Earth Day 2021

On April 22nd 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Spearhead by Senator Nelson, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, the first Earth Day protests forced environmental protection onto the national political agenda and led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passing of key environmental legislation.

Today, Earth Day is widely recognised as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behaviour and provoke policy changes. Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the devastating effects of climate change become more and more apparent every day.

To mark Earth Day 2021, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters in support of this year's theme - Restore our Earth.

Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 2, 19 June 2020
Climate extremes are expected to become more commonplace and more severe, putting species and ecosystems at unprecedented risks. We recommend that rewilding programs can create conditions for ecosystems to endure and recover rapidly from climate extremes by incorporating ecosystem engineers of various body sizes and life forms.
Elsevier, Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 254, 15 February 2021
This short communication describes the climate change impacts of using cellulose, and more precisely cellulosic fiber-based materials, in food packaging, representing current and emerging industrial state of the art technology, without specific reference to current scientific advances. First, the different types of cellulosic fiber-based packaging materials, which can be used to replace fossil-based packaging materials, are presented for flexible and rigid applications. The focus is on technological solutions with packaging properties that enable the protection of commonly sold food products.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 4, 22 January 2021
The upcoming Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) meeting, and adoption of the new Global Biodiversity Framework, represent an opportunity to transform humanity's relationship with nature. Restoring nature while meeting human needs requires a bold vision, including mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in society. We present a framework that could support this: the Mitigation and Conservation Hierarchy.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 305, 1 January 2021
Critical knowledge gaps about environmental fate and unintentional effects of currently used pesticides (CUPs) hamper the understanding and mitigation of their global impacts on ecological processes. We investigated the exposure of earthworms to 31 multiclass CUPs in an arable landscape in France. We highlighted the presence of at least one pesticide in all soils (n = 180) and 92 % of earthworms (n = 155) both in treated crops and nontreated habitats (hedgerows, grasslands, and cereals under organic farming).
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Earth's ecosystems, upon which all life depends, are in a severe state of degradation. The upcoming UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration aims to “prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean.” These Voices articulate why and what action is urgently needed.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Restoring forest cover is a prominent option for climate mitigation. Effective deployment requires knowing where opportunities are and how they vary in carbon capture, costs, co-benefits, and feasibility. Here, we combined spatial, economic, and feasibility analyses to examine 10 different opportunity classes for restoration of forest cover across the contiguous United States. These include non-stocked forests, shrublands, protected areas, post-burn landscapes, pasture lands, croplands with challenging soils, urban areas, floodplains, streamsides, and biodiversity corridors.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Restoration thinking provides a new paradigm for charting a bold future that prevents further loss of biodiversity and habitat destruction, avoids catastrophic climate change, and promotes the well-being and safety of all people. Ten paths guide actions to restore and care for Earth and all its living creatures.
Elsevier, One Earth, Volume 3, 18 December 2020
Rewilding should be central to the massive restoration efforts needed to overcome the global biodiversity crisis and enhancing the biosphere's capacity to mitigate climate change. Key elements include large areas for nature, restoration of functional megafaunas and other natural biodiversity-promoting factors, synergy with major societal dynamics, and careful socio-ecological implementation.
Elsevier, Food Packaging and Shelf Life, Volume 26, December 2020
The recent sharp increase of sensitivity towards environmental issues arising from plastic packaging has boosted interest towards alternative sustainable packaging materials. This new trend promotes the industrial exploitation of knowledge on chitosan-based films. Chitosan has been extensively investigated and used due to its unique biological and functional properties. However, inherent drawbacks including low mechanical properties and high sensitivity to humidity represent major limitations to its industrial applications, including food packaging.
Elsevier, Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, Volume 302, 15 October 2020
Landscape fragmentation and farming can affect the diversity of plants and pollinators harbored by linear landscape elements (LLE) in agroecosystems. To assess the role of these habitats in sustaining plant-pollinator communities, twenty portions of LLE (road verges) were studied during two consecutive field seasons in the Argentine Pampas.