Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.

Food

Kashi promises (some) ‘natural’ products will be GMO-free

One benefit of having every food product in existence owned by big corporations? Big corporations are super touchy about their reputations. So when the internet got all up in arms about Kashi’s “natural” cereals being less than fully organic/GMO-free/grown by fairies, the brand (owned by Kellogg Company) announced pretty quickly that it would change its ways.

Climate & Energy

Which banks provide the most support for coal?

A new report looks at which of the biggest banks in the country provide the most financial support for the coal industry.

Critical List: EPA official resigns; skeptics think clouds will save us

Al Armendariz, the EPA official who said he’d crucify environmental lawbreakers, resigned. Two of the last few northern white rhinos on earth have done it. (You know, IT.) No word yet if the pair’s expecting a little rhino, but there’s a video, if you want to see what rhino sex looks like. The National Zoo’s panda bears were not doing it (not doing it competently, at least) so zookeepers decided to artificially inseminate Mei Xiang. They live-tweeted the operation. Now is your chance to check out the blurry pictures. BP’s first quarter profits were down compared to 2011.

Living

This time-lapse video of Yosemite is beyond beautiful

Shawn Reeder, who made this almost mystical work of art, writes: Yosemite, the High Sierra, and the Eastern Sierra are some of the most beautiful places on earth.  Ever since I serendipitously won a trip to Yosemite when I was 18, the beautiful Range of Light has captured my heart and become my home.  Nothing brings me more joy than to share this life changing beauty with other.

Climate & Energy

Wind farms DO NOT cause climate change

A study that just came out in Nature Climate Change found that wind farms can impact local temperatures, particularly at night. Basically, the turbines mix warmer air from high up with colder air closer to the ground. Hence, warmer air overall, in these very local spots. So, of course, Fox News is telling people that “New research shows wind farms cause global warming.” Not to be out-crazied, the Telegraph is going with “Wind farms can cause climate change.” Gizmodo at least uses the word “local” in its headline. But unfortunately such restraint hasn’t stopped the internet from deciding, as this apparently …

Sustainable Business

Budget-friendly hotel chains also have the smallest carbon footprints

When choosing an environmentally friendly hotel chain, the best indicator probably isn’t whether the place asks you to hang up your towels if you don’t want them replaced each day. According to a new analysis [PDF] by sustainability company Brighter Planet, budget and mid-range hotels tend to produce the least carbon per room. Topping the list are Vagabond Inn, Red Lion Hotels, and Red Carpet Inns. Travelodge comes in fourth. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but if you want to aim for carbon-friendliness, budget chains are likely the best option: The top performer in the high-end range, Four …

Living

Multinational food companies sell everything, from polo shirts to tampons

Imagine that this past weekend, you went out in New York City and bought a new pair of fancy Diesel Jeans. Then, because you were feeling good, you indulged in a KitKat bar. You forgot your reusable water bottle at home, so you bought a bottle of Poland Spring. On the way home, you stopped by the Kiehl’s store and picked up some face lotion. Oh, and you were running out of cat food, so you grabbed some Fancy Feast at the bodega around the corner. All of those purchases would have benefitted the same company — Nestle. Nestle doesn’t …

Critical List: Wind farms cause temperature changes; the problem with sardines

Wind farms can lift local temperatures. President Obama made a couple of jokes about eating dog meat at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Eating sardines may not be the best idea for the environment. Germany’s clean jobs initiative is flagging. Cute animal code red! The koala’s a threatened species in Australia.

Climate & Energy

This crazy bill could eliminate Arizona’s ability to do any environmental work

The Arizona House is about to vote on a totally insane bill that could prevent that state from doing even the tiniest smidgen of environmentally friendly work. Solar and wind projects that used a dollar of government funding would be made illegal. State universities could have to stop all sustainability-related research. State buildings wouldn’t even be able to use CFL lightbulbs. The bill, SB 1507, has already passed the Senate, and the House has given it initial approval. The final House vote is coming on Monday. The bill would make it “illegal for any government entity in the state to abide …

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