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Or should that be get fast trashed?

In college I wrote my honors thesis on the connection between running and spirituality. And I like the idea of eco-running as a combining-of-passions sort of idea. Except I'm not really into combining my passions a la eco-runner Samuel, by picking up trash while I run. Because I'm training for a marathon, and I live in the city, and if I picked up every bit of trash on my long runs, I'd probably never finish. Also, I've never been a fan of running while carrying things. Also, I'm way too time- and goal-oriented to take all those breaks. But good …

Read more: Cities, Living

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Shell and Nat Geo team up to create 5.4 million pieces of trash

A rant: I'm a big National Geographic dork, so it pains me to kvetch about the ton of crap that comes with each issue. Once relieved of its "recyclable" plastic baggie, the fumes usually make me want to hang it on the clothesline for a while to air out, and I would, except a zillion junky inserts would festoon the lawn (excepting the sometimes great map supplement). But this month's garbage haul topped it all, as a promotional DVD tumbled to the kitchen floor. Called "Eureka," it's a slick nine-minute commercial for Shell Oil dressed up as a movie, complete …

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And a bit of introspection

From the Oregonian: Wild birds competing with youth baseball. City wants to turn Little League diamond into wild space. Little Leaguers don't want to be forced out of their park. Should wild birds trump kiddie baseball players? If I say no, does that go against everything I allegedly stand for as an environmentalist a person strongly associated with the green movement? I wouldn't say birds shouldn't trump Little Leaguers. But I wouldn't say they should. I don't know how I feel about this issue, here specifically or as it plays out in a variety of arenas every day. I'm on …

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Global-warming-themed game now online

A new video game teaches users about saving the planet is coming on the market, and you can try it out for free first. Check out Global Warning, a new game from Midori Tech. Here's what happens: A dump company sets up an immense (nearly the size of 50 football fields) landfill next to your virtual home. The player's mission is to stop the dump company, as well as save the planet by choosing strategic, earth-friendly behaviors, which are "cards" in the game. Each round, the player makes choices in their lives by selecting what cards to use. The effects …

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Umbra on radiant heating

Dear Umbra, We're trying to build a really small house and be really economical as we do it. Radiant floor heating sounds practical for the first floor, although it's expensive. What do you think about radiant floor heating, pluses, minuses, efficiency? Radiantly yours, Kerry Florence, Mass. Dearest Kerry, Thank you for helping me to write about radiant floor heat basics by sending in your question as requested. How I have coveted a nice radiant floor. And these little piggies were all warm and toasty. Photo: iStockphoto Radiant heat, also known as infrared radiation, heats your floor (and thus you) directly, …

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Harry Potter is way greener than your average book

I wrote last week about Harry Potter going green in the seventh and final installation of the series. Turns out, it's even greener than we thought. It might just be the greenest book of all time [PDF] (except for all those books that have never been published, I guess). Production of the book spurred the development of 32 new ecological papers, six for Potter exclusively, and prompted 300 publishers to adopt new environmental policies, according to Markets Initiative, a Vancouver-based environmental group. Publishers in 16 countries -- including the U.S., U.K., and Canada -- are printing the book on "Ancient …

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Mmm, pollutocrats

Fans of The Simpsons have had to wait 18 years for the first full-length feature film about the family, opening on July 27. Although the hype leading up to the release date has included unique publicity stunts -- such as a contest between 14 Springfields across the U.S. to determine who gets to host the hometown premiere, and the conversion of selected 7-Elevens to Kwik-E-Marts, complete with KrustyO's, Buzz Cola, and Squishees -- the film's producers have kept mum about the details of the plot. However, the word on the street is that Homer, his new pet pig, and a …

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The incredible shrinking American

Could our neglect of health and the environment be making us shorter? According to recent studies, chaps in Holland are an average of two inches taller than American men these days, whereas in the 19th century, our lads towered an average two and a half inches over them and all of the rest of western Europe. From the AP: It's not that being tall actually makes you smarter, richer or healthier. It's that the same things that make you tall -- a nutritious diet, good prenatal care and a healthy childhood -- also benefit you in those other ways. That …

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A scary/funny post from China

I found this in my Google Reader feed this morning, a post from a British blogger named Charlie living in Beijing. Three weeks after it was reported that the Chinese government convinced the World Bank to suppress a report that over 700,000 Chinese citizens die every year of pollution-related ailments, due to the fact that it may lead to revolution social unrest among the populace, Charlie's post reads like a bittersweet valentine to the city he's lived in for four years: I woke up this morning and ate some baozi. They were disgusting! I'm sure I they were made of …

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‘Eco-hedonism’ is the new meme

This takes the green-is-the-new-black thing to a whole new level. Five hundred dollar designer canvas bags made with organic cotton, fur coats made from the pelts of invasive species, solar-powered vibrators disguised as cell phones, and sustainable raves are just the beginning. Read more about "eco-hedonism" over on Radar while I throw up a little in my mouth.

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