Dither and Lace

Umbra advises on running shoes

Q. Hi Umbra, I’m a long-distance runner in need of a new pair of shoes. I’m looking for the company with the most sustainable practices. Any suggestions? I’ve heard some promising things from different companies (e.g., Nike’s shoe-recycling program, ASICS’ commitment to recycled materials), but I remain undecided about what which company offers the best overall choice for the environment, for workers, and for my legs. Thanks! KyleMarquette, Mich. A. Dearest Kyle, There is no way to answer your question without a seeming overabundance of puns. I will attempt to hold my tongue. Feet of engineering. I am impressed by …

Kind of Bluefin

Umbra advises on tuna and mercury

Dear Umbra, Big, mature tuna have a lot of mercury in their bodies and are often caught with longlines that snag endangered sea turtles and sea birds; smaller juvenile tuna have less mercury, swim near the surface so they can be caught with less destructive fishing gear, but they have not had the chance to do all of their reproducin’, which threatens the stability of future tuna populations. Which is a better choice? Michael F.San Francisco, Calif. Dearest Michael, Have you noticed that tuna are a gigantic fish? A (lucky) bluefin tuna can grow to weigh over a thousand pounds, …

Computer power corrupts absolutely

Power Down for the Planet video contest issues challenge for greener computing

As an online-only publication using tree-free pencils (also known as “computers”), Grist is familiar with the energy-sucking pitfalls of internet technology. Which is why we think it’s so swell that the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) is ganging up with the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program for some new-fashioned video contest fun a la Power Down for the Planet. This challenge is mostly aimed at getting universities and their peeps to cut their own IT power consumption and a little bit aimed at communicating about turning off your computer in a creative way. However, you don’t have to be a student …

The Grist List, 03 April 2009

From Baywatch to Basketball

Photo: Jeff Vespa/ Hot coutureThough she’s better known for her lack of clothing, washed-up Baywatch babe Pammy Anderson has partnered with Heatherette-half Ritchie Rich to create a line of ecofriendly garb — complete with swimsuits that stay-put during your slo-mo beach runs. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List — or view them all on a single page.)        

Myth: Using less energy = sacrifice

Mention “reducing demand” to Average Jane American and she’ll assume you mean conservation:  turning off lights, drying clothes on a clothesline, riding a bike to work, wearing a sweater when it’s cold inside. And when she thinks conservation, she’ll generally think, ugh, there go the dirty hippies telling me to feel guilty and be miserable again. Both these associations are bogus. First, when energy wonks talk about demand reduction, they usually mean efficiency. That means consuming the same energy services — the same “warm showers and cold beers” — using less energy. For instance, driving a Prius rather than a …

I Ain't Gonna Play Mountaintop Removal

Grammy stars unite on new campaign

  Rob Perks at the Natural Resources Defense Council has just unveiled a wonderful website tribute to Grammy Award-winning country and rock musicians banding together to stop mountaintop removal in Appalachia. Featuring Kathy Mattea, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and Big Kenny Alphin, the Music Saves Mountains campaign is a great reminder of the indisputable role of the Appalachian mountains in shaping country, folk, jazz, bluegrass, blues and rock music–and why we need to protect the mountains and mountain heritage from the ravages of mountaintop removal mining. No one has been more important to this growing movement than Kathy Mattea, the …

Recycle & Flow

Canadian eco-rap and other youth offerings in Vancouver

When Premier of British Columbia Gordon Campbell asked delegates at the World Conference on Sport and the Environment whether they had flown to the Vancouver event on Monday, hundreds of hands shot up. If any of them saw the irony of reaching an environmental conference through the carbon-intensive method of jet travel, they didn’t let on. Thomas Kineshanko, a 2008 graduate of Vancouver’s Simon Fraser University, spoke up Tuesday about the dilemma at a panel on “Inspiring Youth Through Sport.” As an 800-meter track runner, he traveled with his college team to places such as Tennessee and Fresno to compete …

From ‘the wave’ to a groundswell

Enlisting sports fans in the green movement begins by understanding them

Near the end of the World Conference on Sport and the Environment in Vancouver yesterday, Kim Smither of marketing firm Octagon Worldwide displayed a series of photos of screaming, face-painted sports fans. “Imagine the power you’d have if you could harness this,” she said. Talk of “harnessing” the passion of sports showed up everywhere at the two-day conference, but Smither moved past the cliché and made a case that athletes are in a great position to promote environmentally friendly behavior—if they understand the diversity of their fans. She walked conference delegates, including several Olympic medalists, through Octagon’s “Passion Drivers” market …

Seth Meyers jokes with NRDC

Saturday Night Live‘s Seth Meyers addresses a fancy NRDC fundraiser. Pretty funny: