Austin passes law banning restaurants from throwing out food waste

October 5, 2018 by  
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Restaurants in Austin, Texas have revamped operations this week by adopting sustainable measures for food waste . According to a new law, which went into effect on October 1, local eateries must now dispose of waste in a responsible manner as part of Austin’s Universal Recycling Ordinance (URO). The businesses are encouraged to choose from a variety of options, including donating unconsumed goods, sending leftovers to farms or composting organic waste in order to divert trash from landfills. Employees are also being given supplementary training on how to properly handle food waste with care for the environment. The URO is a major catalyst for Texas’ Zero Waste by 2040 pledge and also includes lateral initiatives to broaden recycling measures and safeguard sustainable economic development. Related: New study finds food waste will increase to 66 tons per second if left unchecked “The City is committed to helping companies, large and small, find cost-effective solutions and establish diversion programs to ensure food and other organics are put to best use while meeting ordinance requirements,” said Sam Angoori, Interim Director for Austin Resource Recovery. The organization has become a go-to for businesses that need help reshaping their operations to comply with the new food waste regulations. And the help is certainly needed. According to local government studies, “the [Austin] community needs to divert more than 90 percent of discards from being burned or buried” in order to transform Texas’ zero waste ambitions into a reality. Government research from 2015 reveals that about 37 percent of trash sent to overburdened landfills is actually organic, meaning it could easily be composted and reused to benefit — not harm — the environment. “When we waste food, we not only add organic materials to landfills (where they generate methane, a powerful global warming pollutant), but we also waste all the water , land, energy, money, labor and other resources that go into growing, processing, distributing and storing that food,” explained Senior Research Specialist Darby Hoover from the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Austin joins cities such as New York, Seattle and San Francisco leading the way with food waste redirection programs of their own. San Francisco boasts the top score on the environmental leaderboard by diverting an astounding 80 percent of its total waste from landfills and, most importantly, showing other cities that it can be done. More likely than not, other cities will soon be embracing similar initiatives based on the successes of their pioneering neighbors — something that both people and the environment can be thankful for. + Austin Resource Recovery Via The Huffington Post  and  The Rockefeller Foundation Image via  Pawe? Czerwi?ski

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Austin passes law banning restaurants from throwing out food waste

United Kingdom moves to ban most of its ivory trade

May 30, 2018 by  
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United Kingdom Secretary of the Environment Michael Gove has introduced a bill to Parliament that would ban the purchase, sale, possession for sale and international trade of ivory . Though the bill contains several exceptions for ivory found in museums, musical instruments and some antiques, it would be one of the most comprehensive ivory bans of any country. The United Kingdom is the largest legal ivory exporter and the bill, if passed into law, would certainly put a dent in this lucrative trade. While environmental organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have praised the bill , they also have identified weak points within it, such as the potential for the exemptions clause to become a widely-used loophole. The NRDC also urges the bill to require those who benefit from the exemption to provide more detailed documentation. The bill will be submitted again on June 6th for what is known as the “second reading,” during which members of Parliament will be able to make amendments to the bill. Then, the bill will be sent to committee, then return to the floor of the House of Commons for a final vote. The NRDC and other organizations are expected to engage with the crafting of the bill as it moves through the process. Related: The world’s largest ivory market just banned ivory According to the BBC , Gove said that the successful adoption of the bill would “reaffirm the U.K.’s global leadership on this critical issue, demonstrating our belief that the abhorrent ivory trade should become a thing of the past.” He continued, “Ivory should never be seen as a commodity for financial gain or a status symbol.” Those who break the law could face jail time of up to five years or an unlimited fine. This is not the first instance of British leadership on curbing the ivory trade. “Since the U.K. government held the Illegal Wildlife Conference in 2014, the U.S. and China have both enacted bans on their domestic ivory trade, so the U.K. doing this now is extraordinarily important,” Stop Ivory founder Alexander Rhodes told the BBC . “The EU on the other hand has been very resistant — I am hopeful that the U.K.’s strong position will lead to change.” Via NRDC and BBC Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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United Kingdom moves to ban most of its ivory trade

Top grocery stores lag on antibiotic-free food

May 22, 2017 by  
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As restaurant chains rush to cut antibiotic-raised chicken, a new report by the Natural Resource Defense Council argues that Costco, Walmart and others aren’t doing enough.

