San Francisco International Airport Bans Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles

nito100/iStock via Getty Images
nito100/iStock via Getty Images

If you’re planning on flying in or out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) after August 19, don’t forget your reusable water bottle. Starting August 20, the airport will become the first in the country to ban single-use plastic water bottles.

The city passed an ordinance in 2014 stating that no plastic water bottles could be sold on city-owned property, including the airport. Since the vendors have had several years to prepare, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel told the San Francisco Chronicle that there hasn’t been much opposition to the ban. The airport also started installing filtered water dispensers throughout the premises back in 2011—there are now more than 100, with plans to add even more.

The ban does not extend to flavored water or any other bottled beverages, and flight attendants will continue to serve regular bottled water on the airplanes themselves. However, Yakel hopes that this initial phase of the plastic prohibition will prove successful and generate a broader ban. “Our hope is that migration will continue, where it’ll touch sodas and teas and juices and other flavored beverages,” he said. “Will this be the last change? Hopefully not.”

The airport’s master plan is to bring their net carbon emissions and energy use level to zero and eliminate most landfill waste by 2021. To help accomplish this, SFO has asked its vendors to switch to compostable products for single-use foodware, like to-go containers, condiment packets, straws, and utensils. Michael Levine, CEO of Tastes on the Fly, which oversees airport vendor Napa Farms Market, told the San Francisco Chronicle that those new requirements are much easier to abide by than the plastic water bottle ban, mostly because there are more suppliers offering compostable foodware alternatives than plastic-bottle alternatives these days.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, most SFO vendors are still currently selling plastic water bottles, so it remains to be seen how exactly the ban will take effect—if vendors will opt to stock their shops with non-plastic bottles, or if they’ll forgo offering plain water bottles altogether and let travelers fend for themselves. Hudson News, at least, plans to sell water in glass bottles and aluminum cans (which are marginally better for the environment than plastic bottles). As for those who fail to comply by August 20, there’s no definitive penalty plan. Yakel said they’re “hopeful that this won’t be necessary.”

And if you haven’t already, now might be a good time to invest in a reusable water bottle—check out this one, which runs on solar power and reminds you to hydrate.

[h/t San Francisco Chronicle]

Denver's Temperature Dropped a Record 64 Degrees In 24 Hours

Leonid Ikan/iStock via Getty Images
Leonid Ikan/iStock via Getty Images

One sure sign summer is over: On Wednesday, residents of Denver, Colorado were experiencing a comfortable 82-degree day. Just before midnight, the temperature dropped to 29 degrees. Between Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, the Denver airport recorded a differential of 79 degrees down to 24 degrees. At one point on Wednesday, a staggering 45-degree drop was seen in the span of just three hours.

All told, a one-day span saw a 64-degree change in temperature, from a high of 83 to a low of 19, a record for the state in the month of October and just two degrees shy of matching Denver’s all-time record drop of 66 degrees on January 25, 1872. On that date, the temperature plummeted from 46 degrees to -20 degrees.

Back to 2019: Citizens tried their best to cope with the jarring transition in their environment, to mixed success. On Wednesday, the city’s Washington Park was full of joggers and shorts-wearing outdoor enthusiasts. Thursday, only the most devoted runners were out, bundled up against the frigid weather.

The cold snap also brought with it some freezing drizzle which prompted several vehicular accidents, including 200 reported during Thursday's morning commute. It’s expected to warm up some in the coming days, but residents shouldn't get too comfortable: Melting ice could lead to potholes.

[h/t KRDO]

Invasive Snakehead Fish That Can Breathe on Land Is Roaming Georgia

Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Mohd Fazlin Mohd Effendy Ooi, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A fish recently found in Georgia has wildlife officials stirred up. In fact, they’re advising anyone who sees a northern snakehead to kill it on sight.

That death sentence might sound extreme, but there’s good reason for it. The northern snakehead, which can survive for brief periods on land and breathe air, is an invasive species in North America. With one specimen found in a privately owned pond in Gwinnett County, the state wants to take swift action to make certain the fish, which is native to East Asia, doesn’t continue to spread. Non-native species can upset local ecosystems by competing with native species for food and habitat.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division is advising people who encounter the snakehead—a long, splotchy-brown fish that can reach 3 feet in length—to kill it and freeze it, then report the catch to the agency's fisheries office.

Wildlife authorities believe snakeheads wind up in non-native areas as a result of the aquarium trade or food industry. A snakehead was recently caught in southwestern Pennsylvania. The species has been spotted in 14 states.

[h/t CNN]