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93 posts from November 2009

November 24, 2009

Bike Fashion Hits the Runway

Bike fashionistas want to look good and go places If you've read our post on becoming a bike commuter or our tips for female cyclists, you're got plenty of practical knowledge about how to incorporate cycling into your daily life. But bikes can be more than just an ecofriendly form of transportation--the two-wheeled wonders are rapidly becoming a must-have fashion accessory and clothing designers have taken notice. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, cyclists need clothing that "moves with them when they ride, protects them from the elements, and doesn't get caught in any of their machine's moving parts."

Beyond those basic requirements, bike messengers and road bikers have always sported signature styles, but now the fashion industry is embracing bike culture too. In U.S. cites like New York, Portland, San Francisco, and even Salt Lake City, models are pedaling or pushing bikes onto the runway to compliment their hip, bike-centric clothing.

Continue reading "Bike Fashion Hits the Runway" »

Fish is Delicious, But What's the Catch?

Sushi.roll Isn't it frustrating when your best efforts to do the right thing are thwarted?

That's what may be happening to customers at some sushi restaurants that are serving endangered bluefin tuna without telling their clientele. Researchers at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics tested the fish at 31 sushi restaurants in New York and Denver; they found that where bluefin tuna was served, it was correctly labeled “bluefin” only 36% of the time. Several times it was mislabeled as another tuna species, or just identified as "tuna." 

It's a tough time to be a pescetarian. According to a Monterey Bay Aquarium report, overfishing is pervasive. Most (63%) of stocks are in need of recovery. Destructive fishing practices like trawling harm the ocean floor. This BBC article from 2006 predicts that if current fishing practices continue, wild fish will be a thing of the past by 2050. Yikes!

Continue reading "Fish is Delicious, But What's the Catch? " »

A Rental Community to Keep it Green

With Black Friday this week and Christmas just around the corner, the holidays can bring out the worst in our overconsuming and wasteful habits. We buy and get gifts, like DVDs, that usually receive more shelf time in a week than actual use in a year. If one of your New Year’s resolutions will be to limit your eco-footprint, one company’s attempt to revolutionize the act of  renting can help reduce waste and save resources while earning you a little extra green.

Rentalic Inc. (pronounced like "metallic"), a company in San Mateo, California, runs a community rental service via an online marketplace. Users can rent out their stuff, allowing renters to avoid spending the full amount for an item they might only need temporarily. The idea is to save or make money while reusing and sharing.

Continue reading "A Rental Community to Keep it Green" »

Green Your Holiday Meals: Decorate Smart

Cornucopia Working up a menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or any of the other upcoming winter holidays? This week’s tips will help you be environmentally responsible while planning that feast.

Tip #2: Think Through the Decor

If you’re shopping for table settings for the big meal, look for organic, reusable linens and cloth napkins. As for the centerpiece, try to go with one that’s nondisposable or edible – such as a cornucopia filled with seasonal fruit and vegetables – instead of flowers. Did you know that around 80 percent of flowers sold in the U.S. are imported from Colombia and Ecuador and contain 50 percent more pesticides than is legal to have on edibles? Just some food for thought.

Tell us: How do you green your holiday decor?

November 23, 2009

Daily Roundup: November 23, 2009

Shukran: Islam is going green. The 1.5-billion-person religion’s “Seven Year Plan” includes greening Medina and the Hajj, constructing eco-sensitive mosques, integrating the environment into Muslim education, and publishing sustainable Qurans. ENN

Melting . . . Melting! New research shows that East Antarctica has been losing large amounts of ice, and since 2006, at an increasing rate. Previously, it had been thought that only the western part of the continent had been dwindling. Treehugger

Gore-y Humor: Al Gore appeared on SNL this weekend to warn that his back-up plan if his educational tactics regarding climate change didn’t work would be “to get a little crazy.” Ecorazzi

What a Croc: A species of crocodile once classified as extinct no longer is. IPS

Paved and Paid: Washington, D.C. is trying to get more cars off the road by paying commuters $2 per day to carpool. Atlanta and L.A. have attempted this too. NPR

--Avital Binshtock

Do Nothing This Holiday Season

Buy Nothing Day Have you checked your holiday shopping list twice? Scoured the internet and newspapers for great sales? Picked out your favorites from this season’s must-haves? Well, you can forget all that this Black Friday.

