California is seeking to ban Styrofoam carry-out containers (Photo by Renee Comet, courtesy of the National Cancer Institute)
This week, one state is voting on a bill that would make it illegal for restaurants to serve takeout food in Styrofoam. Rebecca Williams has more:
This week, one state is voting on a bill that would make it illegal for restaurants to serve takeout food in styrofoam. Rebecca Williams has more:
A number of cities have banned Styrofoam food containers – including San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. And now California lawmakers are deciding whether to ban the containers.
The bill says styrofoam is a big litter problem. And animals can choke on pieces of it.
The World Health Organization’s cancer research agency says styrene is a possible human carcinogen. Styrene is the stuff styrofoam’s made out of.
Jerry Hill is the Assembly member who introduced the bill in California. He says the American Chemistry Council and other groups are making it hard for him to get the votes he needs.
“You would think the world was going to come to an end if we were to prohibit and ban Styrofoam. It’s an industry that whether you look at the chemical industry, the restaurant industry that’s opposing it, and they are very vocal and very powerful.”
The opponents say there’s no reason for the ban, and they say it would be bad for the economy.
From lighter, thinner ski boots and other cold-weather clothing...
(Photo by Adam Fowler)
... to using less lumber in home-building, aerogels are reported to have a multitude of uses. (Photo by Bartlomiej Stroinski)
A new insulating material could cut down on home heating
costs and save on materials in construction. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Katherine Glover tells us about Aerogels:
A new insulating material could cut down on home heating costs and save
on construction materials. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Katherine Glover
tells us about Aerogels:
Aerogels look like frozen smoke, and feel like styrofoam. Up to ninety-nine
percent of an aerogel is empty space. This makes it an excellent insulator. Last
year, the first aerogel jacket hit the market. And aerogel footwear inserts are used
by the U.S. military and the Canadian National Ski
Team. Ed Hogan is the marketing manager of Aspen Aerogels.
“Everybody knows how much cold feet can spoil an outing, right? And this stuff
is so thin, you can put it in a shoe or put it in a boot, and you hardly notice it.”
Because they’re new, aerogels are still expensive relative to other materials. The
company says once they gain in popularity and the price goes down, they could be used
as insulation in walls and the clear form could be used in windows. This could cut down
dramatically on heating costs. And, because aerogels are so thin, the company says
houses could be built with less lumber. That’s because less lumber would be needed
to make room for aerogel insulation.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Katherine Glover.
The haunting call of the Common Loon has become a symbol of wild northern lakes. But as homes, marinas, and resorts are built on these lakes, the loons are losing the places where they like to nest. As the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tamar Charney reports, some people are hoping artificial nests might help:
The haunting call of the Common Loon has become a symbol of wild
northern lakes. But as homes, marinas, and resorts are built on these
lakes, the loons are losing the places where they like to nest. As the
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tamar Charney reports, some people are
hoping artificial nests might help:
The Common Loon doesn’t move around well on land, so they like to nest as
close to the water as possible. But this makes them vulnerable to being pushed
out by development and washed out by boat wakes and floods.
Dan Truscott of Ducks Unlimited recently helped a group of elementary school kids build
floating nest platforms out of PVC pipes and Styrofoam for loons in northern Michigan. Truscott
got started making artificial nesting platforms after he saw what happened to a pair of loons on a
lake near his home.
“They had nested and we had a large rainfall and the dam couldn’t keep up with the water so the
nests got washed out, and so I went home and built one and put it out and it
Loon protection groups in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions
promote the use of these platforms as one tool to help improve the breeding success
of the birds.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Tamar Charney.
In a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, more than half of the
respondents said protecting the environment should be a top priority.
But how we do that is up for debate. Now, a new book offers some
suggestions…and maybe a few surprises. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Wendy Nelson reports: