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77 posts from July 2010

July 27, 2010

Daily Roundup: July 27, 2010

Climate Refugees: As a response to worsening global warming, more Mexicans – a predicted 7 million by 2080 – will immigrate to the U.S., new research shows. National Geographic

All Clear? Chinese officials reported that the oil from a massive spill that happened 10 days ago is all cleaned up. Environmentalists are skeptical. Los Angeles Times

Yet Another: At least 800,000 gallons of oil spewed into a tributary of Michigan’s Kalamazoo River yesterday after a pipeline that carries oil into Canada sprung a leak. Birds and other wildlife are coated in the sludge. Chicago Tribune

Justice For All: The EPA is focusing more on the low-income and minority communities that are much likelier to suffer from environmental ills. The agency aims to ensure that these underrepresented groups are better protected. Greenwire

Photographic Find:
A stash of Ansel Adams negatives worth $200 million were sold at a garage sale to a California artist for $45. Some of the photos are of early-1900s Yosemite. CNN

--Avital Binshtock

PBS Seeks Young Eco-Inventors

Kid inventionPBS Kids’ Design Squad show is challenging young people ages 5 to 19 to brainstorm new ways to recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials for their second annual Trash to Treasure competition. “We know kids today are very passionate about the environment and are constantly looking for innovative ways to solve these problems,” said the show's executive producer Marisa Wolsky. “We wanted to take the innovation, design, and invention that happens on Design Squad and open it up to kids across the country.”

Applicants can choose among three categories: mobility, environment, or play – and their invention must incorporate at least two recycled materials. Initial entries require only a sketch or photo, but the top three tinkerers win a trip to Boston and the chance to work alongside engineers to bring their ideas to life. The three finalists will also be featured on an episode of Design Squad.

Continue reading "PBS Seeks Young Eco-Inventors " »

New Campaign Aims to Banish Batteries From Landfills

BatteryrecyclingWhile it's green and easy to use rechargeable batteries, closing the loop on those worn-out  power suppliers can be a challenge. That's why Call2Recycle, a free battery and cell-phone recycling program, launched MyCall2Recyle, a battery-recycling-awareness campaign that aims to educate and inspire people about how important and easy it is to dispose of batteries properly.

By placing some 30,000 depositories at stores and agencies across the U.S. and Canada, the organization hopes to divert at least 1 million pounds of rechargables from North American landfills by Oct. 1. But it's not all work and no play – the campaign includes an online video contest, the interactive Green Diva blog, and on-the-spot prize giveaways to participants at recycling-center locations. Also, on Sept. 20, MyCall2Recycle will host four big-market collection drives spanning the continent, including ones in San Diego and Atlanta.

--Sarah A. Henderson

Green Your Bedroom: Blinds and Drapes

Window shutters The bedroom’s where you spend much of your time. Even if you’re sleeping for most of it, it’s important to ensure that your home’s most intimate room is in line with the principles of sustainability. This week’s tips will help you get there.

Tip #2: Shut Out the World

Darkness is essential to sleep, and shutters are critical to darkness. But you can achieve that blackout in the bedroom while doing your part to keep the Earth’s future bright. Remember that the greenest blinds are the most durable. If you’re going for cloth, though, consider buying used drapes (but steer clear of old vinyls, which may contain lead) or choosing an organic textile. Keeping them pulled when you’re not home saves energy by regulating the room’s temperature so that you won’t need the air conditioner or heater. To boot, energy-efficient window coverings can net you a hefty tax credit if they're installed by December 31.

Tell us: What kind of blinds do you have in your bedroom?

