Vive la différence

My family (yours, too) needs rich social spaces–not cars–to be happy

Lisa’s fantastic essay, “Say it loud: I’m childfree and I’m proud,” had 196 comments last time I checked. If you haven’t read it, you really should. I’ll wait here. … It got me thinking. Pardon a weekend ramble. Me and my little resource hogs.I’m a father of two boys and I’ve absolutely loved it. I was making pretty poor use of being childless anyway, and it turns out having kids suits me better than independence ever did. But my first reaction to Lisa’s essay was not defensiveness. It’s not like we’re taking a quiz and there’s only one right answer. …

eggcellent timing

Easter and plastic eggs

There’s always a place for some old-fashioned hating on plastics, especially if there’s a timely hook: “If the traditional Easter egg is a symbol of resurrection, or a more paganesque generalized celebration of fertility, than what does a plastic Easter egg signify?” Andrew Leonard asks at Salon. He learns that Easter, historically a high-sales season for chicken-laid eggs, no longer brings a boom for the egg industry. Because the plastic variety is winning out: This weekend, millions of children will, knowingly or unknowingly, reenact ancient rituals honoring the mystery of life by hunting for plastic eggs that symbolize the exact …

The GINK Chronicles

Debunking the “you’d be a great green parent” argument

A number of commenters on my “I’m childfree and I’m proud” post, both here and on Facebook, argued that I’m just the sort of smart, eco-groovy person who should be having kids, to ensure that there’s a new generation of thoughtful and active citizens to carry on the good fight.  Thanks for the compliment!  But I have to respectfully disagree.  For starters, I’ll turn again to wise words from Stephanie Mills, who heard similar arguments after she announced her intention to remain childfree in 1969: There were well-intentioned folks who told me that I was just the kind of person …

A job for you(tube)

Al Gore wants Earth Day volunteer videos

Al Gore is calling on volunteer videographers to create short videos about their favorite organization working on climate-change solutions. Three of them will appear on YouTube’s homepage on Earth Day, April 22. Then millions of YouTube viewers will have their climate awarenesses raised. For one whole day … Can’t hurt, right? “This year on Earth Day, we need more than just another celebration,” says the Goreacle. “We need a revolution, a clean energy revolution.” Here’s the video from Gore’s Repower America:

Sex sells

Ask Umbra on Babeland’s boinking for bucks

Birds do it. Bees do it. You know what I’m buzzing about. And as long as you’re doing it, why not do it for Grist? For the entire month of April, Babeland will be donating 20 percent of sales of all their eco-friendly sex toys to Grist. You might remember this video about breaking up with your blow-up doll revealing the toxins hiding in your bedside drawer. Your privates deserve better than phthalates. So take this opportunity to support two of your passions: the eco-news and advice you love and, well, you know …

Take a bite out of grime

Ask Umbra’s pearls of wisdom on spring cleaning

Dearest readers, Ah, spring is on the calendar and in the air. Birds are singing, bees are buzzing, flowers are making me sneeze—or perhaps it’s this dust that’s been building up all winter. Time for the annual washing, scrubbing, wiping, sweeping, and general expunging of stuff known as spring cleaning. I scoured the archives for some past advice on all things tidy, hygienic, and sparkling. Got any special tips for getting the grime out? Hit me up in the comments below. DIY not? Forgo commercial chemical cleaners, and make your own. All homebrew cleaning recipes involve four simple ingredients: white …

citric circuits

How much renewable juice does it take to power an Apple iPad?

With Apple fans’ fingers itching for the newest glossy touchscreen machine to hit the market this Saturday — the legendary iPad — it only makes sense to ask how the latest gee-whiz gizmo will impact the environment. Even with ten to twelve hours of battery time, they’ll have to recharge the wunder gadget sometime. So why not utilize refreshing, renewable, citric energy? Let’s see, if it takes 2,380 orange slices to charge an iPhone, then to power an iPad would take, uh, … a lot of juice. By my sketchy math calculations, about 9,996 orange slices (if an iPhone 3GS …

I'm tweetin' it!

McDonald’s responds to April Fools’ story (via Twitter)

It looks like McDonald’s has a Big Mac–sized sense of humor. The official McDonald’s Twitter account responded to readers’ questions about our April Fools’ Day report saying that McDonald’s is scrapping a composting plan because its food won’t decompose. While some people didn’t realize it was fake news, McDonald’s did, and responded to a tweet from Edible San Francisco saying: @EdibleSF: This one had us laughing :) It’s an #AprilFools joke! And here’s another: @aarieff: They say April Fools jokes are a form of flattery! This one had us laughing too! ^Mol @aarief responded: “But what r u doing about …

h2 the horsizzle

How to improve a Hummer’s mileage and add retro style

Improving a Hummer’s mileage doesn’t take much. And it doesn’t even require pricey, high-tech electric batteries. Artist Jeremy Dean says you have to go Back to the Futurama, which is more 19th century than lithium-ion centric. But how to actually improve a Hummer’s mileage? Easy: Put two horses in front of it and take it for a ride through Central Park. While we’re not sure how much you’d have to pony up to get this kind of horsepower, the video below is worth watching to see how Dean’s Hummer hoofs it.  —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive …

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