Living

Sister Hazell

Britain’s favorite topless model is the latest eco-spokesperson Lots of climate and energy news today, so here’s some Friday frippery. How excited do you think Guy Adams of The Independent was when his editor told him to interview Keeley Hazell about her green principles? Hazell, well known in Britain as a winsome Page Three girl (that’s British for “nudie newspaper model”), posed last year slathered in green paint, alongside several tips for green living. As a result, she was named on Tory leader David Cameron’s Christmas list of eco-heroes. Now The Independent is all over the follow-up story, giving Adams …

Sex: Coming to a local coffee shop

Young Dems sexify your mug

It’s about cups. Sexy, sexy cups. Well, actually it’s about getting college students thinking about the planet and about changing their personal habits. But the “sexy” sure doesn’t hurt. The University of Washington’s Young Democrats club launched a Sustainability is Sexy campaign this month to encourage students to bring their own cups to the campus’s coffee shops. And their sexy slogan is popping up all over campus on shirts, buttons, stickers, and posters — where organizers hope it will remind students that thinking about your environmental impact is totally hott. The posters feature a red-lipsticked mouth preparing to gulp some …

Balls to the Wall

Global warming hits sports world, sports world hits back Forget the safety of coastal dwellers — let’s focus on the truly important question. What is global warming going to do to sports? As Sports Illustrated reports in a cover story on climate change, fans are already being forced to adapt. The too-sweaty Miami Dolphins have built a climate-controlled practice bubble, and Texas high schools are playing football at night to avoid searing heat. Skiing, dogsled racing, marathon skating, and ice fishing have all been disrupted by warm weather. But there is good news: some stadiums are looking into energy- and …

Umbra on landfills vs. incinerators

Hi Umbra, Is there an environmentally preferable choice between sending your trash to a landfill or an incinerator? I know to think of the three R’s first, but what’s the better way to dispose of the remainder? Incinerators convert waste into energy but generate air pollution. Landfills (ideally) recover and utilize methane but much of the waste will never decompose. So if one has a choice, what’s the best of two evils? Lisa Drake Manchester, N.H. Dearest Lisa, Do you actually have a choice? I don’t. Our waste is picked up and taken to the Rodentitron Site, where it is …

A chat with Inconvenient Truth co-producer and Hollywood bigwig Lawrence Bender

Meet Lawrence Bender, the Hollywood producer who lent his big-screen savoir faire to the success of the Oscar-winning sensation An Inconvenient Truth. Lawrence Bender. It’s not Bender’s first brush with Oscar fame. He produced Academy Award best-picture nominees Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction, as well as Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, and other Quentin Tarantino blockbusters. But this was his first Oscar win — and it couldn’t have happened to a better project, he says, calling the film “possibly the apex of my career, bringing making a difference and making movies together into one.” Bender is no political newbie, either. …

Umbra on disposing of toxic chemicals

Dear Umbra, Now that I’ve caught the environmental bug, I don’t know what to do with the toxic cleaning products (e.g., Ajax) that I have on hand. As a bulk buyer, I’ve got 5 to 6 bottles in my garage. Is it better to use them up, throw them away, or just have them stay put in my garage? Jill Miller Pleasanton, Calif. Dearest Jill, Do not leave them in your garage! Home storage of unused toxics inevitably leads to irksome problems. I speak for all those who have had to clean up someone else’s leftover household cleaners, gardening chemicals, …

Lisa Day of socially conscious film company Participant Productions answers questions

Lisa Day. What work do you do? I am the vice president of social action and advocacy at Participant Productions. What does your company do? Participant is a film company with a twist — we only make “issue” movies, and for each movie we create social-action campaigns. Our films have included An Inconvenient Truth and Syriana, as well as Good Night, and Good Luck, Murderball, and Fast Food Nation. I get to work on the campaigns for each of our films. What are you working on at the moment? I’m still doing a lot of work on An Inconvenient Truth, …

Tom Hanks, EV supporter and fiend for beef jerky

Star is driving a converted electric car

AC Propulsion announced delivery of their first eBox to Tom Hanks. Its a Scion xB with the engine replaced by a 35 kW lithium ion battery -- delivering an impressive 150 mile range. And for $55k, they'll upgrade your Scion, too. And I had no idea Tom Hanks was such a regular guy. From the press release: Just before he drove off, silently, in his new eBox, Hanks observed, "There are three electric cars sitting on the moon, and now another one in my garage. The eBox makes even more sense in Los Angeles than in the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the moon. I can drive all weekend, hauling dogs and helping my friends move, and the only reason I'll need to stop at a gas station is for beef jerky and lottery tickets." Tom Hanks: Trekkie and a fiend for beef jerky. And apparently the go-to guy in Hollywood when starlets can't find anyone to help them move apartments over the weekend.

Ask a Brokeass: More hip, less hippie

On greening your roommates

I live in an apartment with roommates and will probably stay in this living situation for a few more years. How do I make the transition to a more environmentally conscious style of living without annoying them, or making them think I’m weird? For example, I really want to begin composting, but I doubt they would welcome a box full of dirt and worms indoors, no matter how hard I tried to persuade them. I’d also like us to switch over to earth-friendly cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, bleach-free toilet paper, etc., but these items usually cost more than the cheap …

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