Living

This blows

Cocaine addicts are snorting their way to a warmer world

Passetti via Flickr You may snort at the news, but it’s the real snuff: Cocaine is hard on your sinuses, but it’s not crazy fun for the planet either. Celebs’ favorite nose candy is knocking down rainforest in party favor of coca plants, thus speeding up climate change. In fact, “for every few lines of cocaine snorted in a London club, four square meters of rainforest is destroyed.” That’s hard to take. Why don’t users drop the bad habit and drink cocaine or hit up some killer cheese instead? —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive our email …

Here's looking at shoe, kid

Ask Umbra on shoe polish, socially responsible investing, and Facebook

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I prefer to buy shoes that will last me a long time rather than buy lots of cheap ones that consume many resources. Is there an environmentally friendly shoe polish that I can use to keep my feet looking spiffy for the long haul? LaineWashington, D.C. A. Dearest Laine, You know one of the things that thrills me most about warmer weather? The footwear — or, I should say, the lack thereof. All winter long my poor little tootsies feel so stifled. Even now, they are wiggling giddily at the very thought …

flocked up

Is ‘Birdemic’ the best/worst apocalyptic thriller of all time?

If it weren’t for some seriously nom-nom-y green Oscar noms, I’d be either A.) extremely embarrassed or B.) extremely pumped about the future of enviro films after watching the trailer for “Birdemic: Shock and Terror.” Or both. What do you have to dread look forward to if you catch this latest internet fever? “Woefully inept actors driv[ing] around in a blue Mustang for what seems like eternity while occasionally fumbling their way through a few lines about Global Warming while poorly animated .gif-birds float motionlessly and make terrible screeching noises.” –Alex Blagg, blogger/sucker who actually watched the whole thing. Well? …

hip to be square

Modern modular done right

Photo: Treehugger A lot of lessons have been learned over the last decade as architects and manufacturers try to make modern green prefab affordable and accessible to a wider audience. A new entry into the market is Challenger, a modern architect-designed line of houses from Manitoba, Canada’s Conquest Manufacturing. They recently displayed a new model, the Cube, at the National Home Show in Toronto.   Our friends at Treehugger have four reasons (and more photos) proving why the Challenger line does just about everything right.

Good, butter, best

Meryl Streep more of a food activist than Julia Child ever was

Big bird: Meryl Streep as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia.”(Sony Pictures)On Sunday, veteran actress Meryl Streep has a chance to take home her third Oscar, for portraying Julia Child in Nora Ephron’s film “Julie & Julia.” (It’s Streep’s 16th nomination.) As charming as Streep is as the towering, funny-voiced woman who revolutionized American cooking, she deserves more accolades for another role she has played in the history of food in America: that of longtime activist. Over at the Natural Resource Defense Council’s site Simplesteps.org, Wendy Gordon interviews Streep about her involvement in the environmental and food movements. The two …

Liquor? I don't even know her

Ask Umbra’s pearls of wisdom on booze

Dearest readers, Sitting down in the stacks today, I’ve got a lovely chardonnay on the brain as we amble into the weekend, so I can’t help but revisit some past alcoholic inquiries. And yes, most of these deal with the small stuff that I usually tell you not to sweat, but, hey, people ask, I answer. What eco-friendly beverage will you be cracking open when the clock strikes 5 p.m. today? Got a great recipe, perhaps involving your own homemade club soda? Let me know in the comments below. Drivin’ N Buyin’.Don’t drink and drive, obvs, but also don’t drive …

Link love

Streetfilms: Seattle’s Link Light Rail the start of something big [video]

Right now, Seattle is making as serious a commitment to transit as any city in the nation. Recently, Streetfilms got to take a tour of the newest addition to the city’s network — the 13-station Link Light Rail, which opened in mid-2009. The route is beautiful, swift, and has great multi-modal connections. Service is frequent, with headways as short as 7 minutes during rush hour, and never longer than 15 minutes. And like many of the newest American light rail systems, the stations feature copious art. Seattle has a lot of car commuters, but in a sign that many are …

Oscar the green

Green Oscar nominees to watch

“Avatar” is on top of the world at the Oscars.Photo: Official Avatar Movie’s photostreamThe carpet will still be red at the Oscars this Sunday, but there will be a little more green among the nominees. Leading the way is this year’s blockbuster “Avatar,” James Cameron’s self-proclaimed most successful environmental film of all time. Tied with “The Hurt Locker” for most nominations, including Best Picture, “Avatar” is the most popular green-themed film, but don’t let the Nav’i distract you from other eco-ly legit films. For starters, Tom Philpott’s cinematic sweetheart, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” garnered two nominations — Animated Feature Film and …

Walk it out

What to do when haters diss livable communities

Haters gonna hate. Click to see him walk it out, for realz.Omar Noory, http://thisisallido.com/work.html We can’t be certain, but we’re pretty sure this comic is commentary on a recent heated exchange between the Secretary of Transportation and a certain Missouri senator who be hatin’ on sidewalks and “livability”: “When did it become the responsibility of the federal DOT (Department of Transportation) to build sidewalks?” 1991, to be precise. If haters gonna hate, just put on your Happy Feet and walk it out. (Hat tip to Kevin Buist’s blog on the image.)

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