Sustainability

Going Tubeless
February 19, 2015 09:09 AM - Catherine Gill, Care2

Recently one of the country’s most popular paper goods suppliers, Scott Products, did away with the cardboard inner tube inside of its toilet paper rolls and is now going tubeless. Here’s why that’s good news for the environment. Each year over 17 billion toilet paper tubes are thrown away, and most end up in landfills. To put that in perspective, this amount of waste is enough to fill the Empire State Building…twice! And did you know that in New York City alone, 14,000 toilet paper inner tubes are thrown away every 15 minutes? 

The effects of Global warming on fisheries assessed in new study
February 19, 2015 06:35 AM - Oregon State University

A report to be published Thursday in the journal Nature suggests that global warming may increase upwelling in several ocean current systems around the world by the end of this century, especially at high latitudes, and will cause major changes in marine biodiversity.

Since upwelling of colder, nutrient-rich water is a driving force behind marine productivity, one possibility may be enhancement of some of the world’s most important fisheries.

However, solar heating due to greenhouse warming may also increase the persistence of “stratification,” or the horizontal layering of ocean water of different temperatures. The result could be a warm, near-surface layer and a deep, cold layer.

Plant turns cow manure to ethanol
February 11, 2015 07:53 AM - Leon Kaye , Triple Pundit

Tulare County, California, recently surpassed nearby Fresno County as the top agriculture-producing county in terms of economic value within the U.S. It’s also the country’s top dairy producing county. The result has been more investment and economic growth in a rapidly booming area already home to 450,000 people.

But there is also a downside to the local dairy industry’s continued surge: The San Joaquin Valley suffers from some of worst air pollution in the U.S., and cow effluent is a threat to the region’s already troubled watersheds.

Why you should throw out your old TV
February 6, 2015 02:44 PM - Nsikan Akpan, Science/AAAS

We may think we’re a culture that ditches our worn technology at the first sight of something shiny and new, but a new study reveals that we keep using our old gadgets well after they go out of style. That’s bad news for the environment—and our wallets—as these outdated devices suck up much more energy than their newer counterparts.

Airline industry makes strides in adopting sustainable biofuels
February 5, 2015 08:38 AM - ClickGreen Staff, ClickGreen

Air travel emits more than 650 million metric tons of carbon pollution annually – equivalent to the pollution from 136 million cars – making the increased use of sustainable biofuels a critical to reducing the industry’s carbon footprint. According to a first-of-its-kind scorecard released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the industry is making strides in adopting sustainable biofuels, with some airlines doing better than others as they incorporate these new fuels into their fleets. Air France/KLM is by far the leader of the pack.

Is there an emerging consensus on climate change action?
February 2, 2015 08:39 AM - David Victor, Yale Environment360

Once again, the world is on a sprint toward a new agreement on global climate change. The last time this happened — in 2009 — the sprint ended in acrimony in Copenhagen. This time, the signs are more auspicious. As someone who has been writing for nearly 25 years about the difficulties of making serious progress on climate change, I am more optimistic today than I have been in a very long time. When governments gather in Paris late this year, I believe they are likely to adopt a watershed strategy for slowing climate change.  

I’m optimistic for two reasons. First, the logic of Paris is new. In the past, governments have tried to negotiate single, massive, and integrated 

A shift in strategy was evident at climate talks in Lima in December, where Peru’s Manuel Pulgar served as conference president.

Germany overtakes the UK in offshore wind energy
February 1, 2015 08:37 AM - Click Green Staff, ClickGreen

Germany will this year for the first time connect more new offshore wind installations than Britain after energy operators scrapped a string of projects planned for UK waters.

Despite having more installed offshore capacity than the rest of the world combined, the UK’s lack of new wind farms through 2015 means it will now be outstripped by Germany – a nation with access to territorial waters less than a tenth of the size of the UK’s.
 

Food Industry has long way to go when it comes to using recyclable and compostable packaging
January 30, 2015 03:15 PM - Eliza Barclay, The Salt: NPR

Let's face it: We are people who consume many of our meals on the go. That means we're not eating on real plates or bowls but out of plastic containers and paper boxes. And perhaps daily, we drink our coffees and sodas out of plastic or plastic-lined paper cups. Overall, Americans recycle at the lamentable rate of 34.5 percent and recycle plastic packaging at the even measlier rate of 14 percent. So the majority of that food packaging is ending up in landfills, or on the street as litter, where it may eventually get swept into the ocean. There, our wrappers and cans and cups become a much bigger problem — a direct threat to marine life that may ingest it and die.

Jet Fuel from Algae?
January 29, 2015 08:52 AM - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A common algae commercially grown to make fish food holds promise as a source for both biodiesel and jet fuel, according to a new study published in the journal Energy & Fuels. The researchers, led by Greg O’Neil of Western Washington University and Chris Reddy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, exploited an unusual and untapped class of chemical compounds in the algae to synthesize two different fuel products, in parallel, from a single algae.

New analysis explores trends in global plastic consumption and recycling
January 28, 2015 03:35 PM - Gaelle Gourmelon, Worldwatch Institute

For more than 50 years, global production of plastic has continued to rise. Some 299 million tons of plastics were produced in 2013, representing a 4 percent increase over 2012. Recovery and recycling, however, remain insufficient, and millions of tons of plastics end up in landfills and oceans each year, writes Gaelle Gourmelon, Communications and Marketing Manager at the Worldwatch Institute, in the Institute’s latest Vital Signs Online article.

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