Tyler Falk

Tyler Falk writes about sustainable cities for Smartplanet. He was formerly an editorial assistant at Grist.

the real gooooooooooooooooal

Who would win the 2010 Green World Cup?

The 2010 World Cup is underway! Brazil and Spain may be the favorites, but superstars Kaka and Fernando Torres won’t help their countries score on clean air and low greenhouse-gas emissions as they compete with some of the world’s environmental powerhouses in the bid for the 2010 Green Cup. To celebrate the World Cup soccer teams whose nations are also champions of the environment, I pitted these countries against each other in the World Cup draw. I ranked the teams based on Yale’s 2010 Environmental Performance Index — instead of soccer skills — to find out which countries advance to …

No wall to keep out BP

BP oil spill highlights our broken immigration system

A Health Safety and Environment (HSE) worker collects pieces of an oiled snare boom on Port Fourchon beach in Louisiana.Photo: U.S. Coast GuardFeet in 2 Worlds reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is searching for illegal immigrants among people working to clean up the BP oil disaster. ICE conducted two investigations in May at command centers to check the legality of workers. An ICE spokesperson, Temple H. Black, told Feet in 2 Worlds that no arrests were made, but went on to say that if undocumented workers had been found, they “would have been detained on the spot and …

An inconvenient ad

Poorly timed Sodexo ad boasts ‘safer’ oil rigs [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Only a few hours after I posted this, Sodexo took down the video. Sorry if you weren’t able to have the same WTF?! moment I had, but Sodexo made the right decision. UPDATE: We tracked down a file of the original video for your viewing pleasure. Call it bad timing, tone deaf PR, or just plain dumb, but Sodexo, a “leading integrated facilities management services company” — better known to me as the corporation that provided all my crappy college food — released a new ad Tuesday promoting “safer” oil rigs. Watch the video below (especially nine seconds in): …

Double take

Fast food salads worse for you than KFC’s meaty Double Down

So you’re boycotting KFC because you think its extra-meaty Double Down sandwich (two chicken breasts, hold the buns) is nasty. But you’re running late and need food now. You opt for a healthy option at Burger King — a salad (the Tendercrisp Garden Salad, to be exact). Not so fast, McFoodie. The Consumerist has a list of 10 fast food items that are worse for you than the Double Down, and three of them happen to be faux-healthy salads.   The Double Down’s nutrition line is surprisingly low: 540 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 1,380 milligrams of sodium. Not surprisingly, …

pie in the sky

Bundles of balloons a new form of carbon-free travel?

Move over Balloon Boy. Cluster ballooning’s as real as it gets.Photo: omnibus via FlickrIt’s carbon-free, it flies, and it has lots of balloons. How are cluster balloons not catching on? Well at least one man is getting around the way Balloon Boy pretended to do and the way the old man in UP does. Last weekend, Jonathan Trappe flew “The Spirit Cluster” — 57 helium-filled balloons and a small harness — 109 miles in 14 hours above his home state of North Carolina, AOL News reports. “Flying a gas balloon is unlike any other experience. There is no sound. No …

Circle of live(savers)

Wal-Mart stores are littered with wasteful products this month

This month, in honor of Earth Day, Wal-Mart is selling garbage next to the garbage already on the shelves. The only difference is that these new products have been reincarnated into useful items thanks to the upcycling company TerraCycle. Until April 29, these kites, pots, and bags made from waste are being sold right next to the products they come from. For example, this Oreo-branded backpack is on sale next to boxes of real Oreos:               As an added bonus, some kids might even pick up the backpacks thinking they’re full of Oreos. (The …

scrap that

McDonald’s scraps composting program because food won’t decompose [April Fools]

A McDonald’s composting initiative is going to the dump.Photo: bhamsandwich via Flickr UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day! We’ve pulled your leg. Look who else is laughing: McDonald’s on Twitter. McDonald’s announced this morning that it would discontinue plans for a worldwide composting initiative after scientists confirmed that no item on the McDonald’s menu is compostable. The plan to keep food waste — more than 1.5 billion tons a month — out of landfills would have been the largest composting program in the world, with bright green composting bins at all the 31,000-plus restaurants around the world. But McDonald’s halted the …

holy chow

Have Jesus’ disciples been overeating?

Leonardo da Vinci’s 1498 painting of The Last Supper.Photo: Drewwiki via Wikimedia Commons In a strange study published this week by the International Journal of Obesity, professors found that portion sizes in artistic renditions of The Last Supper increased dramatically in the past 1,000 years, the L.A. Times reports. The study, conducted by brothers Brian and Craig Wansink, looked at 52 artistic versions of The Last Supper created between 1,000 and 2,000 A.D. The finding: portion sizes of entrees of Jesus’ disciples grew by 70 percent and the bread size grew by 30 percent. Even the size of the plates …

one-night (climate) stand

Celeb couple awkwardly asks you to dim the lights for Earth Hour

On Saturday at 8:30 p.m. local time (wherever you are) join 30 U.S. states, 3,100 U.S. cities, 121 countries, and celeb couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen (in both their homes), by turning off your lights for World Wildlife Fund’s 4th annual Earth Hour. And what a more inspiring couple to promote the event than the two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback (who looks like he was trapped in the corner of his kitchen) and his supermodel wife? Watch the videos below (and check out Brady’s heavy-handed cover-up 17 seconds in):   OK, maybe not the most inspiring, but who really …

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