Battery recycling in the U.S./Water management during drought-flood cycles

March 5, 2019

How to best recycle batteries is a challenge we need to overcome in the U.S. but there has been some significant progress. The group Call2Recycle says more than seven million pounds of batteries were diverted from landfills and recycled last year. To help us understand more about recycling batteries, we’re joined by CEO and President Carl Smith.

As climate change intensifies, things like extreme drought followed by extremely heavy rainfall will become more commonplace. That’s what’s being experienced right now in parts of California. Many suburban and urban communities aren’t adapted for these more intense swings between wet and dry. But the Pacific Institute, a global water think tank, has been looking at how specific areas like the Santa Ana River watershed area can better manage the land to deal with it. We’re joined by the Pacific Institute’s Director of Research, Heather Cooley

Colorado River conservation/Styrofoam ban alternatives

February 8, 2019

The Colorado River, which runs 1400 miles, with a watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states, could be into a water shortage by next year. But a new report by Business for Water Stewardship provides hope that businesses can cut their water use while still growing the economy. Molly Mugglestone is the Business for Water Stewardship’s Director of Communications & Colorado Policy.

Styrofoam is a difficult to recycle substance leading many cities to ban it. But that may not be the answer. Brian Isom, research manager with Growth Opportunity co-authored a report on what could be some more effective alternatives than outright bans.

Vessel Works/2018 green car year-in-review

January 25, 2019

Reducing the waste we create from everyday things like drinks we purchase on-the-go is an important way for us to become a more sustainable society. Even better is when someone figures out how to make money at it.  Vessel Works is changing the game when it comes to beverages on the go and we’re joined by co-founder and CEO Dagny Tucker. 

 We are wrapping up 2018 and looking back at the year in sustainability. One area is automotive transportation and our resident expert is Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive.  

Kroger Zero Waste, Zero Hunger/Impossible Burger

January 11, 2019

There have been numerous changes in the food retail business in the last few years and far more ways to go grocery shopping than there ever have been before. The grocery store chain Kroger, which is the 2nd largest general retailer in the country, has also been putting some of its focus on helping people in need with some innovative programs of its own. We’re joined by Eric Halverson, Manager of Corporate Affairs for the Kroger Company's Central Division.  

 

From weekend barbecues, to ballgames to ‘Taco Tuesday,’ eating meet goes hand-in-hand with American life. But when we consider the environmental impact of eating meat, we might consider giving it up - or at least eating less of it.  Impossible Foods produces ‘meat made from plants,’ which does sound impossible indeed. To explain more about it we’re talking with Rebekah Moses, Senior Manager of Impact Strategy for Impossible Foods.

Biomimicry innovations/Green automotive news

November 27, 2018

Biomimicry, which is an approach to innovation by emulating nature is the hot area when it comes to innovation. The idea is to create products, processes, and policies well-adapted to life on earth over the long haul. The Biomimicry Institute supports innovators who are working in this way and we’re joined by Megan Schuknecht, the institute’s Director of Design Challenges.  

Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive joins us for Green Automotive News on some of the challenges of connected cars. 

 

Solar desalination/Turning waste water into revenue

November 13, 2018

Many underdeveloped parts of the world are surrounded by water but in order for the people who live there to survive, it has to be trucked in over great distances. Desalination has not been feasible until now, thanks to an innovative way to involve solar power. Jose Alfaro’s with the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability and has been testing this out in Mexico. 

Waste water doesn’t need to be seen as ‘waste’ but rather as a way to make money.   There are 16 thousand wastewater plants in the US and Dr. Kelvin Okamoto, who heads up Gen3Bio transforms algae from waste water into revenue.  

Archi’s acres/Renewable energy battery at Western Mich. Univ.

October 19, 2018

The idea of soldiers turning their swords into plowshares goes back to the Book of Isaiah in the Bible but it’s being lived out in new ways today as the numbers of U.S. veterans transitions back into society back home goes up along with agriculture technology. Karen Archipley co-founded Archi’s Acres which trains military vets to become organic farmers. You can view the 30-min. documentary about Archi's Acrens here

 

In an era where new developments in solar, wind and other renewable energy sources need to be the focus, American consumers are spending a billion dollars a year to bail out coal-fired power plants.  Not only is the coal-fired power damaging to the environment, but it’s more expensive. Still, several utilities have been selling people power from their own coal-fired plants instead of from cheaper sources on the grid. This is all according to a new study by the Union of Concerned Scientists and we’re joined by Senior Energy Analyst Joe Daniel.

Cows belching carbon emissions/Climate change putting the Internet in jeopardy

August 31, 2018

The livestock industry is responsible for nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the UN. That puts it on par with transport. One way to reduce those emissions is to help cattle, buffalo, sheep and goats with their digestion so they burp less!  Bezoar Laboratories in Texas is working on how to do that and we’re joined by founder Elizabeth Latham. 

 

We’ve heard how climate change could lower our national defences, destroy our homes, make the weather uncomfortably hot or cold more often, damage our economy, make food more scarce. But hows this for getting your attention: it could ruin the internet!  That’s what’s being explored in a new study co-authored by Paul Barford, a professor with the computer sciences department at the University of Wisconsin - Madison.  

Denton, Texas going 100% renewable/Plastic waste into usable energy

August 14, 2018

The town of Denton, Texas could become the 2nd city in the Lone Star State to go 100% renewable energy with its new plan to reach that goal in the coming years.  To explain more, we talk with Jessica Rogers, Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the City of Denton.  

Plastic waste continues to clog our oceans, waterways and landfills. And, we’ve dedicated many programs to how keep adding to it. But also, the problem remains of getting rid of the waste that already exists.  A new report by the Earth Engineering Center at the Grove School of Engineering of the City College of New York suggests it could be transformed into usable energy. We’re joined by Dr. Marco Castaldi with the school’s Chemical Engineering Department. 

Lush shampoo bars go viral/Coal-fired plants and fertility rates

July 12, 2018

The cosmetics company Lush recently created a video to promote ‘shampoo bars,’ which are like a bar of soap for your hair and don’t need to be contained in a plastic bottle, so there’s no plastic waste. That video helped sell thousands of the bars in a matter of days and, bring attention to an important issue.  Someone who was involved in its creation was Katrina Poulos with Lush, who joins us. 

We’ve known for years of the environmental issues from coal fired power plants and the dirty air they expel. But we’re still learning about specific health problems they can cause. Recent research shows closing coal-fired plants increases fertility and decreases the number of pre-term births for people living nearby.  Dr. Joan Casey of U.C. Berkeley contributed to a recent study.