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Commuting can drive you crazy — no, literally

Think your commute drives you crazy? Well, you might be right. In a culture so accustomed to being on-the-go, sitting immobile in traffic for hours each day can take a toll on mental health, researchers say. "If you're stuck in traffic, there's a feeling of being out of control," says psychologist Laura Pinegar, who says she's hearing more and more complaints of traffic anxiety in her practice. Psychologist Ronald Nathan says it can get even more intense than that: "We can start to over-generalize by saying, 'My life is worthless. All I am is somebody who gets into a piece …

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One mother’s tips for managing summer eco-dilemmas

It's painful for you both, but still better than a day inside with SpongeBob. Photo: Tom Twigg When the last school bell rings and summer gets into full swing, we modern parents simply can't do as the previous generation did: turn our kids loose onto the chemically manicured neighborhood lawns for unsupervised games of kick-the-can, calling them inside only for the occasional application of Solarcaine or snack of tuna melts and Kool-Aid. These days, thanks to growing awareness of the dangers of everything from pesticides to high-fructose corn syrup, parents of my ilk (anxious to the point of bruxism) face …

Read more: Food, Living

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Umbra on kiddie pools

Dear Umbra, Regarding your obsession with vinyl, as pertains to summer parenting: Greenpeace's thorough Vinyl Alternatives list indicates that no good alternatives to vinyl kiddie pools exist. Do you think it is worth it to put a huge effort into manufacturing or finding a vinyl-free backyard wading experience? I can't stop thinking about this, and think it merits faking a question. Yours as always, Umbra Dearest Me, What a great question about a very minor issue. I can't believe no one has written in to ask about kiddie pools. And believe me, I looked through thousands of questions before faking …

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A techno blog for the doubters

Stumbled on a great site -- Low Tech Magazine. Here's a short bit from just one of many beautifully illustrated and thought-provoking posts: Flying has become cheaper than taking a train or driving a car. Yet, environmental concerns, dwindling fuel reserves and fast rising kerosene prices are threatening to turn airline travel into a privilege for the rich again. This should not mean the end of mass travel or tourism, however. Before mass air travel took off in the 1960s, people crossed the globe in majestic passenger ships. Reintroducing ocean liners would be more than a nostalgic move: it would …

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Buying a high-mileage car easier said than done

My brother-in-law recently sent me a spreadsheet he'd built that compares a Prius and two similar-sized cars. He just wanted to know if "doing the right thing was going to cost me." The numbers said to buy a Prius. Ideally, going green should always be a win-win situation. Then, however, he found that the waiting list is "baaaack!" So he'll have to put down a deposit just to get in line. He was quite disappointed and may now buy a different car. My car is also on the ropes. A few months ago, I asked for car advice and got …

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A new video about creation care

Another sharp new piece from the American News Project:

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Public transit ridership is up, but no one’s talking about a better system

But how long will they wait for infrastructure improvements? Photo: Sharat Ganapati One year ago, as America prepared for the traditional summer-driving crush, op-ed pages nationwide fretted over a disturbing trend. Only a decade earlier, oil had plumbed depths near $10 per barrel, and dirt-cheap gas had allowed us to roll over the nation's blacktop in vehicles of monster-truck proportions. But now something odd was happening: In just nine short years, real oil prices had quadrupled. The steady upward march threatened all that we held dear, like Chevy Tahoes, the open road, and driving alone. How, the nation's pundits wondered …

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From Turnoff to Turn-on

Just don't hit eject Overpopulation give you pause? Then give it pause, boys, with a remote control that halts sperm in its tracks. Perfect for dates on fast-forward -- though it does involve microchipping your manhood. But did we mention the remote control? Booty call to action If you're bummed about climate change, panty up for some eco-skivvies. Made in the world's first carbon-neutral clothing factory, these thongs feel so right. Staycation: all we ever wanted It's the summer of staycations: folks are choosing patio tables over tray tables, backyard pools over exotic cruises, and "well, here we are" over …

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An eco-friendly gift guide for Father’s Day

I will be your father figure, I have had enough of clime. You're already planning to whip up a delectable dinner for Dad; the lawn is freshly mown; and you're saving that request for plumbing advice 'til June 16. What else could a father ask for? If you still feel the need to shop, make sure the green you drop is actually green with these easy-on-the-Earth gift ideas. Mmm, the world of organic beer. Organic swillin' and grillin' Tom Philpott did the painstaking work of testing seven organic beers -- now all you have to do is pick one Dad …

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Neve Campbell’s eco-flick won’t air in the U.S.

Neve Campbell. Burn Up is the (totally and completely fictional) story about a clash between Big Oil and Big Green. The Canadian/British miniseries features Party of Five star Neve Campbell as an environmentalist hired to work for an oil company (as a greenwash decoy, of course, though she doesn't realize it until too late ... mwahahaha). Unfortunately for us Yanks, though, Burn Up will not be airing stateside. (At least not yet.) But if you're one of our lucky readers in Canada or the U.K., catch it Tuesday and Wednesday on Global or BBC, respectively.

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