12 Responsible Consumption and Production (32)
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SELC settlement protects blue-blood horseshoe crabs and their avian dependents
CHARLESTON — A landmark settlement prohibits horseshoe crab collection on the beaches of more than 30 islands along the South Carolina coast that are established feeding sites for rufa red knots during their annual migration — as well as any harvesting in Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge — for at least five years.
Every spring, red knots time their 9,300-mile migration from South America to the Canadian Arctic perfectly so they stop on the same beaches of South Carolina at the exact moment horseshoe crabs begin to spawn.
These protein-rich crab eggs are critical for red knots, providing the fuel they need to complete their transpolar journey. This delicate relationship between horseshoe crabs and red knots has developed over millions of years.
Thanks to an East Tennessee science powerhouse, recycling might become easier
This is the first in a series about ORNL’s Technology Innovation Program 2023
OAK RIDGE — Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory developed a catalyst they say can break down a range of plastics, including polyesters, polycarbonates, polyurethanes and polyamides through a low-energy green process. In lay terms, the process can recycle many plastic-based carpets, ropes, other textiles, bottles, mattresses, protective equipment, car components and other things that weren’t previously easy to recycle into valuable chemicals.
Tomoronori Saito, a researcher at ORNL’s chemical sciences division presented some results of research at ORNL on July 14 as part of a symposium highlighting commercially valuable work that takes place at one of the country’s main science laboratories. Saito and fellow researcher Arif Arifuzzaman showed off plastics in varying levels of disintegration using their catalyst. It was part of the lab’s Technology Innovation Program 2023, promoting the lab’s research for possible business partnerships.
ORNL showcased its best science projects at July 14 tech conference
OAK RIDGE — Scientist-inventors from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory presented seven new technologies during the Technology Innovation Showcase on July 14 at the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences on ORNL’s campus.
The inventions are supported by ORNL’s Technology Innovation Program, or TIP, which provides targeted investments in new lab-developed technologies to enhance their commercial readiness. Since 2012, ORNL has invested more than $11 million in 49 projects, resulting in 37 commercial licenses and options with partners ranging from Fortune 100 companies to early-stage startups.
“ORNL’s researchers are creating next-generation technology for buildings, manufacturing, medicine and chemistry,” said Mike Paulus, ORNL Partnerships director. “The inventions selected for TIP investment show significant potential for commercialization.”
The showcase brings together inventors and commercialization professionals from ORNL with industry representatives for a morning of presentations followed by one-on-one meetings, tours and demonstrations.
— Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Chestnut researchers rally to fight the blight for good
Chestnut trees disappeared from 200 million acres of forest from northeast Mississippi to southern Maine 100 years ago. The social and ecological significance of such an event, which led to the loss of at least 1 billion trees, can be hard to understand today.
The massive die-off of the American chestnut left a big hole in the ecological fabric of Southern Appalachia and beyond. The tree dominated the forests in size and in the ecological and human services it provided.
While no tree could fully substitute an American chestnut in providing food for wildlife, naturally increasing acorn production from oaks served as a major food source bridge for wild turkey, bobwhite, white-tailed deer and squirrels. The oaks helped fill in the so-called “chestnut gap.”
Try as they might, the oaks never produced the same bountiful harvest.
Now with the work of the 3BUR (Breeding, Biotechnology and Biocontrol United for Restoration) the fight to protect the American chestnut and restore it to the throne of the forest is again in motion.
Computer-based milking methods offer the best cream of the crop
WALLAND — The University of Tennessee is using a new automated system to milk cows in the hope it’s easier on the animals than previous mechanized techniques.
It’s the newest feature of the UT AgResearch and Education Center’s Little River Animal and Environmental Unit at 3229 Ellejoy Road in Blount County.
As part of the unveiling of the equipment on May 2, visitors watched a cow on video walk through a ribbon to reach the new machines.
The milking machines, developed by Netherlands-based Lely Corporation, allow for cattle to walk up to the machines voluntarily to get special food in what a UT news release called a more “stress-free environment.”
Glass jars aren’t just for moonshine anymore
KNOXVILLE — The city now has a store where walk-in customers can buy refillable household products.
