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66 posts from November 2008

November 21, 2008

Daily Roundup

Under the Gun: Hunting organizations acknowledged the need to reform the British game bird industry after an investigation by the Farm Animal Welfare Council determined that pheasants and partridges were raised inhumanely. The Independent

Bum Deal: BPA, the suspected hormone-disruptor found in certain plastics, has turned up in recycled toilet paper. Z Recommends

Recipe Roundup: What's Thanksgiving without the turkey? Delicious--if you prepare these 15 easy vegetarian dishes. WebEcoist

Scraps and Trash: Separate bins for food waste could soon be a requirement for all U.K. households if a new rubbish recycling scheme continues to gain momentum. Telegraph

Baby Boomer Green: Forget LOHAS. A recent report found that women over the age of 50 are the biggest buyers of green products. Mercury News

 

Green Diesel?

Fueltankflower As we noted in our Daily Roundup yesterday, the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI was named Green Car of the Year at the annual Los Angeles Auto Show. The diesel-powered, turbocharged engine is EPA-rated to sip "clean diesel" at a modest 41 miles per gallon on the highway, 30 in the city. Many environmentalists might find the decision to bestow such an honor on an all-fossil-fuel-powered car a bit unsettling. While 41 mpg puts the TDI among the most fuel-efficient cars on the American road, it still scores an industry-average six points out of ten on the EPA's pollution rating system. So while "clean diesel" might be clean for diesel, it's still far behind the Honda Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius, which both achieve a better fuel economy and pollution score than the Jetta TDI.

- Michael Fox

What do you think about the Jetta being named Green Car of the Year? Share your thoughts as a comment below.

Movie Review Friday -- Harold and Maude

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week, we review a film with an environmental or socially responsible theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a review of 100 or fewer words and look for your review in the next Movie Friday!

Harold and Maude (1971)
Available on DVD.

If you're already familiar with this cult-classic black comedy, you know that it's about a death-obsessed 20-something rich kid named Harold and a life- and freedom-loving woman named Maude who's on the brink of her 80th birthday. They meet at a funeral and the fun starts there, along with some profound philosophy.

During a notable nature moment, we hear Maude's simple belief that death is part of the circle of life, which explains her frequent attendance at funerals. The two are driving through town when Maude spies a dying tree and informs Harold that it's suffocating because of the smog. They transplant the tree in the woods, and as they're standing in the mottled forest light, Maude says, "Well, farewell little tree. Grow up tall, and change, and fall to replenish the earth. Isn't it wonderful, Harold? All around us -- living things!"

--Jenny Coyle

November 20, 2008

Daily Roundup

Mighty Jetta: Volkswagen's new Jetta TDI beat all the others to be crowned the 2009 Green Car of the Year. L.A. Times

Wild Wal-Mart: A Wal-Mart store in Anchorage, Alaska is now selling wild salmon from Bristol Bay. Anchorage Daily News

Oil Plummets: Today, the price of crude oil closed below $50 per barrel for the first time in more than three years – a drop of almost 9 percent. The apparent cause? Lowered demand. Wall Street Journal

A New Old Turtle: Scientists in Scotland uncovered fossils of a previously unknown species of turtle. From them, researchers could deduce that turtles might have first taken to water during the Jurassic period. National Geographic

EPA, Clean Up Your Act: Environmentalists are threatening to sue the EPA if the federal government doesn’t further restrict emissions. The activists’ legal weapon of choice this time: the Clean Water Act.
New York Times

--Avital Binshtock

Cocaine's Environmental Impact

A coca field There's new weapon in the war on drugs: eco-guilt. Every gram of cocaine snorted destroys four square meters of rainforest, Francisco Santos Calderon, Colombia's vice president, told British police officers on Wednesday. Santos launched the "Shared Responsibility" campaign in London in May. John P. Walters, the United States' "drug czar," said in 2002 that Columbia has lost roughly 3 million acres of rainforest, and cocaine processors release more than 370,000 tons of chemicals into the fragile ecosystem every year. Since illegal growers are unlikely to switch to organic, shade-grown, fairly-traded cocaine, it's fair to say that blow is no friend of the earth.

Climate-Change Extravaganzas Underway

Global_warming Just weeks after CNN beamed ridiculous holograms from across the country into their studios on election night, Barack Obama is taking a page from their playbook in the form of the now-antiquated pre-taped  video statement. It's not the Grammys, it's the Governor's Global Summit. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is flexing his environmental muscles along with governors from four other states to host more than 800 attendees at the Beverly Hills Hilton. And it'll open with a video in which Barack Obama states that recent economic turmoil won't take greenhouse-gas issues off his agenda.

Continue reading "Climate-Change Extravaganzas Underway" »

Green Your Thanksgiving: Leave No Trace

Tupperware Just thinking about Thanksgiving dinner seems to expand the stomach. This week, we offer tips to help you green your feast.

Tip #4: Leave No Trace

After tripping on tryptophan and overloading on carbs, the last thing you want to deal with after a hefty Thanksgiving dinner is leftovers. This year, ask guests to bring their own Tupperware containers to reduce the use of tinfoil and save space in your fridge. Or find a local soup kitchen or shelter that will take prepared foods. After making your wish, don't throw that wishbone away. Instead, turn leftover bones, meat, and vegetables into soup. Mashed potatoes can be used for a breakfast hash or made into croquettes. And turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce can become delectable sandwiches.

What are your favorite ways to manage Thanksgiving leftovers? Please share them as a comment below.

November 19, 2008

Daily Roundup

Let's Bee Friendly: The EU is hoping to raise awareness about the effect of declining bee populations on the world's food supply. If things keep going the way they are, these pollinators may not be back again. ENN

Silent Spring Revisted? House sparrow populations in Britain have dropped by 68 percent over the last three decades, a study found. Due to paved gardens and the decline of green space, these little twitters are lacking the grub they need to survive. BBC News

U-Pick the Fun: Need a fun outdoor activity for the family? Find a local orchard or farm that has a U-Pick option. There's nothing more virtuous than apple pie homemade with self-picked apples. Planet Green

Inanimate Emotion: Follow a trashed aluminum can to its devastating destiny in this YouTube short. It's kind of sad when you compare it to the life of a recycled one. Earth 911

Chime In For Change

Obama promises change President-elect Barack Obama wants to hear from you. The Obama-Biden Transition team will use the Web site Change.gov to solicit ideas and feedback as they prepare for White House. So far, environmental concerns are high on the agenda: Obama has pledged to invest $150 billion in green technology and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

What do you think Obama should do to protect the environment? Share your comments at Change.gov.

Stephen Colbert Takes on Big Oil's Funny Business of Greenwashing

The fake-news titan's typically tounge-in-cheek segment says it all:


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