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Grist List: Look what we found.


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Tattoos are decidedly NOT vegan

There are two important principles of veganism that most people don't understand. More food is vegan than is immediately obvious. But more seemingly innocuous products have animals parts in them than the average meat-eater imagines. Case in point: tattoos. As Tim Donnelly writes at The Atlantic, "The ink and processes at your average shop contain a veritable buffet of animal detritus: charred bones of dead animals in the ink, fat from once-living things in the glycerin that serves as a carrying agent, enzymes taken from caged sheep that go into making the care products." And you're putting that in your …

Read more: Animals

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‘Solar forests’ charge your car while looking awesome

If electric cars are really going to compete with the gas-guzzling kind, we're going to need new infrastructure -- mainly charging stations so people can juice up when they're on a road trip. And if you have to dot the country with new charging structures, doesn't it make sense to make them awesome-looking? The "solar forest," a concept from designer Neville Mars, does that while also being extra-efficient. The solar "trees" don't just look great -- they also move around to maximize sun exposure, plus they keep the cars below shaded and cool.

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Critical List: TransCanada says Keystone XL will be rerouted; Bloomberg evicts #OWS

TransCanada officials announced last night that the company would re-route the Keystone XL pipeline away from environmentally sensitive areas of Nebraska. “I can confirm the route will be changed and Nebraskans will play an important role in determining the final route," an executive said in a statement. House Republicans are working on a bill that would speed up the re-routing process. (Nope, none of this is politically motivated. Not at all.) The NYPD forcibly drove #OWS from Zuccotti Park last night. They even threw away the bike generators, reportedly. The Northeast's Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative saved money, created jobs, and …

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The trouble with urban farming: What if your turkeys are cute?

Kiera Butler is not a farmer. She and her friends have been raising their Thanksgiving turkeys in a backyard for six months, but they're not accustomed to killing animals for food, and they've gotten kind of attached to the little guys. Here's Kiera's story, originally Storified by Mother Jones, about the weirdness of knowing that you've given your turkeys a much happier life than other animals raised for food, but still struggling with the fact that they've been raised as food and you're going to eat them. View the story "Six Months of Turkeys" on Storify

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Hilton hotels recycle soap for charity

Pretty much nobody besides Eloise and Leonard Cohen stays in a hotel for long enough to go through a bar of soap. They can't put your slightly-used soap out for the next guest, though, so hotels throw out more than 2.5 million bars a day. Hilton Hotels have now realized how stupid this is, and they've partnered with a nonprofit called the Global Soap Project to re-form discarded soap into brand-new bars for distribution in impoverished countries. Hilton will donate all the discarded soap from its 3,750 hotels to the Global Soap Project, which will recycle them into new bars …

Read more: Living

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Why the right wing fears climate action (and it’s not because they’re crazy)

Conservatives have drummed up unprecedented devotion to climate change denialism by invoking the specter of anti-capitalism, writes Naomi Klein in The Nation, and they're not really wrong. Combating climate change will mean overhauling the free market economy and contracting the corporate sector, and people whose livelihoods depend on big business have a reason to be afraid.  Klein starts off with a deep dive into the climate denier psyche, and concludes that their intense opposition comes not from logical or scientific objections (how could it?) but from corporate-funded movements telling people that climate change mitigation threatens their personal comfort and freedom. …

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Airlines race to be first to fly with biofuel

One day, maybe, planes will be able fly on electricity alone, but until then, the best chance they have to get off gasoline is to switch over to biofuels. And that's actually happening! Over the summer, two biofueled flights made it across the Atlantic, and now Alaska Airlines is pushing an ambitious commercial biofuel flight program. Last week, the company flew across the country with a fuel that was 20 percent biofuel. The particular biofuel they used can come from algae, from chicken fat, or from a variety of other sources. There's also a growing amount of healthy competition among …

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Why cities should destroy their highways

America has a huge transportation infrastructure deficit, which means lots of our highways are due to be rebuilt. But according to Next American City editor at large Diana Lind, we'd be better off simply knocking them down, especially the ones that blight our cities. It's been done before, reports Andrew Nusca at SmartPlanet: After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the city of San Francisco faced the tremendous task of rebuilding the structurally-damaged Embarcadero Freeway. Instead, they tore it down, replaced it with a people-friendly boulevard that encouraged development. The surrounding area has since rebounded, Lind said, with higher property values, …

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Romney is recycling all of Bush’s EPA-hating energy advisors

Political windsock Mitt Romney has no opinions of his own about energy, so he's hired a bunch of people to tell him what to think about it, reports Politico. And almost all of those people are former Bush Jr. employees. Already on board the Romney train are Jim Connaughton, who ran Bush’s White House Council on Environmental Quality for all eight years; former Assistant Energy Secretary Andy Karsner; former EPA air chief Jeff Holmstead; and former EPA congressional affairs liaison Edward Krenik. Connaughton and Holmstead, especially, have made it their lives' work to cripple the EPA and block its new …

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Spray coating makes your stuff last forever so you can buy less of it

If you watch one video today, make it this one -- the shot of chocolate sauce sliding off a pristine pair of white tennis shoes looks like pure CGI. But it's real. As Tuan Nguyen explains at SmartPlanet, what you're looking at is a new type of spray-on silicon coating that dries into a nano-scale structure that literally repels liquids. It's so good that it can waterproof your iPhone, make your clothes impervious to stains, and protect all manner of goods against rust and water damage. We live in an era in which retail giants do everything in their power …