OSU Studies if Cleaner Beaches Would Help Americans

Cleaning up beaches could boost local economies in addition to preserving natural treasures and animal habitats.

In southern California’s Orange County alone, the economic benefits of beach cleanup could range from $13 per resident in a three-month period if debris were reduced by 25 percent to $42 per resident with a 75 percent drop in plastics and other trash along the oceanfront, according to a new study. That could mean up to a $46 million boost to the county’s economy in just one summer.

This is the first study to compare the amount of ocean debris with the behavior of beachgoers and to calculate an economic benefit to cleaning up those beaches, said Tim Haab, a professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at The Ohio State University.

To come up with an estimated benefit, Haab and his co-authors embarked on a two-part study, which appears online in the journal Marine Resource Economics. The work was done in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine debris program.

OSU Researches Study Where and When People “Clean Their Plates”

When people eat at home, there’s typically not much left on their plates – and that means there’s likely less going to landfills, according to new research from The Ohio State University.

The same people who on average left just 3 percent of their food on their plates when choosing their own meals left almost 40 percent behind when given a standard boxed-lunch type of meal. Plate waste at home was 3.5 percent higher when diners went for seconds (or thirds).

What we leave behind on our plates is the primary focus of efforts to reduce food waste, and this study shows that it’s potentially more important to concentrate on other conservation measures at home, including using up food before it spoils, said Brian Roe, the study’s lead author and a professor of agricultural, environmental and development economics at Ohio State.

Prior research typically has focused on “plate waste” in settings such as school cafeterias and buffets and has found much greater waste — from about 7 percent at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet to 18 percent waste of French fries at an all-you-can-eat university dining hall.

The new study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, is the first of its kind to follow adult eaters through their normal day-to-day eating patterns, said Roe, who leads the Ohio State Food Waste Collaborative.

OSU Involved New Cardiac Care Protocol

More people are walking away from a type of cardiac arrest that is nearly always fatal, thanks to a new protocol being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. It’s called an ECPR alert.

Ohio State cardiologists work in conjunction with Columbus Division of Fire to implement this novel pre-hospital life support protocol that has limited availability in the U.S.

Currently, only about 10 percent of people survive a sudden cardiac arrest that happens in the field – even fewer survive with normal neurologic function. The ECPR alert is designed to change those numbers.

Columbus EMS personnel follow their protocol for ventricular fibrillation. If the patient remains in this rhythm after three defibrillation attempts, they call an ECPR alert to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Medics put a mechanical CPR device on the patient for transport straight to the cardiac catheterization lab where a team is assembled and waiting.

Once in the cath lab, the patient is put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which takes over the functions of the heart and lungs. The new system worked for 68-year-old Mark Bradford of Columbus. He collapsed while on his morning walk and woke up days later after treatment in the hospital.

OSU Goes Greener

The Ohio State University today joined the newly launched University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3, an alliance of 13 leading North American research universities that will create a collaborative model to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future.

In launching UC3, an initial group of universities from the United States, Canada and Mexico has committed to mobilize their resources and expertise to accelerate local and regional climate action in partnership with businesses, cities and states. All UC3 members have pledged to reduce their institutional carbon footprints, with commitments ranging from making more climate-friendly investments to becoming operationally carbon neutral.

In 2015, Ohio State established strategic sustainability goals to guide the university into the future in its core areas of collaborative teaching, pioneering research, comprehensive outreach and innovative operations. Specific to Ohio State’s carbon footprint is a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and another to reduce total campus building energy consumption by 25 percent by 2025.

In pursuit of its carbon-neutrality goal, the university has reduced its emissions by 4.8 percent since 2015, despite increasing student enrollment of nearly 2 percent during the same time frame. In addition to energy efficiency measures implemented across the university, renewable wind energy accounts for 20 percent of the university’s total purchased electricity.