Gestalt of the Earth

Our fourth annual Earth Day list of the year’s goodies, oddities, and inanities

The hottest eco-activist in the White House, the awesomest surprise benefit of eating locally, the manliest organic body product on the market, and more!

Paying it forward

The band Lady Antebellum adopts green habits to last beyond Earth Day

My band — Lady Antebellum — is doing something different this year. We want to practice realistic green habits that we know we can do year-round, not just on Earth Day. We just released our latest video for a song called “I Run to You,” which is all about paying it forward. The idea of making small lifestyle changes now as a way to “pay it forward” so future generations have a better planet is such a simple and obvious way we can help. One of our first steps was taking the FilterForGood pledge to reduce bottled water waste. Like …

We Soaked In It

A test of green(er) dishwasher detergents

Like the thorn under the rosebud, big piles of dirty dishes symbolize the tragedy of existence: pleasure (e.g., the pleasure of eating and cooking) invites pain. But dishes are more than just a symbol; they also (unfortunately) need to be done, day in and day out. The question becomes: how to do them as painlessly — and harmlessly — as possible? Thankfully, Grist’s own Umbra Fisk has signed off on the automatic dishwasher as the greenest option. “Dishwashers have been proven, again and again, to be more efficient than the typical hand-washer,” Umbra writes.  The choice of detergent matters, Umbra …

Ready, set, action!

Two Seattle film fests focus on green themes

Photo: m kasahara via Flickr.Sitting in a movie theater staring at a series of images flashing on the big screen in front of you may not seem like the most ecofriendly of activities this Earth Day weekend. But what if that film moves you in such a way that you change your daily habits? Two film festivals screening in Seattle this weekend are hoping to do just that. The annual Seattle Jewish Film Festival has chosen environmental awareness as its theme this year in an effort to “artfully teach how ‘going green’ is a core Jewish value.” In addition to …

Crank Yanker

The Daily Show’s Lewis Black on Earth Day and Kids

Lewis Black deconstructed Earth Day children’s programming on last night’s The Daily Show, including a great jab at actor / MTV Cribs balla’ Wilmer Valderrama. Enjoy. 

TerraCab confessions

Emission-free TerraCabs could hit Seattle streets at no cost to you, or the planet

Lookin’ for a free ride this summer? Meet the TerraCab. This curious-looking fleet of teardrop-shaped vehicles could soon hit Seattle streets in search of ped-weary passengers. But they don’t plan to peddle greenhouse gases. TerraCabs are emission-free — powered solely by pedalers, aside from a small rechargeable battery for headlights and hill-assistance. They are also intended to be free-free, as in cost you not a dime. How is this possible? Say their PR folks, “forward-thinking companies sponsor them,” which means they are painted with ads and drivers may hand out samples or coupons as you hop on. That’s the idea, …

Our Work's Not Finished

Screw Earth Day? Not so fast

Earth Day, to be observed for the 40th time on April 22, ranks just below motherhood and ahead of baseball and apple pie on the American cultural hit parade. Gaylord Nelson.Photo: Fritz AlbertWorldwide, organizers say a billion people will observe Earth Day this year, making it the largest secular civic event in the world. So why doesn’t it get more respect? “Screw Earth Day,” says Grist. We should live every day like it’s Earth Day, not just be on our best environmental behavior once a year. Wouldn’t that be nice? In an ideal world, every day would be Earth Day …

Give it up

Volunteer for the planet

Tip #8: Pimp yourself out for the planet. Take time out to volunteer with an environmental organization, and give the greatest gift of all: your fine self. We’re not just talking about a one-night stand here; we’re looking for commitment. A relationship, even. After all, it takes gajillions of dedicated volunteers and their sustained efforts to support the environmental and social causes that keep the world going ’round.  To get started, flip open your planner and assess how much time you have to offer. Make it a habit to donate one hour a week, one day a month, or even …

April Powers

EPA announces collegiate Green Power winners; competition fails to change power buying habits

The Ivy League is the greenest of them all, according to the EPA, which today announced the college and university winners of the Green Power challenge — a competition to motivate American schools to purchase more renewable energy. Participating schools compete within their athletic conferences to purchase the most certified green power, but conferences only qualify if each purchases more than 10 million kWh in aggregate.  University of Washington.The Ivies, anchored by University of Pennsylvania’s purchase of 192 million kWh, chalked up the best conference performance, purchasing a total of 225 million kWh of green power. Here in the Pacific …

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