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An interview with green pediatrician Alan Greene

If you were to give a check-up to Alan Greene, eco-pediatrician extraordinaire, you just might diagnose him with ASHD -- Attention Surplus Hyperproductivity Disorder. It isn't a real disorder, of course. But whatever Greene's got -- whatever blend of vim and vision allows him to stay at the cutting edge of environmentalism and e-medicine while also writing books, doctoring, and being a 100-percent-organic-food-eating father of four -- well, it's something that's helped the world get better. Dr. Alan Greene. Consider: In 1995, Greene and his wife Cheryl sat down at their kitchen table in San Mateo, Calif., and launched the …

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Umbra on green laundry detergents

Dear Umbra, What are the "green" high-efficiency detergents for washers? Thanks,Marilyn Dearest Marilyn, A perfect question for parenting fortnight. Children have such tiny clothing that you wouldn't think it would add up to an increase in laundry volume. Until you saw the proof. Too bad keeping them naked (cuuuute!) and periodically hosing them off is only feasible in warm weather. Pin your hopes on NPE-free. Photo: iStockphoto A greener detergent will omit certain cleaning and odorizing agents, whether it is high-efficiency or regular old detergent. High-efficiency washing machines use less water, so regular old detergents (ROD) don't clean as well, …

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From Population to PETA

From Russia with lust Hot and bothered about its dwindling population, a Russian region recently gave women a half-day off work for patriotic sex; liaisons ending in perfectly timed babies may be rewarded with a brand new SUV. We'd make some privileged snark about overpopulation and emissions, but time off for getting laid? We're sold. Photo: iStockphoto Yo' mammoth We have a bone to pick with you, global warming -- why do you keep giving us shit? Photo: REUTERS / Sergei Karpukhin Flights of fancy Aiming to reduce carbon emissions, this flight-sharing club will allow celebs to tag-team their private …

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A few of our favorite parenting and health links

It's possible to say a lot in a two-week series on parenting and health, but it ain't possible to say it all. That's why we've compiled a list of sites we're finding pretty dang helpful and entertaining. They tell the rest of the story, and they'll keep telling new stories after our series is over. Go ahead, poke around -- and add your own favorite resources below.   Photo: iStockphoto Parenting sites: Babble iVillage Natural Family Online The Green Parent Wee Generation Tips for Parenting in a Commercial Culture   Fun blogs: Z Recommends Working Dad: An Unauthorized Guide to …

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Red Sox partner with NRDC to green Fenway Park

America's national pastime is going green in Beantown as the Red Sox step up to the plate to make going to Fenway Park a whole new ball game. Under a five-year partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation's oldest active ballpark may vend beer in corn-starch-based cups, serve local, organic food from concession stands, add solar panels, and even initiate a new tradition: a fifth-inning recycling stretch. Sounds like their bases are covered.

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Tidwell responds to scientists responding to Tidwell

The following is a guest essay by Mike Tidwell. It's a response to "The Power of Voluntary Actions," written by a phalanx of social scientists, which was itself a response to Tidwell's "Consider Using the N-Word Less." Tidwell is director of the U.S. Climate Emergency Council and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network based in Takoma Park, Md. ----- My Sept. 4 essay on the merits of voluntary versus statutory responses to global warming triggered quite a firestorm of debate. Lots of readers agreed with me: All those happy lists in magazines and on web sites -- "10 things you can …

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How four green parents deal with the plastics scare

Pop quiz time: plastic baby bottles are a) completely safe, or b) a risk to you, your baby, and every other living thing in the entire universe? The answer lies somewhere in between -- but you wouldn't know it from most media reports. Over the last year, countless stories have sprung up citing research about the dangers of endocrine disruptor bisphenol A leaching from clear plastic baby bottles. But more often than not, those stories go on to trot out assurances from industry and government that BPA is perfectly safe. Don't hurry, don't worry, and don't forget to read the …

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A guide to buying non-plastic baby products

Worried sick about plastic -- or even feeling a teeny bit queasy? Here are a few alternatives for common baby items, and resources for where to buy 'em. (And don't forget, you could always make your own.) Squeaky clean and PVC-free. Photo: iStockphoto Bathtubs Non-plastic baby tubs seem to be hard to find; probably the best you can do here is to use a nylon mesh sling or recyclable polypropylene Tummy Tub in your sink or regular tub. Dedicated greens can reduce waste by siphoning used bathwater out the window and into the garden -- just make sure not to …

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An interview with Mary Brune, founder of Making Our Milk Safe

Concerned mothers and California Assemblyman Mark Leno rally support for their bill in May. (Photo by assembly.ca.gov.) OK, so David slew Goliath. He never had half the battle facing Mary Brune and her fellow mothers in their crusade against the $500 billion-plus chemical industry. In 2005, Brune and a trio of her friends in the San Francisco Bay area founded Making Our Milk Safe to raise awareness about the pesticides, lead, mercury, phthalates, perchlorate, PCBs, PBDEs, and other poisons invading human breast milk. Brune signed on as director and MOMS soon gained 600 members around the country -- and political …

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Umbra on the impact of food purchases

Hi Umbra, I practically live on Lean Cuisine (that brand specifically -- they are frequently on sale for $2 each). In my community, the plastic tray is recyclable, as is the cardboard box. The only thing that goes in the trash is the film that covers the tray. Microwave time averages five minutes per entree. Total dirty dishes: one fork. I have a friend who swears I'm a hypocrite -- that cooking is "better" for the environment. I maintain that more packaging goes into the trash when cooking, and certainly the stove is burning for a lot longer than five …

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