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Gisele Bundchen is a model green citizen, and she deserves fruit for it

We're on a quest to give your favorite celeb a fruit basket for supporting green causes. Here's why you should vote for Gisele Bundchen.

Listen: she's literally an angel -- as her job. As one of the* top-paid supermodels of all time, she makes her three-time Super Bowl-winning husband look like an underachiever. And she doesn't just use her unreasonably good looks to sell $50 push-up bras -- she's been bringing attention to myriad environmental causes through her work as a United Nations environmental ambassador. As one of the beautiful faces of the Think.Eat.Save campaign, she raised awareness of the worldwide problem of food waste. She's just joined the Rainforest Alliance Board of Directors, and has joined Al Gore in speaking out on the importance of global sustainable energy. She also stars as leader of The Green Team, a crew of cartoon women who are saving trees in form-fitting outfits.

But Bundchen is also famously devoted to an entirely organic lifestyle for herself and her genetic powerhouse of a family, and anyone who's been driven to tears at a Whole Foods (just us?) knows that runs into money -- so she really needs that fruit basket to feed her children!

Quote: "My kids eat what I eat. The first solid food my son had was papaya and then avocado.”

Tweet your support.

Correction: While Gisele Bundchen has been the highest paid supermodel in the world for the past 10 years, our staff cannot confirm that she's the highest paid of all time. This correction is DEFINITELY NOT the result of a physical threat from Naomi Campbell.

Read more: Uncategorized

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Star Fruit

Which green celeb should win our super-delicious fruit basket?

Grape expectations.

Let's hear it for green celebrities: They sneak sea-level rise into talk-show chats. When they get arrested at the White House, the hotness quotient of Keystone XL protesters goes through the roof. They dig deep into the couch cushions and donate to climate causes instead of buying another hydrofoil (call us, Leo!). A few even make the ultimate sacrifice: taking their clothes off for the planet. Bless them and their perfect bodies. 

Read more: Uncategorized

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At-risk cities hold solutions to climate change

miami-wave
Ines Hegedus-Garcia

It is already taking shape as the 21st century urban nightmare: A big storm hits a city like Shanghai, Mumbai, Miami, or New York, knocking out power supply and waste treatment plants, washing out entire neighborhoods, and marooning the survivors in a toxic and foul-smelling swamp.

Now the world's leading scientists are suggesting that those same cities in harm's way could help drive solutions to climate change.

A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), obtained by the Guardian, says smart choices in urban planning and investment in public transport could help significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions, especially in developing countries.

The draft is due for release in Berlin on Sunday, the third and final installment of the IPCC's authoritative report on climate change.

"The next two decades present a window of opportunity for urban mitigation as most of the world's urban areas and their infrastructure have yet to be constructed," the draft said.

Read more: Cities, Climate & Energy

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El Niño could raise meteorological hell this year

lighthouse
Shutterstock

It's more likely than not that El Niño will rise from the Pacific Ocean this year -- and some scientists are warning that it could grow into a bona fide monster.

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center put out a bulletin Thursday saying there's a greater than 50 percent chance that El Niño will develop later this year. Australian government meteorologists are even more confident -- they said earlier this week that there's a greater than 70 percent chance that El Niño will develop this summer.

Not totally clear on what this El Niño thing even is? Andrew Freedman explains at Mashable:

Read more: Climate & Energy

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These stylish fair-trade clothes support at-risk women

Raven + Lily

Think of Raven + Lily as the anti–Forever 21. Rather than making new gewgaws outta plastic, the sustainable clothing company upcycles materials like bullet casings (!) and silver coins. Plus, it pays a fair wage to HIV-positive women and victims of sex trafficking, abuse, and other trauma. (Its prices also set it apart from Forever 21, although they’re far from Prada-high.)

And unlike Forever 21, you can actually feel good about wearing things from Raven + Lily, instead of slightly nauseated and wondering if those burned-smelling jeans are making you sick. Raven + Lily offers healthcare along with a safe job so women in Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, and the U.S. can get a leg up out of poverty. Its Kenya Collection, for instance:

Features hand-carved wooden and beaded jewelry that empower women from the Esiteti community to eradicate female genital mutation, as well as to be the first generation to send girls to school.

