How to green your Halloween

The economy may have gone to pot and the country’s future leadership may be wildly unclear, but there’s one thing we can count on: Halloween. Yes, October 31 is a holiday of certainty, full of ringing doorbells, sweet treats, and tiny ghosts and witches (or, more likely, Kung Fu Pandas and Hannah Montanas). But All Hallow’s Eve has a spooky flip side, laced with refined sugar, vinyl costumes, and other horrors that can give you the eco-shivers. If you want a greener fright night, here’s how to start. Level One: The Baby Steps Fright, not light. Nothing simultaneously creeps out …

New Apple laptop is ‘greenest MacBook ever’

The new Apple laptop that your geeky officemate is swooning over is “the greenest MacBook ever,” according to the company. (But remember, kids: Hanging on to your current laptop is even greener.) Instead of being cobbled together from various pieces, the new MacBook’s main frame is cut out of a single piece of aluminum, and the discarded metal is recycled. It arrives to stores in 41 percent less packaging than the previous generation, and can be returned to Apple for recycling at the end of its life. Like other Apple offerings, the newbie boasts arsenic-free glass, is backlit with energy-efficient …

Hot water

Nestle flexes its muscles at Miami water utility

For months, the bottled-water industry has been losing its grip over people’s pocketbooks. Consumers are realizing that buying purified tap water at pumped-up prices, packaged in little plastic bottles, makes zero sense in economic, ecological, or health terms. Now the industry appears to be losing its grip on reality. From the Miami Herald: In the radio ad, a talking faucet extols Miami-Dade’s tap water as cheaper, purer and safer than bottled water. It may have sounded innocuous to most listeners, but the 30-second spot left the nation’s largest purveyor of bottled water boiling mad. Nestle Waters North America, which makes …

Notable quotable

“I kind of thought that eco-friendly clothes meant misshapen hemp sweaters — you know, from like 1992 or something.” – actress Maggie Gyllenhaal

The eco-beginnings of modern government

How modern cities made themselves livable

Financial deregulation has obviously been a disaster. Perhaps we are entering a new era, one in which it is acceptable to talk about the positive actions that governments can take. A friend of mine, Bryn Barnard, has written about how government first stepped in to provide a minimally healthy environment — in a chapter about cholera in his book Outbreak: Plagues that changed history, and in a chapter about the Great Fire of London in his book, Dangerous Planet: Natural Disasters that changed history. He recently put his thoughts together to write the following about Britain in the 1830s. —– …

Clorox’s Green Works line now top-selling green cleaners in U.S.

Clorox’s first entree into the green-cleaning market, released just this year, is going swimmingly so far with the $5.3 billion company on track to sell over $40 million worth of its Green Works cleaners in the U.S., according to sales figures. The Clorox Company already captures a large swath of the conventional-cleaner market with brands like Formula 409, Liquid-Plumr, Pine-Sol, and Tilex. Now Clorox is also the proud owner of the best-selling line of green cleaning products in America. Overall sales of its Green Works line have already surpassed well-known purveyors Seventh Generation and Method. However, Clorox hasn’t managed to …

Be green, get rich?

Budget-saving tips awfully similar to planet-preserving prescriptions

Who are you to deny me my two-car garage filled with junk, an elegant dining room I’ll never use, and massive heating/cooling bills? That’s the basic response from critics when greens question McMansions in particular and our consumer culture in general. I mean, isn’t newer, bigger, better the American way? Didn’t President Bush urge us to go shopping more? But one financial advisor says trying to look rich by buying so much stuff is keeping some Americans from being rich. And while he never once mentions the environment, his prescriptions for building your savings have a lot in common with …

Another green pop culture fail

King of the Hill takes on green

Last Sunday, Fox’s animated show King of the Hill ran an episode called “Earthy Girls Are Easy.” (You can watch the full episode here.) I was excited when I heard about it. KotH is a brilliant show, the only one on television that pokes fun at low-income rural white people in a way that is both hilarious and affectionate. It really captures the rhythms of speech and social folkways of that milieu, and the man at the center, Hank, is a fundamentally decent guy who works hard and takes care of his family. It’s a show with subtle wit and …

ReGeneration Roadtrip: Retrace our steps

Maps, videos, and images from our cross-country travels

It’s been almost three weeks since I left Seattle to meet up with a total stranger and drive across the country in search of hope for a sustainable future. Well, hope we found — pretty much everywhere we looked. It was like a hope buffet, if you will, and believe you me, we tried to cram as much of it in as we could on our 15-day journey. Which meant that we didn’t end up with a whole lot of extra time for updating y’all with Flickr pics and pretty maps and etc. Our apologies … In the coming weeks, …

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