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Right to bare legs

Today, No Pants Day will undoubtedly spark dialogue about climate change

Arguably, a far superior cousin to Earth Day: No Pants Day. It may seem to be an innocuous, juvenile ritual devoid of underlying political intentions, but neglecting one's trousers provides unavoidable commentary about global warming. Conversation starter: "My legs are hot ... and so is the planet." (Bringing up body hair and deforestation is optional.) After all, "When large groups of people parade around in public without their pants, amazing things are bound to happen."

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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An interview with Stacy Malkan, co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Stacy Malkan. Beauty, they say, is only skin deep. But given the load of toxic chemicals in everyday products like shampoo, deodorant, and makeup, that superficial truth is still cause for concern. With increasing frequency, studies point to hidden dangers in the medicine cabinet: things like lead in lipstick, phthalates in baby lotions, aluminum in deodorant. While the amount of each toxic may be tiny on its own, the number of products most people use each day means we're exposing ourselves to unnecessary risks -- all in the name of looking and smelling good. In 2002, the Campaign for Safe …

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650 million years in 94 minutes

A History Channel production on climate is worthwhile

A coworker lent me an amazing piece of work called A Global Warning? It does an excellent job illustrating the chaotic nature of terrestrial climate and explaining the theories behind some of the most dramatic climate transitions. It's not a perfect movie, but if you won't read With Speed and Violence, it's probably the best thing there is. It gets into both ocean clathrates (methane hydrate crystals) and the melting permafrost (more methane). Best of all, not a single denialist or confusionist in the whole thing. It simply says "most scientists," cites the IPCC (the only appearance by Gore is …

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CSAs can transform Iowa’s farm economy — and take its sandwiches to the next level

Getting fresh. Here in Iowa, the farmers markets are just emerging from hibernation, and with them the CSAs. Community-supported agriculture is not a new idea, but it certainly has been gaining ground over the past few years as ideas such as "local" and "sustainable" migrate from the fringes to the center. For the uninitiated, CSAs operate a lot like magazine subscriptions. You find one whose content you like, pay your money up front, and receive weekly allotments of fresh local produce, dairy, eggs, flowers, and sometimes meat. CSAs offer a great way to "go local," and they present you with …

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Sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why, would she wanna be anywhere else?

Lily Allen backs U.K. solar incentive campaign

Brit popster Lily Allen has sung about "riding through the city on [her] bike all day" at the Premises solar-powered recording studio. Now, she's added her backing to a campaign to reward homes that generate their own green energy. The amendment to an energy bill in Parliament this week introduces a "feed-in tariff," which would "guarantee a minimum price for all renewable energy generated by homes and businesses through a system of long-term contracts with energy companies." Thanks for your support, Lil' -- that amendment oughta be a shoo-in now ...

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Notable quotable

On God and gas

"God is the only one we can turn to at this point. Our leaders don't seem to be able to do anything about it." -- Rocky Twyman, who is organizing "pray-ins" at San Francisco gas stations, asking God to lower gas prices (via Streetsblog)

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Delicious dish

Jake Gyllenhaal to open organic restaurant

Jake Gyllenhaal is planning to open an organic restaurant with a childhood friend. The 27-year-old reportedly wants to launch a high-class eatery in LA with chef Chris Fischer ... The actor is said to be planning a cycling holiday in Tuscany with girlfriend Reese Witherspoon to help develop ideas for the menu. Oh, Jakey ... I just want to eat you up!

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Umbra on cargo bikes

Hi Umbra, After reading your article on the amazing Thermos, coffee, and bicycle commuting, I thought I should alert you (if you're not already alerted) to the Xtracycle (or S.U.B.) as a means for everyday, super-utilitarian biking. I replaced my car with one of these about eight months ago, and find that meeting new "can I haul that on my bike?" challenges is great fun -- not to mention the sense of accomplishment and the general feeling of well-being that comes with pulling one's own weight. Because the Xtracycle is always on my bike, I can haul odd things (and …

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Dr. Bronner’s says competitors aren’t really organic

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps has filed a lawsuit accusing competitors in the personal-care industry of falsely advertising products as organic. The word "organic" is not federally regulated for personal-care products. Dr. Bronner's, the soap company known for its basic ingredients and rambling messages, voluntarily follows the USDA organic standard for food, which requires 95 percent organic ingredients and no synthetics or petrochemicals. Personal-care companies are technically free to use the word "organic" without meeting any guidelines, though some meet voluntary standards set by California, and 30 cosmetics companies have come up with their own standard. "The last we know, Bronner …

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How to green your wedding

No one wants to scrimp on matters of the heart. And not a lot of lovebirds want to pass up the chance to throw a meaning-laden bash with friends, family, and bubbly that ends in a sex-crazed vacation. Who could say no to that? But when it comes to weddings, there are greener ways to get hitched. Today, earth-friendlier versions of conventional weddings are blooming everywhere -- from "Days of Our Lives" to the pages of Modern Bride. Thanks to an increasingly robust eco-marketplace that offers everything from organic champagne to biodegradable confetti, walking down the aisle without leaving a …

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