Category Archives: Environmental Health: Sustainability

‘Botanical Big Data’ Helps Predict How Plants Respond to Environmental Change

Scientists are using a ‘botanical big data’ approach to predict how different plant species will respond to human-induced disturbances and environmental change in different ecosystems spanning the world’s continents. We are used to shops, websites and companies keeping track of … Continue reading

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To save a rare forest, farmers try a new crop: butterflies

People living in Zanzibar’s Jozani forest are being trained to raise butterflies as a way to prevent deforestation by giving people a financial stake in keeping the forest intact. PETE, Tanzania — The colorful butterflies fluttering through Zanzibar’s Jozani forest … Continue reading

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10 Sustainable Business Stories That Shaped 2015

The year 2015 was a pivotal time when humanity turned more decisively toward building a thriving and sustainable world. On our largest shared challenge, climate change, most of the major hurdles to action — both imagined and real – started to … Continue reading

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Vegetarian and ‘healthy’ diets are more harmful to the environment: Carnegie Mellon study

Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change. In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health: Climate, Environmental Health: Sustainability, Nutrition: Vegetarianism | 6 Comments

The Real Reason We Should Be Thinking About Sustainability

“Sustainability” and “innovation” are two broad marketing terms used in conjunction so often that they’ve become almost meaningless. You’ll hear executives talking about how sustainability is good for business and the environment — and that’s why every business, in every industry … Continue reading

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Pesticides could be replaced by plants ‘taught’ to defend themselves

Chemical triggers that make plants defend themselves against insects could replace pesticides, causing less damage to the environment. New research published in an open-access paper in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters identifies five chemicals that trigger rice plants to fend off a common pest … Continue reading

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Red Clover Genome to Help Restore Sustainable Farming

Newswise — The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) in collaboration with IBERS, has sequenced and assembled the DNA of red clover to help breeders improve the beneficial traits of this important forage crop. The genome is published in Scientific Reports, a … Continue reading

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Why Corporations Will Never Solve Climate Change

The American climate activists who have flocked to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris this week tend to have one thing in common: many own the “it” car for their tribe, the VW Jetta Wagon TDI. At … Continue reading

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Bicycle Ownership Has Halved in 30 years, Research Reveals

New data could help policy makers boost cycling as sustainable transport It’s time for us to get on our bikes if we want cycling to make an impact as a sustainable mode of transport. New research published in the Journal … Continue reading

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Highways destroyed America’s cities: Can tearing them down bring revitalization?

America loves its freeways. After the 1956 Federal Highway Bill created the pathway for a 41,000 mile interstate highway system, states and cities jockeyed for the funding to build ever-more extensive networks of pavement that could carry Americans quickly between … Continue reading

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How tasty forest foods can help solve the global hunger crisis

Dr Bhaskar Vira (Department of Geography, University of Cambridge) is co-editor of the open access book Forests and Food: Addressing Hunger and Nutrition Across Sustainable Landscapes, which will be launched at the Global Landscapes Forum in Paris next month. Writing in The … Continue reading

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That great-smelling sea air? Not so good for you after all.

New data presented by researchers at Lund University and others in the journal Oceanologia show that the air along the coasts is full of hazardous nanoparticles from sea traffic. Almost half of the measured particles stem from sea traffic emissions, … Continue reading

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5 ways to reduce waste at the coffee shop

Plan ahead and you’ll never have to accept a paper cup again The controversy over the pattern on a Starbucks cup is ridiculous because, as Lloyd pointed out last week, it doesn’t address the much bigger issue of generating unnecessary … Continue reading

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Common Pesticides and Aquatic Species: The Long-Term Effects

New research indicates that commonly-used insecticide mixtures continue to impact aquatic invertebrate species over multiple weeks, even when the chemicals are no longer detectable in water. Through experiments meant to generally reflect runoff from a multiple-homeowner watershed, investigators found that … Continue reading

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10 ways to live a green urban life

Cape Town - Do you live in the city but long for a bit of rural green in your life? Expert Jane Griffiths offers top ideas on how to get a bit of soil under your fingers in your urban … Continue reading

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4 ways Starbucks can fix its cup recycling dilemma

Starbucks’ trailblazing efforts to reduce the use of coffee cups and to recycle cups customers use hit turbulence in October with revelations that cups deposited in recycling bins in several Toronto stores are ending up at landfill. This raised questions about … Continue reading

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Cougars Likely to Recolonize Middle Part of U.S. Within the Next 25 Years

Kids books about cougars Newswise — A groundbreaking new study shows that cougars, also known as mountain lions and pumas, are likely to recolonize portions of habitat in the middle part of the United States within the next 25 years. … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health: Sustainability, Environmental Health: Wildlife, Animals: Cougars | Tagged mountain lions, pumas, Michelle LaRue, Clayton K. Nielsen, The Cougar Network, Summerlee Foundation | Comments Off on Cougars Likely to Recolonize Middle Part of U.S. Within the Next 25 Years

