Low Impact, No Publicity

Simple people

I don’t dislike No Impact Man. He is more intentionally political than his detractors portray him to be, and I think his yearlong stunt of living without toilet paper in NYC has been eye-opening for a lot of people, and amusing for many others. I admit that the “happy green” genre of books that are appearing a lot now, exemplified by Sleeping Naked is Green (by Vanessa Farquharson), make me nauseous: a hot twentysomething journalist makes sacrifices such as “buying only green cosmetics” while traveling to eco-resorts by plane and making amends with carbon offsets. But I was, until recently, …

Fashion for the Forests

Gucci Group commits to saving Indonesia’s rainforests

Photo: Shi! There’s a new fashion trend this fall: saving Indonesian rainforests. The Gucci Group, the prestigious conglomerate of fashion and luxury brands that owns Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Balenciaga, has decided to eliminate all paper made from Indonesian rainforests. That includes everything from its letterhead to the pretty paper bags with ribbon handles that they give to shoppers to hold their new couture. A paper policy, you say? That’s not really fashionable, is it? Turns out it is. Gucci Group’s policy puts it at the front of a list of major companies — including Tiffany …

Contest: Come up with a title for Joseph Romm’s book

My publisher and I still haven’t come up with a title that works. The problem is that there are a great many books on climate and/or clean energy solutions coming out right now many with similar sounding titles. I do think this collection of blog posts accomplishes what I try to do on my blog — save readers time, cut through the crap, and focus on what’s important in climate science, solution, and politics (with a hefty dose of old-media critiques). The trick is it making that all clear in a few, catchy words. I prefer figures of speech — …

Dogs Vs. SUVs

Editor’s note: Clark will be on NW Cable News tomorrow morning (Nov 3) around 8:30 to talk more about this issue. You may have seen the meme circulating around the internet:  some researchers from Australia are claiming that owning a dog has as much impact on the planet as owning an SUV.  I’ll let New Scientist summarize their case: [A] medium-sized dog…consume[s] 90 grams of meat and 156 grams of cereals daily in its recommended 300-gram portion of dried dog food…So that gives him a footprint of 0.84 hectares… Meanwhile, an SUV…driven a modest 10,000 kilometres a year, uses 55.1 …

Bring It On

Ask Umbra on her hotness, corporate gift baskets, and more

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I am worried that your hotness may be contributing to global warming. I’m not sure what can be done to fix this. O Zone A. Dearest O, You are making me blush. But I am using your letter as a springboard to report some exciting news: In an effort to make my operations more energy-efficient, I am combining my previous twice-weekly column into one weekly, multi-question column. Experts say the shift will result in 26 fewer milligrams of carbon emitted each week. I’ll also be popping up in other places on Grist …

Cross, you tease

It’s Getting Ha! in Here: Featuring David Cross

Comic and author David Cross kicks off Grist’s new comedy interview series, “It’s Getting Ha! in Here”! Check out his riffs on laughter saving the environment, how his fans can help planet earth and, of course, farting. And if that’s not enough, check out Cross’s new book I Drink for a Reason.

Green Jobs Now

Weatherizing Portland

Clean Energy Works Portland is a groundbreaking new program that enables Portland residents to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and pay for the improvements over time through their utility bills. A contractor performing a blower door test to identify air infiltration and leakage throughout a home.Energy Trust of OregonBut the most exciting and unique aspect of the program is the Community Workforce Agreement that was developed by representatives of labor unions, community groups, businesses, community colleges, and other stakeholders. It is a comprehensive plan to make sure that new jobs created by Clean Energy Works Portland are high …

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 …

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