Sustainability

No water, no beer: brewers race to save the ales

Publication: NBC News   Date: September 3, 2013   View Article

As water becomes increasingly scarce on our ever more crowded and warming planet, brewers of beer are racing to secure a steady supply of their most prized ingredient by using less of it.

“Without water, there is no beer,” Kim Marotta, the sustainability director for MillerCoors, the Chicago-based joint venture of international brewing giants SABMiller and Molson Coors, told NBC News.

Like many in the brewing industry, MillerCoors understands that access to water of the quantity and quality it needs to grow barley and hops and brew beer is no longer a guarantee as population growth, water pollution and climate change threaten water resources.

‘Living’ building signals new era of sleek sustainability

Publication: NBC News   Date: April 22, 2013   View Article

In cloudy, drizzly Seattle, Denis Hayes, the environmental activist who organized the first Earth Day in 1970, is pulling the wraps off a six-story office building that generates all of its electricity via an oversized rooftop array of solar panels.

A sun-powered building in Seattle is “formidable,” Hayes told NBC News, but the Bullitt Center project aims to show it is possible in a visible, tangible manner that, in turn, makes an impact on the often invisible, slow-motion challenge of global climate change.

“When this whole [Earth Day] thing got launched in 1970, we had people walking around with gas masks and smokestacks were pouring out enormous impenetrable clouds of black smoke,” said Hayes, who is now president of the Bullitt Foundation, which supports environmental causes.

Hot cities more sustainable than cold ones, study says

Publication: NBC News   Date: March 27, 2013   View Article

When it’s hot outside, people crank up air conditioners that usually suck electricity from coal- and natural gas-fired power plants at the root of human-caused global warming. This seems like a recipe for disaster, but it’s more sustainable than living in a cold climate and cranking up the heat, a new paper suggests.

“The traditional view that living in hot desert areas is not sustainable should be re-examined,” Michael Sivak, a research professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, told NBC News. “Because my data suggest that from this point of view — mainly a climate control point of view — living in very cold areas is less sustainable than hot areas.”

Road paved with toilets gets green credential

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 14, 2012   View Article

If you take a stroll along a newly paved six-block stretch of downtown Bellingham, Wash., you’ll be excused if you think you put your foot in a toilet. The sidewalk contains 5 tons of crushed potty.

The project is the first to earn Greenroads certification, a rating system that aims to do for roadway construction what LEED did for the building industry – make projects more sustainable.

Food Waste + Fish Poop = Lettuce

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 6, 2011   View Article

If, in a few years, you are suddenly overcome with a sense that there’s something fishy about the lettuce in your salad, you might be on to something. There’s a chance it was grown with fish poop.

“There’s no fish taste whatsoever,” Michael Amadori, a master’s student in ecological engineering at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, assured me Wednesday.

For now, Amadori is growing the futuristic lettuce in question as part of a science experiment aimed at closing the loop between the food we throw away and the food we eat.

High-Rise Farms: The Future of Food?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 30, 2009   View Article

Salads of the future may still be served in bowls, but their ingredients might be grown in skyscrapers.

That’s the hope of scientists and architects who are erecting a unique strategy to feed a swelling population on a planet with finite farmland.

Cow Genome Decoded – Cheaper Beef for Everybody?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 23, 2009   View Article

The humble cow has now had its entire genome sequenced, a new study says.

Six years in the making, the feat could lead to healthier, cheaper beef and milk, according to scientists.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach