Consult the tea leaves, and you’ll find… microplastics!

Most of the plastic in the ocean is not readily identifiable. Rather it’s in the form of small, microscopic particles that are released when plastic and synthetic fibers break off and break down from their original use items, such as laundry, straws, and… teabags! A group of researchers from McGill University have found that billions of microplastics are released when steeping tea from synthetic fiber tea bags.

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Vaping is not so sweet

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are largely marketed as safer, cleaner alternatives to conventional smoked tobacco products. However, the use of these smokeless products, often referred to as “vaping”, presents its own set of concerns to human health and indoor air quality. How can just vapor cause so many problems? Read more to find out!

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It Makes “Cents”: Generating Renewable Electricity Benefits Health and Climate

Replacing fossil fuel electricity generation with renewable technologies has measurable benefits to human health and the climate. Researchers recently developed a simulation tool that reveals benefits are higher in certain regions of the US than others. Read more to see where deploying renewables would have the biggest impact!

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It’s Not Always Easy Being Green

You’ve probably heard “you are what you eat” as it pertains to health, but have you considered the phrase as it pertains to sustainability? Your environmental impact is partly defined by the environmental impact of your eating habits. And those can carry a lot of weight, with global food production being a major source of fuel and water consumption, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions.

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Shining a Light on Water Disinfection: LEDs aren’t just a Television Upgrade

LED TVs are all the rage, but LEDs can do so much more! Learn how these light emitting diodes (LEDs) can improve energy efficiency in water disinfection, and in your home. Researchers at Arizona State University are designing a system that will enable little LEDs to shine light on a much larger area, improving the ability to disinfect water in a more cost-effective and energy-efficient way, without the use of harsh chemicals.

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What goes around, comes around: Accumulation of PFAS in Marine Critters

PFAS are a family of chemical pollutants of emerging concern. They are extremely useful in processing and manufacturing non-stick and stain-resistant consumer products, as well as foams used in firefighting, but they are also particularly persistent in the environment, and in humans! Efforts are being made to control the spread of these chemicals, and it’s important to understand both where they are coming from and how they move through the environment. In a recent study, researchers show how snails and crabs might be better informants about PFAS contamination sources than fish.

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The Fabric Cycle: Generating Microplastics from our Laundry

Tons of microplastics are entering the oceans each year in the form of microfibers from laundering textiles. Recent research shows fabric type and washing settings can influence the amount of microfibers released into the environment from your home laundry. Read more to find out how you can reduce your footprint.

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