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19 posts from February 2014

February 28, 2014

4 Surf-Filled Films


If the weather is keeping you indoors, and you’re dreaming of a trip to the shore, be glad that the internet is there to whisk you away to sunny beaches with perfect waves. Check out these four surf-themed documentaries to find an escape right now.

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February 27, 2014

Extreme Weather Gardening

Snowdrops break through the snowWinter has not been kind to a majority of the United States. Virtually the entire country was mired in a polar vortex, and now storm after storm seemingly batters the country. On the flip-side, California is stranded in a record drought, which may seem to be less pressing than the rest of the country's problems, but in reality is extremely threatening. One thing that both of these weather systems encourage is extreme weather gardening, which is sadly not an event at this year's Winter X Games. Whether you're stuck in a blizzard or a heat wave, here are some plants and tips that can help make your garden impervious to the elements.

Winter Warriors

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February 26, 2014

Recipe: Chocolate Covered Cherries

National cherry monthIt's National Cherry Month, which means cherry blossom festivals are popping up all over the country, enticing us with promises of sweet, red fruit. If you're like us, and can't wait for the delicate blossoms to turn into edible beauties, then try this recipe for chocolate covered cherries. This recipe was concocted while the author was in college, working with the bare minimum of supplies and a midnight hankering for anything sweet. It has been perfected through annual cooking sessions on February 14th while listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (on repeat). 

Chocolate Covered Cherries


  • 12 oz fair trade organic chocolate (You can choose dark chocolate for a healthy twist.)
  • 12 oz organic cherries (When cherries are not in season, substitute canned ones. Frozen works just as well, just make sure to thaw thoroughly.)
  • Optional: fair trade organic cocoa powder


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February 25, 2014

Buffalo Soldiers and Our National Parks

Charles Young Buffalo SoldierFebruary is Black History Month, a time to commemorate the contributions and achievements brought about by African Americans. If you’ve never heard of the Buffalo Soldiers, their trailblazing leader, or the work they did for our National Parks, then read on.

The Buffalo Soldiers

Made up of the 9th, 10th, 24th, and 25th Cavalries, the Buffalo Soldiers were the segregated regiments of the United States Army. For a time they were stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco, acting as President Theodore Roosevelt’s escort during a visit. 

They served in numerous battles, but the men also did work at some of our National Parks. In 1899, the 24th was sent to Yosemite National Park, where they patrolled and protected the park. The 9th served as patrol in Sequoia National Parks in 1903. It could be said that they “were some of the first park rangers in the Sierra Nevada.” 

In 1904, the 9th was stationed in Yosemite and during their stay they built an arboretum. Major John Bigelow was Acting Superintendent and wrote that the new addition was intended “to preserve not only the trees, but everything that is associated with them in nature.

Colonel Charles Young 

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February 24, 2014

5 Short Eco-Videos to Watch on Your Break

Crash CourseYou have five more minutes on break and you've already caught up on your Snapchats and tweets, what's left to do? Why not watch some amusing eco-related videos in those last minutes before returning to your desk? Some are funny, artistic or even educational, but they are all worth a watch.



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February 20, 2014

Amazing Ways the NBA is Going Green

Basketball goes greenThe National Basketball Association is quickly becoming just as famous for getting bottles in bins as it is for balls in hoops. That's because the NBA has partnered with the National Resource Defense Council to drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the world's preeminent basketball league. From green building to grassroots activism, the NBA is showing initiative in making professional sports a more sustainable venture.

On February 12, as part of the lead up to this month's All-Star game in New Orleans, the NBA hosted a star-studded event promoting cell phone and electronic recycling. Former NBA players PJ Brown and Dikembe Mutombo met fans and signed autographs at the Sprint Store in Harvey, Louisiana. The two former players helped fans recycle their old cell phones and left with positive reviews about the NBA's green initiative. The Times-Picayune quoted Dikembe Mutombo saying, "This is a great initiative to help America go green." Also during this month's All-Star week, the NBA will host a Discover Green event which will feature bicycle-powered cell phone charging stations and simple tips to help reduce your daily environmental impact.

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February 19, 2014

Brewery to Help LA River Flow Free

Los Angeles River with its concrete banksWhile the Los Angeles River won't flow freely with beer, it very well could flow freely because of beer. That's because Golden Road Brewery, a local Los Angeles craft brewery, has partnered with the LA River Revitalization Corps for its newest brew.

Golden Road named their newest seasonal ale the 2020 IPA, in reference to Greenway 2020, a movement spearheaded by the LA River Revitalization Corps with the goal of creating a 51 mile greenway that spans the entire length of the Los Angeles River.

The LA River was channelized in 1935 after massive floods, and since then it has been more famous for movies than its natural features. But the last few years have seen momentum moving towards returning the river to its natural state, turning what was once an eyesore into a place of recreation.

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February 18, 2014

7 Stylish Toxin-Free Nail Polish Brands

Non-toxic nail polishMost of those cute little bottles lined up in your bathroom have a secret: they’re filled to the brim with chemicals. Some nail polish brands have nearly 30 chemicals all combined. These harsh chemicals can not only be bad for the environment, but also bad for you, as they cause nails to become brittle and have harsh fumes. No nail polish is completely natural, but the most important thing to look for are brands that are "3-free," meaning they don’t use toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or formaldehyde, which are all known carcinogens. Some brands also describe themselves as "5-free" when they don't use formaldehyde resin or camphor in addition.

Many of these brands still use other chemicals, so be sure to double-check the ingredients for others that cause you concern. Whether you already have the best of the best when it comes to natural cosmetics or you're just starting to green up your shelves, we’ve rounded up some of the best brands that have dedicated themselves to more natural nail care, so your next manicure can be headache- and toxin-free.

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February 17, 2014

4 Surprisingly Green Presidents

Mt RushmorePresidents Day is upon us once again, a holiday that encourages us to reflect on the legacy on some of our most influential presidents (and gives us an excuse to relax on our federally mandated day off). By the nature of their position, the POTUS has an unrivalled platform from which to dictate policy and enact legislation with regards to the environment. While many presidents have shirked their environmental responsibilities, others have championed our nation's greatest attribute, attempting to ensure its glory for future generations. Here are a few of our most environmentally proactive Presidents. 

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February 14, 2014

6 Ways to Avoid Valentine’s Day

Happy Un-Valentine's Day!If any mention of Valentine’s Day has you cringing and gagging, we understand. All the fluffy pink, sparkly red, and mushy PDA at this time of the year gets to be a little much. Whether you’re a die-heard anti-Valentine’s Day-er at heart or simply feeling tired of all the hullabaloo, you can still have a nice, normal, non-gag inducing February 14. So grab your tennis shoes and get ready for the best un-Valentine’s Day ever.

1.) Go slow cycling. No weird two-seater bicycle needed for you. Pull out your bike or rent one from a shop nearby, and savor a leisurely ride while keeping an eye out for the invasive species (a.k.a. couples) in your path. They seem to be everywhere, but if you cross them, simply avert your eyes and visit your mental happy place. In the blink of an eye, they’ll have passed and the road will be all yours once again.

2.) Find a hidden treasure. Described by its fans as grown-up hide and seek, geocaching is a great way to get outdoors and feel a bit nostalgic at the same time. To geocache, you need a free basic membership from Geocaching.com and a GPS-enabled device. Then you simply search for geocaches near you and head out on your search. Geocaches can hold a number of objects, ranging from only the traditional log sheet to a full chest of treasures. But remember, if you take anything, you’re expected to leave something of equal or greater value as well. Geocache on!

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