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WINDË Power

IKEA makes big investment in wind energy (some assembly required)

Let's hope that couch holds up in a stiff breeze.
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Let's hope that couch holds up in a stiff breeze.

IKEA -- though not exactly a friend to forests, and way too fond of dubious meatballs for our taste -- still wins greenie points for having a Scandinavian way with alternative energy. Ninety percent of its massive warehouse stores will soon host rooftop solar panels, including sunny south Florida's largest solar array, and Brits will be able to buy solar panels in U.K. stores starting this summer. On Thursday, the company one-upped its own clean cred by announcing its investment in a giant wind farm in Illinois.

Hoopeston Wind is the most recent in a series of wind investments by IKEA, including several farms in Canada, where the furniture behemoth is the largest retail wind investor. The Illinois farm will produce 98 megawatts of electricity when it comes online in 2015, or enough to power 34,000 Expedit-enhanced homes. That's more than twice the electricity that all of IKEA's U.S. operations consume, and about 18 percent of the company's global consumption. All of those megawatts will be sold locally, and IKEA will count them toward its overall renewable energy goal: to be totally carbon-free by 2020.

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Walmarts and all

Why you should be skeptical of Walmart’s cheap organic food

walmart_organics
Walmart

Out on the mean streets of the U.S. organic foods industry, Walmart has stepped onto the corner with both guns drawn. On Thursday, the superstore behemoth announced its plan to partner with Wild Oats (which you may recognize as a former subsidiary of Whole Foods) to offer a line of organic goods at unprecedentedly low prices in 2,000 of its U.S. stores. To start, the line will offer primarily canned goods and other pantry staples that will cost as much as 25 percent less than those of other organic brands.

At first blush, this appears to be great news. Cheaper, more accessible organic food -- isn’t that one of the prerequisites for the kind of healthy food system we’ve all been waiting for? The New York Times notes that Walmart’s big move could ultimately create a larger supply of organic goods, pushing down organic prices in the long run.

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No Bunk: Wendell Pierce is the greenest celeb in the game

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

A: C’mon man, it’s Bunk from The Wire, our favorite detective who kept a cigar in his mouth and a “fuck” in every quote.

B. Because he said in The Wire, “The Bunk can’t swim. I ain’t too good at floatin’ either.”

C. Because he’s from New Orleans.

D. Because he cared so much about the food desert problem in New Orleans that he opened a bunch of grocery stores that sell local, organic produce.

E. Because those grocery stores deliver (since a huge percentage of New Orleanians don’t have cars, and the city has poor public transit).

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Munnificent

Olivia Munn wants you to save elephants (and the planet) — send her mangoes

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

You may know Olyvia Munn as the brainy economics reporter in The Newsroom. She also worked alongside the Daily Show’s “sexy news bunny,” Samantha Bee, reporting on oil spills and other not-funny disasters. Or perhaps you noticed her in this great photo of a couple of elephants.

Regardless, you might be surprised to learn that she not only plays a reporter on TV, but she’s playing one in real life, co-hosting the new Showtime documentary The Years of Living Dangerously. The esteemed Columbia Journalism Review calls her “a hidden journalist for a generation wary of reporters.”

That’s right. She’s bringing the cause to the masses, putting the cool in the fight against coal -- and the awesome in renewable energy.

She took off her pants for elephants. She’s cast her ballot for the planet. Now she needs your vote.

Quote: “Solar energy equals more jobs equals awesome.”

Tweet your support. 

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Please give Don Cheadle a fruit basket for being a badass green celeb

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

The question is really "why wouldn't you vote for Don?" Besides being Oscar nominated for Hotel Rwanda and kicking ass alongside Iron Man, Cheadle is a U.N. Environmental Program ambassador. He travels the world raising awareness for climate change, and has lent his hosting talents to Showtime's climate change series, Years of Living Dangerously. If you still have doubts, just rewatch the clip above.

Quote: "It seems like the same people that don’t want to believe in the science believe in science when they need to take a pill or believe in science when they you know want something to work right in their house that’s attributable to other smart people who put that together, but in this issue it’s gotta be part of something else." — Years of Living Dangerously

"Reading is fundamental and shit." — Out of Sight

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Green, Grenier, Greeniest?

Calling on Adrian Grenier’s entourage: Tell Grist that he’s the greenest of them all

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

Grenier's eyes aren't the only thing green -- or dreamy -- about him. The Entourage star is one of the most environmentally dedicated actors in Hollywood. He produced a green TV series called Alter Eco and launched an environmental website called SHFT. The man loves puns and hates climate change. What more could we ask for? Let's hug it out, bitch.

Quote: "One of the things Peter [Glatzer] and I bonded on was our disgust with doom and gloom, preachy green content that was all around the space."

"Environmentalism as a separate category doesn’t work. We need to incorporate sustainable choices in our everyday lives."

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Oscar, schmoscar … Jared Leto deserves a fruit basket

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

What's not to love about a guy whose first thought upon hearing he's been nominated for an Oscar is vegan pancakes? Talented, handsome, and hungry: It's a winning combination. Leto shows his commitment to all things planetary in every way: His band is called 30 Seconds to Mars. He's expressed emotional feelings for Saturn and Pluto. And on this orb, he's done everything from partner with NRDC to pester John Kerry about Keystone XL. Plus, you want to talk about low-impact? The guy stopped eating for his Oscar-winning role in Dallas Buyers Club. This man needs a fruit basket, people! Vote Leto ... or death!

Quote: "It's like, you think ... you're safe or something, cause you can just ... walk away, anytime, cause you don't, like, need her -- you don't need anyone. But the thing you didn't realize is, you're wrong." -- Leto as Jordan Catalano, obviously mooning over Mother Earth

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We love it when he's angry

Mark Ruffalo Hulk-smashes fracking — so give him a fruit basket!

mark-ruffalo-fracking-press-conference-hulk

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

Mark Ruffalo started a nonprofit, Water Defense, to fight everything from fracking to mountaintop removal to deep-sea drilling. He's an outspoken, dashingly grizzled opponent of tar sands. And he's passionate about renewable energy, cofounding an organization to speed the transition to clean energy and calling gas "a bridge to nowhere."

Plus, Ruffalo wants any future standalone film about The Hulk to have a theme as green as the character, so the masses start to get the picture about climate. As he told audiences recently at Sundance, "What we have to do as storytellers is to take science and make it relatable." SWOON.

Quote: "It has yet to be proven that we can frack without destroying our water and air. If it can be done, why aren't they doing it?"

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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.”

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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.

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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. 

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