That’s right. Instead of battling crowds for insane sales, Adbusters’ Buy Nothing Day wants you to stay home and do nothing. The reason? To stop the overconsumption that they claim is decimating the planet.

Buy Nothing Day could be perceived as being a bit extreme. In addition to not shopping, the campaign wants you to turn off the lights, park your car, and shut off all nonessential electronics and appliances. It does, however, help us think about what our lives would be like without consuming anything. Check out the event's Web site to find local events in your area.

--Julie Littman / image courtesy of Adbusters

Green Fashion Monday: A Hemp Sweater

Snowflake.sweaterOn Fashion Monday, we highlight a hip, green fashion item. Got a stylish eco-friendly product to recommend? Tell us about it and look for it in an upcoming blog post.

Winter is upon us, so bundle up! This cozy hooded sweater by Hempest is made of hemp, organic cotton, and soy, and is thin enough that you can wear a coat over it. We like the bold, festive snowflake print and the front kangaroo pocket. It's perfect for hiding your hands in on a cold day. $68.

-- Année Tousseau / photo courtesy hempest.com

The Sierra Club's Holiday Survival Guide

Conversations about being green Thanksgiving is just days away, and that means lots of food, holiday traditions, and conversations with family members you haven’t seen in awhile. It’s a special time of the year, a time to think about what's important to you and what you're thankful for. But it’s also a time when we tend to butt heads with some of our extended family – you know, the ones who think we’re crazy for composting and driving a Prius.

Don't worry about making it through dinner, though. We’ve put together a handy Holiday Survival Guide that provides answers to common questions that environmentalists get asked during holiday dinners.

Have an uncle who thinks environmentalists are socialists? No problem. A cousin who doesn’t quite understand climate change? We’ve got you covered. How about an aunt who thinks coal is so cool that she actually likes getting it in her stocking? Yep, we got that one, too.

After you read the guide, head over to the Holiday Survival Support Group on Climate Crossroads to share your stories and tips.

You can also share the survival guide with your friends and family by sending them a Sierra Club Holiday e-card.

--Kyle Boelte

Green Your Holiday Meals: Go Organic

Organic shopping Working up a menu for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another winter event? This week’s tips will help you be environmentally responsible while planning that feast.

Tip #1: Opt For Organic

We know that organic foods are better for our bodies, but did you know that they’re significantly better for the planet too? Since organic farmers don't use toxins on their crops, they prevent chemicals from contaminating our soil and water, and from harming wildlife. It doesn’t just need to be just the turkey or ham that’s organic; it can be the wine, too, or the vegetables in the side dishes. An added plus: organic foods taste better!

Tip #2: Think Through the Decor

Tip #3: All Those Leftovers!

Tell us: What organic products do you buy?

November 20, 2009

Daily Roundup: November 20, 2009

The Replacements: The St. Louis Zoo installed electronic polar bears as stand-ins for deceased bears. The zoo's last living polar bear suffered from cancer and was euthanized this spring. Inhabitots and Huffington Post

Literary Offsets: A San Francisco bookstore is donating 100 percent of the sales proceeds from Sarah Palin's book Going Rogue: An American Life to the Alaska Wildlife Federation. Ecorazzi

Portrait of the Artist: Jeanne-Claude, collaborator with husband Christo, died in New York City. The art duo produced large-scale environmental installations including The Gates in Central Park. Treehugger and Philadelphia Inquirer

Whodunit? Researchers studying ancient lake deposits have ruled out habitat loss due to climate change and asteroid impact as the cause for the extinction of woolly mammoths. The possibility that humans hunted the large animals into oblivion is still under consideration. Los Angeles Times and New York Times

Chatter: Thousands of emails and documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were stolen by a hacker and posted online. The content of the emails has stirred controversy, and global warming skeptics claim that the correspondence shows collusion and data manipulation. Wired and Examiner

--Della Watson

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