Living

Alter Eco

Adrian Grenier’s eco-entourage heats up Planet Green

I mentioned Adrian Grenier’s upcoming project, The Green Life, back in January, but the latest scoop is that the show — billed as a makeover series wherein Grenier and "his entourage" help everyday folk go green — has been renamed Alter Eco and will premiere in June. According to LAist, one of the first renovations on the show will be the Tokio Lounge, which is being transformed into Ecco, "Hollywood’s first ecofriendly lounge." Expected to open in July, the new lounge will feature an organic menu, eco-friendly cement (waste materials added to pack cement), an LED lighting system, waterless urinals …

U. of Washington to create big eco-college

The University of Washington is planning to create the largest environmental college evah. The proposed College of the Environment would become the 5th-largest of U-Dub’s 17 colleges, combining its current schools of forestry, fishery sciences, atmospheric sciences, earth and space sciences, marine affairs, and oceanography. “Certainly, higher education in general has a responsibility to tackle challenges that threaten the well-being of the planet,” says the proposal. “The UW is strongly positioned to truly advance the contributions of academia to the very concrete problems of the world around us.” The college is scheduled to open in fall 2009, and its graduates …

Prius sales top 1 million

Worldwide sales of Toyota’s Prius hybrid have passed the 1 million mark, the auto company announced Thursday. The world’s first mass-produced hybrid was introduced in Japan in 1997 and in other markets in 2000. While it was at the time a risky business venture, it didn’t take long for the word Prius — Latin for “to go before” — to become synonymous with popular hybrid technology (and yuppie environmentalism). Nearly 60 percent of the 1.028 million Priuses/Prii/Priora sold have been to customers in North America. Inspired to join the crowd? “This is a special vehicle, and as fuel prices keep …

Got weeds? Reach for the food processor, not the lawnmower

Around this time of year, all the foodies in my neck of the woods are, well, in the woods. Spring and fall are the best wild food foraging times around here, and as if ol’ Mother Nature knew our food prices were going through the roof and transportation costs skyrocketing, she’s brought us a cornucopia of wild edibles out there, free for the taking. Nettles, how sweet thy sting. Photo: Kurt Michael Friese Besides the morels I spoke of recently (did I mention my son found some 10 feet from our back door?), we find oyster and velvet foot and …

Recycling sewer water into drinking water growing more popular

Cities and counties across the United States have increasingly been turning to recycled sewer water as one way to meet growing drinking-water demand. Recycling sewer water, or turning toilet water into drinking water via purification, has often repulsed opponents due to the high costs of treatment and the drinking-former-toilet-water gag factor. However, despite sometimes vocal opposition from the public, communities with huge projected increases in water demand have been pursuing the option anyway in the face of stagnating supplies. Earlier this year, Orange County, Calif., completed the largest and most high-tech water-recycling system in the world that churns out 70 …

Umbra on buying eco-products in bulk

Dear Umbra, Why can’t I find environmentally friendly products (laundry soap, shampoo, etc.) in bulk packaging? It seems like there are many companies that make products that are not so hard on the planet, but they are only sold in little tiny containers, which of course increases packaging. I would love to find eco-friendly laundry soap in a five-gallon bucket … after all, if I think clean clothes are important today, why wouldn’t I think so next month? Sharon Socorro, N.M. Dearest Sharon, Maybe next month you get sick of doing laundry and join a nudity cult, or next month …

How to green your yard — even more

One of the most enduring truisms on earth is that all you need — aside from love, of course — is loam. Good dirt and a few seeds can get you a plot of paradise, whether you’re nursing daffodils in a window box, planting a native tree, or cultivating carrots, cukes, and Incredible Hulk-sized zucchini in a perfectly preened organic garden. Go a few steps further — grab a rake, shovel, spade, soaker hose, hemp gardening hat, and grubby gloves — and shazzam, you’ve got beauty and the feast: a flower-filled haven that sprouts delicious organic eats. Given this kind …

Free stuff alert: Clean green without spending any green

Add Grist’s green living widget and win free green living starter kits from Seventh Generation

So another Earth Day has come and gone, along with many good ‘n’ green intentions made around the globe. Haven’t figured out a way to turn dirty laundry and that ring around the tub into a way to save the planet yet? Don’t worry; Grist is here to help — namely, by giving you the chance to win free green cleaning products from our friends at Seventh Generation. Let’s get that tub looking and smelling more peachy and less bleach-y, shall we? How, you ask? Just add our new green living widget to your blog or Facebook/MySpace profile. It’s super-easy. …

Eco-parents unimpressed by ‘green’ Barbie accessories

Barbie BCause, toymaker Mattel’s attempt to appeal to the green-minded tyke, has turned out to be not so popular with green-minded parents. The line of patchwork-y Barbie accessories made from cast-off fabric has inspired a blogging backlash. “The eco-conscious young girls I know of steer clear of Barbie,” wrote Jennifer Lance on blog Eco Child’s Play. “Truly green families will not be fooled by Mattel’s greenwashing.” Mother Jones blogger Jen Phillips agreed that touting Barbie BCause as green is “pretty ironic given that Barbie dolls themselves are made out of plastic and are packaged in even more plastic.” And that’s …

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