5 Things to Know Today: March 22, 2017

Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today

You have to know what’s going on in the world in order to save it. Here are five things you need to know today.

1. Mashable: A new startup is turning plastic waste into roads. 
MacRebur is repurposing millions of tons of waste plastic to help reinforce the roads in the UK and other countries. The founder, Toby McCartney, mixes plastic pellets with common road materials like asphalt, and then uses the combination to fill potholes and create new roads. Existing road materials can be pricey and repairs are usually funded by taxpayers in the UK and many other countries, so using plastic to reinforce roads doesn’t only reduce plastic waste—it could lowers taxes, too.

2. Triple Pundit: Kraft Heinz released a new palm oil policy, and NGOs are not happy.
Kraft Heinz is worth more than $26 billion dollars, and on Tuesday they announced new efforts to create a more sustainable supply chain as part of its Grow a Better World effort. The company pledged to source palm oil in an “ethical, transparent and sustainable matter” certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Critics, however, would prefer Kraft Heinz and other multinationals focus on finding ways around including palm oil at all, as its harvest substantially degrades the environment.

3. Digg: You can start mitigating climate change. 
For starters, think about how you travel, and opt to ride your bike and walk instead of drive when possible; make better food choices—which for many of us could mean reducing our meat consumption—and pay attention to how much electricity you’re using.

4. DW: A new idea could improve health in Bangladesh by safety recycling waste and improving water sources.  
Today is World Water Day, so consider this: Nearly 1.8 billion people rely on drinking water that’s contaminated with feces, leading to approximately 842,000 deaths each year. In Bangladesh, for example, sludge from home latrines is often dumped into backyards or nearby waterways, which can contribute to the spread of serious viruses and disease. A new study by a Bangladeshi environmental economist proposes a much more sanitary solution—a new disposal system that, for around .31 US dollars per month, collects and transports waste to a treatment plant that processes it into biogas or compost.

5. Fast Company: The first ever World Changing Ideas Award winners are in.
A panel of judges evaluated over 1,000 world changing ideas and named 12 winners and 192 finalists. Each winning project was judged based on its creative problem solving and the potential to change the world. Some winners include edible six-pack rings that would take these deadly bits of plastic out of landfills and the ecosystem; a fruit and vegetable prescription program that would let health providers write prescriptions for free produce for people at risk for diet-related diseases; and an invention called Flow Hive that would help save bee populations by making beekeeping easier for the everyday person.