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78 posts from January 2010

January 27, 2010

Choose Your Own Adventure

Choose your own adventure If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Teva is asking that very question, and they're offering $10,000 to the adventure-seekers with the most interesting answers. To enter the Teva Life Agents competition, detail your dream journey in a video or written essay and upload it here. Teva will choose a several award recipients and those lucky explorers will share their adventure stories through blog posts, photos, and videos.

Now that you've had a moment to dream about your ideal trip, remember that you don't have to win a contest to have an outdoor adventure. If you fall short of Teva's $10,000, check out the national parks in your region, participate in Sierra Club Outings, or consider traveling abroad with a humanitarian or environmental group. Websites like eRideshare and Couchsurfing can connect you with transportation options and places to stay. If you're a foodie, a farmer, or a cultural explorer, consider a program like WWOOF, which places travelers in work-stays on organic farms. Chances are there's a way to make your adventure affordable and eco-friendly. Just ask yourself where you'd like to go and make it happen.

--Della Watson

Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Living Simply

Books about environmentalism

Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. To counteract commercialism and our throwaway culture, this week we’re recommending books about how to lead a simpler life.

Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (almost) No Money (by Dolly Freed, $13, Tin House, Jan. 2010): Originally published in 1980 and re-released earlier this month, Freed’s manifesto is based on the five years she and her father spent living off the land and describes the freedom of subsistence living. The author, who has served as an environmental educator, encourages readers to drop the trappings of their materialistic lives and to insteas spend their days catching fish, building woodstoves, and raising rabbits for slaughter.

Wearing Smaller Shoes: Living Light on the Big Blue Marble (by Chip Haynes, $17, New Society Publishers, Aug. 2009): Everyone’s looking for ways to save money, and Haynes is here to tell you that going green can help. His tips to reduce your footprint include discuss reducing water and electricity use, as well as solid waste (i.e. recycling). This fun, easy read isn't just for hard-core environmentalists; frugal folks of all kinds will appreciate the small changes Haynes proposes.

Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier & Healthier for Less (by Leah Ingram, $13, Adams Media, Jan. 2010): While not intended to be a green guide per se, many of the practical ideas Ingram presents are part of the eco-conscious consumer’s repertoire: eating healthy, gardening, reducing energy consumption, and increasing your car’s gas mileage. The family-friendly book is only quietly green but its tips speak volumes about simplifying your life to save money.

Continue reading "Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Living Simply" »

Righteous Recipes

Sustainable seafood Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch has long helped environmentally minded consumers choose which fishes to eat. Now, it’s pitching in with information about how to prepare them.

Their site now features monthly sustainable-seafood recipes from some of the nation’s leading chefs. January’s culinary delight is "Grilled Oysters with Wasabi and Miso" by David Anderson, the executive chef of Portola Restaurant at the Aquarium. Past recipes have included "Baked Clams with Bacon" from Alex Guarnaschelli, of NYC's Butter Restaurant and the new Food Network show Alex’s Day Off, and "Chicken-Fried Catfish with Green Tartar Sauce and Asian Slaw "by Rick Moonen, the owner of Las Vegas's rm seafood. All of the recipes aim to help home chefs diversify their seafood choices, steer clear of depleted stocks, and eat lower on the ocean food chain. (Pass the mackerel!)

Continue reading "Righteous Recipes" »

Green Your Sports: Eco-Friendly Skiing

Skis Outdoor exercise is a great way to reconnect with nature. This week, we're giving you tips about how to be more earth-conscious while pursuing your fitness goals.

Tip #3: Ski Green

Though skiing isn't the greenest of sports (resorts guzzle freshwater for artificial powder and electricity for lifts), some destinations have opted to use wind power and recycled snow instead. Help green the sport by strapping on eco-skis when hitting the slopes. Grab an old pair from a friend, buy used, or invest in skis from an earth-conscious company. Lokomotiv Skis, for example, plants a tree for every pair they produce, and make their gear from bamboo.

Tell us: How do you green your ski trip?

