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Holly Richmond's Posts


Your plastic garbage is killing whales

Kelly B.

Whales are eating plastic trash, dying, and washing ashore. It happened this summer in the Netherlands (technically the whale got stranded and THEN died); it happened this spring in Spain. Here are the guilt-inducing, gory details of the latter:

Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes for the European market. The rest was plastic bags, nine meters of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flowerpots, and a plastic spray canister. Cause of death was intestinal blockage.

A WORLD OF UGH. We don’t know the details of what the dead whale in the Netherlands swallowed, but we know there was plastic in there, so you can bet it’s more of the same: stuff we buy and throw away. And it doesn’t even take much -- a 20-year-old Cuvier’s beaked whale died in 2006 after eating a single plastic bag. Marine creatures and birds get hoodwinked by plastic bags because they look like squid and jellyfish.

Read more: Living


Beer makes turkeys, like everything else, way better


Did you know that people feed turkeys beer to make them juicier, fatter, and just way more awesome?! Makes you wonder who is watching us guzzle craft brews while strapping on a bib and cartoonishly rubbing their hands together (aliens, probably).

OK, so maybe there are not a ton of people on board the beer-turkey train (yet), but turkey farmer Joe Morette is happy to be the conductor, if you will. He found out in 1993 that there’s no use crying over spilled beer -- because turkeys will lap it up and then get ginormous! Really puts the “laughter” in “slaughter,” doesn’t it?!

Read more: Food


Frozen produce is more nutritious than fresh, says oddly convincing video


It would be nice if we could all lie with our mouths to the ground, chomping on fresh potatoes the second they emerge from the dirt (that’s how plants grow, right? I’m a little rusty). But since we’re, like, BUSY and stuff, buying fresh produce at the grocery store is almost as good, right? Certainly better than that freezer-burned stuff in the same aisle as ice cream and Hot Pockets (GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION).

This video thinks not. In fact, Asap Science makes a pretty compelling case for frozen fruits and veggies over “fresh” ones in the produce aisle -- namely, that they’re picked (and frozen) at the peak of freshness with lots o’ vitamins intact, as opposed to the green bananas that are picked pre-ripe and flown across the world. Then they sit in our grocery stores, and then they sit in our kitchens, and maybe 12 years after they were originally picked, we eat them.

See if you’re convinced:

Read more: Food


The week in GIFs: Cows, coffee, and Christie

Welp ... at least this week's almost over. (Last week: water, water everywhere.)

The media is fawning over newly reelected Chris Christie -- but he ain't that green:

Read more: Living


Australia quarantines Katy Perry’s new album as a biohazard

Ryan McGinley

First Katy Perry slaughtered our ears with the radio hit “Unconditionally,” a song that takes putting the emPHAsis on the wrong sylLABle to new lows.

Now the Queen of Bland Pop is taking a shit on Australia’s invasive species problem (unwittingly, one assumes) with her latest album, Prism. The album artwork is made of plantable seedpaper, which is a cute idea -- you can bury the album, just like you ought to, and something will spring from it that's actually useful! -- but Australian officials are understandably squirrely about importing things like seeds. Accordingly, they've echoed the sentiments of music fans everywhere by declaring the album a biohazard.

Read more: Living


Africa’s first fair-trade clothing company is a huge deal

Glenna Gordon

Chid Liberty’s first radical choice was hiring women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s to sew in his garment factories. But he didn’t realize it was radical until later, when he found out that -- as with modeling or gymnastics -- developing-world seamstresses are considered ancient by their mid- to late-20s. When Liberty hired older women, his trainer complained that he might as well fire them all.

Liberty's second radical choice was not only keeping the women on, but investing in their success. Fast Co. has the story of how his worker-focused company is changing the game:

Liberty and Justice, the company [Chid Liberty] co-founded with Adam Butlein in 2010, is now Africa’s first fair-trade-certified apparel manufacturer, making tops and bottoms for brands like Prana, FEED Projects, Haggar, and other large buyers in the U.S. The workers at the company's factories in Liberia and Ghana are 90% female, and paid 20% higher wages than their peers on average. Together, the employees also own a 49% stake in the enterprise, while L and J’s 51% gets channelled back into community development.


Now you can go skiing on top of a trash incinerator


In a move that makes power plants everywhere look lame, Copenhagen is creating a dual-purpose trash incinerator/winter wonderland. Because nothing says Christmas like the smell of pine needles, hot chocolate, and burning trash!

Writes Wired:

Technically, it’s designed to turn garbage into energy via a potent incinerator, but starting in 2017, winter visitors will be able to ride an elevator up the corner and emerge into a snowy wonderland. At the top of the 280-foot-high roof-turned-slope, skiers will be able to zip through a landscape of pine trees (and air vents that double as quarter pipes).

Burnin’ rubber on AND off the slopes, amirite?! Here’s the breakdown on the plant:

Read more: Living


Here’s what happens when a baby elk gets on a trampoline

A Colorado couple was sipping their morning cup o’ joe when a baby elk made its way onto their trampoline to eat some snow. You can hear the couple's commentary in this video -- don't worry, when they talk about "shooting him," they are just planning on killing and eating him. I mean IT. (Never humanize them, Holly. That's the first mistake.) But it's hard to tell what the elk thought about the experience. Luckily, I speak elk. Translation after the jump:

Read more: Living


Check out this edible stairway to heaven (or at least lunch)


British designer Paul Cocksedge has designed our dream staircase -- a spiral stair planted with edible herbs and teas -- but we had a hard time focusing on it because we have the maturity of 13-year-olds and his name is "Paul Cocksedge."

Cocksedge created said edible staircase for Ampersand, a “creative office development” in London. According to Dezeen:

"The Living Staircase is actually a combination of staircase and room, of movement and stillness, vertical and horizontal," said Cocksedge.

Dezeen clearly edited out the part where Cocksedge scowled, “STOP GIGGLING about my last name.” Clearing his throat, he resumed a professional air:

Read more: Living


This ridiculous luxury bike costs more than your car

Grégoire Alexandre

Hermès, purveyor of expensive scarves advertised in Vogue, is making sustainability seem even MORE elitist by launching a $11,200 bike. What makes it “worth” that much (other than brand perception and a status-obsessed culture, you mean)? Here’s a rundown:

  • Lighweight carbon fiber frame
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • Bull calf leather seat, handles, and luggage rack
  • Knowledge that you’re better than everyone else

As Hermes “Horizons Director” Francois Dore says in the following video, “Zees bicycle has been designed targeting ze people who really want to have an easy life.” With its tinkling French music, this video seems like a parody, but I guess it’s for real?