Living

Starbucks will double its purchase of fair-trade coffee

Starbucks will buy 40 million pounds of fair-trade-certified coffee next year, doubling the hill of beans it bought this year and becoming the largest purchaser of fair-trade coffee in the world. The caffeine giant, though struggling financially and recognizing the price premium of sustainable bean-buying, has a goal of selling only “responsibly grown and ethically traded” coffee by 2015.

GM sugar beet: Trick or treat?

Sugar from GM sugar beets will soon be unlabeled and widespread

The scariest thing next Halloween might not be the monsters, zombies or witches trolling our streets — it might be the candy. Those colorful, tin-foil-wrapped Hershey’s kisses and dark chocolate pumpkins could contain sugar extracted and processed from the roots of genetically modified sugar beets. Sugar in Halloween candy comes from several sources, including sugar beets. But this year, farmers are planting Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM sugar beets for sale to food producers for the first time. This beet is genetically engineered to survive multiple, direct applications of the weed killer, Roundup, and its active ingredient, glyphosate. What’s particularly appalling about …

Random question of the day

Why don’t refrigerators have hydraulic doors that close automatically?

Recessionista style

Is slow fashion a new term for an old idea?

Photo: somethingstartedcrazy Move over, fashionistas. This fall, the recessionistas are taking over. With the economy unraveling like a Forever 21 sweater, terms like “recessionista” and “slow fashion” are popping up all over. Last month, a piece in Alabama’s Press-Register proclaimed, “Fall fashion 2008: The year of the recessionista,” and The New York Times devoted a recent style piece to the “recessionista” moniker, pronouncing it “A Label for a Pleather Economy.” Trendsetters are advised to hold clothing swaps and shop at thrift stores to score clothes that are new to them, if not brand-new. Meanwhile, the admittedly small and elitist slow-fashion …

Vote for Kristen Bell

Veronica Mars campaigns for the Earth

A vote for Kristen Bell is a vote for the environment … or so says her Gap ad:

Sounds fishy

Stone Gossard sings of salmon in Seattle

At a recent music-and-food-related gathering in Seattle, Pearl Jam guitarist (and Grist BFF) Stone Gossard sang about salmon. His little ditty was inspired by his work with the Wild Salmon Center and focuses on the issue of hatcheries. He says in the song’s intro that he even went so far as to speak with several scientists about the matter, and the song is his interpretation of what they said. Sound fishy? Uh, yeah, that’s the point …

Does this count as a carbon offset?

The Christian Science Monitor will abandon its daily print edition in April 2009

Wow — the Christian Science Monitor is going to bag its print version. This is a very big deal. In 10 years, my guess is that printed papers will be rather rare. The ramifications are huge for the environment.

Send a Grist Halloween e-card

With Election Day looming, this Halloween may be even spookier than usual. Elect to send your loved ones a Grist e-card — just to show them that you scare. (And check out last year’s cards — still fresh and sendable!)   Send | Enlarge Dear Planet, Mm, you look luscious. Your land is so curvy, your oceans so moist, your tar sands so … tender. Meet me when the sun goes down? Love, Big Oil Hope Your Halloween Doesn’t Suck!   Send | Enlarge Witches and goblins do frighten And zombies my heart rate do heighten But the one I fear most …

Ford Smart Gauge urges driver fuel efficiency

Trying to reduce gas consumption? Drivers of the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids will be assisted by a Smart Gauge that screams instructions like a panicked driver’s ed teacher shows, among other things, multiplying green leaves as drivers drive more fuel-efficiently. Ford will also improve how far the cars can go on electricity alone, estimating that they could cover some 700 miles on a single tank of gas.

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