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Darby Minow Smith's Posts

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The Jersey Shore's Snooki and her five eco-snafus

Hey Snooks, listen up. I have something green to say.Photo: Wikipedia commonsOh, Jersey Shore. After a long day dealing with the scary realities of the world, I crave this divorced-from-reality show. Curling up with some DIY Junk Food and DUI junk television helps me take my mind off downers like global warming and Sarah Palin as president. It's mindless television, but that doesn't stop my mind from wandering and starting to apply green values to the show. (Pesky noggin, I wanted to relax!) Short in stature, but never in spirit (or spirits), Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is my favorite cast member. …

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Composting 101 for citydwellers [SLIDESHOW]

A well-taken care of worm bin can evade even the most sensitive, persistent noses.Photo courtesy Elle-Epp via FlickrAs Tom Philpott wrote in the introductory essay to Grist's Feeding the City series, urban agriculture took a huge hit once combustible-fuel machines replaced horses -- and horse manure -- as the vehicle of choice in cities. Farms need fertilizer, and it's more efficient to grow where the sources of it live and poop.  However, every day city dwellers throw away huge amounts of organic matter that could be turned into that precious material -- through composting. Yard trimmings and food scraps make …

Read more: Food, Living

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Sustainable seafood takes center stage at Seattle dinner theater

Servers and stowaways at Bounty!Photo: Amani Ellen LoutfyAt Seattle's Café Nordo, the wait staff quotes Jack London, the soup is served from fish tanks, and there's enough alcohol to ease the pain of the BP oil spill momentarily. Nordo's odd coupling of an oceanic musical production, "Bounty! An Epic Adventure in Seafood," with a five-course sustainable seafood dinner is the group's second, largely successful, venture into the world of dinner theater. The theater aspect of the production -- tables are set in a makeshift ship in which vivacious sailors go from hoisting sails to serving food -- involves stowaways and …

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A new café owner forages and finds a fresh take on sustainability

From activists to politicians, everybody loves to talk about the promise of green jobs. But in reality, who the heck actually has a green job, and how do you get one? In our new column, "I Have a Green Job," Grist will be regularly profiling one of the lucky employed who has landed a job in the new green economy, or a green job in the old economy. Know someone with a green job and a good story? Tell us about them! A lemongrass elk meatball sandwich at Nettletown.Photo courtesy Christina ChoiThe newly opened Seattle café Nettletown sources ingredients from …

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Whales bring up the rear in the fight against oceanic acidification

Photo courtesy nestor galina via FlickrAnti-whaling advocates can take a giant load off their shoulders. An article on Treehugger shares yet another reason not to whale on whales: They crap ecosystem gold. Ocean acidification, caused by seawater absorbing too much carbon dioxide, is a major problem facing marine ecosystems. As water's pH drops, so does aquatic organisms' ability to photosynthesize and absorb nutrients. One geoengineering quick fix is to plunk iron into the ocean, fertilizing the entire food chain and encouraging marine plant growth. But holy crap -- researchers recently discovered that when whales eat iron-rich krill, they naturally fertilizer the …

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Climate change denier Lord Monckton tries on a new conspiracy theory

Monckton at the Copenhagen climate talks. Photo courtesy Matthew McDermott via FlickrInfamous climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton briefly fixated on another googly-eyed theory at a Tea Party event yesterday. In his speech, Monckton made the tea baggers choke by joking, "America! Land of opportunity! You can be born in Kenya and end up as president of the United States!" After calling climate activists "Hilter Youths" at the Copenhagen Climate Talks, it's no surprise that Monckton would affiliate himself with a party known for brandishing posters of Obama as the Führer. And Monckton did, after all, make his name (and …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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A Seattle chef proves that traditional sushi and healthy oceans go hand-in-chopstick

Scallop and dungeness crab salad wrapped in prosciutto topped with lumpfish caviar and avocado: A Hajime creation. Photo by Phu Son Nguyen of sushiday.comGrowing up in small-town Montana, two things just made no sense: vegetarians and sushi. Why eat tofu, or raw fish, when you could just as easily have a big juicy steak? Coming from generations of cattle rancher stock, I read Jonathan Safran Foer's ringing defense of vegetarianism, Eating Animals, with trepidation. But the only beef I ended up having with Foer was that he ruined my ability to enjoy the raw and the rolled -- right after …

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Greenpeace calls on world leaders to stop rainforest destruction

Photo courtesy Greenpeace International via FlickrLast week, Greenpeace activists blocked rainforest destruction in Indonesia's Kampar Peninsula by chaining themselves to excavators. Activists then draped a bright red "Obama You Can Stop This" banner over the destruction and called on the world's leaders to stop deforestation at next month's climate talks in Copenhagen. The protest came days before President Obama's scheduled visit to Asia, and Greenpeace criticized Obama for not taking a more active role: "With just weeks left before December's critical U.N. climate summit, his administration is actively undermining and stalling the climate change negotiations." The "Obama You Can Stop …

Read more: Climate & Energy