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From Glamp to Glam

Best of in-tents Hello muddah, hello faddah, here we are at Glamp Granada. Glam'rous camping's entertaining. And we'll surely have some fun once we're deplane-ing. Butler's tending to the fire. Of chef's prepped food, we won't tire. Maid gives pillows a little fluff-it. Why would anybody ever want to rough it? Puff daddy In an effort to be greener, Japanese clothing developers have designed bright-colored polos, microwavable lingerie, shopping-bag bras -- and now, Stay Puft air-conditioned button-downs. Um ... cool? Photo: Michael Caronna / Reuters A load of Bullwinkle You're off the hook, beef-eaters: It's the concentrated moose feeding operations …

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On the Ball: Of Olympics and Eagles

And synthetic turf, to boot

Beijing's four-day trial run of keeping vehicles off of its roads was either wildly successful or a complete wash, depending who you ask. The city plans to put 50,000 bicycles out to rent during the Games in hopes of easing congestion and pollution. (But will they be in fancy vending machines)? You'll also be glad to know that Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the women's marathon (2:15.25!) and a sufferer of exercise-induced asthma, plans to compete regardless of air quality. Photo: Hunter Martin/WireImage Other news of note: The Philadelphia Eagles already made our list of green sports stars …

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Here's the (poop) scoop

A biodegradable doggie bag

This week, here at Grist HQ, we got an interesting package in the mail that contained two biodegradable doggie bags. No, not for your leftover takeout ... but rather, ahem, for your doggie's leftovers. The Skooperbox, which actually looks quite like a takeout box, is apparently made of 100 percent recycled material and is 100 percent biodegradable. This is key because the plastic baggie alternative prevents the compostable organic material from being able to biodegrade. I haven't used this product myself, as I don't have a doggie of my own to follow around and clean up after -- but the …

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Toying with our emotions

Bush administration complicit in lead-toy debacle

While China has endured a lot of criticism from the lead-toy debacle, the Bush administration is not off the hook. Consumer advocates say the anti-regulation administration has hindered attempts to crack down on inspection of imported Chinese playthings; in addition, critics accuse the feds of encouraging the Consumer Product Safety Commission to be less oriented to consumer safety and more focused on pleasing manufacturers. "We've been complaining about this issue, warning it is going to happen, and it is disappointing that it has happened," says Tom Neltner of the Sierra Club, which sued the U.S. EPA in December after the …

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Oxymoron of the day: Glamorous camping

aka ‘glamping’

I'm not sure how I feel about glamorous camping -- aka "glamping" -- a growing trend in North America among "affluent travelers who want to enjoy the outdoors but can't fathom using a smelly outhouse." (Really? Me neither!) On the one hand, I wanted to start this post off with some comment about how this is the kind of "roughing it" I'm all about. But really? Not the case. Especially this: [The family profiled in the story] shelled out $595 a night -- plus an additional $110 per person per day for food ... perks include a camp butler to …

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Fur-free shopping

A Humane Society retailer guide

After seeing my list of green fashionistas, the Humane Society contacted me about its fur-free shopping guide. It's a helpful resource that includes information on the fur-free policies of more than 50 retailers. Check it out. (Thanks to commenter amc89 for mentioning it as well.)

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Climb every submerged mountain

Backpacker’s global warming issue

About six months too late to be part of our "oh look, all the glossies are going green" trend piece, Backpacker magazine has put together its own global warming issue. And yes, before y'all ask, it's printed on recycled, chlorine-free paper. The cover features a hiker waist-deep in water with a submerged mountain behind him (familiar, no?), and the bold print advertises stories about "The Future of Wilderness" and "Green Gear That Really Works," as well as tips for cutting your carbon footprint in half (hint: don't fly to far-flung hiking destinations!). The inside of the mag is graphic heavy, …

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BioWillie pens a biodiesel book

Willie Nelson is talking about biodiesel again. This time in book form, and the result is On the Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and the Future of the Family Farm. The 90-some-page pocket-size book (it's like a li'l Willie you can carry with you everywhere!) is divided into two parts: the past (or the history of petroleum) and the future (in Willie's world, that's biodiesel). Thankfully there's also an afterword to talk about the other future ... you know, wind and solar and hydro, etc. Aside from the cover image of Willie (in chaps!) holding two gas-pump nozzles like sharpshooters, my …

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On the Ball: Play hard

NYC debates grass v. artificial turf on playing fields

This NYT piece is interesting in that oh-I-never-thought-of-that sort of way. Grass playing fields are -- in New York City, at least -- an endangered species: To avoid the ignominy of being trampled underfoot, the grass fields need to be idle all winter, and once a week the rest of the year. As a result, there is increasing pressure from league coaches to install synthetic turf to allow the fields to be used year-round to meet local demand. But not only can synthetic turf suck up enough sun to heat to potentially dangerous levels, the recycled tire rubber that gives …

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Long-distance organic

Is it really a savior for smallholder farmers in the global south?

In the latest Victual Reality, I addressed the "eat-local backlash" -- the steady trickle of media reports seeking to debunk the supposed social and environmental benefits of eating from one's foodshed. Some of the charges are easy to refute. Hey, in Maine, it takes more energy to produce hothouse tomatoes in January than it does to ship them up from South America! Really? Try eating something besides fresh tomatoes in January in Maine. Hell, if you really want Maine tomatoes in January, organize to invest in community-scale canning infrastructure, and then capture July's bounty for the whole year. There's another …

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