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Global Briefs Archive

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Meat Menace

New data shows that emissions from raising farmed animals make up about 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with three large meat producers emitting as much as some oil companies.

Loving It

McDonald’s says it will end the use of harmful polystyrene foam packaging globally by year’s end, and Dunkin’ Donuts is phasing out its polystyrene foam cups in favor of paper cups.

In Vitro Corals

Frustrated by vanishing reefs, scientists are fertilizing coral sperm and eggs in labs and returning them to the wild.

Algae Alchemy

Two Dutch designers are processing live algae into material that can be used for 3-D printing of such items as shampoo bottles and trash bins.

Big Save

A massive pioneering program in Brazil will protect more than 231,000 square miles in the Amazon River basin by tying local economies to conservation measures.

Pooch Patrol

Thailand’s stray dogs could become community watches with a new “smart vest” that transmits videos of what a barking dog sees.

Man-Made Meat

Pet food being grown in a start-up laboratory would slash land use by 99 percent and produce 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural Pools

Natural pools, which may be built of stone and clay and filtered with aquatic plants, turn out to be both eco-friendly and price competitive compared to conventional swimming pools.

Lower Overhead

Cincinnati has purchased 100 percent renewable energy to operate most of its municipal buildings through at least 2021, cutting its utility rates by more than $100,000 annually.

Independent Action

More than 50 mayors from around the globe have signed the Chicago Climate Charter, intended to guide cities toward reaching greenhouse gas emissions reductions similar to those targeted in the Paris climate accord.

Quick Quarters

Harnessing technology and cleverness, homebuilding startups in the Ukraine, Italy and Lebanon are offering tiny, energy-neutral, quick-built houses at low cost.

Deadly Cargo

The Iranian tanker Sanchi oil spill in the East China Sea has scientists worried about unknown impacts caused by the toxic nature of the ultra-light, highly flammable oil.

Eco-Villains

A beach cleanup in the Philippines resulted in the finding that Nestlé, Unilever and the Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora were the top sources of plastic waste there.

Green Team

The Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field recycles 96 percent of all waste, garnering the team Major League Baseball’s Green Glove Award for 2017.

Boston Ban

Joining a nationwide movement, Boston has banned single-use plastic shopping bags, requiring shoppers to bring their own totes or pay for eco-friendly bags.

Click on a Campsite

Taking the Airbnb concept a step further, vacationers can now rent camp sites on private land using the online startup LandApart.com.

Rail Trails

With more than 300 daily trains to 500-plus destinations, Amtrak offers a relaxing, scenic, affordable alternative to long hours hunched behind a steering wheel.

Waterborne Drugs

In urban streams, the presence of pharmaceuticals, including painkillers, stimulants, antihistamines and antibiotics, is causing microbial communities to morph and become resistant to drugs.

Helping Hands

An Australian company is using 3-D printers to create hands, arms and feet prosthetics out of recycled plastic and e-waste.

Women Warriors

The first majority-female anti-poaching unit in South Africa is saving rhinos and with it, the moral fabric of communities.

Obsolete Packaging

A British supermarket chain plans to drastically lower its use of plastic packaging in 1,000 of its own-label products.

All That Glitters

Decorative plastic glitter and the microbeads used in scrubs and shower gels pose a threat to fish and oceans, say scientists.

Love Rocks

People are hand-painting stones with uplifting messages and planting them randomly in public spaces.

Temporary Protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided not to rescind Obama-era environmental protections that restricted the opening of a copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay that would threaten fisheries and other natural resources.

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