Living

Yes, they can

U.S Gov’t official: ‘avoid BPA’ in food packaging

Oh, you wanted it poison-free? Let’s hope this report represents a tipping of the government’s hand on bisphenol A and not a case of someone going rogue: The head of the primary federal agency studying the safety of bisphenol A said Friday that people should avoid ingesting the chemical–especially pregnant women, infants and children. “There are plenty of reasonable alternatives,” said Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program, in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. While stressing she is not a medical doctor, Birnbaum said she has seen enough studies on …

Give and let live

Ask Umbra on holiday donations, green magazines, and more

Dearest Readers, I write to you from Copenhagen, where I have come to witness the big climate conference. O the life of a Grist columnist gets more glamorous by the day! Be sure to check out our coverage, and follow my adventures on Twitter. Yes, dear readers, I’ve finally succumbed to the tweet hereafter — but rest assured, I’ll still hole up in the stacks at good old Grist headquarters tracking down the answers to your burning questions. For now, I’m holed up in a Danish hotel room, climate skeptics banging on the door. Odds bodkins, they are persistent. Q. …

Protesting the headlines

On the message—not the arrests—at Copenhagen’s mass rally

Demonstrators at Saturday’s climate-change march in Copenhagen.Grist photo/Jennifer PredigerI skipped Copenhagen’s large demonstration on Saturday for the same reason I missed the Bright Green expo and Desmond Tutu speaking at the Bella Center—there’s so freakin’ much happening here, so many events worth attending and reporting at every waking moment. I’ll post more soon about the event I did attend, a gathering of corporate executives up the coast at Hamlet’s Kronborg Castle. But a quick word on Saturday’s rally. What happened: Tens of thousands of people showed up to demand, beg, shame and inspire world political leaders, all in hopes of …

Walk it out

From Big Ben to Brussels: Group walks to raise climate awareness

Here are the stats on our walk from Big Ben to Brussels: 3 countries, 15 days, 250 miles, an estimated 500,000 steps. Me and 4 footsore, fantastic friends. Our final day seemed almost too easy. We woke up with less than 10 miles to go, and had to dawdle along to allow the camera crew time to film us. Walking slowly was surprisingly hard after 2 weeks on the road we had settled into a natural rhythm, and to slow down was at least as hard as walking faster would have been. We ended as we had begun, in the …

Girls (and Boys) Gone Wild

Why should policymakers, investors, and businesspeople care about youth in Copenhagen?

Of the estimated 20,000 people converging on the U.N. climate conference this week and next, half of them are expected to be under the age of 30. My colleague in Copenhagen, Kristina Haddad, reports, “I observed that many in the crowds of people were young. Most were wearing t-shirts or passing out flyers that essentially pleaded for the world leaders to do the right thing — to stop the talking and compromise and really do something about this crisis or they will have no future.” She went on to describe how a group from India unraveled a banner at the …

Not So Fast

This year, have a Slow Christmas

This post originally appeared on SlowChristmas.org. Recently I have begun to wonder. Just when did Christmas go from this:         to this? USB Warmer Seat Cushion           The world is a fast place, filled with stuff, so I guess it makes sense that Christmas would reflect that. The trouble is, we’re all a little broke from living this way, and the planet is groaning from last year’s stocking stuffers. So what if this year, instead of spending time at the mall buying family and friends stuff they might not even like, we spend …

Canned goods--and bads

How to make healthy, safe food-bank donations 

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. ————— Time to green the canned-food drive.From the Grist Twitter feed: Looking for healthy safe nonperishable foods to donate to food banks. Ideas?  – Janieo  
  Dear Janieo,  Thanks so much for this question. I must admit that sometimes I feel like I’m fiddling while Rome burns — prattling on about the merits of artisan chocolate while people go hungry. To understand the issue of hunger better, I contacted …

Forward Progress

Take a walk through the JP Green House [video]

JP Green House walk-through from Ken Ward on Vimeo. Walk through of JP Green House, by Ken Ward, co-founder, and Simon Hare & Declan Keefe of Placetailor, showing materials, design and construction techiques being used, aiming to meet passivhaus standards and meet negative, net carbon impact objective.

Buy green, then behave

Study says green shoppers more likely to later cheat, steal

Dearests, I know this won’t apply to any of you, but it is a curious phenomenon: according to a piece in Slate, a recent psychological study shows that a small group of shoppers who bought green products later acted badly in constructed situations — in one case, sharing less money with those in need, and in another, cheating and stealing during a simulated shopping game. How could buying organic nectarines lead to such nefariousness? Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow explains: Why might this happen? According to [Benoit Monin, a professor at Stanford], there are two theories. One is that when we’ve established our …

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