Living

What's to eat? Meat or no meat

On the difficulties of going veggie

I love bacon. Sure, meat is murder and all that, not to mention it's contributing more emissions than most of us slightly green carnivores would like to admit, but it is tasty. And filling. I learned that last bit in June when my family gave up meat at the slight urging of vegetarian Gristmillers responding to my query about the best ways to green my family life. It took me about three tummy-rumbling weeks before I learned veggie burgers satisfied my craving for hearty food. In a month's time I came away with conflicting thoughts about meat.

Stars align to fight for flex fuels

Watch six episodes of ‘Project Phin’

Would seeing Ben Affleck dressed as an ear of corn make you more or less interested in learning about ethanol and supporting legislation requiring service stations to sell it? It’s an interesting question — especially without context — but one the Center for American Progress is eager to investigate. This week, they launched an online video series, "Project Phin," to address energy issues — specifically flex fuels. The six-episode series is being released one YouTube video at a time, and will include cameos from green-leaning celebs like Matt Damon, Jennifer Garner, Sarah Silverman, and the corn-husk-clad Affleck. Check out the …

Glenn Beck is an ass

And he argues that cow farts produce more greenhouse gases than cars

Check out this clip (via RAN) of the insufferable Glenn Beck running through asinine talking points while disparaging Live Earth: I'm not the first to note this, but it is really remarkable that CNN, a formerly respected former news network, stoops to this egregious low. Mike Brune of the Rainforest Action Network does an admirable job of keeping his dignity, not committing any felonies no matter how justified, and calling him on his bull. If, in the unlikely event that I am ever asked to do a similar interview, my only request will be that I be within smirk-smacking distance.

From Rowing to Rhymes

Northern exposure Ways to raise climate-change awareness: Walk 1,000 miles. Skateboard across Canada. Row the Pacific. Swim the North Pole, the Baltic, a polluted river. Or, pose nude atop a Swiss glacier. Now that’s the way to highlight shrinkage. Climb every mountain man While answering the call at Live Earth, Cammie Dee got a call of her own — from enviro-hottie David de Rothschild. We knew climate-change activism was good for something! And in completely unrelated green celeb news, Mel Gibson is investing in rubbers. Hee hee. Photo: Alex Berliner / Berliner Studio Just call us boozitarian You may be …

Loan star

Making energy efficiency possible for cheapskate homeowners

Apropos of my recent realization that if I had bought a new furnace on credit rather than waiting to save up the cash I'd have saved a bundle of money over the last 5 years, here's something I've been meaning to write about for months: a Vancouver developer that came up with a smart -- I mean, diabolically smart -- financing scheme to build a super-efficient condo complex. (Proving, I suppose, biodiversivist's point that spreadsheets are, in fact, wonderful things.)

Why the FTC is right to block Whole Foods’ buyout of Wild Oats

John Mackey. Photo: Whole Foods Market In a high-profile exchange with Michael Pollan last summer, Whole Foods Market CEO and founder John Mackey took an avuncular approach to farmers’ markets that might take business from his company. “Whole Foods Market is committed to supporting local farmers’ markets across the United States (and also in Canada and the U.K.),” he wrote. Elsewhere, the executive has displayed a zeal to crush competition that might make his counterparts at Microsoft blush. Last spring, Mackey sent a blunt email to the Whole Foods board, explaining his intention to buy Wild Oats — Whole Foods’ …

Climb every mountain man

Cameron Diaz hooks up with a hottie enviro

Look at her, she’s Cammie Dee: While answering the call at Live Earth earlier this month, Cameron Diaz got a call of her own. From enviro-hottie David de Rothschild. Nice catch, lady! I knew this climate-change activism thing was good for something. So to all you other hottie-climate-change-activist-types, consider this a public service announcement: I am now taking calls …

Sex is suicide: The peacock principle

Are we raping the planet in some cracked attempt to look hot?

Got it? You'll flirt and flaunt it. But the human drive to mate could be killing our planet and ultimately our species, according to Matt Prescott via the BBC. We're collectively thinking from the seat of our pants and using the wrong brain, so all of our little earth-saving intentions add up to vain fluffing, he adds. Why? Cheap energy and oil have given us new, ecologically toxic ways to compete for partners:

There's BDE in your britches

Clothing companies start to come clean on chemicals

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine invited me to an apparel industry environmental seminar chock full of good industry types. Seminars of this nature are always dreadfully boring, but it's worth it because you get the inside scoop on what the industry is (and unfortunately isn't) talking about. The principle topic was regulated substances and chemicals, how to move toward green chemistry alternatives, and how to manage all the issues associated with regulations. The meeting was the first important step in getting companies like Ann Taylor, Liz Claiborne, L.L. Bean, and others to begin taking the steps needed to beef up their consumer-protection standards. The buzzword of the day was RSL, or "Restricted Substance List." Most RSL's are either proprietary information or outdated. That is all changing thanks to the American Apparel & Footwear Association's Environmental Task Force, which spearheaded the seminar. On June 27, AAFA released an RSL to help textile, apparel, and footwear companies take the first step in regulating -- and, in some cases, eliminating -- certain contaminants from their products. I emphasize "first step" because many of the companies sitting in the auditorium were only marginally aware that so many chemicals and substances made up the DNA of their outfits.