July 26, 2010

Daily Roundup: July 26, 2010

Mission Accomplished: David de Rothchild's recycled-plastic-bottle boat, the Plastiki, completed its 8,000-mile journey from Sausalito, California, to Sydney, Australia. Time and National Geographic

Drops to Drink: Less than 50 percent of the water in China's major rivers and lakes is safe to drink. A quarter of that nation's water is too polluted for industrial use. Treehugger and Reuters

High Hopes: NASA is leading initiatives to design eco-friendly airplanes. Scientific American

Help Wanted: BP's CEO, Tony Hayward, is expected to step down in October. Sources say he may be offered a job with a BP joint venture in Russia. AP, Guardian, and Telegraph

Burglar Bear: In Colorado, a bear broke into a car and knocked the vehicle into neutral, which caused it to roll down a hill and crash in a thicket of trees. The bear, who was later rescued from the wreck, was apparently attracted by a sandwich left inside the car. BBC and Treehugger

--Della Watson

Teach Kids About Climate Change – With a Deck of Playing Cards?

Cool It! game A new card game developed by the Union of Concerned Scientists aims to teach kids to be more environmentally aware. The game, called "Cool It!" teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change, and how today's decisions affect the Earth of tomorrow. The game lets teachers and parents talk to kids about climate change in a fun, interactive, and hopeful way.

Issues addressed, via a science-based approach, include America's dependence on oil, global warming, and potential solutions. Click here for more information about the game, which costs a cool $8.

--Kate Cleland

Green Fashion Monday: Sustainable Sunglasses

Sunglasses

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.

This stylish pair of glasses from Modo’s Earth Conscious Optics (ECO) collection is made of recycled materials – and for every frame sold, the company donates a sapling to Trees for the Future. When you order a pair, you also get a mail-in recycling kit in case you know that you'll never again use the pair you're replacing. When the people at ECO get your optical castoff, they'll make sure that it gets donated to charities that help people in impoverished countries. $129

--Sarah A. Henderson / photo courtesy Modo

Green Your Bedroom: Furnishings

Eco-friendly bedroom The bedroom’s where you spend much of your time. Even if you’re sleeping for most of it, it’s important to ensure that your home’s most intimate room is in line with the principles of sustainability. This week’s tips can help.

Tip #1: Consider the Hardware

What’s a bedroom without furniture? Whether you’re seeking a bed frame or a boudoir, consider buying it used at a thrift store, garage sale, or a site like Craigslist; if it’s not perfect, you can always polish or paint it once you get it home. If you feel you must purchase a new piece, look for items made of reclaimed, Poly, or FSC-certified wood. As for that nightstand, think through what you top it with. Good choices include an energy-saving lamp, an alarm clock that runs off nothing but water, and eco-themed books.

Tip #2: Window Coverings

Tip #3: Bedding

Tip #4: Flooring

Tell us: How do you go green in the bedroom?

July 23, 2010

Daily Roundup: July 23, 2010

Sound Sleep: Technicians disabled warning sirens on the Deepwater Horizon for at least a year because managers did not want workers to be woken up by false alarms. BBC and Los Angeles Times

Stopped Cold: A federal judge halted oil and gas well development in Alaska's Chukchi Sea. AP

Over Troubled Water: Birds Eye Foods reached an agreement with the Department of Natural Resources and Environment to install a wastewater-treatment system and investigate groundwater contamination near its Michigan cannery. Bloomberg 

R.I.P. Hundreds of people wrote 140-character obituaries for the climate bill on Twitter. New York Times

Trash to Treasure: Bill Murray made a splash on the Late Show when he jumped into a cool example of urban reuse: a dumpster pool. Ecorazzi

--Della Watson

Oregon Couple Completes a Waste-Free Year

Empty trash can This month, Amy and Adam Korst finished their year-long, pro-recycling Green Garbage Project against trash. While the average American tosses out 4.5 pounds per day, this Dallas, Oregon, couple managed to go 365 days without producing more than a shoebox full of garbage.

How did they manage to curb their wastefulness? The Korsts bought only recyclable products, legally burned organic material, kept a backyard compost bin, and grew their own produce, among other actions. Though the project is officially over, the Korsts aren’t stopping at 365 days, according to the duo's blog.

Continue reading "Oregon Couple Completes a Waste-Free Year" »


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