Plastic bottle deposit scheme in UK proving hit with shoppers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/02 - 9:23am

‘Reverse vending machines’ receive 311,500 bottles to date, says supermarket Iceland

Shoppers have received the equivalent of more than £30,000 in total for recycling plastic bottles in the first supermarket trial using “reverse vending machines” installed to reduce littering.

The machines, introduced last year by the Iceland chain at five UK sites, reward consumers with a voucher worth 10p for every deposit of a bottle purchased at the shops.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Change Is Bad For Peru's Pastures ... But There's A 1,200-Year-Old Fix

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/01/02 - 6:43am

Climate change has shrunk the wetlands in the Andes where livestock graze. Could reviving ancient water systems bring back the grass?

(Image credit: Carlos Díaz Huerta (Tres Mitades)/UNDP)

Categories: Environment

Endangered Florida panther threatened by development project, experts say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/01/02 - 12:00am

Almost half of proposed area of construction falls within hunting and roaming zone that is essential to animal’s survival

The extinction of the endangered Florida panther could be hastened by a large development proposed for the state, environmental groups are warning, as a major project is expected to win approval from the Trump administration as early as April.

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Dakota Access pipeline developer misses year-end deadline to plant trees

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/01 - 11:59am

Energy Transfer Partners planted only about 8,800 of the 20,000 trees required along the pipeline’s route in 2018

The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota. The company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction.

Related: 'They're billin' us for killin' us': activists fight Dakota pipeline's final stretch

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Categories: Environment

New highs, old lows – things to watch out for in 2019

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/01 - 9:32am

We are trying to be positive, but there’s little likely to put a smile on your face – except for a couple of things …

Making predictions in the world of business and economics is a fool’s errand but that’s no reason not to have a crack at it. Here are some things to look out for in 2019, which could be a rollercoaster ride.

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Categories: Environment

Time for politicians to make 'stark choices' over climate change

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/01/01 - 5:26am

MPs must show leadership on issues such as meat production and air travel, says Clive Lewis

Politicians must persuade consumers to make dramatic lifestyle changes if devastating climate change and mass extinctions are to be averted, according to the shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis.

From cutting back on red meat to taking fewer flights, the Norwich South MP said the public must face up to “real, stark choices” in the years ahead.

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Pittsburgh Struggles For Clean Air As Nearby Town's Pollution Worsens

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/01/01 - 2:58am

The air is getting dirtier around the country's largest coke fuel plant near Pittsburgh. But the push to clean up pollution is complicated when residents depend on the industry that's causing it.

Categories: Environment

'It's a free-for-all': shutdown brings turmoil to beloved US national parks

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/31 - 5:58pm

Human feces, overflowing garbage and damaging behavior reported as staff hampered over busy holiday period

Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading, fights over camping spots and other damaging behavior in fragile areas are beginning to overwhelm some of the American west’s most popular national parks, as a partial government shutdown left the areas open to visitors but with few staff on duty.

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How London is aiming to become the world best big city for cycling | Will Norman

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/31 - 5:25am

I reject the suggestion that the capital’s action plan contains nothing new

Two weeks ago, the mayor of London and I spent a morning cycling with the leader of Enfield council looking at their excellent new protected cycleways and secure bike parking hub at Edmonton Green station. Together we unveiled Transport for London’s new cycling action plan, which aims to make London the world’s best big city for cycling and to double the number of cycle journeys in five years.

The launch follows the publication of this year’s TfL business plan, in which Sadiq Khan demonstrated his continuing commitment to cycling by not only protecting the record level of funding for cycling, but increasing it from an average of £169m to £214m a year. This commitment is despite central government’s complete withdrawal of the £700m annual operating grant, which has left TfL in a tough financial position, compounded by the delay and increased cost of Crossrail.

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Categories: Environment

California's coastal habitats face existential threat from rising seas

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/12/31 - 4:00am

Climate change is transforming the state’s coast but with habitats hemmed in by cliffs, condos and farms, pre-emptive action is needed to preserve biodiversity

The sea otters of Elkhorn Slough float by on their backs, greeting the occasional kayaker with unwanted socializing that can tip a boat. Chubby harbor seals lounge on large rocks and a great blue heron stands tall among hundreds of birds on a sliver of land.

