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Freegans get by just fine on others’ castoffs

Changed your light bulbs, gone vegetarian, sold your car, but still feel like your consumer impact is intolerable? It may be time to go freegan and learn to live off the waste that others throw out. Freegans gain most of their possessions and sustenance by foraging -- for clothes, for furniture, and for grocery-store food that is slightly bruised or just past its expiration but still entirely edible. And there's plenty to choose from: the U.S. EPA estimates that some 12 percent of the 245 million tons of waste annually generated by Americans is food. With roots in the environmental-justice …

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Schools across the U.S. go green

Perhaps in an attempt to prepare students for an eco-college experience, many elementary, middle, and high schools are getting in on the green-building trend. Sixty schools across the U.S. have been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, and 360 more are waiting to have applications approved; in 2000, only four schools applied for certification. The new generation of educational edifices boasts features such as waterless urinals, motion-sensing light systems, rooftop gardens, and sunshine-streaming skylights that discourage naps in class. Students at the new green-built T.C. Williams High in Alexandria, Va., say they're hesitant to doodle on desks or deface …

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Founder of The Body Shop dies of a brain hemorrhage at age 64

Anita Roddick, the pioneering founder of The Body Shop, has died. Roddick was dubbed the "Queen of Green" for her trailblazing environmentally friendly, humane business practices that made her a leader in her native England and around the world. "Businesses have the power to do good," Roddick wrote on the company's website. Roddick opened her first Body Shop store in 1976 in Brighton, southern England, before fair trade and eco-friendly businesses were fashionable.

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Danish model plans to go (quite literally) green

Well, this certainly is an interesting way to show how green you are.

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Umbra on reusing bath water

Hi Umbra, My new (to me) house has a somewhat larger than standard bathtub with jets. I rarely have time for a bath, but last night took the opportunity to indulge. I had a nice soak, in water heated by solar energy, but then I had a tubful -- perhaps 50 gallons? -- of relatively clean water that I would like to use on my currently thirsty trees, the only way I can justify an occasional indulgent soak. How can I get the water from my tub to my trees without using a very awkward, cumbersome, and splashy five-gallon bucket …

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Norway bans generic green terms from auto advertising

This is funny and kind of awesome: No car can be "green," "clean" or "environmentally friendly," according to some of the world's strictest advertising guidelines set to enter into force in Norway next month. "Cars cannot do anything good for the environment except less damage than others," Bente Oeverli, a senior official at the office of the state-run Consumer Ombudsman, told Reuters on Thursday.

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All the PR is starting to sound the same

As everyone with a pulse knows at this point, green is hot. Everybody wants a piece of it. You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a new green website. Consequently, your trusty blog author is bombarded with roughly five kerjillion press releases a day. And that's a conservative estimate. What's more, the PR releases are starting to sound more and more alike. Let me excerpt two I got just in the last day. One begins: Hi David, Have you noticed that going green is the "new black?" Helping to save the environment was once reserved solely for activists, but …

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From Big Macs to Beauties

Do you believe in tragic? Pledge to fight global warming -- get a Big Mac? That's like handing out SUVs as a reward for taking the bus to work. Except with more special sauce. Frock hunter To honor her father's work wrestling crocs, snakes, and stingrays, 9-year-old Bindi Irwin will enter the jungle of the fashion industry and fight to keep her clothing line from going down under. Good luck, mate, and watch out for the vicious Bitchilus supermodelia. Photo: Serge Thomann / WireImage.com Living off the landfill In what we like to call Survivor: Landfill, a new British reality …

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Wal-Mart’s eco-initiatives turning Arkansas into sustainability hotspot

Attention shoppers: we bring you news of the latest sustainability hotspot, none other than Fayetteville, Ark. Green start-ups are flocking to town, the University of Arkansas has established an Applied Sustainability Center, and the mayor rides an electric bike to work. Why? Because of a certain retail giant whose headquarters lies half an hour away. Say it with us now: Wal-Mart. The mega-store's recent efforts to be green are apparently luring like-minded (and hungry) companies to the area, including ventures that are experimenting with non-petroleum plastic and fuel-efficient shipping. As a result, Fayetteville has begun to market itself as an …

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Inexpensive clothing industry has a big impact on the environment

That $5 T-shirt you're wearing may have been a great find for your wallet, but the impact of such thrifty threads is far-reaching. A globalization-fueled glut of cut-price clothing has inspired many consumers to think of their duds as disposable. It's a phenomenon some are calling "fast fashion" -- the apparel equivalent of fast food. Most fast fashionistas are oblivious to the downsides of the trend, including the energy-intensive, polluting process of creating synthetic fabrics; the fact that cotton fields are heavily water- and pesticide-dependent; the emissions implications of sourcing labor overseas; and the health effects on workers of processes …

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