Cutting food waste would save $2bn
US businesses could save close to $2bn a year by reducing the amount of half-eaten meals, unsold milk and other discarded foods by 20%, a report by ReFED has revealed.
In “Roadmap to Reduce US Food Waste” ReFED, a collaboration of businesses, non-profits and government leaders committed to reducing food waste, outlines strategies that would reduce the amount of food that is thrown away by 13m tonnes a year.
The strategies would create 15,000 jobs and double the amount of recovered food donations to non-profits to 1.8bn meals a year. It would also save 6tn litres of fresh water a year, and cut CO2 emissions by 18m tonnes.
In the US, more than 52m tonnes of food is sent to landfill and 10m tonnes never gets harvested on farms, costing the economy $218bn annually, according to the report.
JPMorgan Chase latest bank to spurn coal
JPMorgan Chase has pledged to stop financing coal mining companies in wealthy countries.
As part of its efforts to combat climate change, the banking giant says it will no longer finance new coal mines or coal-fired power plants in high income countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
JPMC’s new policy was criticised by the National Mining Association, which called the bank’s new stance “hardly a heroic gesture”. It added: “The bank hedges its bets on financing projects in developing countries, because, not surprisingly, that’s where the growth is and will be.”
JPMC joins a growing list of US investment banks committed to phasing out coal mining financing, which includes Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.
Tetra Pak unpacks key to happiness
A social experiment by packaging giant Tetra Pak has revealed that the key to happiness lies in making small lifestyle changes that help protect the environment.
In a survey of 2,000 US and Canadian consumers, 70% of respondents said “making eco-minded choices” led to significant increases in personal happiness.
Tetra Pak is now inviting consumers to participate in the #RenewableLiving Challenge, in which participants are encouraged to adopt eco-friendly habits over 28 days. These include taking shorter showers, buying products sold in recycled packaging and walking or cycling to work.
Google to map spread of Zika
A volunteer team of Google engineers and data scientists has teamed up with Unicef to map the spread of the Zika virus.
By mapping information and processing data from different sources, including weather and travel patterns, the team hopes to help with prevention, identify potential outbreaks for different regions and help Unicef, governments and NGOs decide how and where to focus time and resources on tackling the virus.
The Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, has affected more than 1 million people since 2015 and the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak, which is centred in Brazil, to a “public health emergency of international concern”.
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