Yolanda Crous

Yolanda Crous is a Grist contributing writer based in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Recycle or die!


Last week, David Roberts brought you the Keep America Beautiful Man videos. This week, I bring you ... KABMAN, THE GAME. I came, I saw, and I collected 40 recyclable items on my second try. Top that, Gristiacs.

Travolta strikes again

John Travolta’s private plane fetish brings the noise to a small Maine community

Oh, John Travolta. When will you and your planes stop p$#@ing off the populace? Apparently it's not enough for Mr. Saturday-Night-Give-the-Planet-a-Fever to wander the globe in his private planes, trailing an excess of carbon emissions in his wake. He's also got to land his plane near his Maine residence during the area's voluntary no-fly period between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Come on, John. It's bad enough that you're contributing to warming the planet. Now you're going to keep granny awake in the process? For shame, Vinnie Barbarino, for shame.

Hell hath no fury like a Lohan scorned

On the list of most environmentally unfriendly ways to avenge yourself on an ex-boyfriend, leaving the water in your tub running so it can flood your former squeeze's apartment sits pretty close to the top. But punishment-by-excessive-water-use is exactly what Lindsay Lohan allegedly wrought on Harry Morton last month. This, from TMZ.com:

Bib you hear the one about … ?

The number one craze in Hollywood -- babies. The number two craze -- using your baby to show off your eco-grooviness. According to the folks at Ecorazzi, OopC bibs, made from 100 percent organic cotton, are flying off the shelves and into the homes of such glitter-mamas as Gwyneth Paltrow and Tori Spelling. But, as the site rightly points out, buying a few organic bibs does not a true green celeb make: One new Hollywood grandma who must rename nameless ordered 56 OOPCs -- that's nine for each of her six homes ... Six homes?! Grandma's lucky she chose to remain nameless as we would be quick to blast such excess. Granted, buying 56 organic bibs is a step in the right direction. I don't know. In my opinion, the only way buying 56 bibs is a step in the right direction is if 52 of them are being donated to some kind of mothers-in-need program. But, hey, let me give Hollywood Grandma the benefit of the doubt. She could just be trying to help create an economy of scale for organic baby products.

Shalom, goodbye

This model is no longer untouchable

During college, I went through an ill-advised phase during which I tacked photos of supermodels I was never, ever going to look like on my dorm-room walls. One of my twiggy idols was Shalom Harlow, whom I loved because she a) really knew how to work the red lipstick and b) seemed like the least approachable person on the planet. No longer. This year, not only did she show up on the cover of Domino's Green Issue, she also (as Amanda Griscom Little reported) popped up at the Sundance Channel's Green Party, spouting nuggets of folksy green wisdom, like this one: We have a flushing system at our house where we only flush if it's number two. Goodbye untouchable supermodel. Hellloooooo, environmentally astute woman of the people!

Lame over

The latest attempt to make learning about the environment fun is … not fun

Starbucks and Global Green USA have teamed up to put together a new online game called Planet Green. The objective: Travel around a small town called Evergreen (Get it? Ever ... green ... ha!) looking for ways to save on CO2 emissions. The game reminds me of something that might be produced to teach small children about the dangers of sexual predators or crossing the street in heavy traffic. Well-intentioned, yes. A whole lotta fun? Heck to the no.

Oh, say can UC?

Berkeley students vote on a new sustainability fund

Tomorrow through Friday, UC Berkeley students will vote "yay" or "nay" on TGIF (aka the Green Initiative Fund), a $5 increase in their per-semester fees that will be used to finance "initiatives on renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation, and 'green' student internships." Last year, UC Santa Barbara (my school, fools) passed TGIF. Now Berkeley folks are playing catch up with this incredibly slick online campaign. Most compelling statistic: UC Berkeley uses as much electricity as Cambodia. Video below the fold.

Bush (almost) blows

Our prez nearly made a slip of the plug

The funniest news lede I've read in a long time: Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation. Apparently, our befuddled prez was about to stick an electrical plug into the hydrogen tank of a Ford hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid. This act, if completed, would have generated Hindenburg-esque bad publicity and probably made Cheney our next president. (Eep!) To make the save, Mulally apparently "violated all the protocols," grabbing the president's arm and steering him away from the plug. Maybe that's exactly what Bush needs: someone who's not afraid to step in to steer him away from stuff that's eventually going to blow up in his -- and our -- face. Wonder if Mulally would accept a pay cut ...

How many washed-up reality stars does it take to screw the environment?

According to Ecorazzi, Kelly Osbourne became a mite confused last Thursday night en route to a party for Dita von Teese. Said party was being held at the same venue as Elle magazine's "Green Bash," and the Spawn O' Ozzy ended up on the wrong red carpet. Her reaction when she realized her mistake? "Screw the environment." Get in line, Kelly. Get in line.