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Must-use-less-energy TV

Union of Concerned Scientists offers tip to buy most energy-efficient TV

If you watch TV, then you know that the country will switch to High-Definition TV sometime in February. Those with old-school cathode ray tubes may be tempted to use this milestone to “upgrade” to a flat-screen. If that describes you or someone you know, then this Greentip from the Union of Concerned Scientists may be helpful: Energy consumption varies widely between HDTVs, even between models of similar size. There are ways to ensure your new TV is as efficient as possible: Choose the most efficient technology. There are three HDTV technologies on the market today: plasma, LCD, and rear-projection microdisplay …

It's the end of the world as we know it ...

New ‘2012’ film trailer hints at eco-disaster themes

The trailer for the film 2012 — due out next summer from the director of The Day After Tomorrow — has hit the interwebs. It appears that the film may have some eco-disaster themes, but the plot details are pretty vague at this point. I do know the premise is based on the belief that the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012. (Ten days later, the Kyoto Protocol expires … coincidence? I think not.)

A review of eco-minded feminine products, part two

  Editor’s note: This is the second of a two-part series on feminine products. The first column focused on sanitary pads. In a rant about her angry vagina, author Eve Ensler famously described tampons as “a dry wad of fucking cotton” — and she ain’t far from the truth. Unfortunately, she left out a key detail: Most tampons are made from rayon-cotton blends — an important distinction, because rayon is often chlorine-bleached, a process that releases the cancer-causing chemical dioxin. This toxin builds up in fatty tissue and has been linked to endometriosis, immune-system suppression, and other health problems. Since …

Toy manufacturers push back against lead-safety rule

Toys marketed to the 12-under-set must either meet new lead standards or be off shelves by Feb. 10 — but many toy manufacturers and retailers don’t wanna comply. Citing the economic downturn, they’re pressuring the government to relax the requirement.

Colombian vice prez chides cocaine users for rainforest destruction

Cocaine users get no love from Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon, who speechified to police officers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Tuesday: “Colombia has lost more than [5 million acres] of rainforest in the last 15 years to plant coca. If you snort a gram of cocaine you are destroying [43 square feet] of pristine rainforest. That rainforest is not just Colombian. It belongs to all of us who live on this planet, so we should all be worried about it.” source:

Umbra on winter biking

Dear Umbra, Here in Cleveland we recently endured the first snowstorm of winter. When I look out the window and see all that pretty white stuff, I can’t help but reach for my car keys instead of my bicycle helmet. Can you offer any suggestions for safe and warm winter riding? Jon B. Lakewood, Ohio Dearest Jon, Has anyone out there tried gel toothpaste on their eyeglasses as an anti-moisture measure? It’s just one of the winter riding tips I found, but I think we need to hear some testimony from the streets. If it works, a whole world will …

iPhone rideshare app coming soon

It’s the 21st century, folks — text with your hitchhiker’s thumb. An iPhone application called Avego will soon be available to hook up drivers with those who need rides, helpfully suggesting a safe place to pull over and calculating the split cost between driver and rider. No word on how it’ll go over in Ontario, which recently effectively made ridesharing illegal.

Are we nearing a breakthrough on electric cars?

Marc Gunther rounds up the evidence.

Ideals vs. reality: Alarm clock edition

In which an argument erupts over electronics disposal

Last night, my fella decided to replace his 15-year-old alarm clock. For the eight years I’ve known him, he’s had to fiddle with the dials and whack the speakers every night as he sets the alarm, so this is something of an overdue miracle. But then there was this: “What are you going to do with it?” says I. “Throw it in the trash,” says he. “That’s not the proper way to dispose of a small electronic device,” says I, confidently. “Why not? It cost six bucks,” says he. “Because it’s full of heavy metals that end up in the …

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