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74 posts from May 2011

May 26, 2011

Green Apps: Recycle Anything

Phone recycling So many apps exist to fuel our tech-infused lives. Some are useful (everyone needs a flashlight), while others (talking cat, really?) are not. This week, we're pointing you toward some of the best eco-apps to help you live greener. 

Tip #4: iRecycle

With Earth911's recycling app, you'll always know how to properly dispose of anything. It uses your location to search its database of 800,000 recycling programs and centers, covering more than 240 types of items, to find a resource near you.   
                                                                                                           Tell us: What are your favorite eco-apps?

May 25, 2011

Daily Roundup: May 25, 2011

Coal-laboration: Eight Greenpeace activists were arrested after scaling the 400-foot smokestacks of Chicago coal-fired power plants Fisk and Crawford, hanging banners and painting "QUIT COAL" down one of the stacks. Other Greenpeace demonstrators halted a coal barge headed for the Crawford plant. Chicago Sun-Times

Exploring the Depths: Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences began the most in-depth biological survey ever conducted in the Phillipines. The waters surrounding the island of Luzon are thought to be the world's most biodiverse. New York Times

Ash-ta La Vista: Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano erupted, causing only minor delays in European air traffic; despite lingering ash clouds, most airlines are operating on schedule. Reuters

Green Grazers: A USDA study found that keeping cattle outdoors can significantly reduce farms’ greenhouse-gas emissions. Science Daily

Winds of Change: Google announced its plans to invest $5 billion in yet another major wind farm project, which could provide California with 30% of its energy. Official Google Blog

--Mimi Dwyer

Help Merrell Build the World's Biggest Panorama

Nature photographer Summer makes us pine for trees and sunny vistas. And surfing the web for gobsmacking views can take a while. On Monday, though, clothing-and-shoe company Merrell launched a site that compiles users’ favorite scenic views into a worldwide panorama. You can upload and anchor a photo with a pushpin anywhere on its digital globe, and the site then lines up your photo according to longitude.

Enough of cliched photos of hikers “overlooking pine-fringed fjords,” thought Ed Chilcott, who created this add-your-own-scenery campaign at advertising firm The Minimart. He didn't want to tell Merrell's customers where they should want to be, because, he explained, “Your idea of the perfect adventure should be very personal.”

Continue reading "Help Merrell Build the World's Biggest Panorama" »

Book Roundup Wednesday: Waves and the Sea

Book Roundup WednesdayEvery Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Today we're recommending books about waves and the sea.

The Sea (by Philip Plisson, $60, Abrams, 2010): Renowned French photographer Philip Plisson brings the ocean to us in immersive, atmospheric portraits. From headless tuna lined up for processing to an oil rig pummeled by a storm to the barely lit face of a captain at dusk, Plisson’s shots aren't just of the pristine deep, but of our relationship to it. The images are shot from a human’s perspective, from a bird’s perspective, and in the most stunning instances, from the perspective of the ocean itself. The only thing better would be to close the book and get out onto the sea.

The Wave (by Susan Casey, $28, Anchor Books, 2010): At the outset, Casey makes an good point: We know more about subatomic particles than we do about rogue waves. There the story begins, of scientists' fierce curiosity, surfers' courageous (foolhardy?) attempts to take on 100-footers, and Casey's own drive to understand these elusive giants. Through vivid, visceral, and enthralling prose, the reader is pulled into the book's undertow, learning as much about the science and history of massive freak waves as they do about the people drawn to them. The undertone of this fantastic book is one of awe, infused with the knowledge that as Earth warms, waves will get bigger.

Continue reading "Book Roundup Wednesday: Waves and the Sea" »

Green Apps: Mobile Gardening

Backyard garden So many apps exist to fuel our tech-infused lives. Some are useful (everyone needs a flashlight), while others (talking cat, really?) are not. This week, we're pointing you toward some of the best eco-apps to help you live greener. 

Tip #3: iGrowIt

Need a reminder of what to grow and when? iGrowIt tells you, based on your location and the season. The app walks you through a detailed process, from planting to harvesting to cooking, so that you can be eating from your backyard garden in as long as it takes for a plant to grow.

