Sustainability Reads: February 16- February 22

Selling Into the Sun: Premium Analysis of a Multi-State Dataset of Solar Homes
This new study confirms that people are willing to pay a premium for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. The data shows that home buyers are consistently willing to pay PV home premiums across various states, housing and PV markets, and home types. Average premiums across the full sample equate to approximately $4/W or $15,000 for an average-sized 3.6-kW PV system. Research by a number of authors, sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

This is how much plastic we put into the ocean every year (it’s a lot)
Which countries pollute the most plastic? 1. China 2. Indonesia 3. Philippines 4. Vietnam 5. Sri Lanka 6. Thailand 7. Egypt 8. Malaysia 9. Nigeria 10. Bangladesh. However, this research illustrates plastic waste as a global problem: 275 million metric tons (MT) of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2010, with 4.8 to 12.7 million MT entering the ocean. Population size and the quality of waste management systems largely determine which countries contribute the greatest mass of uncaptured waste available to become plastic marine debris. Yep, waste management infrastructure improvements are needed. Article by Ben Schiller on Coexist, study by a number of authors published in Science.

Satellite Data Reveals State of the World’s Mangrove Forests
And here is another piece showing how we negatively impact the natural environment. On a positive note though, the more data available the better. This article provides insight into mangrove forests, salt-tolerant trees and shrubs found in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Based on the Global Forest Watch (GFW) platform, analysis shows that 192,000 hectares (474,000 acres) of mangroves have been lost from 2001 to 2012, a total loss of 1.38% since 2000 (or 0.13 percent annually). This is actually low compared to the 4.9% loss of tropical forests for the same time period, but the benefits of mangroves are many. Benefits include erosion and flood control, fisheries support, carbon storage, biodiversity conservation, nutrient cycling, storm defense, and food, products, and tourism for local communities. Asia has the highest rates of mangrove loss, with aquaculture and agricultural expansion as the main threats. Asa Strong and Susan Minnemeyer on WRI blog.

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