Academic Research

Reducing landfill, creating recycled materials: Loughborough University develops a new Footwear Recycling system

A newly developed recycling process could make landfill sites filled with old shoes a thing of the past as the world’s first comprehensive system for separating and recovering useful materials from old footwear is successfully trialled. Read more »

Caffeine consumption may slow down brain development in puberty

Humans and other mammals show particularly intensive sleeping patterns during puberty. The brain also matures fastest in this period. But when pubescent rats are administered caffeine, the maturing processes in their brains are delayed. This is the result of a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Read more »

How should we talk about Climate Change? By focusing on “solutions rather than on catastrophic consequences”

With media bias polarising the conversation about climate change into ‘catastrophic’ and ‘sceptical’ camps, new research published in Environmental Education Research, exposes just how important the ways in which environmental educators talk about climate change is in influencing public engagement.

Having identified a perpetual gap between empirical scientific information on the one hand and the way it’s talked about in education and the public sphere on the other, Victoria Wibeck reveals the findings of a literature review examining 92 peer-reviewed studies. Read more »

As much as 50% of all food produced globally goes to waste

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50% of all food produced globally ends wasted

A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has found that as much as 50% of all food produced around the world never reaches a human stomach due to issues as varied as inadequate infrastructure and storage facilities through to overly strict sell-by dates, buy-one-get-one free offers and consumers demanding cosmetically perfect food. Read more »

A model for the UK? Germany invests 1.5% of GDP to reduce the impact of climate change

A new study released by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) provides the first comprehensive overview of how German businesses, households, and government finance renewable energy and energy efficiency. Read more »

With climate change evident across Europe, EEA confirms urgent need for action

Climate change is affecting all regions in Europe, causing a wide range of impacts on society and the environment. Further impacts are expected in the future, potentially causing high damage costs, according to the latest assessment published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) today (21st November 2012). Read more »

‘Risky play’ good for children, says Forest School study

Children are more likely to flourish when allowed to indulge in “risky play” outdoors unhindered by excessive adult supervision, a new report suggests. Education experts spent a year studying a group of 13 children from Meadowlane Primary School in Cardiff as part of a Forest School programme to assess how our woodlands can help their development.

The report concluded that children were adept at policing themselves and were more likely to learn from the environment around them if permitted to play without too much adult interference. Read more »

‘Disconnected children’ mean nature is at risk

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Family feeding ducks and geese at Dove Stone RSPB reserve, March 2011. (Ben Hall rspb-images.com)

The RSPB has developed a brand new approach to measure how connected children are to nature, working with leading academics at the University of Essex. It comes as a result of growing concerns over generations of children with little or no contact with the natural world and wildlife.

The lack of connection to their environment is one of the biggest threats to UK nature, according to the RSPB. Read more »

New report identifies almost 870 million people globally as chronically undernourished

Nearly 870 million people, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012, according to the new UN hunger report released today. Read more »

Clean-tech university start-up wins top prize at Ethical Business Awards

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The Pavegen system generates electricity from footsteps

An innovative flooring system that generates electricity from footsteps and which was dreamed-up in Loughborough University’s Design School, has won its twenty five-year old inventor a top award at Read more »

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