Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Holly Richmond's Posts

Comments

This app lets you narc on wasted energy

woman-camera-phone-shutterstock
Shutterstock

There’s no reason for offices to be lit up all night if no one’s around. If seeing a bright skyline pisses you off as much as it inspires awe, LightsOut will help you channel your annoyance.

The app LightsOut was just born at Boston’s Cleanweb Hackathon earlier this month, where it won the grand prize, so you can’t blame creator Spencer Lawrence for not having a slick, fully functional app yet. (It should be more user-ready in seven months, after help from an accelerator program.) Lawrence, a former energy auditor, and his friend John Massie got plenty of inspiration for LightsOut just by walking around during the hackathon:

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

Apple will now recycle your old products and give you store credit

old-mac-apple-computer-flickr
Luke Dorny

Forget smashing your old iBook Office Space-style. Just send it back to Apple, and if it isn’t ancient, you could get some sweet sweet store credit. Even if it is ancient, Apple will recycle it for you.

Here are the deets from Apple:

When you recycle with Apple, your used equipment is disassembled, and key components that can be reused are removed. Glass and metal can be reprocessed for use in new products. A majority of the plastics can be pelletized into a raw secondary material. With materials reprocessing and component reuse, Apple often achieves a 90 percent recovery rate by weight of the original product.

Comments

Jon Stewart jokes with the EPA’s Gina McCarthy about Texas, burning trash, and his Hummer

gina-mccarthy
The Daily Show

"Are we clean yet?" That's how Jon Stewart got rolling on his interview with EPA head honcho Gina McCarthy last night.

She called climate change her top priority -- “the biggest public health challenge that we face, as well as the biggest economic challenge we face” -- and emphasized that the EPA's proposed rules cracking down on carbon dioxide from power plants will be coming out in June.

“All these regulations put the mom ‘n’ pop oil companies out of business!” Stewart protested.

But McCarthy made the point that avoiding environmental apocalypse does not mean causing economic apocalypse. She boasted that the EPA over its 40 years has cut air pollution by 70 percent while the nation's GDP has doubled.

Watch the whole segment, including Stewart joking about burning things in his backyard, bragging about his "Hummer within a Hummer within a Hummer," and taking a jab at Texas:

Read more: Living

Comments

For cleaner air, plant a tree in your belly button

guys-belly-button-trees

Happy Earth Day! Have you planted a seed in your belly button yet? And if not, why not? Let two dudes in crop tops convince you (green stuff starts at 1:35).

Rhett and Link, seemingly the American Flight of the Conchords, are convinced that “These [trees] are gonna get massive and absorb a lot of greenhouse gases.” Why hug a tree when you could rock it as navel jewelry?

Then things get weird(er). After realizing “We carbon-offset ourselves!” the guys decide that justifies driving separate Hummers door-to-door selling DIY mini coal plants for children. Bizarre, but we can’t resist outfits so clearly inspired by Mean Girls.

And you have to admit, planting a maple sapling in your umbilical-hole is less repulsive than using it to store your barbeque sauce.

Read more: Living

Comments

aw, nuts

Turkey’s nutty green idea for heating its eco-city? Pistachios

pistachios-flickr-madlyinlovewithlife
madlyinlovewithlife

Pistachios may be a lot of hard work compared to Cheetos, but at least their shells could double as heating fuel. That is, if authorities give the OK for their use in a planned Turkish city.

The new eco-city will be built in southeast Turkey’s Gaziantep region, with housing for 200,000 people. The heat’s gotta come from somewhere, so why not from nature’s snack wrapper? Writes Gizmodo:

The region exported 4,000 tons of pistachios last year -- just think about how many shells that is. The pistachio shells could be burned for biogas that is then used for heat, providing up to 60 percent of the city's heating needs.

Here's more background from AFP:

Read more: Food, Living

Comments

When it comes to climate change, don’t think of the children

sad-kid.jpg
Shutterstock

No one wants their grandkids growing up in an apocalyptic world with soup-thick air and crusty land. Making the abstract idea of climate change more personal and immediate is a good way to make people care ... right? But as Greg Lusk argues, the “child trope” -- “Let’s leave a safe, clean world for our descendants!” -- is flawed and not all that effective.

For one thing, this “Think of the children!!!!!” alarmism ignores the fact that kids are part of the problem (see: overpopulation). And for the kidfree, children aren’t exactly a compelling reason to care. Should I ride the bus to lock down a better future for ... my cat’s kittens’ kittens? (If she weren’t already spayed, that is.)

Then there’s the fact that climate change is already happening -- shit’s in the present, not the future! As Lusk writes:

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

Comments

i've got sole, but i'm not a soldier

These shoes are completely made out of recycled trash

recycled-beach-trash-sneakers

Consumerism constantly promises that THIS ONE THINGIE will make you happy or hot or successful. In that moment of swiping your debit card, it’s hard to imagine ever trashing your new panacea. And yet most things end up in the garbage (even stuff that makes a pit stop at Goodwill).

That’s the message behind Everything Is Rubbish, a recycling art project by a trio of British guys. Charles Duffy, William Gubbins, and Billy Turvey wanted to make a statement about the millions of pieces of plastic that end up in the ocean every day. They gathered plastic trash on U.K. beaches, disinfected the crap out of it, heated it up, smashed it into sheets, and created shoes out of it. It's oddly mesmerizing; watch:

So why shoes?

Read more: Living

Comments

The week in GIFs: Mark Ruffalo edition

Mark Ruffalo won our "Who's your fave green celeb" poll, plus we're way overdue to stare at gifs of him.

Power plants lost their legal bid to douse you with mercury:

mark-ruffalo-tongue-13-going-on-30
Tumblr

There's now a gnat named after Bill McKibben:

thats-dope-mark-ruffalo
Tumblr

The IPCC report was censored:

mark-ruffalo-time-bomb

Fracking can make you sick in a number of different ways:

sad-mark-ruffalo
Tumblr
Read more: Living

Comments

People of color contribute least to smog, yet breathe more of it. WTF?

latina-woman-air-mask-flickr-esparta-palma
Esparta Palma

Get a load of this: It’s not poor people whose nostrils get the dirtiest air. It’s people of color -- even wealthy ones.

It’s true, you can’t 1,000 percent separate race and class, but new findings from the University of Minnesota found that race, more than income, determines who smog hurts the most. Writes ThinkProgress:

When low-income white people were compared to high-income Hispanic people, the latter group experienced higher levels of nitrogen dioxide. Altogether, people of color in the U.S. breathe air with 38 percent more nitrogen dioxide in it than their white counterparts, particularly due to power plants and exhaust from vehicles.

Unfair, especially because people of color produce less air pollution than white people (African-Americans, for example, emit 20 percent less CO2 than white Americans). So why is this happening? You know, other than racism? Writes Atlantic Cities:

Comments

sharing is scarring

Airbnb can make your dreams of running a brothel come true

sex-worker-underwear-money-shutterstock
Shutterstock

Thought you were renting your place so an exhausted sightseer could crash? Oh, she’s definitely sleeping ... with some horndog and his hundos.

In an unexpected result of the sharing economy, Airbnb rooms might be replacing NYC hotels as primo sex worker spots. As one anonymous 21-year-old escort told the New York Post:

It’s more discreet and much cheaper than The Waldorf. Hotels have doormen and cameras. They ask questions. Apartments are usually buzz-in.

Read more: Cities, Living