“Zero waste” is commonly heard around concerts, festivals and Earth Day events, but now it is easier to make it a daily priority.
KnoxFill opened a 1,600-square-foot store April 8 in South Knoxville at 3211 South Haven Road.
The company uses reusable glass containers for purchasing common household goods such as shampoo and detergent, like the way you might buy bulk foods. Hellbender Press previously reported on this business.
Their products are eco-sourced. The idea is if a container is not reused, it will either be landfilled, incinerated, end up as litter, or recycled, which has its own set of issues. That’s on the back side of the waste stream. Refillable glass containers also combat pollution and waste on the front side by eliminating the petrochemicals needed to produce and ship all the plastic containers needed for consumer products in the first place.
Prior to opening her store, owner Michaela Barnett provided her goods and services via the “milkman” method. She would refill the bottles at home and then deliver them to her customers.
“The milkman system was very labor intensive; we could never have the impact and scale we now have without a brick-and-mortar store,” she said.
Udderly amazing: University of Tennessee to unveil robotic cow-milker
WALLAND — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture will host a demonstration of its new robotic milking technology at the UT AgResearch and Education Center’s Little River Unit in Blount County. The new system, developed by the Lely Corporation in the Netherlands, allows for the cows to be automatically milked at their own will in a stress-free environment. The demonstration is set for 10 a.m. May 2 and will include remarks from prominent university and community leaders.
The cows are trained to walk up to the robotic system, where each animal will be recognized by a sensor on its collar. The system then knows how much feed to give the cow while she’s being milked, based on historical data. The cow is free to eat, drink and rest while being milked, and in an area where there’s less cattle traffic. About 120 dairy cows can be milked and individual records kept through two robotic systems in a relatively short amount of time.
“The mission of UT AgResearch is to conduct leading-edge projects to serve the evolving needs of the agriculture and forestry industry in Tennessee and beyond,” said Hongwei Xin, dean of UT AgResearch.
“The introduction of milking robots into our existing traditional dairy production system at the Little River dairy facility allows our researchers to find answers to questions ranging from interactions between the animals and robots, impact on the animal’s production performance, and labor savings and profitability. The robotic milking system is part of the UT Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) initiative that aims to improve production efficiency and food supply chain robustness through enhanced animal welfare. UTIA is poised to be the leader in PLF in the region, the nation and the world.”
— University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
Earth Day activities have cooled in Knoxville over the decades. The planet has not.
KNOXVILLE — It’s been 52 years since the modern environmental movement was born on what is now known around the world as Earth Day.
Now reckoned to be the world’s largest secular observance, Earth Day is the climax of Earth Week (April 16 to 22), which brings together an estimated billion people around the globe working to change human behavior and push for pro-environment economic and legislative action. This year’s theme is “Invest in the planet.”
Events marking Earth Day in Knoxville tend to vary in size and tone from year-to-year, with 2023 providing environmentally minded residents with a number of ways to celebrate Mother Earth.
Perhaps the most memorable of those years was the very first one, when one of the most important voices in the burgeoning environmental movement spoke on the University of Tennessee campus.
Jane Jacobs, who is now recognized as “the godmother of the New Urbanism movement,” gave a lecture to a crowd of nearly 200 people on the topic of “Man and His Environment” at the Alumni Memorial Hall, according to Jack Neely, who heads the Knoxville History Project.
- earth day 2023
- knoxville earth day event
- how can i celebrate earth day
- oak ridge earth day
- south knoxville community cleanup
- keep knoxville beautiful
- department of energy
- jack neely
- knoxville history project
- jj stambaugh
- jane jacobs
- new urbanism
- dogwood arts festival
- University of Tennessee
- marisa tomei
- citizen jane
- habitat for humanity
- lyrids meteor shower
- southern appalachia
- oak ridge national laboratory
How two East Tennessee churches went solar, and can help your congregation do it, too
OAK RIDGE — On two church roofs on the same road in this small town that helped harvest the atom, panels catch the sun’s rays for electric power.
Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church at 1500 Oak Ridge Turnpike and Faith Lutheran Church at 1300 Oak Ridge Turnpike added solar energy at different times through different companies using different federal incentives. ORUUC added its panels in 2015; Faith Lutheran added them in March 2022. Members of both churches involved in the solar projects spoke to both the challenges involved and the benefits. They said their churches benefited both financially and spoke of the benefits to the planet.
“I really hope it works well for us as well as for the environment,” said George Smith, associate pastor at Faith Lutheran. “I’m fond of thinking that we’re turning God’s gift of sunshine into a gift of cash for ministry.”
- church solar panel
- oak ridge universalist unitarian church
- faith lutheran church oak ridge
- green interfaith network
- hal hoyt oak ridge
- ben pounds journalist
- ted jackson
- inflation reduction act
- solar for nonprofits
- solar alliance
- solar power
- solar power east tennessee
- george smith solar
EPA plans to contain toxic waste and restore waterways; community group will offer guidance
KNOXVILLE — A crowd gathered in the South Knoxville Community Center to hear the Environmental Protection Agency’s long-awaited remediation plan for Smoky Mountain Smelting and its hazardous waste. Others tuned in via the Internet.
The meeting called by Vestal Community Organization took place Feb. 13. The EPA’s presentation and many questions focused on the former Smoky Mountain Smelting site at 1508 Maryville Pike near Montgomery Village Apartments.
Heather Duncan Nelson reported last year for Hellbender Press on the initial cleanup plans.
But citizens this week raised concerns about other contaminated former industrial properties along the same road. Vestal Community Organization plans to hold another meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 22 to discuss and decide its position on these Maryville Pike properties.
“I was just thrilled and enamored by the way people were listening to the questions and answers,” said Eric Johnson with Vestal Community Organization, adding that he was referring both to the EPA and the citizens.
- superfund sites in knoxville
- smoky mountain smelters
- south knoxville superfund site
- ben pounds
- montgomery village apartments
- heather duncan superfund site
- smoky mountain smelting
- epa and knoxville superfund sites
- vestal community organization
- vestal knoxville
- south knoxville
- amelia parker
- witherspoon property knoxville
- maryville pike
Conversations, letters, alliances and action prompted electrifying win for East Tennessee citizens
OAK RIDGE — After a grassroots citizen effort highlighted the fact new electric lines would mar habitat and popular hiking trails, the city plans to put them elsewhere.
The move came after objections raised by East Tennessee environmental groups, previously reported by Hellbender Press, to protect the land along the North Boundary Greenway, a wide gravel path used by hikers and cyclists. The new route goes down Novus Drive’s median, starting south of State Route 95.
Contractors aren’t done building the Novus Drive route, but city staff made the new route clear in December when asking for funding. Oak Ridge City manager Mark Watson stated the new lines and substation need to be ready for the proposed TRISO-X nuclear fuel facility by December 2024.
UT forestry efforts benefit whiskey and ecological chasers
KNOXVILLE — Volunteers, distilleries and two universities came together this fall to collect white oak acorns to ensure the survival of the species for commercial and ecological purposes.
It was a key part of a conservation effort started by distilleries worried about the future of oak barrels and casks used to age whiskey and bourbon.
It’s about more than that though, as white oaks have many uses not just for people but for an estimated 2,000 other species, including bats, birds, turkeys, deer, rabbits and hundreds of butterflies and moths. But because the trees are slow to grow, they may be at risk, especially as the region grapples with the uncertain outcomes of climate change.
Tell the USDA to implement the Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards rule soon — your voice is needed by midnight ET on November 10, 2022
The proposed Organic Livestock and Poultry Standards (OLPS) rule requires that all poultry receive legitimate outdoor access. This move comes after successive USDA delays and in spite of massive public comment urging the implementation of the previous organic livestock update — withdrawn despite over 40,000 comments in favor of better organic livestock standards. Read the Cornucopia Institute’s complete analysis of how we got to this moment.
Yes, It’s little and it’s late! — But neither too little nor too late to make an important difference
Cornucopia has called out factory-organic poultry operations for over a decade. Instead of dustbathing and cavorting in the sunlight, industrial organic hens are crammed into massive barns with screened porches.
The OLPS specifies the amount of outdoor space required for poultry production and improves some management practices for all organic livestock. Questions remain: How soon must existing operations comply?