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Top grocery stores lag on antibiotic-free food

The Keystone XL pipeline would only create 35 full-time, permanent jobs

January 26, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump seems to think the words ‘create jobs ‘ grant him the ability to forgo any fact-checking. He’s said he supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it would create 28,000 jobs , but it turns out the controversial project would generate a mere 35 full-time, permanent jobs. Trump’s mysterious 28,000 number doesn’t originate in TransCanada’s government application or the State Department’s years-long study of the pipeline, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Instead, they say the pipeline would create 35 full-time, permanent jobs, and maybe 15 temporary contractor positions. Back in 2014 the State Department provided that 35-job figure in their 11-page report. The pipeline would also create 3,900 “person years of employment.” Related: Trump signs executive actions to reinstate Keystone and Dakota Access Pipeline Let’s dig into that “person years of employment” figure. According to the NRDC, that number means there’s enough pipeline construction work for 3,900 people to work full-time for one year. But since the pipeline could take two years, the NRDC said “a more realistic way to view this number is 1,950 full-time construction jobs lasting for the two year timeline of the project’s construction.” Those jobs could benefit thousands of people, but the figure isn’t even close to 28,000 jobs. The 35 full-time positions would work in TransCanada’s Nebraska office and monitor day to day operations for the pipeline. The reasons against the pipeline that led to President Barack Obama’s rejection still hold true today. According to NRDC, “It’s an environmental disaster waiting to happen, a climate-wrecking project with no place in today’s energy mix, and it’s not in America’s national interest.” They said the pipeline will benefit Canadian oil companies far more than the American economy. If Trump actually wants to create jobs instead of just blathering about it, he should take a closer look at renewable energy – the growing industry could add not 28,000, but millions of jobs . Via Natural Resources Defense Council Images via Wikimedia Commons and NRDC pix on Flickr

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The Keystone XL pipeline would only create 35 full-time, permanent jobs

See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

December 9, 2016 by  
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In 2012, we received some dismal news about food waste. A staggering 40 percent of food is wasted from farm to fork, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Suddenly, we were all running to our fridges to make soups from…

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See Just How Much Food You — Yes, You — Are Wasting

Food Rescue Program Fights Food Waste Intelligently

June 10, 2016 by  
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A few years ago, a report was released stating that 40% of food is wasted from farm to fork. This stunning news from the National Resource Defense Council has helped raise awareness of the global food waste crisis, with its many environmental and…

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Food Rescue Program Fights Food Waste Intelligently

9 Ways To Stuff Food Waste This Thanksgiving

November 26, 2015 by  
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Did you know that almost 40% of food is wasted from farm to fork, according to the National Resource Defense Council? This takes a big environmental toll, as agriculture uses 50% of U.S. land and consumes 80% of the freshwater consumed, while 1 in…

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9 Ways To Stuff Food Waste This Thanksgiving

Supreme Court Supports the EPA’s Plan to Control Carbon Emissions

February 25, 2014 by  
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Several U.S. Supreme Court justices confirmed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has sufficient power to regulate carbon emissions . A case was brought by 13 states and several power companies claiming that the EPA was going too far when it evoked air quality rules to ease the impact of emissions on climate change. Fortunately, a majority of the justices seemed to side with the EPA and were not willing to re-open a 2007 Massachusetts case that upheld the EPA’s broad power to enforce emissions. Read the rest of Supreme Court Supports the EPA’s Plan to Control Carbon Emissions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air quality control , air quality laws , Climate and Clean Air director , climate change 2007 Massachusetts , EPA air quality laws , EPA case , EPA climate change , EPA climate change powers , EPA power , EPA power over carbon emissions , EPA supreme court case , Justice Roberts EPA powers , Justice Roberts on carbon emissions , Justice Roberts on climate change , national air quality laws , Natural Resources Defense Council , supreme court , supreme court Utility Air Regulatory Group v Environmental Protection Agency , US Supreme Court , US Supreme Court Carbon Emissions , US Supreme court hears Utility Air Regulatory Group v Environmental Protection Agency Utility Air Regulatory Group v Environmental Protection Agency        

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Supreme Court Supports the EPA’s Plan to Control Carbon Emissions

Samsung to Donate 16 Recycled Shipping Containers Used to Build Sochi Pavilion

February 25, 2014 by  
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Bonnie Alter/ CC BY 2.0 Now that the excitement and tension of the Olympics in Sochi are over, Samsung ’s recycled shipping container building remains on our minds as the lone symbol of sustainability. Designed by the Galaxy Studio, the colorful pavilion was made up of 16 recycled shipping containers stacked like LEGOs, as originally reported by Treehugger . Inside, Samsung, an official Olympic sponsor, showed off its latest gadgets, including the GALAXY Note 3 phone, which each Olympic athlete received. And now the containers will be given yet another new life. Read on for the details. Read the rest of Samsung to Donate 16 Recycled Shipping Containers Used to Build Sochi Pavilion Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: 16 shipping containers , eco design , green design , olympic park , recycled shipping containers , Samsung Galaxy Studio , shipping container pavilion , Sochi , sustainable design , treehugger        

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Samsung to Donate 16 Recycled Shipping Containers Used to Build Sochi Pavilion

Don’t Toss That Food! You’re Probably Reading the Label Wrong

October 29, 2013 by  
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Forty percent of the food produced in the United States never gets eaten, making food waste a huge problem. A number of factors contribute to this situation, but a recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the …

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