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Sarah van Schagen's Posts

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Starbucks brews global green-building plan, renovates Seattle shop

Photo: Sarah van SchagenStroll into the newly renovated Starbucks coffeehouse in Seattle's University Village and the décor may feel more familiar than you'd expect. The menu boards are made from the chalkboards you may have scribbled on at nearby Garfield High School; the shelving is from old bleachers you may have sat upon; the leather accents near the bar are from your old shoes and car seats; and the ash-wood community table that stretches the length of the store and patio (one-third of it is outside) is salvaged from a tree that fell in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. It's part of …

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Rothbury Music Festival rocks sustainability mission

Photo: kuba425 via FlickrWhile your standard summer music festival may consider its primary mission to be "rocking out," the Rothbury Music Festival being held this weekend in Michigan states its purpose to be "harnessing the spirit of the music festival community into a durable social movement." Then again, Rothbury isn't your standard summer music festival. The festival organizers consider it a "party with a purpose," and for the most part, that purpose -- as showcased by their greening initiatives and educational events -- is sustainability. Now, this is not to say there won't be rocking out; headliners this year include …

Read more: Living

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Washington Republican helps swing climate bill vote

The American Clean Energy and Security Act (aka the Waxman-Markey bill) narrowly passed in the House late Friday thanks to eight bold Republicans who hopped the fence. And one of them is Washington state's very own Dave Reichert of the 8th District (which includes Mercer Island, Bellevue, and surrounding areas). Some 44 House Democrats, mostly from coal-producing and industrial states, broke party lines by voting "no" on the bill that promises renewable electricity standards, emissions caps, investments in energy technology, and more. That means those eight Republicans who gave a "yay" rather than a "nay" produced the simple majority vote …

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A loo that turns poo into fuel, and more

LooWatt LooWatt, oh baby, me gotta goMeet the LooWatt: a waterless eco-commode made from poop that turns your #1 and #2 into CH4. It's the diaper genie of the sustainability set.  

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Cameron Diaz films eco-documentary, takes on role as planet’s publicist

"How do we make this little planet of ours a big star?" asks actress Cameron Diaz in the cover story of Marie Claire's July issue. "The planet needs a publicist." And this bubbly blonde is just the gal for the job. She's long been an environmental activist -- running around with an MTV video crew for her 2005 show Trippin', which took her to exotic locales all over the world -- but it wasn't until she attended the TED conference recently that she really felt the push to do something a bit more serious. These days, she's doing a lot …

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Beer Soap turns lager into lather, and more

BudwasherNext time you bathe, boys, lager up with a bar of Beer Soap, guaranteed to do a better job of attracting the ladies than, uh, just the beer alone.   (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.)                

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Pacific Northwest says goodbye to salmon, skiing; hello to heat waves

The new U.S. climate change impacts report -- on which we've been reporting all day -- includes some hard-hitting regional data. For example, did you know that annual average temperatures in the Northwest rose about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the last century -- with some areas seeing increases up to 4 degrees? And the rising mercury ain't slowing any time soon: average temps are predicted to rise another 3-10 degrees in this century. That may not sound too bad to those of us craving some summer warmth. But it's scary news if you're a local salmon craving cold water -- …

Read more: Climate & Energy

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Fiber Arctic show ties crafty art to climate change

"Ice Cold" by Kris GarlandPhoto: Sarah van SchagenGlobal warming got you in stitches? Trying to understand all the tightly knit issues by looking for common threads? Weave your way down to Schmancy (part of the "trilogy of awesome") in Seattle, Wash., for an artsy display of embroidery, quilting, felting, and otherwise fiber-fab interpretations of the Arctic's plight. The Fiber Arctic show, on display through July 9, features sculpted icebergs, sequined whales, stranded polar bears, and one very sassy reindeer. Though Schmancy regularly hosts group shows, this one was unique in terms of the environmental theme, offering the artists more of …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Can a lazy environmentalist really change the world?

"You can guilt-trip me and you can moralize and you can gloom-and-doom about it, but there are probably certain behaviors I have that I'm just not going to change. But if you presented me with solutions ... if we can figure out ways to reduce my impact -- that I can afford -- great! I'm going to do them ... I don't necessarily think that's a good thing, but I think that this is the reality and there are probably hundreds of millions of Americans who feel like I do. I'm a lazy environmentalist."-- Josh Dorfman And thus was born …

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Bikers seeking good ride get naked, and more

Is that a banana seat or are you just happy to see me? The best part about World Naked Bike Day: No awkward spandex shorts. The worst part about World Naked Bike Day: No awkward spandex shorts. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.) Photo: Paul-in-London via Flickr  

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