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When do green ads translate to green action?

The greening of the U.S. of A. still has a ways to go. We're plundering Canada's tar sands and mining the Midwest's topsoil to keep our cars on the road. We lay waste to ton after ton of Chinese coal to fuel our cheap-stuff habit. And so on. But if our habits remain environmentally ruinous, the strategies we use to sell stuff have gone decidedly green. From today's Wall Street Journal, a wrap-up of the year in advertising: Green is the new black. Madison Avenue tried to curry favor with consumers this year by coloring products and brands with an …

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The wide world of green sports, in easily digestible nuggets

There are various and sundry things to report on the green sporting goings-on from the last -- ahem -- two months, so with no further ado: The synthetic-turf debate hits the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, The Nantucket Independent, the Port Washington News, and some small rag called The New York Times. Also, golfers at Luxembourg Airport (wha?) will putt on the stuff. The National Hockey League Players' Association has partnered with the David Suzuki Foundation to offset emissions from all the brawls travel. The Super Bowl will go green (again). So will the New England Patriots, who may have an eensy-weensy …

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The ear as an underutilized data input port

I've been experimenting with audiobooks, not only because they may one day replace the tree-eating variety, but also because I like the idea of listening to a book while performing other less entertaining tasks. Meetings fit that definition but turn out not to be good candidates for other reasons. My brain has two main data input ports: my ears and eyes. Of the two, my ears seem to be the least utilized. However, I didn't know if I could listen to a book and chew gum at the same time so I decided to test the idea out before I …

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Consumers shopped less this holiday season, testing brand loyalty

Holiday retail sales took a hit this year, even at stores like Starbucks, Coach, and Target that enjoy strong customer loyalty. Expensive gas, dropping home prices, and an uncertain economy -- or a society-wide trend toward reduced consumerism? Hey, we can dream.

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It’s almost 2008, and Beijing’s air is still polluted

The city of Beijing has been striving to clear its air for the sake of the Olympic athletes who will descend upon the city this coming summer -- but whether it will be able to pull off blue skies remains to be seen. Beijingers were warned to stay inside today, as pollution hit "as bad as it can get," according to a spokesperson from the city's Environmental Protection Bureau, who adds, "This is as bad as it has been all year." The International Olympic Committee has warned organizers that it will reschedule athletic events if air quality is a threat …

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The Best of Grist List 2007

Art attack With more subtlety than a "wash me" message, reverse graffiti artists have hit the streets to take a bite out of grime. And as to the softer side of urban art? Knitta, please. Photo: Alexandre Orion Go fuzz yourself The hatas who wanted to give Knut the boot better watch their backs 'cause this cuddly wuddly fuzz ball ain't playin'. Officially branded by the Berlin Zoo, the celeb cub's got his "Knut Ist Gut!" single on German shelves, raspberry-flavored sweets in the works, and his mug on the cover of the German Vanity Fair. He's practically a hip-hop …

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Online shopping better for the earth than going to the mall, says study

Online shopping is better for the planet than multiple trips to the mall, says a somewhat ill-timed study. (Start your online shopping today, spend $3,000,000 for shipping.) "Using several assumptions and data from several authoritative sources, we can reasonably estimate that nearly [500,000 metric tons] of carbon dioxide are kept out of the atmosphere by shopping online" during the holidays, says Jesse Miller of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. We would venture to say that patronizing walking-accessible local merchants might be the big winner here -- by why do that when malls at holiday time are so much fun?

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Top green music stories of 2007

Here are the Official Top Green Music Stories of 2007, listed in very particular order and determined via a very scientific process (a combination of my memory and Grist's archives): 5. Sheryl Crow proposes a one-square limit on toilet-paper use; TP-users fail to get joke. 4. Oscar awarded to Inconvenient Truth's eco-song. 3. Industry-wide search for eco-song-that-doesn't-suck continues. 2. Summer music festivals go for green, while festival-goers smoke it. 1. Live Earth concerts bring together rock stars, eco-celebs, and that politician dude. P.S. For more on green music news, see our list of the Top 15 Green Musicians and Bands. …

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Top green celeb stories of 2007

Here are the Official Top Green Celeb Stories of 2007, listed in very particular order and determined via a very scientific process (a combination of my memory and Grist's archives): 5. Brad Pitt adopts Maddox Pax Thien Zahara New Orleans. 4. Leo DiCaprio releases 11th Hour, which sinks into obscurity faster than the Titanic. 3. Primetime television attempts eco-programming; finds out the environment isn't funny. 2. Celeb-studded award shows go green -- and ga-ga for Gore. 1. Knut overload. Fluff said. P.S. For more on green celeb news, see our lists of the Top 15 Green Actors and the Top …

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When is a Tundra a better buy than a Prius?

This never fails to fascinate me: The chart shows how much fuel is consumed over 15,000 miles by cars of different fuel efficiencies. The curve matters a lot. It means that from the perspective of fuel conservation, it's not terribly important to trade in your Honda Civic to buy a Prius. But it's hugely important to trade in your Dodge Durango for a Toyota Tacoma. I'll use some rough numbers to illustrate. You trade in your Civic, which averages about 32 miles per gallon, and buy a Prius, which gets a whopping 47 mpg. You've bumped up by 15 mpg …

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