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With Eco-Friendly Jerseys, Major League Soccer Kicks Off Earth Day in Style
Major League Soccer (MLS) is scoring a goal against plastic pollution this Earth Day, with help from a unique, eco-friendly product.
All 23 MLS teams playing Earth Day weekend, from Friday, April 20 to Sunday April 22, will wear special Adidas jerseys made from Parley Ocean Plastic™, an Adidas press release announced April 10.
Parley Ocean Plastic™ is an upcycled material made by Parley for the Oceans, and organization dedicated to raising awareness about environmental threats to the oceans and designing products that help protect these precious ecosystems. Their products are made from plastic washed up on beaches or in coastal communities and then converted into technical fibers that can be used to make shoes or clothing, like the jerseys MLS players will wear this weekend.
"Creating change and playing soccer feels very similar. You strategize, you dive into the game and give everything you have. That's why you never truly lose. You just get better and better. And suddenly victory is yours, as if it is the most normal thing in life," Parley for the Oceans founder Cyrill Gutsch said in the Adidas release.
Parley has designed other innovative products in addition to the Earth Day jerseys, which fans of either soccer or the oceans can purchase from Adidas or the MLS store. On March 31, it released a special version of the Adidas Originals NMD_CS1 design. Parley also partnered with Soma to design a reusable water bottle with a sleeve made of the equivalent of two plastic bottles washed up on remote islands or coastal towns. A limited run of the bottles will be available from more than 5,000 Starbucks in the U.S. and Canada.
Parley's innovative products form the "R" of its A.I.R. strategy for combating plastic pollution—"Avoid plastic whenever possible," "Intercept plastic waste" and "Redesign the plastic economy," according to the Parley website.
"Plastic is a design flaw. We cannot fix it overnight, but we can all take steps to create change," Gutch said in a statement about the Soma collaboration.
This weekend's games will not be the first time that Adidas, MLS and Parley have worked together on behalf of the world's oceans. Last year, New York City FC, Orlando City SC, LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC wore the special jerseys. Parley and Adidas first launched their partnership in 2015.
The MLS, like other sports organizations, has made an effort in recent years to champion the environment. It has been a member of the Green Sports Alliance since 2013 and its MLS WORKS Greener Goals initiative works to reduce the league's carbon footprint and promote environmental causes.
"We're proud to support Parley for the Oceans and encourage the soccer community to create a cleaner, healthier environment," MLS chief administrative and social responsibility officer JoAnn Neale said in the Adidas release.
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Farms with just one or a handful of different crops encourage fewer species of pollinating and pest-controlling insects to linger, ultimately winnowing away crop yields, according to a new study.
Up to half of the detrimental impacts of the "landscape simplification" that monocropping entails come as a result of a diminished mix of ecosystem service-providing insects, a team of scientists reported Oct. 16 in the journal Science Advances.
Monocrop palm oil plantation Honduras.
SHARE Foundation / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0
"Our study shows that biodiversity is essential to ensure the provision of ecosystem services and to maintain a high and stable agricultural production," Matteo Dainese, the study's lead author and a biologist at Eurac Research in Bolzano, Italy, said in a statement.
It stands to reason that, with declines in the sheer numbers of insects that ferry pollen from plant to plant and keep crop-eating pests under control, these services will wane as well. But until now, it hasn't been clear how monocultures affect the number and mix of these species or how crop yields might change as a result.
Aiming to solve these questions, Dainese and his colleagues pulled together data from 89 studies cutting across a variety of landscapes, from the tropics of Asia and Africa to the higher latitudes of northern Europe. They tabulated the number of pollinating and pest-controlling insects at these sites — both the absolute number of individuals and the number of species — along with an assessment of the ecosystem services the insects provided.
In almost all of the studies they looked at, the team found that a more diverse pool of these species translated into more pollination and greater pest control. They also showed that simplified landscapes supported fewer species of service-providing insects, which ultimately led to lower crop yields.
The researchers also looked at a third measure of the makeup of insect populations — what they called "evenness." In natural ecosystems, a handful of dominant species with many more individuals typically live alongside a higher number of rarer species. The team found as landscapes became less diverse, dominant species numbers dwindled and rare species gained ground. This resulting, more equitable mix led to less pollination (though it didn't end up affecting pest control).
"Our study provides strong empirical support for the potential benefits of new pathways to sustainable agriculture that aim to reconcile the protection of biodiversity and the production of food for increasing human populations," Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter, one of the study's authors and an animal ecologist at the University of Würzburg in Germany, said in the statement.
The scientists figure that the richness of pollinator species explains around a third of the harmful impacts of less diverse landscapes, while the richness of pest-controlling species accounts for about half of the same measure. In their view, the results of their research point to the need to protect biodiversity on and around crops in an uncertain future.
"Under future conditions with ongoing global change and more frequent extreme climate events, the value of farmland biodiversity ensuring resilience against environmental disturbances will become even more important," Steffan-Dewenter said.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Mongabay.
Ivory Coast's rainforests have been decimated by cocoa production and what is left is put in peril by a new law that will remove legal protections for thousands of square miles of forests, according to The Guardian.
By Karin Kirk
Greenland had quite the summer. It rose from peaceful obscurity to global headliner as ice melted so swiftly and massively that many were left grasping for adjectives. Then, Greenland's profile was further boosted, albeit not to its delight, when President Trump expressed interest in buying it, only to be summarily dismissed by the Danish prime minister.
During that time I happened to be in East Greenland, both as an observer of the stark effects of climate change and as a witness to local dialogue about presidential real estate aspirations, polar bear migrations and Greenland's sudden emergence as a trending topic.
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market. Cirou Frederic / PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections / Getty Images
Heavy metals that may damage a developing brain are present in 95 percent of baby foods on the market, according to new research from the advocacy organization Healthy Babies Bright Futures (HBBF), which bills itself as an alliance of scientists, nonprofit organizations and donors trying to reduce exposures to neurotoxic chemicals during the first three years of development.
By Kerstin Palme
Creepy-crawlies are among the oldest life forms on this planet. Before dinosaurs ever walked the earth, insects were certainly already there. Some estimates date their origins to 400 million years ago. They're also extremely successful. Of the 7 to 8 million species documented on Earth, around three quarters are likely bugs.
But several insect species could disappear for good in the next few decades and that would have serious consequences for humans.
Volvo introduced its first-ever all-electric vehicle this week, kicking off an ambitious plan to slash emissions and phase out solely gas-powered vehicles starting this year.
The report, released Wednesday, found that almost every European who lives in a city is exposed to unhealthy air, Reuters reported.