Plastic consumption in high-income countries is on the rise despite increasing awareness of the plastic pollution problem. Recent research has revealed that consumers are driven to use more plastic because they don’t see the waste in their local environment. Instead, it is exported to low-income countries, conveniently taken out of sight and out of mind of the people most responsible.
Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft may enable people to forego car ownership, but are they good for the environment? A recent study suggests ridesharing, which has been commonly viewed as an innovative urban mobility solution, is perpetuating rather than solving cities’ carbon emissions problems.
Hard infrastructure, like sea walls and levees, prevent damage from smaller hazards but increase vulnerability to larger ones. The next generation of disaster prevention should focus on soft strategies like community preparedness.
The Chinese plastic industry is responsible for 25 percent of global plastic production. Despite the versatility and prevalence of plastics around the world, plastics have significant environmental drawbacks — a single plastic bottle produces three pounds of carbon dioxide and takes 450 years to decompose. How might China reduce these adverse environmental effects? One option the country is exploring is plastic waste recovery.
E-waste is frequently exported to developing countries and are recycled manually, polluting the air, soil and water and affecting workers and vulnerable communities. The Basel Convention is an international treaty created to counter that. However, enforcement and monitoring is lacking. Researchers and the Basel Action Network took matters into their own hands.
Migratory birds rely on high quality habitat in which to rest overnight during their annual journeys. However, a recent study suggests that city lights can divert birds from their traditional flight paths. By resting in areas with fewer resources – be it less cover for protection or fewer plants and insects to eat – birds may need more time to complete their migrations and arrive at their destinations in poorer condition.
As cities seek to provide residents with places for recreation, cleaner air, and beautiful scenery, it is crucial to know which sector can best increase the amount of green infrastructure. New research examines developers’ decision-making process for property design, and shows that developers may not be the best group to be in charge of providing green space for cities.
When considering the best end-of-life (i.e. disposal) options for construction and demolition wood, there are three categories to consider — recycling, burying, or burning. Life cycle analysis gives insight into the least environmentally harmful and costly end-of-life category.
More than 83 percent of chemicals have no safety information. Most businesses don’t design them for safety, and the government doesn’t test most of them for safety. Yet thousands of chemicals are in our water and soil, potentially causing human harm and costing billions to cleanup. How can we tell if new chemicals will cause damage to humans before they are made?