January 26, 2010

Daily Roundup: January 26, 2010

Cash Concern: Bill Gates is bothered that the money being devoted to fighting climate change could be going to a cause closer to his heart: health issues in developing nations. Reuters

Winds of Change:
New research shows that climate change may bring about twice as many strong hurricanes, especially in the U.S. Southeast and the Caribbean. National Geographic

Burning Issue:
A new study suggests that the flame-retardant chemicals found in many common household items effectively decrease female fertility. Los Angeles Times

Power of Omission:
Greenies are anxious that Barack Obama won’t discuss climate change during his State of the Union address tomorrow evening. Guardian

Heck NO2: The EPA yesterday cracked down further on the pollutant nitrogen dioxide to protect Americans from short-term exposure to it. The agency also mandated monitoring of its levels near major roads. Scientific American
--Avital Binshtock

New Eco-Films Debut at Sundance 2010

Green film The Sundance Film Festival truly has something for everyone: famous directors, snowboarding photo ops, hefty swag bags, Robert Redford. . . and some interesting new films exploring themes of climate change and environmental conservation. Here are a few of the promising green films debuting at this year's festival.

Waste Land: This documentary chronicles the work of Vic Muniz, an artist who uses found materials to create startling photographic images. Filmmaker Lucy Walker follows Muniz to a large landfill outside Rio de Janeiro, where he works with a team of catadores, self-proclaimed garbage-pickers, to create a new photographic masterpiece.

Obselidia: In this indie drama by Diane Bell, a young man who believes he is the last door-to-door salesman on Earth sets out to create his own encyclopedia of all things obsolete. After interviewing a scientist who predicts that climate change will destroy 80 percent of the world by 2100, he begins to grapple with questions about how to live in a world facing extinction.

Continue reading "New Eco-Films Debut at Sundance 2010" »

Green Your Sports: Eco-Friendly Running Shoes

IStock_000005418507XSmall[1] Outdoor exercise is a great way to reconnect with nature. This week, we're giving you tips to be more earth-conscious while pursuing your fitness goals.

Tip #2: Choose Green Running Shoes

Hit the trails with a pair of kicks that will help sustain the earth beneath your feet. The Green Silence shoe from Brooks has biodegradable soles, water-based adhesives, and 100 percent recycled packaging. Once you've found a new pair of sneakers, you can reduce waste by donating your used running shoes to a charity or recycling program. 

Share your tips: What's your favorite eco-shoe brand?

January 25, 2010

Daily Roundup: January 25, 2010

Slick Situation: This weekend in Port Arthur, Texas, 462,000 gallons of oil spilled when a barge collided with a tanker. So far, only 10 percent of the mess has been cleaned. Reuters and Treehugger

Hotness Scale:
NASA reported that 2009 tied four other recent years for being the second hottest year ever recorded; 2005 holds the No. 1 position. ENN

Green Apple?
Apple will introduce its tablet, likely to be called the iPad, on Wednesday. It’s expected to lead to the further decline of paper publishing. Apple is also reportedly researching how to green its products, starting, perhaps, with a solar-powered iPod. PCWorld and Gizmodo

State of Improvement: After heavy rains last week all over California, experts are working to determine whether the state’s drought has been eased. Also last week, California officials allotted $350 million in rebates to encourage residents to install solar water heaters. Los Angeles Times

Snakes off a Plane:
The federal government is moving to ban the import of some constrictor snake species, including python and anaconda, into the U.S. Green Inc. (NYT)

--Avital Binshtock

Green Fashion Monday: A Recycled Messenger Bag

Keen messenger bag

On Fashion Monday, we highlight a hip, green fashion item. Got a stylish eco-friendly product to recommend? Tell us about it and look for it in an upcoming blog post.

If only all factory waste looked this good. The largest in Keen’s colorful, sustainable Harvest line, the Cornell II messenger bag is constructed with industrial scraps, making each a one-of-a-kind creation. Its body is built with reclaimed scrap paper, while its zippers are made of recycled aluminum. Recycled rubber comprises the bottom, perfect for keeping your papers dry on those slushy winter mornings. There's also a padded inner compartment big enough for a 17-inch laptop. $90.

--Jessi Phillips

Green Your Sports: Use Eco-Friendly Balls

Football Outdoor exercise is a great way to reconnect with nature. This week, we're giving you tips to be more earth-conscious while pursuing your fitness goals.

Tip #1: Choose a Green Ball

Opt for a ball that will score you eco-points. The Fair Trade Eco Football, for example, is made of rubber that's certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The ball has just as much grip as the pigskin kind, is all-weather, and the official size and weight.

Tell us: What is your sports equipment made of?

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