Awesome, right? The company is careful to make the best use of local resources, investigating what fabrics and materials local women have access to and where their design skills lie. This video explains more about the bullets-to-beads story and turning conflict into art:

Read more: Living

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Weather-related blackouts in U.S. doubled in 10 years

storms and the power grid
Shutterstock

The current U.S. electrical grid is a far cry from smart. Climate change and aging infrastructure are leading to an increasing number of blackouts across the country.

A new analysis by the nonprofit Climate Central found that the number of outages affecting 50,000 or more people for at least an hour doubled during the decade up to 2012.  Most of the blackouts were triggered when extreme weather damaged large transmission lines and substations. Michigan had the most outages, followed by Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Click to embiggen.
Climate Central
Click to embiggen.

Severe rainstorms, which are growing more tempestuous as the globe warms, were blamed for the majority of the weather-related outages.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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The week in GIFs: Raising our eyebrows

The week's green news has us skeptical, judgmental, and just plain confused. (Last week: genies, junk, and Mary Jane.)

Only 28 percent of Fox's climate segments are accurate:

judging-you-anderson-cooper
Tumblr

Ohio cracked down on pollution from fracking:

brad-pitt-shit-yeah
Reaction Gifs
Read more: Living

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Salamanders are doing their best to stave off climate change

salamander
Bill Bouton

If we can't get through to Republicans, at least we have one slimy little crawler* that's helping to mitigate climate change. A new study indicates that woodland salamanders help keep carbon out of the atmosphere, thanks to their diet of insects that feed on dead leaves.

Here's how it works: Salamanders eat mostly "shredding invertebrates," bugs that survive by ripping leaves to pieces and eating them. Shredding the leaves releases their carbon into the atmosphere -- but when there are fewer shredding invertebrates, leaves stay on the ground and decompose, with their carbon eventually being absorbed safely into the soil. By eating the shredders, salamanders help carbon be directed into the ground and not into the air.

Read more: Climate & Energy

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GMO labeling would be outlawed by new bill in Congress

GMO labeling march
mikescottnz

State-led efforts to mandate GMO labels are blossoming like a field of organic tulips, but members of Congress are trying to mow them down with legislative herbicide.

Maine and Connecticut recently passed laws that will require foods containing GMO ingredients to be clearly marked as such -- after enough other states follow suit. And lawmakers in other states are considering doing the same thing. The trend makes large food producers nervous -- nervous enough to spend millions defeating ballot initiatives in California and Washington that also would have mandated such labels. They worry that the labels might scare people off, eating into companies' sales and profits.

So a band of corporate-friendly members of Congress has come riding in to try to save the day for their donors. A bipartisan group led by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) has signed onto legislation introduced Wednesday that would run roughshod over states' rules on GMO labels. Reuters reports:

The bill, dubbed the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act," was drafted by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, and is aimed at overriding bills in roughly two dozen states that would require foods made with genetically engineered crops to be labeled as such.

The bill specifically prohibits any mandatory labeling of foods developed using bioengineering.

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The future of genetically modified plants could include potatoes with tiny hamburgers in the middle

hamburgato

io9 has a roundup of where genetically modified plants could be going in the next few generations, and it's a heck of a lot weirder than tomatoes with fish genes. Writer Daniel Berleant envisions oak trees that reproduce via spores and wheat that can fix nitrogen in the soil as well as beans, but shit gets really wacky when he starts talking about modifications that would make produce taste better. Here are some of his weirdest visions for the future of food:

Hamburgatoes: If you can make Quorn, a fungus that tastes like chicken, why can't you make carrots that taste like potato chips, or "potatoes with small hamburgers in the middle"? Presumably this means a small amount of potato-based matter that tastes and behaves like hamburger, but I'm preferring to envision cutting open a potato to find a fully dressed burger on a bun.

Read more: Food