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Hot Topics May 2017

Apr 28 2017

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Business and Innovation in Food Waste

ReFed – a government and private sector collaboration – has released new tools aimed at battling our massive food waste problem. They aim to connect people and organizations tackling the issue and make it easy to find laws and policies concerning food labeling, donation, and recycling.


In a Twist, Kentucky’s Coal Museum Will Now Be Powered By Solar

The irony is not lost on Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College administrators, which owns the museum. The move will save the school $8,000-$10,000 a year. Coal is losing ground in the competition for affordable energy.


Forest Preserve Flexes 9,000 Mussels for DuPage River Clean-Up

Did you know that the West Branch used to be home to 15 species of mussels? Freshwater mussels – which are on the brink of extinction – are great natural filters for our water. Add  their life span (up to 100 years) and the amount of water they each filter (about 2 liters per day) and you’ve got a winning, cost-effective, and natural solution for cleaning our waterways.

Learn more in-person: SCARCE brings teachers to the Urban Stream Research Center to learn directly from Jesse DeMartini, the scientist in charge of this project, as part of our summer graduate course Living Water


Food Policy Expert Says New Labels Should Reduce Food Waste

An industry group is voluntarily streamlining food date labels in an effort to clear up confusion for consumers that currently results in a lot of unnecessarily wasted food. Widespread adoption is expected by summer 2018.

Tip: Except for highly perishable foods (meat, dairy products) most food is safe to consume after the date on the box, which often indicates “peak freshness”. Use your senses (sight, smell, touch, taste) to determine if food is still okay to eat before chucking it in the trash.


Salt from Icy Roads is Contaminating North America’s Lakes

Road salt makes it’s way into our rivers and streams each winter but a new study shows that the effects extend beyond the snowy season. Be sure to use eco-friendly salt on your driveway and walkways and apply only what is necessary.


Disturbing Photographs Show Pollution in the Great Lakes Before the Clean Water Act

Many of us take the Great Lakes for granted as an endless source of freshwater but not so long ago, all of the Great Lakes were in bad shape from industrial pollution and run-off. Check out these photos to gain a better appreciation for the role of environmental regulations on the finite resources we depend on.

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