Living

Lust

Hot new ergonomic desk chair: 96 percent recyclable

The successor to Herman Miller’s wildly successful Aeron ergonomic desk chair is coming to a lazy, cube-drone posterior near you. It’s called the Embody and … gimme. As a DFH, though, should I be satisfied with a chair that’s only 96 percent recyclable? After last year’s epic hunt for the best ergo chair, I ended up with the Steelcase Think, which is 99 percent recyclable. What up, Herman Miller? Do you hate the earth 3 percent?

Starbucks accused of big-time water-wasting

Starbucks wastes some 6.2 million gallons of water each day through a health policy that requires a constantly running tap at each store, says a breathless indictment in British tabloid The Sun. A Starbucks spokesperson confirms the use of a dipper well, which uses “a stream of continuous cold fresh-running water to rinse away food residue, help keep utensils clean, and prevent bacterial growth.” Dipper wells are common at coffee and ice-cream shops, but the gigantuousness of Starbucks’ global operations is such that, according to the The Sun, the amount of wasted water could sate the thirst of “the entire …

Umbra on aerosols

Dear Umbra, Love the column. Keep up the great stuff! A question: My co-workers and I are suspicious of buying spray cans, even though we know they no longer contain CFCs. We suspect that aerosol cans contain HCFCs — hydrochlorofluorocarbons — which are proving to be dangerous as well, this time as greenhouse gases. Do all aerosol cans contain HCFCs? Can we trust a “green” product like an essential-oils-and-water-based deodorizer that comes in an aerosol can? And what about non-aerosol cans — are their contents safe? Kate Boulder, Colo. Dearest Kate, Thank you for the compliments. In grateful return, I …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: Yeah ... but is it art?

The Wolf Trap Center connects art and nature

    This is a guest post from my travel partner, Todd Dwyer, head blogger for Dell’s ReGeneration.org. —– After our visit to the amazing Philip Merrill Environmental Center in Annapolis, Maryland, Sarah and I hopped in our trusty steed, Cletus the Prius, for a drive to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in search of the nature of art and the art of nature. Although the Wolf Trap is located in Vienna, Virginia, our contact, Chris Guerre, requested we meet him at a farmer’s market at Ben Brenman Park in Alexandria. Apparently, Chris is a very busy …

Shortages to the left of me, shortages to the right

Demand for green products exceeds supply

My relatives in the D.C. area are on a Prius waiting list. People wanting to build their own electric bikes are on waiting lists for parts. If you’re planning to put up some solar panels, well, get in line. According to Rich Bunch, at Silicon Solar Inc, their next shipment of solar components is due on Oct. 15 and 90 percent of it is already spoken for. I’m guessing that this shipment, like most shipments, is coming from China. Shortages not only trip up building schedules, but they also inflate prices. I recently received an estimate of about $9,000 to …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: A Green Exchange of ideas

Constructing a green space for green biz

Driving along I-90/94W out of downtown Chicago, you can see London, France, the old Vassar Swiss Underwear Company building now under construction. A sign adorning the highway-facing façade tells you this will soon be the Green Exchange, a retail and office facility that will house some 100 businesses, all of them environmentally and socially responsible. To fully see the potential for this place, Todd and I were fitted with hard hats and given the hand-wave tour: you know, “this over here” and “that over there” and “imagine here, if you can.” As we stepped over dust and debris in this …

Phthalates linked to abnormal genitalia in baby boys

Mothers exposed to high levels of phthalates during pregnancy are more likely to bear sons with abnormal genitals, says new environmental research published in the journal Environmental Research. (See what we did there?) The study looked at only 106 mothers and sons, and the afflictions — undescended testicles, smaller penises, and a shorter anogenital distance — aren’t serious problems in and of themselves. But the results, combined with previous studies linking phthalates to reduced sperm quality, DNA damage, hormonal changes, reduced lung function, and premature puberty, make researchers understandably wary. (The American Chemistry Council is decidedly not wary, declaring on …

From Goldilocks to the Three Bears

Hedwig and the extra inch Blondes have more fun — if you call not being creamed by a truck fun. Which we do. Fore minutes to save the world Justin Timberlake’s got some summer love for golf, and his new course is n’sync with LEED certification. He’ll put those sticks in a box and go clubbin’ — but can he bring sexy back to golf pants? Photo: WireImage Poking fun Quote of the week: “A lot of people talk about loving the earth. But how many of them actually penetrate it?” Paging a Mr. Godwin Some claim that Nazis, like …

All-electric version of tiny Smart car unveiled at Paris Auto Show

Automaker Daimler unveiled an all-electric version of its tiny Smart car at the Paris Auto Show this week, dubbed the Smart ED for its electric drive. Diesel-powered versions of the ultra-cute, ultra-compact Smart Fortwo went on sale in the United States just this January to wide acclaim. Company spokespeople said the all-electric Smart Fortwo will be available in the U.S. by 2012 at the latest, and that a very small number of the EDs will be available somewhere in the world by the end of 2009. Daimler has been testing 100 or so of the Smart EDs in London since …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×