Living

Lazy Eye

Can a lazy environmentalist really change the world?

“You can guilt-trip me and you can moralize and you can gloom-and-doom about it, but there are probably certain behaviors I have that I’m just not going to change. But if you presented me with solutions … if we can figure out ways to reduce my impact — that I can afford — great! I’m going to do them … I don’t necessarily think that’s a good thing, but I think that this is the reality and there are probably hundreds of millions of Americans who feel like I do. I’m a lazy environmentalist.”– Josh Dorfman And thus was born …

Leachy Keen

Ask Umbra on food disposal

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I’ve been trying to convince a friend to compost her food waste, now that she has a back yard. She claims that she plans to do so, but in the meantime, she’s sending all her food through the garbage disposal and says that it’s just as good, since all their water waste goes into their septic field behind the house. This makes sense to me, but I really don’t understand how all of this works and so I was wondering if she’s right? Thanks,CeliaAnn Arbor, Mich. A. Dearest Celia, Grind house.Goodness is …

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: mustache edition

iwona_kellie via flickrThis time around we start off with a great big phony pactThat came from several green groups who just felt they had to act.A powerful indictment and a plan for moving on, The “Copenhagen treaty” met with no more than a yawn. Was that too rude, to write them off, to say the pact was snoozy?No, this is rude: Joe Barton, at a hearing, getting newsy.At least it was the Sports section that drew him to the paper –‘Cuz we all known that climate’s ills will ease when waistlines taper. Elsewhere in Congress, Aggies focused on their newfound …

It’s got a ring to it, no?

Ditch ‘warming’ and start talking ‘deteriorating atmosphere,’ PR firm says

How to make an energy plan more appetizing.The non-profit PR shop ecoAmerica finally released the findings of its public opinion research today, bringing a trove of information about how on-the-fence Americans respond to different messages about climate change and energy. The firm conducted an impressive amount of research in February through March—focus groups, a phone survey, an online survey—all focused on finding better talking points for wooing folks who are undecided about this whole global warming/clean energy/green jobs business. This was the report whose summary was accidently sent to a bunch of media outlets after a White House briefing from …

The Grist List: From Bikes to Books

Bikers seeking good ride get naked, and more

Is that a banana seat or are you just happy to see me? The best part about World Naked Bike Day: No awkward spandex shorts. The worst part about World Naked Bike Day: No awkward spandex shorts. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.) Photo: Paul-in-London via Flickr  

A hot, flat, crowded, and fabulous party

Grist celebrates in D.C. with Thomas Friedman

David Roberts and Thomas Friedman talk green.Wednesday night, Grist hosted a party — nay, a soirée — at The Warehouse in Washington, D.C. Among those in attendance were EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, Green Jobs Czar (don’t call him that to his face!) Van Jones, and a number of other fabulous folk from the green world. For the night’s entertainment — or “nerdtainment,” as my brother said when I told him about it — New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and I chatted on stage about climate, energy, and efforts to build a greener world, then took …

Little feast on the prairie

From grass to grill, a Midwestern farm struts its stuff — and dishes up delicious lamb chops

The chefs of “Lambstravaganza.”The best part about my work with Slow Food USA is getting to experience new people, places, and especially great foods. Such was the case this past weekend as I traveled to join the members of Slow Food St. Louis for their fourth annual “Lambstravaganza” at Prairie Grass Farms just outside of New Florence, Mo. Prairie Grass Farms is in the capable hands of its third generation of Hillebrands. Dave Hillebrand runs the farm now, having inherited it from his father and grandfather before him. There they used to raise primarily row crops, but Dave took an …

Generation Next

Former PepsiCo exec to take helm at Seventh Generation

Entrepreneur Jeffrey Hollender launched a mail-order catalog business 20 years ago and nursed it for more than a decade before it became profitable. That company is now Seventh Generation, and there’s no more catalog, but there certainly is a ton of recycled toilet paper — and all-natural cleaning supplies and non-toxic personal-care products. It’s a product category that has seen massive growth in the last few years as environmental issues have risen to front-page news status. In fact, Seventh Generation saw its biggest numbers recently — posting about 50 percent growth last year. Which is exactly why Hollender has decided …

Space Evaders

Ask Umbra on ungreen roommates

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I would like to reduce the amount of energy that my household uses as much as possible. But I have a problem with my roommate. She refuses to use CFLs. She gets upset when I turn off phantom loads, like the power supply for her laptop computer, even if it is during the overnight periods when we are all asleep … she will insist on deliberately leaving lights on in rooms that are not being used for several hours or when no one is at home. She will turn on an electric …

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