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The Green Life: Media Lounge

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April 24, 2008

Media Lounge

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a book by Fritz Haeg
Starting in 2005, architect and designer Fritz Haeg commissioned families in California, New Jersey, and Kansas to rip out their lawns and grow vegetables in their front yards. Edible Estates is a treatise against grass, which at 30 million acres is the United States' largest irrigated crop. It also follows the suburban dissidents who dug under the inquisitive gaze of neighbors and found joy in curbside tomatoes.

an HGTV DVD set
Ed Begley Jr., a TV star and environmentalist, pits himself against Hollywood's glitz in this man-versus-modern-times reality show. His luxury-loving wife, Rachelle Carson, plays devil's advocate by challenging his angelic intentions (such as collecting rainwater in an "ugly" container). Begley also tours Tinseltown and the Sundance Film Festival to green-gut-check his fellow celebs. A visit to Jay Leno's car haven is particularly electrifying. --Della Watson

a book by Bruce Barcott
This suspenseful tale of the recent, impassioned fight against Belize's Chalillo Dam draws eerie parallels to John Muir's struggle against the Hetch Hetchy Dam in California's Sierra Nevada. A spectacular river valley teeming with wildlife is at stake, and an eccentric zookeeper--aided by Sierra Club members--tilts against corrupt officials and secret deals in a jungle-state where the animals have as much personality as the people. --Heather Conn

a book by Barbara Hurd
"I was in my mid-forties," Barbara Hurd writes, "before I understood that you don't always have to see where you're going in order to get there." A seasoned observer of hidden places, she looks to tidal debris--a moon snail, sea glass, driftwood--to create a lyrical melody of history, travel, and observation. Walking the Wrack Line becomes her metaphor for loss, transformation, and embrace of the natural world. --Thomas Curwen

a book by James Martin II with James Martin III
illustrated by Don Berry
After William the Garbage Truck's loud, smoky engine costs him his job, the eco-city of Jamestown offers him employment if he replaces his gas-guzzling engine with a hybrid. At first disheartened, William finds salvation when he helps a cat and earns karmic rewards. Besides adding hybrid to the vocabulary of three- to eight-year-olds, this book helps kids learn about water conservation and toy recycling. --D.W.

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