Grist List

U.S. Navy's wave-power buoy plays chicken with Irene, wins

So last week Irene was all like, "HERE I AM! I'm going to rock you like myself!" And off the coast of Jersey (where else?) the U.S. Navy's PowerBuoy was like "bring it!"

Critical List: Federally backed solar company closes; London drops carbon offset plan for Olympics

Solyndra, a solar company that had received more than $500 million in federally backed loan guarantees, is shutting down. Vermont's still reeling from Irene. Oklahoma lawmakers are looking for ways to block the Keystone XL pipeline locally. The organizers of the 2012 London Olympics are dropping their plan to offset the Games' carbon emissions. Weak.

Secretary of Energy is a Keystone XL booster

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu hasn't said definitively whether he supports the Keystone XL pipeline. But he's heavily implied that he's a fan, laying out the project's potential benefits in an interview with energyNOW!. "It's …

Super-charming sustainable farming video, featuring Willie Nelson

Okay, so this video was sponsored by Chipotle, but if you can ignore a small amount of logo placement and posturing, it's really adorable. Look at the little propane-canister-looking pigs! Listen to Willie Nelson make …

Snooki has a call to action on global warming

New Jersey natives, think fast: Who's your most embarrassing resident, your governor or your reality TV stars? Personally I think the scales are tipping in favor of the Jersey Shore cast. Chris Christie basically hates the environment, but Snooki believes in global warming! She may be constructed mostly of tanner and hair, but she knows what's up. Sort of.

Teenager builds tiny home to avoid mortgage trap

Sixteen-year-old Austin Hay of Santa Rosa, Calif., has been sleeping in a work-in-progress 130 square foot “tiny home” in his parents' backyard for months. The project came about because "like every teenager, I want to move out," says Hay.

The greenest building on Earth

Workers broke ground this week in Seattle on a six-story building that will generate its own power, collect and reuse rainwater, compost its sewage, and depend on daylight instead of halogen lamps. Its owner, the Bullitt Foundation, which supports work in sustainability, set out to build the greenest building on Earth. We'd say they're earning that title. 

Biodegradable cigarettes: Because why should everything else die with you?

Just because your lungs are blackened doesn't mean you can't be green. San Diego-based company Greenbutts makes cigarette filters that not only biodegrade, but sprout when buried into what have to be the world's least healthy plants.

Noise pollution ruins the sex life of tits

Pickup artists among the great tits (a species of bird, ok?) know how to get chicks: They sing at low frequencies just before females of their species begin laying eggs. It's a great technique! Unless they happen to be hanging out near sources of noise pollution, like highways, which force the tits to change their tune to a higher pitch so that the girls can hear their song in the first place.  But that's when things start going wrong. 

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