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To engage other students, green activists put their best fête forward

  A pop quiz for the college crowd: Which of the following is no fun? A) Beer B) Doing it in the dark C) Global warming activism D) This is a trick question -- they're all related If you picked C, you're forgiven, says Maura Cowley, campaign director for the Sierra Student Coalition. But, dude, you're so wrong. The right answer, of course, is D. Today's campus eco-actions involve all sorts of festive frolicking, from "Save the Ales" parties for the 21-and-older set to "Do It in the Dark" contests, green condoms, and risqué recycling campaigns. "We want to make …

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Resources to help you green your college experience

The sites below aim to help you find the right green-leaning campus, cause, or contest. There's no way we've uncovered all the good ones, so tell us what we've missed in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Green College Rankings Sustainable Endowment Institute's "College Sustainability Report Card" Princeton Review's "Green Rating Honor Roll" Kaplan College Guide's list of 25 green colleges Sierra Club's list of 10 "Cool Schools" taking action on climate change (and five schools that get failing grades) "Beyond Grey Pinstripes" [PDF], a report that ranks MBA programs on how well they integrate social and …

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Tesla profile in New Scientist

For those upset about the bashing electric vehicles have taken recently, check out this glowing profile ($ub. req'd) of Tesla -- and its Roadster -- in New Scientist magazine today. The Roadster does 0-60 in four seconds, tops out at 130 mph, and only costs $109,000 (sigh ... not in this writer's budget this year). Pedestrians and cyclists beware, the Roadster's 248 horsepower electric engine makes less noise than a golf-cart, but its 450 kg lithium-ion battery would pack quite a punch. What the car lacks in aural stimulus, however, it makes up for with visuals: those curves will turn …

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'Should go over big with the tree huggers ... ', video

Truth in advertising

Check out this pearl from commenter David Ahlport (found in the comments of David Roberts' Cost Tic post). I'm a proponent of using ads to spread ideas. The problem with most ads is that they are at best half-truths. This one has it all. They draw a gentle and humorous line between themselves and negative stereotypes. Going green should not be about sacrifice and depravation deprivation. I have seen a few versions of this while channel surfing. We could use a lot more like it.

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Incoming Yale student plans to ramp up her activism for the big leagues

For some people, life starts after college. For Karoline Evin McMullen, it began in middle school. Karoline Evin McMullen Age: 18 School: Yale University By the time she was 14, McMullen of rural Geauga County, Ohio, had already: written a textbook for elementary school kids; started a project with two friends to protect endangered brook trout; won a Christopher Columbus Award and a trip to Walt Disney World; and won a President's Environmental Youth Award and a trip to another fantastical kingdom, the White House, to meet President Bush and the head of the U.S. EPA. Those awards -- and …

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Seven tips on green campus organizing from a Harvard pro

Leith Sharp. When Leith Sharp left her native Australia for a five-month tour of the U.S. and Europe in the late 1990s, she could hardly have guessed that she'd be gone for a decade. But that's exactly what happened. Sharp had spent five years piloting eco-efforts at the University of New South Wales, in a paid position that was not only a first for the school, but was also one of the first in the country. She set out on her travels to explore sustainability on other campuses, sharing her own experiences as she went. After she spoke at Harvard, …

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The revolution will not be grumpetized

The automotive revolution: how fast?

Wall Street Journal senior editor Joseph B. White attempts to dump some cold water on the "automotive revolution" everyone's all giddy about: This revolution will take years to pull off -- and that's assuming it isn't derailed by a return to cheap oil. Anyone who goes to sleep today and wakes up in five years will find that most cars for sale in the U.S. will still run on regular gas -- with a few more than today taking diesel fuel. That will likely be the case even if the latter-day Rip Van Winkle sleeps until 2020. The ensuing article …

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Umbra on wine bottle stoppers

Dear Umbra, Here's a question I couldn't find an answer to in the Grist archives: What kind of plastic is being used for the corks in wine bottles? If I decide to put a bottle in the cellar for several years, will the plastic leach into the wine? Thanks for your help! Holli B. Portland, Ore. Dearest Holli, No need to fret: Wine bottles plugged by plastic stoppers or screw-tops can be stored upright, with the plastic separated from the liquid, getting you around the potential problem of plastics leaching into the wine. Natural cork must be kept moist so …

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The half-life of convenience

Will train travel get annoying too?

As more trains catch up to air travel, time-wise, one thing that can put them over the top is the time saved avoiding the hassles of getting to the airport, parking, security, waiting, etc. But what if one of the first mid- or long-range train systems suffers some kind of attack, or even threat of attack? A pipe bomb, a lone gunman, what have you. Immediately would come the metal detectors, shoe examinations, long lines, and the rest of it. Train travel would become frustrating too. Cheap mass travel -- safe enough to satisfy American anxieties -- is probably just …

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How to green your entertainment center

When it comes to watching television, it's practically your environmental duty to gaze at Adrian Grenier on Planet Green and cheer on Major League Baseball's efforts to become more sustainable. (That's what we tell ourselves, anyway.) But did you know the chemicals in that idiot box could be rotting your brain even more than the trashy reality shows? The lead in TVs and even dust resting on top have come under scrutiny for posing health risks, and nitrogen trifluoride (a chemical used in manufacturing flat-screen TVs) has been criticized as a contributor to global warming. Environmentally speaking, the boob tube …

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