The Green Life:

« May 2007 | Main | July 2007 »

20 posts from June 2007

June 30, 2007

What to Watch...

...if you're a travel or nature junkie:
Planet Earth, a Discovery Channel series (on DVD)

...if you're into adventure:
Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog (on DVD)

...if you're all about food:
The Real Dirt On Farmer John by Taggart Siegel (in theaters)

...if you're more of an artsy sort:
Manufactured Landscapes by Jennifer Baichwal (in theaters later this summer)

What are you going to be watching this summer? Tell us your picks in the comments section!

June 29, 2007

Seen on the Screen

Looking for a good movie to watch this weekend? Tune into Sierra Club Radio tomorrow--I'll be on the show talking about some of my picks for enviro cinephiles.

Greens_promo_dolphin And if the kids need something to amuse them, plop them in front of The Greens, a Web-based animated show with eco-themed games and quizzes for middle-schoolers. Sssh, don't tell them it's educational!

June 28, 2007

"Eco-Chic Debunked"?

Sure, juicy cover lines like that sell magazines. But New York's June 18 story on "hacking through the biodegradable, zero-Nymag_covercarbon, ecochic overhype" actually only rains on the parade of four of the twelve products (including a body squeegee and a hand-crank washing machine) they assess. The rest, from poop stationery to soy clothing, get at least grudging--if not glowing--praise from the amusingly snarky commentators. Their back-and-forth banter is well worth a read.

What ecofriendly products or services do you think are impractical, overhyped or just plain lame?

June 27, 2007


Steve Fradkin
Fradkin Fine Construction

As part of our continuing series on green building, The Green Life talks with Seattle-based builder Steve Fradkin of Fradkin Fine Construction:

StevefradkinHow did you get into the green-building business?

When the idea really started to take hold five or six years ago, we were already incorporating some sustainable practices in our operations--separating waste, recycling as much as we could, and doing salvage--and we wanted to start bringing it into the buildings too. A couple of the employees I've hired recently have environmental degrees and they're really leading the charge.

Continue reading "Trendsetter " »

June 25, 2007

Art Crops Up in Kansas

If you like artichokes, figs, honey, almonds--or tequila--you have pollinators to thank for your favorite treats. According to the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC), pollinating animals (mostly insects) "contribute to one out of every three bites we eat" and help 85 percent of wild flowering plants reproduce. Like other wild creatures, pollinators are at risk from habitat destruction and pollution, but bats and bees don't draw the same kind of sympathy as penguins and polar bears.

Crop_art_2To help promote the plight of these small, but essential animals, earthworks artist Stan Herd is creating a living installation (shown here in a preliminary sketch) depicting one of the most charismatic pollinators--the butterfly. The 50-foot Southern Dogface butterfly made out of squash, sunflowers, and other crops planted on a Kansas farm is based on one of four pollination-themed stamps being issued by the U.S. Postal Service this Friday. The NAPPC is providing tips for gardeners, cooks, and anyone else who wants to help celebrate and protect pollinating species. Tequila sunrise (tequila [bat] + orange juice [bee] + cherry [bee]), anyone?

June 23, 2007

What to Read...

...if you want to lay out on the beach and lose yourself in a tale of danger and romance:
The Wild Trees by Richard Preston

...if you're looking for inspiration:
Unbowed by Wangari Maathai

...if you want to revel in wanderlust:
Code Green: Experiences Of A Lifetime by Kerry Lorimer

...if you're itching to pick up a new hobby:
How To Be A Bad Birdwatcher by Simon Barnes

...as an alternative to reality TV:
Better Off: Flipping The Switch On Technology by Eric Brende

What are you going to be reading this summer? Tell us your picks in the comments section!

June 22, 2007

One Ticket for Farmer John, Please

FarmerjohnThe quirky, entertaining, inspiring food flick The Real Dirt on Farmer John has been making the film-festival rounds for a while, but today's show times in New York City mark the start of its wide release this summer. Watch the trailer below, look for the film at a theater near you, and be sure to tune into Sierra Club Radio tomorrow for an interview with the documentary film's star, Farmer John Peterson. I'll also be on tomorrow's show talking about some good green books for summer reading.


Rob Moody
Owner and President
The EcoBuilders, Inc.

Rob_moody_3 Rob Moody has deep roots in North Carolina. His ancestors came to the Asheville area around the turn of the last century, and Moody grew up in the home where his grandfather was born, one of three "Arts and Crafts-style, a little bit Queen Anne, a little bit shingle-style" houses his great-great-grandfather had built for the family in downtown Waynesville.

How did you get into the green-building business?

I studied biology and environmental science at UNC-Asheville, but I also grew up loving old houses because of the ones in my family. About five or six years ago, I bought the house I lived in as a child, and it needed work. I ended up doing those renovations while teaching environmental science, and the two meshed very well. I just fell in love with the whole remodeling process and I came up with the basic philosophy for the EcoBuilders during that time: a marriage of aesthetics, green building, and urban infill. In 2003, I started building my first new construction. It was the first house in North Carolina certified by the state standards for green building, which had started up the year before.

Continue reading "Trendsetter " »

June 21, 2007

Be Wise About Water

Sierra Club organizer Melissa Damaschke of Royal Oak, Michigan, got some great water-saving tips published yesterday in her local newspaper, The Oakland Press. They're not available online (what's up with that, Oakland Press?), which is too bad, because you don't have to live in Michigan to benefit from suggestions like these:

  • "Instead of letting the water run in the sink when you want a cool drink, keep a jug or pitcher cooling in the refrigerator."
  • "Test your toilet for silent leaks, which can waste up to 150 gallons of water a day. Put a dozen drops of red food coloring into the tank. If the dye appears in the bowl...you may need to change the flapper or ball."
  • "Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway."
  • "Your lawn only needs .5 to 1.5 inches of water per week, so put out an empty tuna can to measure how much you need."

What have you done lately to save water?

June 20, 2007

Music to Our Ears

Solio_treadThe makers of the Solio portable charger have a new trick up their sleeves: Now, in addition to powering up your iPod with the rays of the sun, you can protect it in an ecofriendly way too. This cool-looking TREAD iPod Nano case is made from discarded truck tires. (They make laptop cases the same way.) If you've tried one out, let me know how it works.

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2009 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.