Living

roll with it

Lawyer: No, you shouldn’t paint your own bike lane

Portland, where else? (This one’s legal, by the way.)Courtesy BikePortland via FlickrIn case you were wondering, attorney Kenny Ching at GOOD says painting guerrilla bike lanes on your favorite cycling streets is a trouble-ridden idea. What kind of trouble? Catastrophic trouble. Never mind property damage and vandalism. You could be responsible—legally, financially, and otherwise—for a car hitting one of your fellow cyclists.  You’d likely be found negligent because you should have known (a reasonable person would have) that by painting a bike lane in the street that didn’t really belong there, people would ride their bikes in it. You should …

In which I sound 400 years old

Walkshed dilemmas and the Nissan Leaf

The wife and I recently made a fairly difficult decision about where to send our 6-year-old to school for first grade next year. We had the following dilemma: he tested into the gifted program at our neighborhood school, but he also tested into the highly gifted program, which is run at a school across town. Our neighborhood school is quite nice, and to boot, once he’s old enough he could easily walk or bike there. It would be nice to have easy access to after-school events, volunteer opportunities, etc. And on a philosophical level, we both believe it’s worthwhile to …

The GINK manifesto

Say it loud — I’m childfree and I’m proud

In 1969, graduating college senior Stephanie Mills made national headlines with a commencement address exclaiming that, in the face of impending ecological devastation, she was choosing to forgo parenthood.  “I am terribly saddened by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all,” she told her classmates. I come here before you today to make the same proclamation—with a twist. I am thoroughly delighted by the fact that the most humane thing for me to do is to have no children at all. Making the green choice too often feels like …

Cheap chic

H&M’s organic line and the Wal-Mart perspective

Eurochic retailer H&M is launching an earth-friendly spring Garden Collection, H&M shopper Joe Romm reports. No, scratch that, this is from thegreengirls.com. The new line will include recycled polyester, organic cotton, and organic linen. Presumably the expected life of these clothes won’t be any longer than typical H&M items, which aren’t exactly known for their durability. I think you can look at this the same way you look at Wal-Mart’s recent announcement that it was asking suppliers to reduce the carbon impact of their factory-produced tchotchkes. If we’re going to have cheap, mass-produced clothing, furniture, salad-shooters, etc., that aren’t made …

don't sweat the smelly stuff

China to de-stink landfill problem with giant deodorant guns

Residents of Beijing are making a stink about the excessive odors residing around the city’s many landfills, which are rising in number nearly as quickly as the Chinese population. (Maybe the government should institute a “one landfill per couple” policy?) But instead of cleaning up this mess of problems for those down in the dumps, Chinese authorities are covering them up with spray-on deodorant. That’s right. They’ll be filling the air over the trash heaps with the fragrance of a 100 deodorant guns. By the look of the product photo below, it looks like they also do weddings. penwuji.com —————————————————————————————————————————————————– …

in good taste

New ratings for sustainability in restaurants

The Sustainable Restaurant Association was started by the founder of Leon. Photo: MomondoIt’s not quite a Michelin Star, but it could be soon. The newly formed Sustainable Restaurant Association will rate restaurants according to how green and sustainable they are. Launched with the backing of leading restaurants and seriously important English chefs, participating restaurants will be visited by a green inspector. They had better watch out … The awards are a bronze, silver, or gold status and will be listed in restaurant guides. And they will be judged on very rigorous standards. Get the full story from our friends at …

Old car, new tricks

Leno drives our electric future back from the past [video]

Despite the sexiness of hydrogen options, The Tonight Show host and car aficionado Jay Leno believes electricity is where it’s at for automobile propulsion. Watch as he takes a closer look at the Ford Focus as compared to his own fully electric car—a pretty advanced model, traveling 100 miles on a charge. The kicker? It was built in 1909.

weapons of grass destruction

Old gumball machines give guerrilla gardeners easy ammo

For the guerrilla gardener on the go, why be bothered with making your own seed bombs? Greenaid’s repurposed candy dispensers will arm you with grenades of greenery for all those times you’re deep in urban war zones and remember you’re not packin’ peat (or seeds). Helping the natives beat rebel plants is now as easy as taking candy from a gumball machine. Greenaid / thecommonstudio.com —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.

The eyes have it

Ask Umbra on eyewear, faux eco efforts, and Easter baskets

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I need to replace my eyewear—the lenses need updating and the frames are damaged—and I’m wondering what the most sustainable choice is. Frameless seems likely, but if I want to go with a frame (Coke bottle lenses, anyone?) then is metal the way to go? Blindly,Hope K.Providence, R.I. A. Dearest Hope, As a fellow four-eyes, I feel you on the eyewear woes. I’ve worn glasses since I was a wee little Umbra, valiantly reaching out of my crib for my spectacles each morning so I could get back to perusing my pureed-carrot–stained …