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Wimbledon under fire for shooting pigeons

As the Wimbledon tennis championships get underway, the real drama isn't on the court but in the air. After the players' lawn and an open-air restaurant were dive-bombed by pigeons, officials sent marksmen to take 'em out. The tournament employs two hawks for pigeon-scaring, "and by and large they do the job," says a Wimbledon spokesperson. "But unfortunately there were one or two areas where the hawks didn't deter the pigeons, so it was deemed necessary to take a harder approach." Folks at PETA are hopping mad, calling the shooting "cruel and illegal behavior." But apparently, desperate times call for …

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How to green your vacation

Wherever you go, there you are ... still having an impact. Everyone needs to take a break from the stresses of life, and environmentalists are no exception. After all, vacations are a necessary part of any sustainable lifestyle. And while vacation time itself can be hard to come by, your getaway needn't be hard on the planet. There are plenty of ways to green your vacation, whatever your budget and whatever your destination. Whether it's a close-to-home romp in the outdoors or a spendy retreat halfway around the globe, there's no shortage of ways to see the world -- while …

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Home Depot will collect CFLs for recycling

Home Depot announced Tuesday that it will collect compact fluorescent light bulbs and send them off to be recycled. The home-improvement behemoth hopes the new program will keep the bulbs, which contain a small amount of mercury, out of household trash and recycling bins. IKEA also collects CFLs for recycling but doesn't have the market saturation of Home Depot; more than three-quarters of U.S. households are estimated to be within 10 miles of a Home Depot store. The company's 1,973 U.S. stores will also switch to CFLs in light-fixture showrooms by the fall, a move expected to save it $16 …

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Lights, camera, eco-action!

New flicks feature green themes

Photo: rpb1001 The oppressive heat of global warming got you headed to your local air-conditioned movie theater? No? It's just the popcorn? Well, either way, you may end up seeing a blockbuster with an environmental theme. Lately there's been a bumper crop of eco-stuff hitting the big screen or making its way there soon. For starters, you've probably heard the not-so-friendly reviews of The Happening, M. Night Shyamalan's latest showing. But rotten (organic) tomatoes or no, this one does have an eco-theme -- the premise being that as revenge for humankind's mistreatment of the earth, trees begin releasing a neurotoxin …

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Me, at the Organic Summit

What should I ask — or tell — the (organic-cotton) suits at a fancy Colorado confab this week?

Later this week, I'll be reporting from the Organic Summit in Boulder. Judging from the attendees list on the homepage, the summit brings together the shakers and movers behind what Michael Pollan has called "industrial organic" -- the large-scale producers and processors that stock the shelves at Whole Foods and the organic sections at Wal-Mart, Safeway, etc. But the organizers seem intent on shaking things up. The speakers list ranges from Brahm Ahmadi of Oakland's excellent urban-ag project, People's Grocery, to Jim Thomas of the GMO watchdog ETC Group to Shelley Rodgers, who's making a documentary called What's Organic About …

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Preparing for Olympics, Beijing takes government cars off roads

In preparation for hosting the Olympics and Paralympics from Aug. 8 to Sept. 17, Beijing has officially kicked off its plan to clear the air by keeping cars parked. Starting Monday, half of Beijing's 22,800 government vehicles will stay off the roads until July 19. From July 20 to Sept. 20, 70 percent of government vehicles will be idled, and non-governmental vehicle owners will only be allowed to drive every other day. Beginning July 1, heavily polluting industrial trucks will be rerouted around the city. "Thanks to the bans, vehicle emissions during the Olympic Games are expected to drop by …

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Umbra on car seat recycling

Dear Umbra, What do you recommend for child car seat disposal or, better yet, recycling? Near as I can tell, options include giving them away to someone who needs them (a pretty discouraged practice) or sending them to Oregon or Colorado where a couple of renegade recycling programs are working to resolve this huge issue. I am about to become a parent, and we just bought a new car seat (bad, I know). I'd love to know if you have any other ideas, oh brilliant eco-Umbra. Sarah Seattle, Wash. Dearest Sarah, It's good that you bought a new car seat. …

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Tommy in the top slot

Norwegian fuck-tivists on VH1

I'm not saying that I happened upon, and then proceeded to watch, half of the truly classy Freakiest Concert Moments of All Time on VH1 last night. But if I had, I would have been delighted to see our favorite eco-porn activists in the top slot. Yes, Tommy and Leona's on-stage antics were #1 on the list -- and better yet, Grist's Norwegian Wood head and subhead were woven into the story's graphics. Score!

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From Dating to Dingoes

Attention tree huggers Barking up the wrong tree when it comes to your love life? Branch out with DateforTrees.com, which donates an evergreen for every month you're a hopeless loser paid member. Just lay off the acorny openers. Dropping the ball To protect a major reservoir from dangerous chemical reactions, L.A. water officials are going balls out. Quite literally, actually -- covering the water's surface with 400,000 bouncy black balls. Hee hee, they said balls. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times Clutter: fuck While we admire the folks paring down their worldly possessions as part of the 100 Thing Challenge, …

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Can your pocketbook save the planet? The author of Big Green Purse says yes

Diane MacEachern. Mary Poppins may have had a giant carpetbag from which she could pull coat racks and potted plants. But author Diane MacEachern has something even better: A big, green purse that, she says, carries the power to influence the marketplace to "create a cleaner, greener world." The concept behind MacEachern's book Big Green Purse is built on the fact that women shell out 85 cents of every dollar spent in the marketplace, and the notion that big business responds faster to consumer demand than any other market force. She says women's consumer power -- they collectively earn $2.7 …

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