Warmest October in the Satellite Temperature Record

Newswise — Global Temperature Report: October 2015 Warmest October in the satellite temperature record Global climate trend since Nov. 16, 1978: +0.11 C per decade October temperatures (preliminary) Global composite temp.: +0.43 C (about 0.77 degrees Fahrenheit) above 30-year average … Continue reading

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What scientists thought they knew about the solar system may be quite wrong

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft detected molecules of oxygen surrounding the comet known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, reports a study published Thursday in the journal Nature. Although molecular oxygen has been detected on similarly icy moons of Saturn and Jupiter, it … Continue reading

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Volkswagen’s emissions cheat to cause 60 premature deaths in U.S.: MIT

Volkswagen’s use of software to evade emissions standards in more than 482,000 diesel vehicles sold in the U.S. will directly contribute to 60 premature deaths across the country, a new MIT-led study finds. In September, the Environmental Protection Agency discovered … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health: Air Quality, Environmental Health: Alternative Energy, Environmental Health: Sustainability, Environmental Health: Biofuels | 1 Comment

Green office environments linked with higher cognitive function scores: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Boston, MA - People who work in well-ventilated offices with below-average levels of indoor pollutants and carbon dioxide (CO2) have significantly higher cognitive functioning scores-in crucial areas such as responding to a crisis or developing strategy-than those who work in … Continue reading

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Preservatives in cosmetics of pregnant women may harm fetuses

Newswise — Brooklyn, NY – Researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Arizona State University have published the first study of levels of parabens – antibacterial substances commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics and other products – in human cord … Continue reading

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Common coolants contribute to ozone depletion: NASA

A class of widely used chemical coolants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) contributes to ozone depletion by a small but measurable amount, countering a decades-old assumption, according to a new NASA study. The paper, published Oct. 22 in Geophysical Research Letters, … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health: Climate, Environmental Health: Sustainability, Environmental Health: South Pole, Environmental Health: Ozone, Environmental Health: CFCs | Comments Off on Common coolants contribute to ozone depletion: NASA

Textile toxins remain in your clothes, even the organic ones

In a new thesis 60 garments from Swedish and international clothing chains have been tested. An initial analysis found thousands of chemicals in the clothes and around a hundred chemicals were preliminary identified. Several of the substances were not on … Continue reading

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How meat producers are preventing discussion of sustainability

Sustainability will not be a consideration in the final 2015 USDA dietary guidelines. For the first time ever, an expert panel had included in its recommendations some mention of sustainability, acknowledging that questions about human nutrition cannot be divorced from … Continue reading

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The Vegan Studies Project: Food, Animals and Gender in the Age of Terror

A brand-new book discusses society’s view of the vegan identity, particularly in the post-9/11 world, and digs into pop culture, media, advertising and the myriad ways society has shaped its collective opinions. “I wanted to write about veganism for a … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Health: Sustainability, Nutrition: Vegetarianism, Politics | 1 Comment

3 Ways to Incorporate Sustainability into Everyday Work

A look at global trends such as energy demand should remind leaders of businesses small and large that what we do every day matters. The key to solving the world’s pressing energy and environmental challenges is for organizations with the … Continue reading

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Eat Clean, Stay Lean: 300 Real Foods and Recipes for Lifelong Health and Lasting Weight Loss

These days, a trip to the grocery store requires a little soul-searching and a lot of label-reading: organic, sustainable, local, seasonal, gluten-free, sugar-free, GMO-free, vegan, vegetarian, raw, and Paleo. When did eating become so fussy? It’s enough to make you … Continue reading

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The largest land conservation effort in U.S. history has been wildly successful

Historic conservation campaign protects greater sage-grouse U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines federal land management plans and partnerships with states, ranchers, and NGOs avert ESA listing by conserving America’s “Sagebrush Sea” DENVER, CO – An unprecedented, landscape-scale conservation effort across … Continue reading

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Is your face wash damaging the oceans?

