Nestle ditching plastic straws, water bottles to reduce plastic waste

January 18, 2019 by  
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Nestle, the world’s largest packaged food company, is on a mission to reduce plastic waste. This week, the Swiss group announced they will be dropping plastic straws from their products and will also focus on creating biodegradable water bottles. With environmental groups all over the world advocating for alternatives to single-use plastic, Nestle says these changes are part of a campaign to make all of their packaging reusable or recyclable by 2025.  Beginning next month, the company will begin using different materials such as paper, and will also be replacing their plastic straws and using innovative designs to reduce litter. The company is also working with Danimer Scientific to create a new biodegradable water bottle , and with  PureCycle Technologies to develop food-grade recycled polypropylene, which is a polymer used for food packaging, specifically for food packaged in trays, tubs, cups and bottles. Nestle Waters, the bottled water unit of the Nestle brand, is also aiming to increase the content of polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET, in its bottles. By 2025, they have a goal of increasing the recycled PET content to 35 percent globally, and 50 percent in the United States. Related: Zero-waste packaging is coming to a freezer aisle near you Magdi Batato, Nestle’s global head of operations, says that the company is still trying to figure out the impact of the new packaging,  Reuters reports. It could possibly reduce their products’ shelf life and increase manufacturing costs, but they don’t know for sure. “Some of those alternative solutions are even cheaper, some of them are cost neutral, and indeed some of them are more expensive,” Batato said. In their press release, Nestle said that the plastic waste challenge would require a change in everyone’s behavior, and they are committed to leading the way. All 4,200 of their facilities around the globe are “committed to eliminating single-use plastic items that cannot be recycled,” and will replace those items with new materials that can easily be reused or recycled. Via Nestle and Reuters Image via Shutterstock

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Nestle ditching plastic straws, water bottles to reduce plastic waste

Seeds on the moon started to sprout for the first time but quickly died

January 18, 2019 by  
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China has taken a major step toward long-term space exploration. Earlier this month, the Chinese moon probe Chang’e 4 carried a container with cotton, mustard and potato seeds , yeast and fruit fly eggs to the moon’s far side (facing away from Earth), and early this week, the China National Space Administration said that those seeds started to sprout. Unfortunately, temperatures dropped and killed the plants. According to the BBC , the project was designed by 28 Chinese universities, and the experiment was contained within a canister 7 inches tall and weighing about 6.5 pounds. It was designed to test photosynthesis and respiration, which are processes that produce energy . For the first time ever seeds 🌱 are growing on the moon 🌑! China’s moon mission success means that astronauts 👩‍🚀👨‍🚀could potentially harvest their own food in space! Learn more 👉 https://t.co/S6dOB3p2Ym via @BBCNews #ZeroHunger #FutureofFood pic.twitter.com/TNssZBLG0R — FAO (@FAO) January 15, 2019 The plants  were in a sealed container on the lunar lander, and the hope was that the crops would form a mini-biosphere. Inside the container, the organisms had a supply of air, water and nutrients to help them grow. The scientists said that keeping it at the right temperature was a challenge, because of the wild temperature swings on the moon , which ultimately killed the first sprout. If the experiment worked, astronauts could potentially begin to harvest their own food in space. That would be incredibly useful for long-term space missions, because they wouldn’t have to return to Earth to resupply. Although the sprout died, the experiment is a move toward this goal. Related: China plans to launch the world’s first ‘artificial moon’ But could these experiments contaminate the moon ? Generally, scientists don’t believe this is something we need to worry about, especially because there have been containers of human waste on the moon for 50 years thanks to the Apollo astronauts. The consensus among experts is that the sprout was “good news.” Fred Watson, astronomer-at-large at the Australian Astronomical Observatory, said that it could be a positive development for future space exploration. “It suggests that there might not be insurmountable problems for astronauts in future trying to grow their own crops on the moon in a controlled environment,” Watson said. “I think there’s certainly a great deal of interest in using the moon as a staging post, particularly for flights to Mars , because it’s relatively near the Earth.” Via BBC and The Guardian Image via Jeremy Bishop

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Seeds on the moon started to sprout for the first time but quickly died

