The grow must go on?

How do you argue against the growth juggernaut?

I’ll be talking tomorrow to filmmaker Dave Gardner, who’s making a documentary called Hooked on Growth: Our Misguided Quest for Prosperity.  He wants to hear about my choice to be a GINK — green inclinations, no kids.  And I’ll be offering thoughts about growth in general.  Any suggestions about points to make or ideas to share?  How can we best fight the assumption that what society needs is growth, growth, and more growth?  As Edward Abbey so memorably put it, “Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.” Here’s a trailer for the film, with …

Stick a fork in it

Ask Umbra dishes with Anna Lappé

Photo by KalaLeaThe next time you bite into a burger, consider this: Livestock create more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, and other fossil-fueled modes of transportation in the world. In fact, our current food system—from industrial farming to packaging to transporting—contributes as much as one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. Food’s critical place in the climate-change equation is not common knowledge. But author Anna Lappé is doing her best to change that. Lappé cofounded The Small Planet Institute with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé, author of the 1971 classic Diet for a Small Planet. And Anna …

The Day When Breast Isn't Best

A list of ghastly toxics known to be present in human breast milk—from pesticides and flame retardants to deodorizers and wood preservatives—is enough to make any new mom question the oft-heard refrain that “breast is best.” Still, most experts still agree that breast milk is the healthiest choice for both moms and babies. That’s probably why parenting magazines and doctors’ office pamphlets rarely mention chemical contaminants in human breast milk: they want to encourage breastfeeding, rather than sow doubt about it. And as a result, moms are exposed to a lot of information on the health benefits of breastfeeding, yet …

Snug as a pug in a rug

Sit, stay, recycle [VIDEO]

Has “green” jumped the shark if even pugs are on board? They’re always late adopters. For Puglet’s next trick, he will push climate-change legislation forward. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– 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.

'Soul Of A Citizen'

Jesus and climate change: The journey of evangelical leader Rich Cizik

Rich Cizik Photo: National Association of Evangelicals As vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), Rich Cizik represented 4,500 congregations serving 30 million members. Considering himself a “Reagan conservative” and a strong initial supporter of George W. Bush, Cizik had been with the organization since 1980, serving as its key advocate before Congress, the Office of the President, and the Supreme Court on issues like opposition to abortion and gay marriage. During the Clinton era, he had begun to expand the organization’s agenda by tackling such issues as human trafficking and global poverty, working with …

Water into wine

Interview with ‘Growing Green’ water steward Mike Benziger

An April 13, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) announced the four winners of its second annual “Growing Green” awards, which honor leaders in the sustainable-food world in four categories: “thought leader,” “producer,” business leader,” and “water steward.” I interviewed “thought leader” Fred Kirschenmann here and “business leader” Karl Kupers of Shepherd’s Grain here. Now I turn my attention to Mike Benziger, who brought home the “water steward” prize for his work at Benziger Family Winery. ————- Mike Benziger on the family farm. When Mike Benziger and his family began growing grapes and making wine in 1970s-era Sonoma County, the …

Don't fear the reaper

DIY cheap, green burial with dryer lint

One bunny in a dryer yields three urns.Cleaning out the mass of lint, dog and human hair, dirt, and dust that collects in the dryer always makes me retch just a bit, but Oregon-based mortician Elizabeth Fournier, known as the Green Reaper, obviously has a stronger stomach than I do (from dealing with the dead all day, one would assume) because she puts that dryer lint amalgamation to use to make a sort of papier-mâché urn. As in the thing you keep someone’s ashes in post-cremation. “The stuff that ends up in the dryer’s lint trap is good fabric and …

Shape shifting bike trailer-cart-strollers.

My 1994 Oregon-made Burley bike trailer-stroller (above) is still dear to my heart, but innovations in newer Burleys and in other companies’ offerings show that tools for human-powered urban mobility are developing at a rapid clip. The 31-year-old Eugene company Burley and four manufacturers outside the Northwest offer bike trailer-stroller-cart-jogger hybrids that convert into so many mobility tools they are like something out of Transformers. Almost every Burley model is quickly convertible from a bike trailer to a stroller/cart. (Sightline trustee and Walk Score creator Matt Lerner tows his loaded Burley above.) Some are even convertible into ski trailers for …

Pregnant pause

Ask Umbra on fertility awareness, grilling, and Earth Day pledges

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’ve been following the discussion of GINKs and birth control on Grist the last week or so. In your most recent post, I thought there was a pretty big type of birth control missing: Fertility Awareness Method (FAM)—which is not to be confused with the “rhythm method” or natural family planning (NFP). FAM is extremely “green” as it requires no rubbers or chemicals; it is also extremely empowering to women and supports personal health. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Toni Weschler’s book Taking Charge of Your Fertility as …

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