More than 100 billion tons of resources enter the economy every year – everything from metals, minerals and fossil fuels to organic materials from plants and animals. Just 8.6% gets recycled and used again. Use of resources has tripled since 1970 and could double again by 2050 if business continues as usual. We would need 1.5 Earths to sustainably support our current resource use. This rampant consumption has devastating effects for humans, wildlife and the planet. It is more urgent than ever to shift from linear, use-it-up-and-throw-it-away models to a circular economy: where waste and pollution are designed out, products and materials are kept in use for longer, and natural systems can regenerate. A circular economy isn’t just about fixing environmental wrongs, though: Evidence shows it can bring big opportunities and positive impacts across industries, sectors and lives.
In mid-February, a member of the Bitterroot Salish Tribe spoke to students about his tribe’s management and protection of natural resources.
The Science to Action Fellowship program supports graduate students in developing a product that puts science into action, directly applying scientific research related to climate change impacts on fish, wildlife, or ecosystems to decision making about natural resources. The Science to Action (S2A) Fellowship was developed to expose graduate students to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) through the USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC), whose mission is to provide scientific information, tools, and techniques to help natural and cultural resource managers anticipate and adapt to the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife, and ecosystems.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing an excessive waste problem around the world with an increase in the use of plastic bags, delivery packages, and takeout containers. According to Bloomberg, single-use plastics such as polystyrene (the material used to make Styrofoam™) are experiencing a renewed demand due to the pandemic. Plastic waste is increasing in the restaurant industry due to the rise in takeout and delivery orders (essential to keeping the industry afloat), and the proliferation of all these disposable containers.