Environment

Starbucks is banning straws – but is it really a big win for the environment?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 4:00am

The coffee giant has announced that it is phasing out straws. But are the new lids it’s introducing actually any better?

This month, Starbucks joined a growing movement to ban single-use plastic straws, announcing it would eliminate the items from its stores by 2020. In their place, the company will be introducing strawless lids, which have a sippable protrusion. It will also make alternative-material straws available.

Starbucks already has strawless lids available in more than 8,000 of its North American stores. These were developed for its “Nitro” coffee beverages which have a creamy top and are best drunk without a straw. Now, however, the coffee chain will be making the Nitro lids standard for all cold beverages, most of which now come with straws. Cold beverages make up more than 50% of Starbucks’s beverage mix, an increase from 37% just five years ago.

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Categories: Environment

Garden photographer of the year: macro winners – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 4:00am

International photographic competition, which runs in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, London, awards special prize for the best close-up images

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Categories: Environment

Scientists detect a human fingerprint in the atmosphere's seasonal cycles | John Abraham

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 3:00am

In the troposphere, scientists detected a human-caused signal in the seasonal cycle

We know that humans are causing Earth’s climate to change. It used to be that “climate change” mostly referred to increasing temperatures near the Earth’s surface, but increasingly, climate change has come to mean so much more. It means warming oceans, melting ice, changing weather patterns, increased storms, and warming in other places.

A recent study has just been published that finds ‘fingerprints’ of human-caused warming someplace most of us don’t think about – in the higher atmosphere. Not only that, but these scientists have found changes to the seasonal climate – how much the temperature varies from winter to summer to winter – and the changes they found matched expectations.

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Categories: Environment

Spring Is Springing Sooner, Throwing Nature's Rhythms Out Of Whack

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2018/07/23 - 2:01am

A warming climate is knocking nature's rhythms out of sync. High in the Rocky Mountains, scientists have been tracking the impact for decades.

(Image credit: Nathan Rott/NPR)

Categories: Environment

War on Waste returns: Craig Reucassel dishes dirt on recycling crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:46pm

Host of ABC sleeper hit of 2017 reflects achievements of season one, and what still needs to change

Who would have thought a show about garbage could be so compelling?

The success of last year’s sleeper hit War on Waste was a happy surprise to its presenter, Craig Reucassel, and the team behind the ABC TV show – not least because of how responsive audiences were to many of its suggestions. Sales of reusable coffee cups shot up, worm farm suppliers struggled to keep up with demand and the #BantheBag campaign helped to spur supermarkets to get rid of single-use plastic bags.

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Categories: Environment

‘We’ve suffered enough’: Durham locals fight new open-cast coal mine

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:30pm

The Banks Group mine is going ahead despite fears it will devastate the local environment

From the end of her garden June Davison can see and hear the heavy machinery stripping away the valley. Soon there will be explosions and dust to add to the 12 hour thrum of engines as the coal is stripped from below the earth.

After 40 years of local opposition that has helped keep this area of the Derwent valley in County Durham untouched, open-cast mining has begun between the villages of Dipton, Leadgate and Medomsley, once home to a deeply entrenched mining community around what was South Medomsley colliery.

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Categories: Environment

Rich countries pushing 'dirty energy' in Africa, report claims

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2018/07/22 - 10:00pm

Study finds that while wealthy nations advocate renewables at home, 60% of aid to African energy projects went on fossil fuels

Wealthy governments have been accused of promoting fossil fuel development in Africa at the expense of clean energy.

Analysis showed 60% of public aid for energy projects was spent on fossil fuels, compared with just 18% on renewables.

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Categories: Environment
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