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30 posts from January 2008

January 31, 2008

The PB&J Solution

Livestock create a beefy portion of all greenhouse-gas emissions: 18 percent, according to the United Nations. Could the answer be as simple as two slices of bread and a slathering of peanut butter and jelly? Perhaps. Compared with a burger, this classic sandwich saves as much as 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide, 280 gallons of water, and 50 square feet of land--even more if you wash it down with a glass of soy milk. "You don't have to change your whole diet to change the world," says the PB&J Campaign. "Just start with lunch."

Continue reading "The PB&J Solution " »

January 30, 2008

Media Lounge

Come on in and feed your mind

a book by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder
Sprinkled with enough acronyms to satisfy geeks and policymakers but accessible to the layperson, this roundup of the latest in renewable energy, transportation, and efficiency offers welcome solutions to global warming. The authors highlight innovations such as building-integrated wind power, flex-fuel plug-in hybrid cars, and a "smart" electricity grid that would monitor and modulate energy use--plus consumer tips and hot companies. --Debra Jones

a book by Binka Le Breton
Walking alone on an isolated Amazon road one morning in 2005, the 73-year-old American nun Dorothy Stang was shot to death by hired gunmen. Infuriated by her work to secure small land plots for sustainable cultivation, ranchers and loggers had put a bounty on Stang's head. Extensive quotes from those who knew her help recount the nun's fierce struggle on behalf of the forest and those who depend on it. --Marilyn Berlin Snell

a film by Rob VanAlkemade
Feeling postholiday buyer's remorse? Confess your material sins to Reverend Billy. In this docu-comedy, the pompadoured preacher and his Church of Stop Shopping Gospel Choir sing at the Mall of America, get arrested at Disneyland, and hold an exorcism over a Wal-Mart sign. The real man behind the fake collar remains enigmatic, but his message is clear: Unless we repent our consumerist ways, the "shopocalypse" is nigh. wwjbmovie.com

a film by Daniel Gold and Judith Helfand
When even Oprah is talking about global warming, it's clear the issue has hit the mainstream. So why are so many people still blase about climate change? In examining the causes of this complacency, this documentary profiles some of the people who are trying to wake Americans up, including a government whistle-blower, a ski-resort employee who brews his own biodiesel fuel, and an appealingly nerdy climatologist who's turning science into on-camera sound bites. everythingscool.org

ArrowLet's Talk: Discuss this selection with your friends and neighbors.

The Art of Simple FoodTHE ART OF SIMPLE FOOD
a book by Alice Waters
OK, you've got organic food from the farmers' market. Now what to do with it? Seasonal-food evangelist Alice Waters takes the beginner cook by the hand, explaining everything from boiling an egg to planning a doable dinner party. Her foolproof secret is what made her Chez Panisse restaurant famous: the best ingredients, simply prepared. --Paul Rauber

(The Art of Simple Food cover courtesy Clarkson Potter/Publishers; Everything's Cool cover courtesty City Lights Media)

January 29, 2008

Fast Fact

If each U.S. household installed one low-flow sink faucet or aerator, it would save more than 60 billion gallons of water annually. epa.gov/watersense

January 28, 2008

A Fresh Look at Water

Though water covers almost three-fourths of the earth's surface, we can only drink one percent of it. "It's just a tiny sliver on this enormous globe that supports us," says Eleanor Sterling, a museum curator who's made such abstract facts vividly concrete with satellite images of water's global distribution, dioramas of ecosystems that depend on it, and a miniature interactive river that demonstrates water's power. The exhibit, Water: H2O=Life, runs through the end of May at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

Arctic Blogs

Ever wondered what it's like to live and work in Antarctica? Save yourself lots of time and money traveling that far south by getting the scoop on the following Arctic blogs (As seen on Kottke.org):

Antarctic Journal
Big Dead Place
British Antarctic Survey
John Bean's Antarctica blog
U of Delaware blog
Nathan Duke
Concordia Base
Base Dumont d'Urville
Mr Rose Géophy CZT45

January 25, 2008

Pop Corner

Text-happy teens, rejoice: Sending messages via cell phone is waaay more ecofriendly than using a clunky ol' PC or laptop. (A computer requires 30 times the electricity for the task.) This tidbit comes from Seventeen magazine, which surveyed readers on green topics for an October spread titled "Do You Really Care About the Environment?" The 73 percent of teen girls who turn off the water while brushing their teeth do care, and so do the featured "cuties with a cause"--a group of floppy-haired high school boys who created a charity (relightny.org) that provides low-income families with compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

Movie Friday!

Winter weather getting you down? Escape to the movies with one of our "Film Fridays" selections. Each week we'll feature a movie with environmentally or socially responsible themes that’s currently in theatres or available on DVD.

Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 words or less and we may feature it on the e-mail list!

Thanks to Green Life reader Hema Simondes for today's movie review!

The Future of Food
Before compiling your next grocery list, you might want to watch this eye-opening documentary, which sheds light on a shadowy relationship between agriculture, big business and government. By examining the effects of biotechnology on the nation's smallest farmers, director Deborah Koons Garcia reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: You could unknowingly be serving them for dinner.

If you subscribe to Netflix, this movie is available for Instant Watching on your computer.

January 24, 2008

Fast Fact

Less than one-fifth of obsolete computers are reused or recycled. Find a responsible recycler for your old PC or Mac at www.computertakeback.com.

Daily Tip: Jan 24, 2008

We all turn to Consumer Reports when we are thinking about purchasing a new car or vacuum cleaner, but did you know that they have published a "Complete Guide to Reducing Energy Costs"? Consumer Reports has made an excerpt from the report available on their site, called 20 Free Ways to Save Energy, which include using a crockpot, getting rid of that roof rack, and more! You can read the report here.

Receive these Tips in your inbox Monday through Friday by signing up here.

January 23, 2008

Able Labels

ecoSensitive tagFor savvy shoppers, there's a raft of new reasons to look at labels: REI's ecoSensitive tag (right) ID's clothes made of materials like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo, or recycled synthetics. Stickers on all new U.S. vehicles now estimate the annual cost of fueling up. (In New York and California, they'll soon include information on greenhouse-gas emissions too.) U.K. manufacturers are adding carbon-footprint data to food ingredient lists, and a new California law will require the source of bottled water to be disclosed on the label.

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