This Monterey Bay estuary south of San Francisco hosts about 20,000 migratory shorebirds a year and is a nursery habitat for fish and shellfish. It’s notable for having bolstered the waning population of the curious southern sea otters, which now exceed 100 and are webcast live daily.

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Categories: Environment

Conservation push yields results for UK sea life but challenges remain

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 5:01pm

Wildlife Trusts report comeback of rare seahorse breed and nudibranch slugs but plastic pollution still poses grave risk

A rare kind of seahorse and a rainbow-coloured sea slug with a titillating name are among the creatures making a comeback in UK waters, according to an annual conservation review.

The coast around Britain is now home to more than 100 species of nudibranchs – brightly hued, soft-bodied marine molluscs that appear nude because of their lack of external shells. The Wildlife Trusts credited a big conservation push around the coast for their proliferation.

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Food waste chief to target 'scandal' of 250m binned UK meals

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 5:01pm

Pilot will redistribute surplus food, with aim of stopping waste going to landfill by 2030

The government has appointed a food waste champion to tackle the problem of 250m meals being thrown away in the UK each year.

Ben Elliot, a philanthropist and co-founder of the lifestyle group Quintessentially, will aim to help the government eliminate food waste going to landfill by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

House Democrats Form New 'Climate Crisis' Committee

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 3:32pm

This past week Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi announced a new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. NPR's Don Gonyea speaks with Rep. Kathy Castor who will head up the committee in the new Congress.

Categories: Environment

Bloomberg slams Trump on climate change, which Brown likens to Nazism

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 10:53am

Michael Bloomberg slammed Donald Trump’s inaction on climate change on Sunday and said any candidate for president in 2020 – he himself might be one – must have a plan to deal with the problem.

Related: Trump unmoved on border wall demand as shutdown enters ninth day

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Food prices to finance: what a no-deal Brexit could mean for Britain

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 7:56am

Guardian journalists spell out the potential impact, sector by sector, on national life

If Theresa May fails to get her deal through parliament in January, the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal becomes more likely. Here, Guardian journalists examine what a no-deal Brexit could mean for the country, sector by sector.

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Categories: Environment

Beer-brewing Trappist monks put faith in plants to reduce water waste

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/12/30 - 6:24am

Monastery producing 10m litres a year invents plant-based recycling system

Koningshoeven abbey is one of only 13 places in the world to brew Trappist beer, and its products have won over drinkers around the world.

For all the commercial success, however, a nagging sense that money has triumphed over spirituality has prompted the monks to rethink their use of water after more than 130 years.

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Solar, thermal… Spain’s historic hotels go green

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/29 - 10:59pm

State-run chain of heritage properties converts to sustainable energy to set wider example to country

Spain’s state-owned chain of paradores, the grand hotels often housed in ancient castles and monasteries, has announced that all 97 of its establishments will use only electricity from renewable sources from the start of the new year.

The 90-year-old chain said the decision to switch to green electricity had been made for both environmental and symbolic reasons. “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every sense of the word,” said its chair, Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company, we also want to set an example when it comes to investments that encourage energy saving and responsible consumption.”

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Categories: Environment

Endangered Species Observers Have Spotted The First Right Whale Calf Of The Season

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2018/12/29 - 2:51pm

The sighting is a glimmer of hope for a species that has seen a hard few years: 19 right whales died in 2017 and 2018, and not a single North American right whale calf was seen last season.

(Image credit: Michael Dwyer/AP)

Categories: Environment

Kathy Castor named to lead restored House panel on climate change

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/29 - 12:25pm
  • Nancy Pelosi revives special committee axed by Republicans
  • Progressive Democrats have pushed for a ‘Green New Deal’

The House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, has appointed the Florida representative Kathy Castor to lead a special committee on climate change that will be reinstated in the new Congress.

Related: Trump administration to consider changes to Obama-era mercury rule

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Categories: Environment

Adani 'conservation area' for endangered finch sits on proposed Clive Palmer mine

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2018/12/29 - 12:00pm

Exclusive: environmental group calls plan to protect black-throated finch an ‘elaborate hoax’

Adani has set aside a “conservation area” for the endangered black-throated finch at the same site earmarked for the massive Clive Palmer-backed Alpha North coalmine.

The environmental group Lock the Gate said the land-use conflict meant the Adani plan to protect the black-throated finch – which is one of two crucial management plans for the Carmichael mine yet to be approved by the Queensland government – amounted to an “elaborate hoax”.

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