Daily Archives: October 10, 2013

Iowa State Building Research and Development Program for Bioplastics

Read the full story from Iowa State University.

Iowa State’s Biopolymers and Biocomposites Research Team is working toward two long-term goals: Helping bioplastics capture at least 20 percent of the plastics market and transferring bioplastic technologies from the university to startup companies.

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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Colleges and universities, Plastics


Going up in smoke

Read the full post at The Week. View the complete photo essay at

The most overwhelming part was the smoke.

Plumes of it snaking up into the air. Twisting and tugging away from the plastic pieces and copper wiring that blanketed the grounds of the slum on the outskirts of Accra, Ghana.

“It’s nauseating, the burning,” photographer Michael Ciaglo says of Agbogbloshie, the “digital dump” that he spent a summer shooting. “It’s not like a campfire, where you can move out of the way and that’s that. It burns differently.”

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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in E-waste


New bio-plastic promises e-waste reduction

Read the full story at E&T Magazine.

New fully bio-degradable polymer has been developed that can be used to manufacture electrical circuits, thus reducing the amount of electronic waste.

The material, developed by Italian company Bio-on in cooperation with engineers from universities in Modena, and Perugia is a combination of bio-degradable plastics and carbon nanoparticles including graphene nanotubes.


Tools for Assessing Climate Impacts on Fish and Wildlife

Download the article.

Climate change is already affecting many fish and wildlife populations. Managing these populations requires an understanding of the nature, magnitude, and distribution of current and future climate impacts. Scientists and managers have at their disposal a wide array of models for projecting climate impacts that can be used to build such an understanding. Here, we provide a broad overview of the types of models available for forecasting the effects of climate change on key processes that affect fish and wildlife habitat (hydrology, fire, and vegetation), as well as on individual species distributions and populations. We present a framework for how climate-impacts modeling can be used to address management concerns, providing examples of model-based assessments of climate impacts on salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest, fire regimes in the boreal region of Canada, prairies and savannas in the Willamette Valley-Puget Sound Trough-Georgia Basin ecoregion, and marten Martes americana populations in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. We also highlight some key limitations of these models and discuss how such limitations should be managed. We conclude with a general discussion of how these models can be integrated into fish and wildlife management.”

(Wilsey, C. B., et al., 2013, Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management) Published.


Design and the circular economy: toasters that won’t be binned

Read the full story in The Guardian.

After looking at how a chair manufacturer redesigned its products with their future life in mind, one company decided to apply the same thinking to the toaster.


A Pinnacle of Energy Efficiency

Read the full story in R&D Magazine.

The Georgia Institute of Technology Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions (CNES) Laboratory began as a flexible, design-build, high-bay laboratory.

Located across railroad tracks on Georgia Tech’s North Avenue Research Area Science Park site, it was a shop-like laboratory; flexible enough for use, even without a defined user.

Taking advantage of the building’s program, site, and Georgia Tech’s enthusiasm for sustainability and energy efficiency, the team—Georgia Tech, Gilbane Building Co., and HDR Architecture—followed a rational design process focused on carbon neutrality. The project, which earned a High-Honors Award in R&D Magazine’s 2013 Laboratory of the Year competition, serves as a model. Research conducted in the laboratory explores carbon-neutral energy solutions in three types of flexible, energy-efficient laboratories.


5 tips for leading green collaborations and networks

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Be it collective leadershipadaptive leadershipflourishing or the less visible leader, there is an abundance of collaborative leadership models to consider. I recently attended a leadership workshop at the Land Trust Alliance Rally led by Dianne Russell of the Institute for Conservation Leadership and wrote about “flourishing” for the Center for Responsible Business. With that in mind, I offer these five tips to jump-start the effectiveness of your collaborative leadership.

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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Behavior change, Green business


Target and GoodGuide team up to rate sustainable products

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Retail giant Target has partnered with GoodGuide, the products-rating website acquired last year by Underwriters Laboratories, to create a rating systems for thousands of consumer products, the retailer has announced.

In an email sent to suppliers representing some 7,500 products last Thursday, Target announced a Sustainability Product Standard, “a set of criteria for what defines a more ‘sustainable product’ at Target.” The standard will first roll out in three categories: household cleaners, personal care & beauty, & baby care.

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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Green business, Standards


Seventh National ACEEE Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource: Report to U.S. Department of Energy

Download the document from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy.

This report summarizes the content and themes of the ACEEE Seventh National Conference on Energy Efficiency as a Resource, held in Nashville, Tennessee from September 22 to 24, 2013, per the agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy.  The successful conference demonstrated the progress of energy efficiency as a resource in the Southeast and leading regions of the country.  Speakers and sessions examined progress and energy savings achievements, and how programs in the field are evolving past previous limits towards greater savings and participation. Challenges and policy issues arising after a decade of growth were addressed in-depth.

See also the presentations available on the conference web site.


11 ways to produce less garbage

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

If you pay for garbage service, getting that monthly bill can sting, especially with prices rising across the U.S. in response to rising costs for handling fees and programs intended to encourage people to cut down on their waste production. The agony is even worse when you don’t just pay for it and you’re also the one who takes your trash to the dump. Even if you don’t pay for garbage service, reducing the amount of waste you generate ought to perk up your ears, because it makes a big difference to the environment.
Fortunately, those of us with years of rural living experience have some skills we can bequeath to you when it comes to the garbage reduction department, because there are few things we enjoy less than taking a load of trash to the dump. Not only is it majorly gross, it’s also a sober reminder of exactly how much waste we generate on an annual basis (4.4 pounds per person per day in 2011!).
So, how can you get your trash habit under control?
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Posted by on October 10, 2013 in Green lifestyle


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