Tell us: Where do you get your gardening advice?

May 24, 2011

Daily Roundup: May 24, 2011

Setting the Record Straight: Conservation International's CEO responded to a video and article produced by impersonators pretending to seek CI's help to improve Lockheed Martin's eco-image. Peter Seligmann's rebuttal says that CI often and openly works with companies: "Our engagement with corporations is a pragmatic effort to create positive change by improving business practices, helping them lessen their environmental impact, and incorporating environmental protection and improvements to human well-being into corporate decision-making. It is not a blessing or stamp of approval." His full response is at Huffington Post.

 Give a Little, Get a Lot: The planned U.S. smart grid will cost $476 billion, but over 20 years, should save $2 trillion in energy costs. Reuters

Greenpeace in Greenland: After sending two ships to the North Sea to protest Arctic drilling, Greenpeace is now engaged in a "tense" standoff with the Danish Navy. Guardian

Golden State: California's state assembly voted to ban shark-fin soup and baby-bottle BPA. San Francisco Chronicle and NBC

Silenced: Rainforest activists José Cláudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife Maria do Espírito Santo were murdered today near their home in Brazil, where they fought illegal logging. TreeHugger

--Rosie Spinks and Christa Morris


Science Competition Has Kids Vying to Make Their Homes Greener

Yellow bus Here's an assignment that really puts the "home" in homework: The Department of Energy and the National Science Teachers Association announced a new national science competition, to rouse third through eighth graders in a three-month-long challenge to reduce their homes' energy consumption.

Teams of students will be charged with monitoring home energy usage, experimenting with ways to boost efficiency and conservation, and encouraging family members to take part. This fall, students will compare energy data with the previous year's numbers and work with their teachers to improve results. Winners will then qualify for 11 regional competitions, which will turn into a national contest and the chance to vie for more than $200,000 in prizes for their school. Hey, that's a lot of lunch money! If you're a teacher or principal, you can register your school here.

Continue reading "Science Competition Has Kids Vying to Make Their Homes Greener" »

Patagonia Protests Dam Project in Patagonia

Patagonia Chile Tens of thousands of people recently marched in Santiago, Chile's capital city, to protest proposed dams in the country's ecologically diverse Patagonia region. Echoing the protest, outdoor-apparel retailer Patagonia held its own demonstration at the company's headquarters in Ventura, California.

Founder Yvon Chouinard's travels in Chile inspired the company's name, and continued ties to the fjorded region inspired 500 Patagonia employees to hold a cacerolazo, a Chilean-style protest that involves banging pots and pans.

The five dams proposed for HidroAysen's project would increase the country's energy supply by 15%, but would destroy 15,000 acres of wilderness. Public opinion in Chile has shifted against the dam project, with at least 60% opposed, according to one poll.

--Della Watson

Green Apps: Find a Carpool

CarpoolSo many apps exist to fuel our tech-infused lives. Some are useful (everyone needs a flashlight), while others (talking cat, really?) are not. This week, we're pointing you toward some of the best eco-apps to help you live greener.

Tip # 2: Carticipate

A mix of social networking and ride-sharing, an app called Carticipate lets people share where they're headed, or when and where they need a ride. Then, based on your travel plans, you get hooked up with others who are interested in sharing a ride.

Tell Us: Do you carpool?

May 23, 2011

Daily Roundup: May 23, 2011

Windy City: A twister killed at least 116 people in Joplin, Missouri, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado since 1953. Bloomberg

That's Dynamite: A litter of liger cubs were born at a wildlife reserve China. The ligers are a cross between an African lion and a Manchurian tiger. Ecorazzi

Up in the Air: Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano is spewing more ash than Eyjafjallajokull, but because ash particles are heavier, the disruption to aviation is not expected to be as intense. Reuters and New Scientist

Saved the Whales: Volunteers in Scotland were able to herd a pod of disoriented pilot whales to deeper waters, preventing the cetaceans from beaching themselves. TreeHugger

Slow Collapse: A survey of honeybee colonies found that the total colony loss nationwide was 30%, a rate roughly equal to the percentages reported in the four previous years. Science Daily

--Della Watson

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