Living

strip breeze

New Jersey to put ex-strippers to work weatherizing homes

The WeatherStrippers are good with caulk.Foxtongue via Creative Commons UPDATE: Happy April Fools’ Day! The Garden State’s new jobs program, cheekily dubbed “WeatherStrippers,” will utilize Recovery Act funds to create an estimated 450 jobs while also reducing low-income residents’ energy bills through electricity savings. The WeatherStrippers will seek to put caulking guns in the hands of disadvantaged former strippers through a 12-week, hands-on training program focused on efficient building erection and maintenance. WeatherStrippers program director, Amber Heatless, commented, “A lot of the ‘green jobs’ attention goes to training ex-convicts to install solar panels, but we realized that the downturn in …

Our daily bread

In praise of the sandwich-shop trend

Simply delicious: the sandwich trend takes flight at Butcher in New Orleans.Photo courtesy Jason Perlow, via Flickr. In the late 1990s, if you wanted to go out for a skillfully cooked meal made from top-quality local/organic ingredients, you pretty much had to find to a cutting-edge white-tablecloth restaurant: say, Berkeley’s Chez Panisse or Manhattan’s Savoy. At such places, you could expect excellent food sourced with top-quality ingredients from the surrounding foodshed–and a pretty steep check. And while such restaurants remain a vital part of the scene and undeniably contribute to the food movement, they don’t do much to dispel the …

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.

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