Living

Littler kids, bigger risks

New report details pesticide over-use in child care centers

When eco-minded people become parents, it seems like they frequently become even bigger green freaks.  I know that’s been true for my partner and me since we embarked on the journey to parenthood last year – decisions around our house that used to be made based on a variety of factors have become green mandates.  I admit to having once spent most of a Saturday night early in my pregnancy researching every personal care product we use on the Cosmetics Safety Database and finding replacements for the bad-scorers. So for parents who’ve gone VOC-free on the paint, made the switch …

What to do with a case of the EcoMondays

How to find other greenies on Twitter

Who should you follow on Twitter? That’s an excellent question. It used to be that you signed up for a Twitter account, and there you were. No followers and no one in particular to follow. You were on your own and had to figure it out. Recently, Twitter integrated follow recommendations during the account activation process. For the uninitiated, it provides an immediate Twitter experience so you don’t feel so lost and alone in the Twittersphere. Unfortunately, these don’t tend to be relevant to sustainability or green living. It’s mostly mainstream news organizations, big personalities, and the occasional Internet celebrity. …

cop a flight

Tips for flying to the Copenhagen climate conference

Cop a ride to COP-15…Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / GristSo you’re going to Copenhagen to help save the planet. Splendid! This December the city will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, where international delegates will negotiate a post-Kyoto Protocol global climate plan. That’s the hope, anyway. Earlier we posted some tips and ideas for finding lodging the in Danish capital, but what about getting there? Jet travel emits a tremendous amount of carbon dioxide, of course. And for non-European attendees, it’s pretty much the only option. So what’s a delegate/activist/NGO rep/journalist/gadfly to do? Erik Nelson of environmental travel …

City Sickers?

Ask Umbra on urban foraging

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, In honor of spring finally coming to my frigid corner of the Midwest, I was thinking about trying my hand at making some dandelion wine. But I live in a major metropolitan area and the only dandelions available are in parks. There are hundreds of parks in Chicago and millions of dandelions, and I’m sure no one will care if I pick them. My concern is pesticides. Since dandelions are generally considered a noxious weed, I am worried they are probably being doused with the stuff, and I am not interested in …

Green Grillz

Taking a bite out of the environment

Phobias are powerful sh*t. Some people really hate bugs, for example. Even consider them torture. Why are these two Gristers smiling? Click here to find outGrist PhotoBut for me, bugs aren’t the worst. If I wind up in a secret detention center and get subjected to the ultimate third degree, here’s a little tip for the CIA: skip the bugs, bring on the dentist. I’d confess to anything — rat out every friend and family member I have — to avoid just one minute in the chair. But would that change if I knew my dentist was … wait for …

It Could Be Verse

A climate-news poem for the week of May 11

Check out last week’s lines. The climate news of this week started rolling fast and hot The papers said a memo showed the White House just was not On board with EPA now putting carbon in its pot. But it was just a spin, one on which you could not bank The sole objection really came from one Bush-era crank* So whew, glad that’s all cleared up — EPA, you go pull rank. Escape from Maldives.nattu via flickrIn other news, a plea came from the country of Maldives: “If climate chaos gets much worse, then each one of us leaves!” …

Wheels on fire

Put the book down and get on your bike

Manifesto: (n) a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives or views of its issuer. See the Communist Manifesto, avoid The Cyclist’s Manifesto. Courtesy Falcon PressOf all the cycling books to read in honor of National Bike Month, The Cyclist’s Manifesto is better left on the bike rack. Though the author believes he is making a powerful case for the bicycle as a tool for serious transportation, the manifesto ultimately disappoints, offering a rambling, poorly organized tour through cycling history and current transportation politics. The book begins with promise. Hurst slams David Brooks’ cutting aside about bicycling (a zinger tucked …

The grist list

From Waddle to Waffle

Snow-down New Zealand’s Penguathalon will see beak-to-beak battles in five events: soccer, Frisbee, surfing, swing ball, and waddle races. But sports analysts are saying the competition won’t really heat up until the penguathletes face climate change. After that, it could be bye, bye birdie. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.)  

Survey says

Americans ranked as world’s least green consumers — again

National Geographic GreendexWith NatGeo releasing the results of its annual Greendex survey today, I’d like to point out that polls like this are really an opportunity for America to shine. Take, for example, the question about public transit: Not only did we score the lowest percentage on public transit use every day, but we also scored the highest percentage of folks taking public transit never. Talk about kicking the competition’s ass at both ends of the spectrum. We’ve also got the lowest score on the green housing index (despite our best efforts to show up the neighbors with big green …