Living

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 …

Class, president

Obama addresses sustainability grads and others at Arizona State

Not everyone had a close-up viewdr. coop via FlickrOn Wednesday night, President Barack Obama gave a commencement address to graduates of Arizona State University, the first school in the nation to offer degrees from a dedicated sustainability program. One student from the School of Sustainability graduated last fall, but the first real class of 13 graduated this week. Here’s what Obama had to say about the nation’s challenges: It is clear that we need to build a new foundation — a stronger foundation — for our economy and our prosperity, rethinking how we educate our children, and care for our …

Attention ladies and Ghents

Belgian city goes veg one day a week

The Belgian city of Ghent will be the first in the world to go meat-free one day a week in an effort to cut the city’s carbon footprint, battle obesity, and say “veggiedag” as many times as possible. They’re even passing out “veggie street maps” to help citizens find vegetarian eateries around town. But not to worry, there are plenty of Belgian waffles to go around.

It's not easy dating green

Meet your eco-mate with Planet Earth Singles

Three weeks, max.planetearthsingles.comAt last, there is a green-friendly dating site for environmentally, socially and spiritually conscious singles! Not making this up: Types of Dating: • Earth Dating• Eco-Friendly Dating• Conscious Dating• Vegetarian Dating• Vegan Dating• Raw Foods Dating• Environmentally Conscious Dating• Eco Conscious Dating• Yoga Dating• Animal Rights Dating• Conscious Single Dating• Planet Earth Dating If you can tell us what the hell any of these mean, we should, you know, maybe get coffee or something sometime.

Bread winners

Against the grain of industrial agriculture, truly local bread stages a comeback

David Bauer of Farm and Sparrow BakeryPhoto: April McGregerOn a recent vacation to Asheville, North Carolina, I headed to the market to get a loaf of bread. Asheville is home to a large a number of small-scale bakeries, many of which sell primarily at tailgate markets and wholesale to nearby specialty food shops. I found the market shelves stocked with lovely loaves of ciabatta, baguette, marble rye, and challah, but I was most intrigued by a few loaves that I knew at first glance were special. Packaged in brown paper bags with a hand-stamped wood-cut logo, the loaves were not …

Papa, Can you PR Me?

World’s first eco-article about “world’s first” eco-items

Part of my job is to keep an eye on developments in the illustrious world of green living. Sometimes it’s celebrities writing letters about which electric vehicles they actually own. And sometimes it’s product news. And boy is there a lot of product news lately: the “world’s first” eco-this and “world’s first” eco-that. Which reminds me of a story I’ve been meaning to tell … World’s first eco-caption.When I woke up this morning, fresh from a night on the World’s First All-Natural, Biodegradable Sleep System, I really wanted to get some exercise in before work. So I unrolled my World’s …

News of the beard

Seattle chef Maria Hines wins James Beard Award for her organic creations

Photo: Ron WurzerSeattle chef Maria Hines has cooked up an award-winning recipe for success: serve sustainable, organic foods from your local area in a welcoming atmosphere with a neighborhoody feel. The resulting dish? Tilth. Nestled in small green home in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, it’s only the country’s second restaurant to receive organic certification from Oregon Tilth, a distinction that promises 95 percent organic offerings and eco-responsible business practices. And its savory sups just won Hines a coveted James Beard Award — essentially the Oscars of the foodie world. Curious about her strong commitment to sustainable foods and her advice for …

Oy Convey

Ask Umbra on escalators

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Nice column on elevators. Since most elevators are counterbalanced, there is much less energy use involved than most people would expect. It’s nice to see the addition of hybrid technology to recapture the braking energy, though. On the other hand, those ESCALATORS ….. ! I have seen a “smart” escalator in Europe that only operates when there is someone around to use it, rather than going and going all day even when there’s no one around. I wish they would make it to the States. BTW, since you are a writer and …

Socially changed

Facebook app translates online efforts into real-world environmental change

Climate change may take place in the offline world, but that doesn’t mean the online world is relegated to mere words and worry about it. A clear example is the dedicated crew of young eco-activists at Hot Dish, a climate news-‘n’-action application on Facebook. Hot Dish aims to move people from online engagement with climate news to offline action in the world where climate change is taking place. In a rush of impressive real-world environmental achievements, Hot Dish’s Action Team contest concluded last week. Battling for the crown of most climate conscious, Hot Dishers earned points for green efforts of …

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