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Seattle film fest highlights environmental flicks

In darkened theaters across the city, cinephiles, AV nerds, and the otherwise overly critical are silently salivating over their annual flick fix: Seattle’s International Film Festival. The 25-day festival, the largest in the U.S., is about a week in, and movie-goers are still siffting through the packed schedule of almost 400 films and more than 600 screenings. Thankfully, the good folks at SIFF have for the third year running highlighted their environmental films under the Planet Cinema umbrella. This year’s selections include flicks from the U.S., the U.K., Japan, China, and beyond; they cover topics ranging from coal-mining to commercial …

A mighty wind

Of cow burps, beef, and methane

My climate for a cow fart? Dear Checkout Line, I read recently that meat is a huge emitter of greenhouse gas–more than even cars! It got me to wondering–does that mean all meat, or just from animals grown on factory farms? For example, I know that cow farts and burps contribute lots of methane. But don’t grass-fed cows burp and fart, too? I guess my bottom-line question is, is any beef really sustainable, in greenhouse gas terms? Thanks, Beef-loving Ed Dear Beefy Ed, Count your blessings! If we blamed global warming on human flatulence, beer and Mexican food would be …

It Could Be Verse

A climate-news poem for the week of May 18

This week’s entry too short? Spend some time with last week’s rhymes. Two brave warriors Stand triumphant with their bill Battle’s just begun  Waxman and Markey have a long way to go.  

Also, Can We Come Over?

Have a happy (and green) Memorial Day weekend

Take a bite out of summer.It’s Memorial Day weekend! Say hello to the long, hot days of summer and goodbye to all the rest. However you celebrate this seasonal turning point, we’ve got advice for making it just a bit greener. First, we hoist the flag with Umbra, who tells us how to be proud patriots 24 hours a day. Now for the juicy stuff: Planning a cookout? Check out Umbra’s quick ‘n’ easy advice on eco-friendly grilling (quicker still: chuck the charcoal) and these illuminating BBQ FAQs. If you know how to fuel your fire but can’t decide what …

The grist list

From Doug to Diaz

He would have needed a stage nameBrad’s not the only one who digs green building — his brother’s joining him to support a hometown eco-stadium. The groundbreaking was just the other day … you might say officials Doug a Pitt.  

We Are the Chompions

Ask Umbra on mowing with goats

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Google is replacing lawn mowers with goats. I’ve seen commenters make some interesting points (What is the impact of raising the goats? Transporting the goats? Watching goat poo run off into the Bay?). So what gives: is this a good idea? Is there a better one, like eliminating all that grass in the first place? Christopher M.Vermont A. Dearest Christopher, It’s a great idea. You tell me: would you rather look out your office window at a riding lawn mower or at a herd of goats? And which would you rather hear …

Potty Humor

Which natural toilet-bowl cleaner wins with a flush?

Sure, you’ve greened your bathroom – fixing leaks and retrofitting for low-flow flushes – but what happens when you clean your bathroom? Are you undoing all your good deeds by flushing toxins down your toilet? Many conventional toilet bowl cleaners contain corrosive ingredients like hydrochloric acid and chlorine bleach that can irritate eyes, skin, and the respiratory tract, and can be fatal if swallowed. Phosphates, which can cause harmful algal blooms, are also commonly used in bathroom cleaning products. Natural toilet-bowl cleaners replace these harsh chemicals with plant- and mineral-based ingredients that are nontoxic and biodegradable. But are these eco-products …

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. …

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