Twenty aims to dramatically reduce the waste of household products

November 28, 2018 by  
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Dubai Design Week — an annual event celebrating and promoting design and creativity — took place earlier this month, with imaginative minds from all over the world competing for the coveted Progress Prize at the Global Grad Show. This year’s winner, Twenty, sets out to cut down the environmental costs of packaging and shipping household products, like shampoos or cleaners, by offering dry capsules and reusable containers — just add water , and the items are ready for use. Considered to be the largest creative festival in the Middle East, Dubai Design Week takes place at venues throughout the city, with the central hub of the festival being in the Dubai Design District. The competition’s coveted Progress Prize celebrates the next generation of design talent while recognizing the impact of design on society and the environment . Related: How to decode confusing labels on common household cleaners This year, the competition announced Twenty — designed by Mirjam de Bruijn from the Design Academy Eindhoven in The Netherlands — as the winner of the Progress Prize for a collection of dehydrated household products designed to reduce waste and unnecessary emissions by eliminating water content. Judges chose Twenty from 150 selections that came from all over the world, which they then shortlisted to 11 finalists. Since most everyday cleaning products contain at least 80 percent water, Twenty proposes to eliminate the waste and simplify production and transportation with a capsule that you can put into a bottle, add water and then shake to create a cleaning liquid that is just as effective as a store-bought option. “I designed Twenty for people like myself who really want to be sustainable but also have busy lives and need products that are simple, economical, easy to use and fit into their lifestyle,” said de Bruijn. She added that she wants Twenty to be the new standard in household cleaning products, and she is working closely with the university to refine the product while talking to producers and retailers to adopt the perfect strategy for bringing it to market. Brendan McGetrick, the director and curator of the Global Grad Show, said that Twenty is exceptional because it is based on a smart analysis of something that we all need and take for granted. + Twenty Images via Twenty

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Twenty aims to dramatically reduce the waste of household products

5 Myths About Ecotourism Debunked

February 21, 2017 by  
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As editor of Eco Companion, I spend my days writing about wonderful eco-lodges, tours and conservation projects from all over the world. And in my time, I’ve come across plenty of misconceptions about my subject of choice: ecotourism. So I’m here…

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5 Myths About Ecotourism Debunked

Will ‘floatovoltaics’ become the next big thing?

June 24, 2015 by  
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Solar panels can float in water, slowing evaporation while sparing land. Installations are all over the world and in some surprising bodies of water.

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Will ‘floatovoltaics’ become the next big thing?

Tim Trefzer greens the Atlanta Falcons’ home

June 24, 2015 by  
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The sustainability manager for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority chats about the LEED Silver convention center and the new football stadium.

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Tim Trefzer greens the Atlanta Falcons’ home

Drones get conservationists buzzing

June 24, 2015 by  
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Manufacturers say use of unmanned aerial vehicles to collect environmental data is soaring.

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Drones get conservationists buzzing

It’s Official! San Francisco Bans Bottled Water on City Property

March 13, 2014 by  
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In a permanent extension of a 2007 law, San Francisco has made it illegal for the City to buy or distribute plastic water bottles. Bottled water contributes to massive amounts of litter and plastic waste all over the world. San Francisco has an aggressive plan to achieve zero net waste by 2020 . In late 2013, Inhabitat reported that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors appeared ready to enact one of the strictest bans on bottled water in the nation. Days ago, the proposal became law, and plastic water bottles smaller than 21 ounces will no longer be allowed on city property starting Oct. 1, 2014. Read the rest of It’s Official! San Francisco Bans Bottled Water on City Property Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bottled water bans in the US , plastic waste , san francisco bottled water , san Francisco bottled water ban , san francisco zero waste        

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It’s Official! San Francisco Bans Bottled Water on City Property

The economics of the urban climate change revolution

June 22, 2012 by  
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An urban climate change revolution is happening around us, with cities all over the world making real progress on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. What's motivating cities to act on climate change?

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The economics of the urban climate change revolution

Paris Launches a Vehicle Sharing Program with 3,000 Electric Cars

October 8, 2011 by  
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Photo: House of Hall / CC When Paris’ now famous bike share system Velib’ in 2007, it was a pioneer in the field. Now similar programs are popping up in major cities all over the world, and Paris is looking to break the mold again. This week the City launched Autolib’ – a car sharing system that works the same way…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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Paris Launches a Vehicle Sharing Program with 3,000 Electric Cars

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