Living

Fur-free shopping

A Humane Society retailer guide

After seeing my list of green fashionistas, the Humane Society contacted me about its fur-free shopping guide. It’s a helpful resource that includes information on the fur-free policies of more than 50 retailers. Check it out. (Thanks to commenter amc89 for mentioning it as well.)

Climb every submerged mountain

Backpacker’s global warming issue

About six months too late to be part of our "oh look, all the glossies are going green" trend piece, Backpacker magazine has put together its own global warming issue. And yes, before y’all ask, it’s printed on recycled, chlorine-free paper. The cover features a hiker waist-deep in water with a submerged mountain behind him (familiar, no?), and the bold print advertises stories about "The Future of Wilderness" and "Green Gear That Really Works," as well as tips for cutting your carbon footprint in half (hint: don’t fly to far-flung hiking destinations!). The inside of the mag is graphic heavy, …

BioWillie pens a biodiesel book

Willie Nelson is talking about biodiesel again. This time in book form, and the result is On the Clean Road Again: Biodiesel and the Future of the Family Farm. The 90-some-page pocket-size book (it’s like a li’l Willie you can carry with you everywhere!) is divided into two parts: the past (or the history of petroleum) and the future (in Willie’s world, that’s biodiesel). Thankfully there’s also an afterword to talk about the other future … you know, wind and solar and hydro, etc. Aside from the cover image of Willie (in chaps!) holding two gas-pump nozzles like sharpshooters, my …

On the Ball: Play hard

NYC debates grass v. artificial turf on playing fields

This NYT piece is interesting in that oh-I-never-thought-of-that sort of way. Grass playing fields are — in New York City, at least — an endangered species: To avoid the ignominy of being trampled underfoot, the grass fields need to be idle all winter, and once a week the rest of the year. As a result, there is increasing pressure from league coaches to install synthetic turf to allow the fields to be used year-round to meet local demand. But not only can synthetic turf suck up enough sun to heat to potentially dangerous levels, the recycled tire rubber that gives …

Long-distance organic

Is it really a savior for smallholder farmers in the global south?

In the latest Victual Reality, I addressed the "eat-local backlash" — the steady trickle of media reports seeking to debunk the supposed social and environmental benefits of eating from one’s foodshed. Some of the charges are easy to refute. Hey, in Maine, it takes more energy to produce hothouse tomatoes in January than it does to ship them up from South America! Really? Try eating something besides fresh tomatoes in January in Maine. Hell, if you really want Maine tomatoes in January, organize to invest in community-scale canning infrastructure, and then capture July’s bounty for the whole year. There’s another …

WWF's Conservation Island

A virtual world

I scream, you scream, we all scream for an orangutan selling ice cream. On WWF’s virtual island in online world Second Life. From the press release: On Conservation Island, if residents "buy" an ice-cream from Mr Tangee, the orangutan who runs the ice-cream van, they will have the chance to learn that plantations to provide the soy and palm oil found in an array of everyday products, from ice-cream to cosmetics and chocolate bars, already cover an area the size of France and are growing. This threatens not only some of the world’s greatest forests and traditional lifestyles, but also …

Be a green fashion week groupie

Eco-events all over the world

There's a rash of "greener" fashion weeks popping up everywhere for the spring 2008 fashion season. And there must be an alignment of the stars or the higher workings of an omnipotent green god, because there is barely any overlap in dates. If you were so inclined, it would be possible for you to attend every single one of the shows listed below -- though the jet lag and carbon emissions from such an excursion might leave you feeling a bit ... restless. I'll be in Seattle, Paris, and New York, and maybe San Francisco, so please drop in and say hello if you are nearby. As enthusiasm for the green design movement continues to grow and the market becomes more robust and sophisticated, it is my (secret) hope to dethrone the Karl Lagerfelds of the world, who went on record to say, "If you want social justice, be a social worker." Down, down with the status quo. Hear, hear for revolution.

Grist presents lists of eco-notable people, places, and things

15 Green Actors 15 Green Buildings 15 Green Business Founders 15 Green Cars 15 Green Chefs 15 Green Cities 15 Green Colleges 15 Green Fashion Finds 15 Green Fashionistas 15 Green Movies 15 Green Musicians and Bands 15 Green Politicians 15 Green Religious Leaders 15 Green Sports Stars

Celebrity hypocrisy: Scourge of ... nothing in particular

Don’t pretend to write about this stuff out of concern, please

A while back, a guy who writes for a magazine called Radar emailed to alert me of his "exclusive" discovery that Barbara Streisand is totally a hypocrite!!1! I replied, in so many words: eh. Apparently it struck a nerve, as he has now gone on to pen an opus that strains mightily to convince us that celebrity eco-hypocrisy is a Very Important Subject that we should all take Very Seriously. Eh. Look, if he wants to spend his time on this stuff, it’s his business. I can see the appeal. It’s a cheap way to generate traffic. The hoi polloi …

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