Living

A hot, flat, crowded, and fabulous party

Grist celebrates in D.C. with Thomas Friedman

David Roberts and Thomas Friedman talk green.Wednesday night, Grist hosted a party — nay, a soirée — at The Warehouse in Washington, D.C. Among those in attendance were EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, Green Jobs Czar (don’t call him that to his face!) Van Jones, and a number of other fabulous folk from the green world. For the night’s entertainment — or “nerdtainment,” as my brother said when I told him about it — New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and I chatted on stage about climate, energy, and efforts to build a greener world, then took …

Little feast on the prairie

From grass to grill, a Midwestern farm struts its stuff — and dishes up delicious lamb chops

The chefs of “Lambstravaganza.”The best part about my work with Slow Food USA is getting to experience new people, places, and especially great foods. Such was the case this past weekend as I traveled to join the members of Slow Food St. Louis for their fourth annual “Lambstravaganza” at Prairie Grass Farms just outside of New Florence, Mo. Prairie Grass Farms is in the capable hands of its third generation of Hillebrands. Dave Hillebrand runs the farm now, having inherited it from his father and grandfather before him. There they used to raise primarily row crops, but Dave took an …

Generation Next

Former PepsiCo exec to take helm at Seventh Generation

Entrepreneur Jeffrey Hollender launched a mail-order catalog business 20 years ago and nursed it for more than a decade before it became profitable. That company is now Seventh Generation, and there’s no more catalog, but there certainly is a ton of recycled toilet paper — and all-natural cleaning supplies and non-toxic personal-care products. It’s a product category that has seen massive growth in the last few years as environmental issues have risen to front-page news status. In fact, Seventh Generation saw its biggest numbers recently — posting about 50 percent growth last year. Which is exactly why Hollender has decided …

Space Evaders

Ask Umbra on ungreen roommates

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I would like to reduce the amount of energy that my household uses as much as possible. But I have a problem with my roommate. She refuses to use CFLs. She gets upset when I turn off phantom loads, like the power supply for her laptop computer, even if it is during the overnight periods when we are all asleep … she will insist on deliberately leaving lights on in rooms that are not being used for several hours or when no one is at home. She will turn on an electric …

Shut Your Mouth!

13 badass greens

Think people who love the planet are all wimps and weenies? Think again. Here are thirteen who are giving green a bad reputation — in a good way. Read on to learn more about these Mother-lovers — and leave your own nominations in the comments section below. Training day.Beige Luciano-Adams/ELLA13. Homeboy Industries. With the tagline “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job,” you know these homeboys aren’t messing around. Thanks to an ambitious job-training program that includes solar-panel installation, the former East L.A. gang members are slashing energy use instead of each other. “I wanted a new way of life,” …

You want me to paint you a picture?

Burning Embers design contest seeks new ways to illustrate climate change

Photo courtesy spike55151 via FlickrNow here’s a great idea: The student-driven not-for-profit Artist as Citizen has a new Burning Embers design competition, inviting student artists to find new ways to portray climate change trends, causes, and effects. The contest, open to undergraduate and graduate art students and recent graduates, invites work in any medium that can be shown online–illustrations, graphics, photo montage, YouTube videos, flash movies, or any combination. Burning Embers was inspired by a problem familiar to anyone who’s spent time with scientific reports: graphics by scientists can be achingly dull or confusing. The project takes its name from …

Next, In Car Nation

Slideshow: The plug-ins and electric vehicles of 2009

Can’t wait until 2010 for the Chevy Volt (or Coda or Fisker Karma or Chrysler Circuit)? Check out these electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles that are either on the market now or will be by the end of 2009. In slideshow order: Aptera 2e Th!nk City Subaru Stella Toyota Prius extended-range hybrid Mitsubishi i-MiEV smart fortwo electric drive BYD Auto F3DM MINI E Tesla Roadster

Good Fish, Bad Fish

Is your favorite seafood unhealthy for the planet?

When I was growing up, my family lived in New Orleans for several years, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. One of my father’s friends had a boat, and he liked to take it out shrimping. My dad and I would often join him and his son. I loved those early morning boat trips (except for the time that I got very seasick — probably my fault for snacking on Fritos — and the trip that I’m about to tell you about). The lake was so big that you could barely see the shoreline. On one occasion, our nets …

A disturbing fish tale

‘The End of the Line’ is a compelling indictment of industrial fishing

If scientists are correct, 2048 will be a terrible year for sushi restaurants. And diners selling tuna melts, too. The End of the Line isn’t going to make you feel so good about hitting the neighborhood sushi bar.In fact, if I had any money to invest in a seafood venture, Carl Safina’s suggestion to “consider the jellyfishburger” may be the best advice. By mid-century, jellyfish may be the only “fish” left to catch. Though it lacks the starpower of a certain former vice president, The End of the Line does for the fish what Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth did …