Fuel Efficiency is as American as Apple Pie and Baseball
Save Our Environment Action Fund launches a multi-platform, multi-state campaign today highlighting the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation’s pending fuel efficiency and carbon pollution standards for cars and small trucks.
The campaign includes a six figure multi-state (Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wisconsin) online ad buy, a first-of-its kind Twitter advocacy campaign, a radio tour and one of the largest teletown halls in history. Watch the ad below and see why the family dog is the only one who opposes the pending standards:
The campaign will be using a promoted Twitter trend and promoted tweets for 24 hours on Sunday, encouraging people to tweet using the #Fuel4Change hashtag to talk about the new standards. This is the first time an advocacy organization has used Twitter in this manner to educate people about an issue and drive people to participate in the online conversation.
“Combined with the first phase, this effort is the largest action to tackle climate change in history, and we want to spread the great news to every corner of the country,” said Mike Town of Save Our Environment Action Fund. “This is about putting more money in consumers’ pockets from the first day they buy a car, creating hundreds of thousands of American jobs, and reducing more than 2 billion metric tons of pollution. We all win when consumers, job-seekers and our environment come out on top.”
Under the new standards, all passenger vehicles on average will get the equivalent of 54.5 mpg by 2025—which means more gas in the tank and more money in the bank for U.S. consumers. This improvement will mean immediate savings from the time consumers buy a car, totaling more than $8,000 over the life of a single vehicle. Moreover, the standards will create more than 570,000 American jobs, reduce oil imports, and curb climate disrupting pollution.
“The administration deserves huge credit for providing the country’s consumers real solutions to high prices at the pump. Consumers can thank this effort for cutting future gas bills in half and keeping more money in the bank,” said Town. “By helping to break our dependency on foreign oil, fuel efficiency is as American as apple pie and baseball.”
The new fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards will:
• Double the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles and cut carbon pollution from new vehicles in half by 2025
• Save the average consumer an estimated $8,000 in fuel savings over the lifetime of a new vehicle
• Save Americans $140 billion in 2030 alone
• Create up to 570,000 jobs by 2030
• Reduce more than 2 billion metric tons of pollution over the life of the 2017-2025 vehicles
Save Our Environment Action Fund is a coalition of some of the nation’s most powerful environmental organizations focused on reversing climate disruption, reducing pollution and creating a clean energy future for America.
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Jean-Marc Neveu and Olivier Civil never expected to find themselves battling against disposable mask pollution.
When they founded their recycling start-up Plaxtil in 2017, it was textile waste they set their sights on. The project developed a process that turned fabrics into a new recyclable material they describe as "ecological plastic."
Mounting Piles of Waste<p>It is not only the streets of Chatellerault where pandemic pollution is piling-up, but also the world's beaches and oceans. Once there, they can take up to 450 years to degrade and disappear.</p><p>Esther Röling, co-organizer of the annual Adventure Clean Up Challenge held on Hong Kong Island, has seen this waste firsthand. In October the sports challenge pitted teams against one another in a competition to remove trash from 13 hard-to-reach coastal areas around the city.</p><p>They find tons of both disposable and reusable masks, said Röling. "You wonder how it ended up there. Was it just thrown on the ground? Or was it in a garbage bag that broke open?"</p><p>Almost 10,000 kilometers away in Antibes on the sunny French Riviera, it's a similar picture. For the past few months, divers and clean-up volunteers working with an ocean clean-up non-profit called Operation Mer Propre have been collecting an increasing number of masks found on land and in the sea.</p><p>"Since the beginning of the lockdown when we started to count, we've reached 800, 900, [and now in total] 1000 masks," said co-founder Joko Peltier. </p><p>According to <a href="https://unctad.org/news/growing-plastic-pollution-wake-covid-19-how-trade-policy-can-help" target="_blank">UN estimates</a>, up to 75% of all coronavirus-related plastic could end up as waste in oceans and landfills.</p>
The Limits of Recycling<p>Yet not all are convinced the recycling of this waste is possible on a global scale. </p><p>"What those citizen groups are doing is really beneficial but once they collect it, it should just go to a landfill or an incinerator. They shouldn't necessarily expect it to get recycled," said Jonathan Krones, an industrial ecologist and visiting assistant professor of environmental studies at Boston College.</p><p>That's because mask recycling programs like Plaxtil are few and far between and most don't have the benefit of a readily adaptable production process. </p><p>Even in countries with solid recycling infrastructure, he says, the system is designed to separate out specific types of waste like bottles or cardboard.</p><p>"I imagine that it would be technically feasible to develop a separation process to filter out masks, but there simply aren't enough of them to make that economical," he said.</p><p>Collection is a big hurdle, he adds. Since each mask only weighs a fraction of a gram and they're scattered on roads or mixed with other trash, it is difficult and costly. </p><p>"You need a lot of raw material of the right quality to make investing in the recycling technology and the recycling system worthwhile," he said.<span></span><br></p>
Hemp, Sugar Cane and Sustainable Alternatives<p>Some projects are instead addressing the material used to make masks.</p><p>French company Geochanvre have created a mask made primarily from hemp, while in Australia, researchers at the Queensland University of Technology are experimenting with a disposable product made from agricultural waste. </p><p>Biodegradable options are exciting alternatives to reduce the fossil fuels needed for the creation of plastic-based masks, said Krones, but they don't absolve the wearer from the responsibility of what happens afterwards. </p><p>Bio-based masks often need their own composing solutions, he explains, because in landfill they can produce high amounts of the greenhouse gas methane when anaerobic bacteria feeds on the organic material. Methane is known to be significantly more potent than carbon dioxide.</p><p>"I think as long as we have in our mind that we want to have disposability, we're going to have to wrestle with a variety of different sorts of environmental tradeoffs," he said, adding that reusable, fabric masks are the best option available to most people.</p><p>Precimask is developing a clear face covering with an optional visor made from hard plastic, designed to be long-lasting.<br></p><p>Air enters either side of the cheeks through a technology normally found in pool filters and car exhaust systems, said company spokeswoman Juliette Chambet.</p><p>"We wanted to make ceramic-based filters that would be washable and cleanable, which would allow them to be reused as many times as desired without having to buy a new consumable or produce waste," she said. </p><p>Ultimately, encouraging mask wearers to think about the entire lifecycle of a mask is key, explains Neveu. </p><p>"We want people who put on the masks to realize that they are also responsible for the waste, he said. "It's not inevitable that this [pandemic] will become an environmental catastrophe.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.dw.com/en/covid-19-recycling-pollution-trash-pandemic/a-55707817" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.</em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649032193#/" target="_self"></a></p>
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