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Michael Crichton dies of cancer

Michael Crichton, bestselling author and climate skeptic, has died of cancer at the age of 66.

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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The 12th Hour

Leonardo DiCaprio working on another eco-flick

Word on the street is that Titanic environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio is working on a follow-up to his 2007 eco-documentary The 11th Hour. Word to the wise, Leo, don't let Gore get wind of your idea ...

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Everywhere, the signs

What to do with your campaign litter

How to build an honest, experienced, effective building. Photo: Earl Gray Now that the battle is over, what to do with the campaign-sign carcasses littering your lawn? The ubiquitous mini-billboards that were oh-so-relevant until yesterday are no more than a solid waste headache today. Here's a Three-R Rundown on cleaning up your patriotic mess. Reduce. Too late for that -- if you'd reduced your campaign signage to zero, you wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. But hey, keep it in mind for next time. Recycle. Most campaign signs these days come in one of three forms: paperboard; …

Read more: Living, Politics

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Umbra on compost and climate

Dear Umbra, I was explaining to my neighbor (who doesn't even recycle) why he shouldn't throw out a bag of leaves with his trash. Just to clarify, he asked what to do with it. I explained composting; he doesn't want to. I explained the energy expended in transporting his leaves and that landfills emit greenhouse gases as the materials break down. It got me thinking. Why is it better for my kitchen scraps and leaves, etc., to break down in my compost pile vs. in a landfill? Doesn't it emit greenhouse gases at home? Continually composting, Sue R. St. Paul, …

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Off and running

Running mags go green!

Running has not escaped the ever-more-embracing tentacles of our friend Going Green. The past weekend's New York City Marathon made efforts to improve eco-friendliness, and magazines Runner's World and Running Times both highlighted greenness in recent editions. For its article, Running Times elicited advice from one Sarah K. Burkhalter. Oh hey, that's me! Money quote: Rather than being puritanical and preachy, as I had feared, Burkhalter was full of simple, common-sense advice about running, guided by the same environmental ethos that underlies her take on other aspects of life: Do as much as you can without going insane. Remember, it's …

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Umbra on composting with worms

Dear Umbra, I recently moved into a studio apartment in an urban area. I used to compost in my backyard but don't have that option anymore. I looked into getting a worm bin to use inside my apartment, but the cheapest ones seem to run around $200 and don't hold very much. Can you recommend something for someone in a tight space, on a tight budget, that holds a lot of food scraps? Lauren L. St. Louis, Mo. Dearest Lauren, Red wiggler worms and their decompository companions make excellent compost, and a worm bin is pretty much the only choice …

Read more: Food, Living

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Poolin' around

Facebook app facilitates carpooling to the polls

Could a potential record number of voters tomorrow also mean massive CO2 emissions as people drive to the polls? Live Earth and carpool site Zimride sure hope not. They've partnered to make a Facebook app enabling people to find a ride in their area to their local polling spot. Their Carpool to the Polls application also offers a polling station locator and coordinated carpool for non-voting occasions. So if you can't walk, take public transportation, or vote absentee, you can simultaneously rock the vote and a stranger's Volkswagon.

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Economic woes lead to slower growth for organic market

The decade-long boom in sales of organic products in the U.S. may be coming to an end, thanks to the economic slowdown. The market is still growing, but at about 4 percent annually, not the 20 percent seen in recent years. It means hard times for Whole Foods and good times for McDonald's.

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video

The coming e-waste explosion

People should start paying attention to this: On February 17, 2009, television stations will throw the switch, and stop sending out analog TV signal in the United States. On that date, the millions of people who receive "over the air" TV signal (as opposed to cable or satellite subscribers) must have a TV capable of receiving digital signal, or their TVs will go dark. And what do we think consumers will do with hundreds of thousands of dead TVs? TakeBackMyTV.com

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Been down so long it looks like shop to me

Consumer spending going down, down, down

Consumer spending saw its biggest drop in four years in September. Too bad it takes a devastating economic crisis to get people to buy less sh*t.

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