Means to an end

Umbra on mean drivers and other questions

Dear Umbra, Your kindness article inspired a question: Is it possible that pesticides make people mean? Perhaps because their bodies sense that they are under attack? The parking lot behavior at regular food stores versus organic stores serves as my non-scientific database. Pedestrially yours,Pat G.Albuquerque, N.M. Dearest Readers, RoundUp rage? iStock Back again for another day of Spring Inbox Cleaning, in which we go over a few questions that I have let molder away in the Inbox Closet. These are queries for which I have no legitimate answer, either because there is no answer or because I am left speechless. …

How about water hockey?

Canadian activist warns warming could cripple winter sports

Vancouverite David Suzuki and his namesake foundation surface in the U.S. news from time to time, typically through climate initiatives and ocean conservation initiatives such as its estimate of the carbon impact of the 2010 Winter Olympics. But for our Northern neighbors, the 73-year-old Suzuki is a household name. He’s become the Canada’s preeminent environmental activist — David Roberts likened him to the Canadian Al Gore. At this weeks’ World Conference on Sport and the Environment, I asked some youngish Canucks about his first claim to fame. They weren’t sure, they said.  He’s sort of always been around. (The often-helpful …

Snot Your Problem

Umbra on composting mucus and other conundra

Dear Umbra, My girlfriend and I are having a bit of a disagreement. When she is in the kitchen she uses paper towels to wipe her nose. She then proceeds to put the used paper towel into the compost bin in the kitchen. I’m sure that the microbes and worms in the compost pile could care less, but when I empty the bin into the pile it is gross to have to remove the snot-filled paper towels from the container. She doesn’t understand why I find this to be gross. Thoughts? Matt D.State College, Penn. Dearest Readers, Blowin’ in the …

The Grist List, 27 March 2009

From Edge to Energy

Photo: Samira Khan via Flickr. On EdgeNeighbors of U2 guitarist The Edge are Malibu-hooing about his real estate plans that involve leveling One Tree Hill (and causing eco-worries in the process). Too bad he’s probably gonna move forward on the deal with or without view. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List — or view them all on a single page.)              

Punch your lights out

Hit the switch for Earth Hour this Saturday

CFLs everywhere will go dark Saturday night for the global Earth Hour event scheduled for 8:30 p.m. local time (wherever your locality happens to be). The aim of the annual effort — brought to us by the folks who invented Outback Steakhouse — is to make a “statement of concern about climate change,” rather than, say, save a few watts. Hollywood sets, national landmarks, and more than 2,000 cities worldwide have pledged to go dark to help bring solutions to light. (What a turn-off!) For Earth Hour to make a difference, though, there’s gotta be big participation, and this year, …

You bin had

Seattle updates recycling rules

Seattle’s adding a fourth “R” to the “reduce, reuse, recycle” mantra: required. Starting Monday, all single-family homes in the city will be required to sign up (and pay) for food/yard-waste service — though, curiously, not required to actually use it. The city is hoping to boost recycling stats to 60 percent of total waste — and avoid building a third transfer station. More items will be recyclable, including milk cartons, paper and plastic cups, and aluminum foil; glass items no longer have to separated; and all food scraps (even meat, fish, and dairy) can go into the food/yard-waste bin. Plan …

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