A stack of freshly baked whole grain cookies sitting on wooden counter, which is one of the main topics discussed in the 33rd issue of Eco Friendly News of the week.
Jul 9, 2024
weekly eco news

Spent grain makes for healthy eco cookies while Chilean zoo celebrates birth of uncommon Southern White Rhino Calf - 33rd Issue

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Birth of Southern White Rhino boosts species conservation

A side profile of a newborn southern white Rhino.

Buin Zoo in Santiago, Chile, celebrates the rare zoo birth of a southern white rhino calf, Silverio, the latest member of the near-endangered species.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed the southern white rhino as a near-endangered species, with a population of slightly over 10,000. The species' population was severely threatened by poaching, but thanks to ongoing conservation efforts, their numbers are slowly increasing, offering a glimmer of hope for the future of this majestic species. 

A majority of the southern white rhino population is in the zoo, and efforts to spark romance between pairs are not always successful. Hannah and Oliver are a pair of southern white rhinos in Buin whose thriving courtship defies the odds and gives hope for conservation efforts on the continent. The zoo is calling the arrival of their third calf, Silverio, a “big achievement.”

Conservationists are working with zoos to raise the population of southern white rhinos in captivity, though more needs to be done to remove the species from the endangered list and end poaching. 

Climate change linked to Hurricane Beryl strengthening into a superstorm

An aerial, satellite view of a hurricane.

Hurricane Beryl intensified into a category 5 Atlantic Hurricane after it made landfall on windward Caribbean islands, leaving destruction in its wake. The Prime Minister reported that Carriacou island was flattened in just half an hour, and other areas like Petite Martinique were also devastatingly destroyed.

The rapid strengthening of Hurricane Beryl is linked to climate change. Its winds increased by 35 mph (about 56 kph) within 24 hours, surpassing speeds of 157 mph (about 253 kph). Due to climate change, the Caribbean water is warmer, and these higher temperatures energize storms, causing them to develop into superstorms.

A warmer atmosphere naturally absorbs more moisture from the ocean surface and other water systems, eventually resulting in intense rainfall. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is warning that mudslides and flash floods are expected in mountainous regions.  

As the ocean gets warmer, we might witness severe and frequent superstorms like Beryl, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Setback for climate action as the Supreme Court ruling favors major polluters

An oil refinery a little before sunrise or after sunset highlighting the gases exhausted into the atmosphere.

The Supreme Court temporarily suspended the Environmental Protection Agency's “Good Neighbor” plan to ensure factories and utilities reduce ozone emissions.

The Midwestern and Western states, such as Ohio, Virginia, and Indiana, use coal to produce electricity, and the Good Neighbor plan would help ensure factories reduce harmful emissions that spill over to the Eastern states. The plan would also benefit the management of fisheries and natural resources.

The Supreme Court ruling is a non-permanent stay that sends the verdict back to courts of appeal for their determination. The most significant blow was struck when the court later overruled the Chevron Doctrine that compels federal courts to yield to federal agencies’ interpretation of complex issues that the agencies are mandated to administer. Policy rulings are now up to a judge’s preference. 

Spent grain turned into snacks that regulate blood sugar levels

A stack of cookies made with whole grains demonstrating what the spent grain cookies would look like.

Research done through a randomized control trial has found that biscuits made from brewer’s spent grain (BSG) have multiple health benefits, like regulating blood sugar and body insulin for people with metabolic syndrome (MetS) while helping reduce food waste.

BSG is a beer-brewing by-product that accounts for 85% of the industry waste and is rich in proteins and fiber. When the BSG is fermented with tempeh mold, Rhizopus oligosporus (RO), its protein, soluble fiber, and antioxidant content increase significantly.

Biscuits are a commonly consumed snack, but they are made with refined grains that cause a rise in blood sugar levels, which is postprandial glucose response (PPGR). Biscuits made from Fermented BSG have a fiber that moderates digestion, regulates the hormone glucagon that controls glucose levels, and enhances insulin release. Fermented BSG biscuits are turning beer industry waste into nutritious snacks.

Marks & Spencer to start clothing repair service

close-up of outdoor shop sign of Marks & Spencer in black and gold colors representing the brand.

Starting this August, M&S will launch its online hub, which will allow customers to book and send in their clothes for repairs and alterations and have them ready in 7-10 days.

M&S is collaborating with Sojo, a UK-based clothing repair start-up, which will handle the service, which is priced at 5.42 dollars. This UK startup aims to make repairing, not simply replacing, clothing more mainstream. The partnership is expected to help promote sustainable fashion practices.

Several fashion retail companies are incorporating repair services. For example, Uniqlo offers repair and embroidery services, John Lewis offers rental & repair services, and H&M provides online guides for clothing repairs. This trend is catching on and allows customers to give their precious items another life rather than discarding them. 

Partnerships like that of M&S and Sojo show fashion retail companies that they do not have to create repair infrastructure from scratch but can rely on independent companies to facilitate the service.