Living

The apple-pie-calypse is near

A recipe for delish disaster: global warming hot apple pie

apocalypsecakes.wordpress.com Just because the planet is turning up the heat, doesn’t mean we should get out of the kitchen. If we’re going to be globally baking anyway, we might as well take a slice out of the life of pi pie of life while we’re at it. So go eat up this delectable recipe for Global Warming Hot Apple Pie from Apocalypse Cakes before the Senate tries something crazy … like addressing climate change. “Good news: it’s easy to keep your pie warm when it’s 140 degrees outside. Bad news: you’re decomposing from heat-rot.” And while that pie’s in the …

meet me at the food court

A Cleveland mall turns lost retail space into farm stand

Photo: Fast CompanyShopping malls, those bastions of American consumerism, have not been immune to the recent economic downturn. In a recent piece by our own Greg Lindsay, we looked at the impending decline of the mall, which is part of the “single-use environment” category of real estate development that will slowly disappear over the next thirty years, according to one developer. But what will replace these environments, and more importantly, what will happen to the massive malls of today?   One possible solution can be seen in Cleveland’s Galleria mall. The mall lost many of its retail shops over the …

A stuff act to follow

Ask Umbra on Annie Leonard and The Story of Stuff

Do you ever think about all the resources, the man hours, the stuff that went into making your iPod? Your cell phone? Your computer? The clothes you’re wearing? Annie Leonard did. And then she started talking to other people about it. You may have seen her animated 20-minute viral video, released in 2007, The Story of Stuff — it’s been viewed more than 10 million times — about America’s take-make-waste cycle of excessive consumerism. Following the video’s success, Annie had more questions to answer, more information than could be packed into a short film. Enough, as it turned out, for …

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 …