Just Boo-Cause

Ask Umbra on Halloween treats and costumes

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Hi Umbra, Do you have any suggestions for an environmentally friendly Halloween treat, and something that parents won’t worry about? Thanks,Kim W.Ann Arbor, Mich. A. Dearest Kim, Or there’s the ever-popular “hot mama Earth” costume.Grist TVWe’ve said lots about Halloween over the years, but there’s always more to say. Which is why I dug your letter out of the e-mail archives to suit my needs. Will my ghoulish charm convince you to overlook that haunting maneuver? This year, I’ve found a new list of non-food items for trick-or-treaters, and I’m ready for the 2009 …

Ah, the sweet smell of composting putrescents

Black (fly) magic

Adult black soldier fly.blacksoldierflyblog.comBlack soldier fly larvae are all the rage in composting, and the star performer in a new kind of “ultimate vermicomposting” system. These critters will devour anything biological that you can throw at them, including items that normally cannot be composted and instead end up in the trash, so called ‘putrescent’ wastes like meat scraps and dairy. And what you wind up with is big fat delicious grubs, perfect food for chickens or fish in a charming and tasty backyard closed loop system. And on a larger scale, their culture could help towns and cities deal with …

Clip 'n' save

This Halloween, cut flesh for the climate

  Halloween is almost upon us! Still stumped about the best way to decorate your premises for this spookiest of holidays? We have here a set of six Grist-exclusive patterns to help you carve the perfect eco-pumpkin. Each pattern comes with instructions. Just click on your favorite, print the PDF, sharpen your knife, and get to it. Then all you’ll have left to do is choose the perfect costume. (Don’t go as Bill McKibben, you’ll steal our thunder.)   Skull and corncob bones Kerry-Boxer climate pumpkin No more CO2! Because it’ll happen eventually … Angry polar bear … you’re killing …

Climate walks

More Climate Action Day action from Umbra Fisk

Grist’s Umbra Fisk took to the streets of New York City on Saturday, Oct. 24, to chat up participants in‘s International Climate Action Day. Take a stroll with Umbra across the Brooklyn Bridge and up to Times Square, and eavesdrop on her conversations with Peter Singer, Batman, Robert Swan, and the climate-conscious denizens of New York.

Paterson’s Bold Carbon Gamble

California’s state budget gap was about $40 billion this year. New York’s some $50 billion. Every state in the Union is struggling with drastically lower revenues and higher costs for services of every kind, washing state capitals with red ink. At the polls next year, governors who are facing elections – – including Governor David Paterson of New York – – may find themselves politically drowned by such gargantuan deficits. So, faced with closing schools, hospitals, fire stations, and kicking struggling families off of welfare roles, governors are turning instead, like the famous bank robber Willy Sutton, to wherever the …

stop your whining and do something!

Bill McKibben on International Climate Action Day

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world turned out for last Saturday’s International Day of Climate Action. The global climate event was organized by Grist caught up with 350’s founder, writer Bill McKibben, in New York’s Times Square. McKibben talked about the event, the worldwide turnout and what it may all mean for the upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen this December.

Flash in the Pan

Ask Umbra on canned and frozen foods

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, For those times when fresh vegetables are not available, are canned or frozen veggies the way to go from a sustainable and nutritional standpoint? Assume that we recycle in our household. Cheers! Mark L.Sanford, Fla. A. Dearest Mark, I thought you Floridians would just live on fresh oranges and lemons all winter. Scurvy must have its opposite, I suppose, and one never hears of orange casserole or orange stew. On the sustainability front, there is no clear and dominant difference between canned and frozen veggies — or, to say that another way, …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: Protest edition

The International Day of Climate Action spearheaded by has already kicked off, and will involve more than 4,800 events in 171 countries. Find one near you — and then tell Grist about your big time! Sometimes it can be quite expedient To act all quiet and obedient. But now’s the time, across the land:Get off your butt and take a stand! On October 24, climate voices ring — from Mongolia to

EMA, meet Uma

Happy birthday, EMA Awards … and you other groups, too

This weekend marks the twentieth annual occurrence of a vaunted celebration you’ve quite possibly never heard of: the Environmental Media Association awards. The EMAs actually do a pretty good job of attracting A-list stars, or at least A-minus, and are the original “green-carpet” event. Each year, there are a handful of honorary awards (this year’s recipients include Richard Branson and Jason Mraz) and several others given in various film and TV categories. Sometimes it can feel like a stretch: for instance, while the nominating committee must have been thrilled with the documentary selections available to them this year — Fuel, …

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