electronics' for Recycling?
When we in the United States think about electronics recycling programs, we usually consider "electronics" to include common household devices like TVs, computers, monitors and printers. But other jurisdictions have a broader understanding of what "electronics" or used electronic equipment should be, and the other products that encompasses may be more common for programs in the future. Source: Waste 360, 11/25/15

Bill banning microbeads makes debut in Ohio Legislature
A bill banning the manufacture and sale of microscopic exfoliating beads used in personal care products has been introduced in Ohio. Source: Associated Press, 11/28/15

Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Green events blossom in St. Louis
In the most recent P2 Impact column on GreenBiz, Jean Ponzi, green resources manager at the Missouri Botanical Garden's EarthWays Center, explains how businesses and event planners in St. Louis are seizing the business opportunities embedded in the trend toward zero waste. Source: GreenBiz, 11/24/15

Getting Ugly Produce Onto Tables So It Stays Out of Trash
To combat food waste, Imperfect Produce, a San Francisco Bay Area start-up, sells fresh fruits and vegetables that never make it to grocery store shelves. [Warning: Video auto-plays]. Source: New York Times, 11/23/15

In Climate Change, Psychology Often Gets Lost in Translation
There's one question that appears to underlie virtually every report, book, and paper on the topic: Why are we not responding more actively and effectively to one of the greatest threats facing life on the planet today? Last week, a study was published in Perspectives on Psychological Science responding to this question, identifying "Five 'Best Practice' Insights From Psychological Sciences" for improving public engagement on climate change. The authors' aim was to distill "five simple but important guidelines for improving public policy and decision making about climate change." The paper reflects a growing movement to translate and bridge research findings with on-the-ground applications in policy, advocacy, and communities of practice. We need this kind of connection between research and practice, without question. However, we must ask: What about additional -- and arguably critical -- psychological insights that may be lost in translation? Source: Pacific Standard, 11/24/15

Monday, November 23, 2015
Unilever Finds That Shrinking Its Footprint Is a Giant Task
Unilever has pledged to cut its environmental impact in half while improving the health of one billion people, but sustainability is turning out to be complicated. Source: New York Times, 11/21/15

Greening the Federal Purchasing Machine -- Leading By Example
Did you know that the Federal government is the single largest consumer in the world, spending close to $500 billion each year on a wide variety of products and services? And did you know that in March the President issued an Executive Order directing federal agencies to meet a goal of buying 100% environmentally preferable products and services? This can make a big difference in reducing our environmental footprint. It can also spur consumers and the private sector to use and demand safer and greener products. Source: EPA Connect, 11/20/15

Facilities to Begin Reporting on 1-bromopropane
On November 23, EPA finalized a rule to add 1-bromopropane to the Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) chemical list. 1-bromopropane is used as a solvent, degreaser and adhesive, and often as a chemical intermediate in pharmaceuticals, pesticides, flavors, and fragrances. EPA believes this chemical meets the TRI listing criteria because it can reasonably be anticipated to cause cancer in humans. EPA estimates that 140 facilities will be affected by this final rule. The first TRI data on 1-bromopropane are due to EPA by July 1, 2017. Source: U.S. EPA, 11/23/15

Friday, November 20, 2015
25 Years of Pollution Prevention (P2) at Ohio EPA- A Retrospective
This blog post provides a brief summary of Ohio EPA's P2 activities during the past 25 years. Source: Ohio EPA The Resource, 11/19/15

EPA Awards Environmental Education Grants in 24 States, Puerto Rico, D.C.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the completion of the latest round of awards under the Environmental Education (EE) Grants Program. Four projects were funded in Region 5. Source: U.S. EPA via Environmental News Bits, 11/20/15

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