Case clothed

Sustainable Apparel Coalition delivers the eco-skinny on your skinny jeans

Wheredja get those jeans?I spend a lot of time shining a light on murky areas of the food system, but what about the industrial-apparel complex? Just as the food we eat has a material basis and a history, so do our clothes. It turns out that I know a lot more about the (grass-fed, local) beef I ate last night than I do about the (non-organic) cotton T-shirt on my back. Recently, a group of apparel-industry companies banded together to launch a tool to help consumers — and the industry itself — figure out the environmental impacts of our clothing …

I love it when you call me big crop-pa

Our favorite hipster farmer band names [SLIDESHOW]

We here at Grist love us some Twitter. So it should come as no surprise that when we recently tweeted about the rise in farming hipsters, the hashtag meme #hipsterfarmerbands was born like a lamb in spring. From Pjörk to Pretty Girls Make Grains, we raked in some fantastic faux farmer band names. All of this would not have been possible without friend-of-Grist @michael_k. May we suggest you follow him immediately? He’s got taste. In his honor, we created concert tees for our top five favorite #hipsterfarmerbands: Name by @honestfarm

Trial and tribulation

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher talks about his guilty verdict

Photo: (C) 2011 Daphne HougardDearest readers, I had the good fortune of sitting down to chat by phone with climate activist Tim DeChristopher the other day. I wanted to hear how he’s doing and how he’s feeling about being sent to the clink. Ever joyous in his resolve to stand up for what he believes in, Tim said, “I’m feeling surprisingly good for being a newly convicted felon.” For those of you new to this story, Tim DeChristopher is one of my all-time heroes because of the creative, articulate actions he has taken to fight the political and economic forces …

TV star

Meet the zero-energy transparent TV

A zero-energy TV you can see through? I know what you’re thinking: “That’s called a pane of glass.” But this transparent screen, which Samsung unveiled at an expo in Germany, isn’t just glass, it’s FUTURE GLASS. For starters, the screen uses so little energy that it can be run by solar panels that feed off the ambient light in the room, like those old-school solar calculators. And while it can play regular TV images, it can also project pictures or data onto an otherwise transparent screen. That means it could be used for all kinds of crazy sci-fi applications — …

print on demand

Your next bike could be made out of nylon and 3D-printed at home

Okay, so this isn’t something you can do with your home printer … yet. But this gorgeous hunk of bike might represent the new wave of bike manufacturing. It’s made using 3D printing technology, which adds nylon powder in thin layers to achieve the desired shape. In this case, that shape can be perfectly tailored to the rider — and the nylon rivals aluminum in lightness and steel frames in strength. Plus, it looks so futurey! Read more: “3D-Printed Bike,” MAKE “Bicycle material is ‘grown’ from high strength nylon powder,” Eureka

you can't own property, man

How to not buy anything ever again

Photo: Toban BlackNeither a borrower nor a lender be? Stuff it, old man. Shareable has collected a primer on “collaborative consumption,” i.e. the fine art of consensual mooching. At the risk of sounding like a dangerous commie: It turns out there’s basically no reason to be the sole owner of anything ever again. Among the things Shareable shows you how to go splitsies on: Housing. If you can handle a housemate, sharing living quarters reduces your rent and can make your utilities usage more efficient. Our favorite: The cohousing directory, which helps you find communities with cooperative home ownership. Food …

New Jersey, on the other hand...

Where do the greenest commuters live? Not Portland

New Yorkers on the evening commute.Photo: Mo RizaQuick: Who are the loneliest commuters in the nation? That would be the residents of Southgate, Mich., where 91.6 percent of workers drive alone. The city with the most pedestrian commuters? That’s Ithaca, N.Y., where 41.8 percent of commuters walk  to work (particularly impressive given upstate New York’s brutal winters). Meanwhile, no one in Sun City, Calif., apparently walks to work. (Not too surprising, as the Southern California suburb is a master-planned retirement community.) Those are some of the thousands of data points on Americans transportation habits mined by FindTheBest, which might described …

ex post factory

What if you updated your electronics like you update your wardrobe?

Photo: George MacklinDesigner and TED fellow Dominic Muren wants you to update your electronics like you update your wardrobe. In other words, he thinks you should be able to replace or update only what gets worn out, instead of tossing and re-purchasing everything you own at one whack just because one part is busted or old or doesn’t fit your lifestyle anymore. Who really ever buys all new clothes? Instead, we modify a little at a time, replacing parts that wear out, of adding new pieces as our lifestyle changes. I needn’t point out that clothing is one of the …

kicking up dirt

Biodegradable shoes go from footwear to fertilizer

Photo: OAT ShoesAre your shoes on their last legs? If they were OAT shoes (which they aren’t, because you can’t buy them in the States yet), you’d be able to just shuck ‘em off and bury them in the yard. Kicks from this new line biodegrade completely, a neat trick that just netted them an award for green fashion at Amsterdam fashion week. Though the runway concept probably didn’t hurt: Photo: Peter Stitger Okay, old shoes are perhaps not the greatest environmental hazard facing our planet.[1] But considering how hard it is to find a place that will recycle plain …