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  • Curbside recycling is costly and performs poorly on expected environmental and economic outcomes. This raises the question of whether curbside recycling should endure or be eliminated to allow alternative services to flourish.

    • Eleni Iacovidou
    News & Views
  • Conservation basic income provides a model that could improve the well-being of people and nature, but more research is needed on the environmental efficacy and social equitability.

    • Carla L. Archibald
    • Rachel S. Friedman
    News & Views
  • Reducing greenhouse gases can benefit air quality and health overall, but the magnitude and distribution of these benefits remain uncertain. Now a study shows that while air quality gains from carbon policies are widespread, some regions could see pollution increases.

    • Noelle E. Selin
    News & Views
  • Involving locals in marine conservation and management has been promoted to improve livelihoods and marine life. A study shows how community-based initiatives can be designed appropriately to generate desired social, economic and ecological outcomes.

    • Natasha Pauli
    • Julian Clifton
    • Carmen Elrick-Barr
    News & Views
  • Urban water crises are an increasingly pressing challenge. A study now shows how unsustainable behaviour fostered by social inequalities undermines water access and, if unaddressed, may lead to increased vulnerability in the long term.

    • Mariana Madruga de Brito
    News & Views
  • The world’s largest deltas, home to numerous megacities, are expected to bear the brunt of climate-driven sea-level rise. Now, a study shows that disentangling the human impacts on the Mississippi Delta in the past century can help make these systems more resilient.

    • Torbjörn E. Törnqvist
    News & Views
  • Incorporating single atoms into carbon-based catalysts is shown to disrupt their crystal symmetry in a way that improves their catalytic activity. The discovery here could offer a generalized approach for the rational design of electrocatalysts.

    • Gaixia Zhang
    • Shuhui Sun
    News & Views
  • A safe aqueous electrolyte design with hybrid salts and solvents turns a zinc metal anode highly reversible under conditions matching practical operational requirements, paving the way for the future market adoption of more sustainable battery technologies.

    • Vadim Shipitsyn
    • Lin Ma
    News & Views
  • A method for recycling cathodes without fully breaking down the valuable material, and then upgrading it, produces batteries that can provide stable operation at high voltages, enabling enhanced energy-storage possibilities.

    • Gavin D. J. Harper
    News & Views
  • Carbon capture technologies are of utmost importance for the mitigation of climate change. Now, a study shows that all polymineralic rocks, regardless of their composition, can trap significant amounts of CO2 through mechanochemical processing.

    • Ioannis Rigopoulos
    News & Views
  • Our current use of plastics is the epitome of an unsustainable lifestyle with their reliance on fossil resources and their widespread application through single use products that, after use, end up in the natural environment. A study now analyses what it would take for plastics to become a sustainable material.

    • Michael Zwicky Hauschild
    • Anders Bjørn
    News & Views
  • The Russian military invasion of Ukraine has vastly affected freshwater systems and critical water facilities in the country. A study now evaluates the magnitude of the damage and the related environmental and livelihood implications.

    • Stefanos Xenarios
    News & Views
  • Oil palm plantations can supplant once biodiverse tropical forests. As planted areas expand, it is vital to plan landscapes to better balance biodiversity and oil palm production. Strategic ‘set-asides’ offer a key approach.

    • Rebecca K. Runting
    • Jessie A. Wells
    News & Views
  • Afforestation on drylands can help mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration, but the water and energy implications can hinder implementation. A study now investigates the environmental and economic potential of afforestation enabled by desalination plants powered by renewable electricity.

    • Eliodoro Chiavazzo
    News & Views
  • Seaweed farming is gaining attention as a potential climate change mitigation solution, but how to achieve such potential is uncertain given current knowledge and practice. A study now explores how expanding seaweed farming for wider human use could reduce carbon emissions from agriculture.

    • Heidi K. Alleway
    News & Views
  • Regulating the temperature inside buildings takes a huge amount of energy, but this cost can be reduced with a smart, durable building envelope that can adapt to different temperatures for heat loss control.

    • Meiying Leng
    • Yi Long
    News & Views
  • Rechargeable aqueous zinc batteries are promising candidates for large-scale energy storage, but their operation is suboptimal at low temperatures. An electrolyte solution comprising two salts now enables unprecedented battery performance across a wide temperature range.

    • Yanliang Liang
    News & Views
  • Huge volumes of a diverse range of minerals are required to shift the world to renewable energy. An analysis now shows that many of these are being sourced from the lands of vulnerable people.

    • Stephen T. Garnett
    • Kerstin K. Zander
    News & Views
  • Annual grains, domesticated from wild species, have dominated agriculture since the Neolithic. A new study reports how turning to high-yield perennial rice crops could maintain key ecosystem functions while supporting livelihoods.

    • Jerry Glover
    News & Views