Sustainability... In Business

Turning food waste into tires

Tomorrow’s tires could come from the farm as much as the factory.

CFAES scientists have discovered that food waste can partially replace the petroleum-based filler that has been used in manufacturing tires for more than a century.

In tests, rubber made with the new fillers exceeds industrial standards for performance, which may ultimately open up new applications for rubber.

Read the story. (Photo: CFAES scientists Katrina Cornish (left) and Cindy Barrera by Ken Chamberlain, CFAES.)

REI’s sustainability chief to speak at Ohio State

Combine your work and passions and you can climb mountains. Including real ones.

That’s the message of a presentation being given by Vik Sahney, vice president for sustainability for Seattle-based REI, on April 12 at Ohio State.

Sahney, who at age 38 has climbed the highest peaks on all seven continents, including Mt. Everest, will present “From Summits to Sustainability: Reaching for High Places, Personally and Professionally” at 7 p.m. in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom in the Ohio Union in Columbus. Read More »

Event to explore why we need healthy rivers

Ohio’s Environmental Professionals Network (EPN) is holding its next monthly breakfast program on March 7 in Columbus, and as the film title goes, a river runs through it.  Read More »

‘A Race Against Time’ to grow the world’s solar

Race Against Time stillNext in Ohio State’s 2017 Environmental Film Series is “A Race Against Time,” which looks at global solar energy development. David Letterman, retired host of “The Late Show,” explores how India is using solar to expand its electrical service, power its economy, and bring electricity to 300 million people who’ve never had it before. In Florida, “Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong gets the inside story on what’s been blocking solar’s growth in America. The film is an episode in the National Geographic Channel’s “Years of Living Dangerously” series. It screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Columbus. Free admission. Location and other details here.

Hey, Ohio natural resource pros: Check out this conference on water, woods, wildlife

Bluegill Silhouette - Vortex Springs DockWhy we need spiders, how a disease that kills trees could help forests, and what’s really going on when people and wildlife butt heads are just a few of the topics at the Ohio Woodland, Water and Wildlife Conference. It’s March 1 in Mansfield. Registration is $60 by Tuesday, Feb. 14, $80 by Feb. 22.

Solar’s sunny outlook on jobs

The solar energy industry created one out of every 50 new jobs added in America last year, or 2 percent of all new U.S. jobs, according to the 2016 National Solar Jobs Census. Now in its seventh year, the annual census was released by the Washington, D.C.-based Solar Foundation, a nonprofit solar energy advocacy group.

The census also reported that jobs in the U.S. solar industry now total more than 260,000 and have nearly tripled since 2010. Read more.

See examples of Ohio State’s solar efforts here, here and here.

Dig into large-scale composting

Hands holding soil with young plant.The Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, called a “comprehensive program on the science and art” of large-scale compost production, is March 28-29 at CFAES’s research arm, OARDC in Wooster. Of note: Four new professional development grants are being offered to help pay for the cost of attending. Apply for them by March 1.

Climate change the ‘defining crisis of our time’

“Think about the shame that each of us will carry when our children and grandchildren look back and realize that we had the means of stopping this devastation, but simply lacked the political will to do so,” said actor, environmentalist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio in his Earth Day 2016 speech on climate change at the UN. You can watch it above.

His 2016 climate change film, “Before the Flood,” which already may be the most-watched documentary in history, screens at 7 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, Jan. 31) at Ohio State.

Free admission. Everyone’s welcome. There’s free pizza, too, beforehand.

See green Feb. 2, save green by Jan. 26

male gardener working in greenhouseThe 2017 Tri-State Green Industry Conference is Feb. 2 in Cincinnati — the tri-states being Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. It’s for anyone whose work involves plants, including landscapers, lawn and tree care workers, greenhouse managers, and others.

Of note: There’s a whole track of sessions on sustainable landscaping. Plus sessions, too, on planting for pollinators, managing urban and suburban deer, and the evidence for — and changes to landscape plants caused by — climate change.

Early bird registration, which saves you $10 and includes lunch, ends Thursday, Jan. 26.

CFAES’s OSU Extension outreach arm is one of the organizers. Read more.

Can we keep our trash out of the Great Lakes?

There’s a conference tomorrow in Cleveland on how to eliminate marine debris (plastic trash and more) in the Great Lakes, including Lake Erie. It’s closed to the public, but there’s a second, public event planned for early 2017 to talk about goals developed during the conference. Elizabeth Miller writing for the Great Lakes Today website of WBFO, Buffalo, New York, has the story.

The story quotes, among others, Jill Bartolotta of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program.