Scientists estimate that 9 billion tiny plastic microbeads from tooth paste, cosmetics, and soap enter water streams every day, putting droves of aquatic species at risk.  Tiny but powerful forces are invading our seas, and your daily hygiene regimen is … Continue reading

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How farmers can sustainably, and affordably, meet humanity’s growing demand for food and fuel

Whether you have taken a side or a backseat in the discussion, the “food versus fuel” debate affects us all. Some say growing more biofuel crops today will decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but will make it harder to produce food … Continue reading

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Healthier and more sustainable olive oil

A team of researchers, that includes UPM, have confirmed that a part of the benefits of virgin olive oil is due to minority compounds that can be increased with sustainable irrigation strategies. Researchers from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), Center … Continue reading

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Climate change is because of insanely rising CEO pay

There are any number of causes for climate change—some natural, some man-made. But a new report by the liberal think tank Institute for Policy Studies points to a distinctly economic cause: greed. According to the report, dramatically rising CEO pay … Continue reading

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Earth Has 3 Trillion Trees, Seven (7) Times More Than Previously Thought

There are roughly 3 trillion trees on Earth—more than seven times the number previously estimated—according to a tally by an international team of scientists. The study also finds that human activity is detrimental to tree abundance worldwide. Around 15 billion … Continue reading

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Is salad overrated and hurting the planet?

As the world population grows, we have a pressing need to eat better and farm better, and those of us trying to figure out how to do those things have pointed at lots of different foods as problematic. Almonds, for … Continue reading

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Demand for coffee can create ecological, economic rift with poorer nations

CHICAGO — The explosion in worldwide coffee consumption in the past two decades has generally not benefitted farmers of coffee beans in poorer nations along the equator. A University of Kansas (KU) researcher studying trade and globalization has found that … Continue reading

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Nanoparticles from masonry paint and zinc oxide cream, could harm aquatic creatures, ecosystems

Researchers from the University of Exeter highlight the risk that engineered nanoparticles released from masonry paint on exterior facades, and consumer products such as zinc oxide cream, could have on aquatic creatures. Textiles, paint, sunscreen, cosmetics and food additives are … Continue reading

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Malnutrition for humans possible if birds and bees disappear

(Reuters Health) - If all the birds, bugs, bees and other creatures that pollinate our food crops were to disappear from the planet, humans could face a sharp increase in malnutrition, disease and death in many parts of the world, … Continue reading

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Meat Food Waste has Greater Negative Environmental Impact Than Vegetable Waste

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Approximately 31 percent of food produced in the U.S., or 133 billion pounds of food worth $162 billion, was wasted in 2011 according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Now, University of Missouri researchers have … Continue reading

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New test developed for toxins in water which scientists say is more sustainable

Scientists at the University of York have helped develop a new test for contaminants in water which avoids using live fish. The new procedure – which uses gill cells from rainbow trout grown in the laboratory – is not only … Continue reading

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Locally sourced indoor market opens in Boston

A year ago, 100 Hanover Street in Boston was an empty warehouse that housed vents that pumped air into the Big Dig tunnel below. Located steps away from the Haymarket T station and in the heart of Boston’s emerging market … Continue reading

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The Sustainability Challenges of our Meat and Dairy Diets

High consumption of livestock products could have serious consequences for people and the environment, according to a recent article published in Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development. The article, titled “The Sustainability Challenges of our Meat and Dairy Diets,” … Continue reading

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Reusable shopping bags encourage shoppers to buy produce and junk food

Bringing reusable bags to the grocery store often means you are an environmentally friendly shopper. But it also influences the very things you buy. According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing, bringing your own bags makes you … Continue reading

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The Nutella boycott is because of palm oil

A French minister launched an international spat this week with her declaration that consumers should avoid their favorite Italian chocolate spread if they want to help save the environment. “We have to replant a lot of trees because there is … Continue reading

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Why Stay on the Trails?

Newswise — June 15, 2015-In celebration of the International Year of Soil 2015 (IYS), the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) is coordinating a series of activities throughout the year to educate the public about the importance of soil. June’s … Continue reading

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The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape

Some people’s lives are entirely their own creations. James Rebanks’ isn’t. The first son of a shepherd, who was the first son of a shepherd himself, his family have lived and worked in the Lake District of Northern England for … Continue reading

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Urban Transportation Will Go All-Electric Sooner Than You Think

Think of the vehicle that will change urban transportation. If the image in your mind is not an electric bus, you’re thinking of the wrong vehicle. The electrification of the passenger vehicle has made headlines for good reason. Vehicles like the … Continue reading

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How the Presence of Conservation Researchers Affects Wildlife

In a study that compared three sites within the Dja Conservation Complex in Cameroon, Africa, investigators found that the presence of a conservation research project acts as a deterrent to chimpanzee and gorilla poachers, and community awareness and involvement in … Continue reading

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Non-Native Grass Invasion, Prescribed Fires, Deadly Ecological Combination: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Newswise — GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Invasive stiltgrass is bad enough by itself, crowding out native plant and insect species in about 25 eastern U.S. states, including Florida. It can also inhibit tree seedling survival and growth, and it can change … Continue reading

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Sustainability of the built environment: new designs

In times of limited resources and continued evidence of significant climate change, sustainability is increasingly regarded as a topic of global importance. Consider areas such as design, energy, and materials: These core concepts associated with sustainability are part of an … Continue reading

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