Sustainability Reads: October 16- October 29

Last week, Nicaragua joined the Paris Agreement, leaving the U.S. and Syria as the only two countries still not on board. Despite the lack of federal action on climate change in the U.S., we have some inspiring developments to share: St. Louis, which is Missouri’s most populous city and runs mostly on coal, committed to sourcing 100% renewable energy by 2035. The momentum to take on food waste, which is a big contributor to climate change, also continues to grow.

Grist researched how companies and organizations such as restaurants, breweries, and universities are building a better, less wasteful food system. There are examples from each U.S. state, including sustainable seafood on the East Coast, urban farming in Kentucky, and sustainable BBQ in Texas. What’s happening in your state? Check here. We can also fight food waste at home. Natural Resources Defense Council found that coffee, milk, apples, bread, potatoes, and pasta are commonly waste foods.

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Climate change already costing government billions: GAO

According to a report released by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the effects of climate change are already costing the federal government hundreds of billions of dollars, $350 billion over the last decade to be exact. This number takes into account the costs of disaster assistance and flood and crop insurance losses but does not include the damage costs of the most recent hurricanes and wildfires.

Regreening the planet could cut as much carbon as halting oil use

A new study published in the Proceedings of the Natural Academy of the Sciences (PNAS) suggests that “natural climate solutions” can account for 37% of the actions needed between now and 2030 to keep global warming below 2°C. Natural climate solutions include conservation, restoration, and improved land management actions “that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands.”

Quote of the Week: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” -Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax

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