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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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Earth Day preachin'

By caring for God’s creatures, we avert a second flood

This is a speech I delivered on Earth Day, April 20, 2008, at the Unitarian-Universalist First Church in Jamaica Plain, Mass. A software glitch prevented its publication on that day, but I believe it's still worth sharing. As Kurt Vonnegut once said, "I wish I could bring light ... but there is no light. Everything is going to become unimaginably worse. If I lied to you about that, you would sense that I'd lied to you, and that would be another cause for gloom, and we have enough causes already." It is true that there are fewer bald-faced lies being …

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I heart T. Yorke

Video of Radiohead’s green performance on Conan

Rather than take a transatlantic flight (the carbon footprint equivalent of driving for a whole year), Radiohead recorded a live performance in London for their "appearance" on Late Night with Conan O'Brien last week. They played "House of Cards," a song with the refrain "denial, denial" -- and dedicated it to "that twat who walked away from the Kyoto agreement." Heart! Here's the video:

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The slow car movement

Easing off the gas eases gas use

A few weeks ago, Clark wrote about truck drivers slowing down to economize on fuel. It's a great story, but was it a real trend or just anecdotal? Photo: Pietro Izzo Well, I'm here to report that there's some truth to it. Or at least some truthiness. A recent Congressional Budget Office paper examining the effects of gas prices found this: "Freeway motorists have adjusted to higher prices by making fewer trips and driving more slowly." That's surprising to me. I mean, I don't slow down when gas prices are high; it would never occur to me. Do other folks? …

Read more: Climate & Energy, Living

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Real green world

Video tours of the eco-pimped Real World: Hollywood house

In the midst of preparing for the launch of 250 hours of green programming for Discovery Planet Green, I got a call from my good friend Pete Griffin over at Think MTV. "We have this idea to build a green house on the Real World," he told me. "Instead of creating a whole new green show, why not build it into one of the most watched programs on MTV?" Can anyone say brilliant? Well, we had a blast teaching the Hollywood cast a few things about saltwater pools, dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, eco bedding, hybrid cars, and soy candles that …

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See Spot sweat

Global warming could mean disease and dehydration for pets

Maybe you've been wondering about how rapid climate destabilization will effect pets. No? Well, maybe you should. This article in the latest issue of City Tails magazine broke the story recently, and according to them, it's not just the long-hairs that face a sweaty future. All domestic animals will be facing off against more disease vectors than ever before. So, if you know someone who can't countenance any so-called "sacrifice" to do their part, just bring their beloved Fido into the frame. Why fight fair?

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Umbra on hauling goods by bike

Hi Umbra, Love your column. I'm a daily bicycle commuter and coffee achiever. Here's a cool mug and handlebar mount [for the reader who asked about transporting coffee]. Cheers, John Denver, Colo. Dearest John, Thank you. Take a look at the Soma coffee mount John suggests, everyone -- it got rave reviews from beaucoup readers. Another fun beverage-toting suggestion was a whiskey-flask holder from Ahearne Cycles in Portland (thank you, dearest JP). Looking at the Ahearne site inspired me to rig up my very own juicy bike for some spring riding -- and to dedicate this column to the bike-curious, …

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