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Author Archives: Laura B.

About Laura B.

Laura L. Barnes is a librarian at the Prairie Research Institute Library, embedded at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. She founded and writes for Environmental News Bits.

Video: Carton Recycling Demonstration

Tetra Pak has posted a video demonstrating how cartons are recycled at paper mills into tissue products.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Recycling, Video

 

Fracking sand mines credited for fluctuating property values

Read the full story at Great Lakes Echo.

In the three years since Tunnel City area residents found themselves at the forefront of Wisconsin’s frac sand mining boom, economic variations have begun to emerge in western sand-laden communities.

Accessible sand can bring a windfall for some landowners. Others worry that proximity to sand mines is bringing down the value of their homes.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Fracking

 

New Satellite Boosts Research On Global Rainfall and Climate

Read the full story at Yale Environment 360.

Although it may seem simple, measuring rainfall worldwide has proven to be a difficult job for scientists. But a recently launched satellite is set to change that, providing data that could help in understanding whether global rainfall really is increasing as the planet warms.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Climate change, Water

 

White Papers on Methane and VOC Emissions : US EPA

On April 15, 2014, EPA released for external peer review five technical white papers on potentially significant sources of emissions in the oil and gas sector. The white papers focus on technical issues covering emissions and mitigation techniques that target methane and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). As noted in the Obama Administration’s Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions (PDF) (15pp, 1.9 MB), EPA will use the papers, along with the input we receive from the peer reviewers and the public, to determine how to best pursue additional reductions from these sources. Read a summary of the white papers (PDF) (2pp, 282k)

The five white papers cover:

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Oil and gas industry, Publications

 

Opinion: Beware of backroom deals in the name of ‘science’

Read the full piece in Nature.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Public policy

 

Made in America: Staggering amounts of toxic chemicals

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Recent spills in West Virginia and North Carolina cast a spotlight on toxic hazards in our midst. But as bad as they are, these acute incidents pale in scope compared to the chronic flow of hazardous chemicals coursing through our lives each day with little notice and minimal regulation. A new report by EDF, “Toxics Across America,” tallies billions of pounds of chemicals in the American marketplace that are known or strongly suspected to cause increasingly common disorders, including certain cancers, developmental disabilities and infertility.

While it’s no secret that modern society consumes huge amounts of chemicals, many of them dangerous, it is surprisingly difficult to get a handle on the actual numbers. And under current law, it’s harder still to find out where and how these substances are used, although we know enough to establish that a sizeable share of them end up in one form or another in the places where we live and work.

The new report looks at 120 chemicals identified by multiple federal, state and international officials as known or suspected health hazards. Using the latest, albeit limited, data collected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, EDF identifies which are in commerce in the U.S.; in what amounts they are being made; which companies are producing or importing them; and where they are being produced or imported. An interactive online map accompanying the report lets the user access the report’s data and search by chemical, company, state and site location.

 

How the ‘Mushroom Death Suit’ breaks down your body for nature

Read the full story at Mother Nature Network.

Artist and MIT research fellow Jae Rhim Lee is designing a suit that will make your body a veritable buffet for mushrooms.

 

 
 

April: Energy

Read the full post from Yale Sustainability. Although the target audience is students at Yale University, there are suggestions here that are more universally applicable.

 

Harvard University’s Mail Just Got a Little Bit Greener

Read the full post at Harvard University Sustainability.

The recent conversion of a Harvard Mail Services truck to a hybrid electric vehicle has dramatically reduced fuel consumption. As a result, the eight-month pilot program has cut the vehicle’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 22 percent.  Now, in addition to delivering thousands of pieces of mail across the University, the van is also delivering a win for the environment.

 

5 sustainable packaging trends to look out for in 2014

Read the full post in Packaging Digest.

Issues of global environmental instability and climate change are becoming nearly impossible to ignore these days, and consumers have taken notice. With demand for sustainably-conscious products and product packaging constantly increasing, it’s no wonder that firms have taken charge at creating sustainable, environmentally-friendly, “green” products to satiate the ever-growing consumer desire to be able to conveniently decrease their environmental impact. With the new year underway, here are five of the most exciting and innovative trends in sustainable consumer packaging to look out for in the next twelve months.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Green business

 
 
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