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NRDC says video games’ huge energy suckage easily cut

Video game consoles in the United States consumed some 16 billion kilowatt-hours last year, or about enough juice to power the city of San Diego for a year, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. However, cutting down video games' impact is relatively easy since the three most popular video game consoles -- Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBox360, and Nintendo's Wii -- can significantly reduce their power suckage if players simply switch them off after use and activate their already-existing power-saving features.

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Cell-phone chargers rated on energy efficiency

How energy-efficient is your cell-phone charger? (And why have you never thought to ask?) The world's five biggest cell-phone manufacturers have rated the chargers they sell, from an energy-sucking one star to an eco-friendly five stars. If everyone with a cell phone "switched to a four- or five-star charger," declares Nokia, "this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium-sized power plants."

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Publishing world bitchslap

Simon, Random at odds over green’s role

A piece in ye olde New York Times today looks at a new line from Simon & Schuster called Little Green Books. Aimed at kiddos, the series promises to "get kids excited about going green!" Whether a book about the journey of a plastic bottle will titillate tots remains to be seen, but check out this quote from competitor Random House when asked whether it had plans to launch a similar line: "Ultimately, we believe that it makes the most sense for our authors, our consumers and our business to have green-centric titles as part of our core publishing business, …

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Jack Nicholson's car, video

Actor touts renewable energy 30 years ago

I wanted to post this before editorial found it, because when I see something this cool, I like to plant my flag on it. The following is a segment from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program "Marketplace," back in 1978. To repeat: Nineteen. Seventy. Eight.

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Umbra on holiday shopping

Hi Umbra, When it comes to holiday presents, does it really save energy and gas to order stuff online? Rick G. Manchester, N.H. Dearest Rick, Holiday gift time, everyone! Many of you have already begun shopping, I know, and I also know that my birthday, coming in early December as it does, adds to the gifting pressure for everyone. For better or worse, e-commerce has taken purchase. I wrote last year about the hung jury on online shopping, and then Oak Ridge National Laboratory came out with a bit more information for the 2007 holiday season. To review my belabored, …

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Must-use-less-energy TV

Union of Concerned Scientists offers tip to buy most energy-efficient TV

If you watch TV, then you know that the country will switch to High-Definition TV sometime in February. Those with old-school cathode ray tubes may be tempted to use this milestone to "upgrade" to a flat-screen. If that describes you or someone you know, then this Greentip from the Union of Concerned Scientists may be helpful: Energy consumption varies widely between HDTVs, even between models of similar size. There are ways to ensure your new TV is as efficient as possible: Choose the most efficient technology. There are three HDTV technologies on the market today: plasma, LCD, and rear-projection microdisplay …

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It's the end of the world as we know it ...

New ‘2012’ film trailer hints at eco-disaster themes

The trailer for the film 2012 -- due out next summer from the director of The Day After Tomorrow -- has hit the interwebs. It appears that the film may have some eco-disaster themes, but the plot details are pretty vague at this point. I do know the premise is based on the belief that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. (Ten days later, the Kyoto Protocol expires ... coincidence? I think not.)

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A review of eco-minded feminine products, part two

  Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series on feminine products. The first column focused on sanitary pads. In a rant about her angry vagina, author Eve Ensler famously described tampons as "a dry wad of fucking cotton" -- and she ain't far from the truth. Unfortunately, she left out a key detail: Most tampons are made from rayon-cotton blends -- an important distinction, because rayon is often chlorine-bleached, a process that releases the cancer-causing chemical dioxin. This toxin builds up in fatty tissue and has been linked to endometriosis, immune-system suppression, and other health problems. Since …

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Toy manufacturers push back against lead-safety rule

Toys marketed to the 12-under-set must either meet new lead standards or be off shelves by Feb. 10 -- but many toy manufacturers and retailers don't wanna comply. Citing the economic downturn, they're pressuring the government to relax the requirement.

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Colombian vice prez chides cocaine users for rainforest destruction

Cocaine users get no love from Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon, who speechified to police officers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday: "Colombia has lost more than [5 million acres] of rainforest in the last 15 years to plant coca. If you snort a gram of cocaine you are destroying [43 square feet] of pristine rainforest. That rainforest is not just Colombian. It belongs to all of us who live on this planet, so we should all be worried about it." source:

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