Living

Or you could just wear smaller shoes ...

Reducing your carbon footprint from travel

If want to reduce your carbon footprint, what should you do about your air travel until we have carbon-free jet fuel? The Stockholm Environment Institute and the Tufts Climate Initiative have a good handout on the subject, titled "Flying Green." They note: ... the average American is responsible for the emissions of about 20 tons of CO2 annually ... If you fly to Europe and back from the U.S., you'll add about 3-4 tons to your (already large) carbon footprint. With one flight you will have caused more emissions than 20 Bangladeshi will cause in a whole year. Unfortunately they are the ones who will lose their homes and livelihood once sea level rise inundates their low lying country.

Water, water everywhere, but ...

World Water Day, Grand Canyon film highlight water crisis

Saturday is World Water Day, a time set aside by the U.N. during which member nations are encouraged to address the worldwide water crisis. This year’s theme is the “International Year of Sanitation” (sexy!), which …

From Emo to Ego

Thnks fr th GHGs What will be the fallout from Pete Wentz and Co.’s green-themed flight to Antarctica? Tons of carbon, a Guinness record — and, quite possibly, emo copypenguins. Photo: iStockphoto Against the grain …

Warm up over a bowl of chili — while planning your spring vegetable patch

Editor’s note: Welcome to the first installment of Chef’s Diary, a new biweekly recipe column by Iowa-based chef Kurt Michael Friese. Follow the seasons with a professional chef — and get tips for cooking at …

NWF's love affair with the junk mail industry

More on Catalog Choice and the Do Not Mail registry

Yesterday's Washington Post had a fascinating article by Lyndsey Layton about how the U.S. Postal Service is teaming up with the junk mail lobby to stamp out (heh heh) efforts to create state or national "Do Not Mail" lists that would allow people to opt out of receiving commercial solicitations. That's no surprise: junk mail is big business, and the postal service, the paper companies, and the junk mailers don't want anything that would interfere with their cash flow, no matter how many forests are destroyed to make the paper. But inside the article was the bizarre revelation that some environmental groups "are cool to the idea of a registry that prohibits marketers from sending mail to those enrolled and that fines violators. One reason may be that most environmental groups are themselves junk mailers." Indeed, Laura Hickey of the National Wildlife Federation -- a member of the Direct Marketing Association -- claimed that the national registry "would affect anybody who mails ... I don't think it would be any different whether you were for-profit or non-profit." Actually, no: all of the proposals for a Do Not Mail registry would include free-speech protections for non-profit and political groups. And, according to Todd Paglia, executive director of ForestEthics, the organization behind the Do Not Mail campaign, Hickey herself was told that on three occasions.

Umbra on burning paper

Dear Umbra, We heat our house primarily by wood, in an efficient, EPA-rated woodstove. My question is this: We recycle all of our paper, paperboard, cardboard, etc., but would it be better to burn it? …

How to green your pet

Without pets, the world would be such a pale, less playful version of itself. No Wallace and Gromit videos. No Fluffy purring in our laps or Fido fetching his Frisbee. No cheerful creatures welcoming us …

Culture war: country music edition

Global warming could thaw relations between enviros and those who live closest to ‘the environment’

I wasn't particularly planning to continue on the culture war beat, but then, I wasn't expecting Orion Magazine to publish exactly the type of article of which I'd like to see more. In "One Nation Under Elvis," author and environmentalist Rebecca Solnit uses music -- specifically country music -- as a jumping off point to examine the cultural and class markers that divide a movement from itself. It's become a bit trite to say that climate change isn't (or shouldn't be) a left-right issue. But political coalitions in the U.S. really did once look quite different than they do now. In the '30s, the progressive movement "saw farmers, loggers, fisheries workers, and miners as its central constituency along with longshoremen and factory workers." According to Solnit, this constituency frayed in the postwar period, and blasted apart in the 1960s:

Some Easter trinkets test high for lead in small study

If you’re the Easter-trinket-buying type, beware: some pastel gewgaws may have high levels of lead, according to testing done by students at Ohio’s Ashland University. Of 45 Easter-themed spinning tops, hair clips, sippy cups, and …

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