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Umbra on transporting coffee by bike

Dear Umbra, Now that there are promises that the snow will melt someday, I'm dreaming about biking again -- to work, to the farmers' market, to church, etc. However, my sweet husband loves to make me coffee and send it with me when I leave the house. I have wonderful reusable coffee cups for the car, but how do I transport coffee on a bicycle without ruining it or me? Any bright ideas? Caffeine Appreciator Duluth, Minn. Dearest CA, "Thermos thermos thermos, you keep things hot all day, thermos thermos thermos, you're leak proof and lightweigh ... t." My bright …

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From P-I-M-P to Pimp

Say hello to Lolita's friend Hey Miami Seaquarium: We can do this the easy way, or the hard way. So why don't you just hand over the whale, and we'll make sure you avoid a run-in with 50 Cent's finger gunz, Johnny Depp's crazy-eye, and Harrison Ford's killer smile. Photo: Johnny Nunez / Wireimage Four14een Just when we had successfully rid ourselves of lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy, and pride, the Pope-meister goes and changes the rules on us. Now that polluting is a one-way ticket to hell, we'll be sure to carpool to confession. We love parasols in …

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An interview with the founders of Method green home-care products

After spending a few minutes with Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan, I began to wonder if they weren't part of a modern-day adaptation of The Odd Couple. The 30-something founders of the Method line of home-care products, friends since high school, are about as different as two business partners could be. Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry. Lowry (Method's "chief greens keeper") is tall and lanky, with dark brown hair. The day we met, he was wearing a classic slacks-and-button-down number and a serious look on his face. He's a chemical engineer with an environmental degree and has worked as a …

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Some ‘green’ products test positive for nasty chemical

Nearly half of 100 consumer products claiming to be "natural" or "organic" tested positive for a carcinogenic petrochemical manufacturing byproduct, according to the Organic Consumers Association. The products tainted with scary-sounding 1,4-dioxane came from various well-known brands, including Alba, Jasön, Kiss My Face, Method, Nature's Gate, and Seventh Generation. Some of the companies said they would review their ingredients, while others lamented that eliminating 1,4-dioxane would at this point mean using alternatives that irritate skin or reduce cleaning effectiveness. They continue to work on the issue, says Martin Wolf of Seventh Generation: "We're not there yet. We have more work …

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The SOZEV/train combo commute

Pete has the coolest-looking SOZEV (Single-Occupant Zero-Carbon Emission Vehicle) in Seattle. (Click the photo to the right for a larger view.) It has turned a sweat-inducing, 45-minute slog up a killer hill into a comfortable 10-minute cruise. He rides to the Sounder commuter train station from his house and then from downtown to his office east of Seattle. Surfing the net while commuting by train is a concept that appeals to me. I wonder how well the free wi-fi concept is actually working out ... Pete said he would let me test-ride it, so I jumped at the chance and …

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Drive a stake into winter’s cold heart with a creamy, dreamy noodle dish

Goodbye winter, hello primavera. Photo: iStockphoto I love March. Why? Because I hate winter. I hate shoveling, I hate walking on ice, and I especially hate always having to look at the ground when I'm walking, instead of at all the people and things around me. With the exception of cross-country skiing and being able to do stuff indoors without feeling guilty about not being outdoors (an East Coast phenomenon, I'm told), I truly hate winter. If global warming can deliver us from winter, then I'm all for it (just kidding). Once March arrives, winter loses its edge. The quality …

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Misleading cotton ads banned in U.K.

Poster and magazine ads by the U.S. cotton industry have been banned in Britain. The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority can put the kibosh on advertising deemed to be greenwashing, and regulators took issue with the cotton ads' claim that the crop is "soft, sensual, and sustainable." The ad authority pointed out that cotton is a "pesticide- and insecticide-intensive crop" and can "seriously deplete" groundwater supplies. The cotton industry protested the ban, to no avail.

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Wal-Mart discontinues selling green PC in stores

Remember the gPC? It's Everex's $199 "green" Linux computer, the one Wal-Mart stocked up on during the last holiday season. Well, it seems the "experiment" is over, with an unsatisfied Wal-Mart putting those famous price-cutting scissors on their plan to sell the cheap PC in their stores. According to the AP, Wal-Mart concluded that their middle-American consumer base was not hip to the gPC's Linux-based operating system. However, seeing the appeal of the computer to a more geeky clientele, Wal-Mart will continue to sell it on their website. Why should anyone care? Far as I know, this was the first …

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This is what happens when Hollywood saves the whales

50 Cent. A motley crew of Hollywood homeboys may be banding together for a benefit concert to free Lolita, a killer whale who's lived in captivity for four decades performing at the Miami Seaquarium. Efforts to return Lolita to her Pacific Northwest home have been underway for years, but it hasn't gotten much press until Hollywood producer Raul Julia-Levy signed on to help bring aboard as many stars as he could. So far, he's reportedly delivered Johnny Depp, Snoop Dogg, Harrison Ford, and 50 Cent (who, in addition to having a soft spot for urban green spaces, "loves animals like …

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