Posts filed under ‘environment’

Carnival of the Green #117!

carnivalofgreen_logo.jpg

Welcome to Carnival of the Green, Edition #117. I am Alina, the Closet Environmentalist and I’ll be your host for this week, picking up where The EcoLibertarian left off. To participate or find out more, check out Treehugger, who keeps the Carnival wheel turning.

Today, we’ll be touring the internet jungle, looking for the most interesting specimens of environmental blogging. Please feel free to admire the diversity of the wildlife. You are also encouraged to feed the bloggers with ideas.

Temperatures are expected to rise, as Emmet Duffy, The Natural Patriot, takes a good hard look at the historic implications of climate variation and translates the lesson to modern society: intraspecific competition, aka war.

To your left, The Blue Voice of Marigolds2 reaches for a Union of Concerned Scientists’ report and points a finger at the practice of science manipulation for political purposes when it comes to public welfare policies.

Natalie Bennett over at Philobiblon tackles The Enemy of Nature addressing Joel Kovel’s ideas in a thoughtful review of his book, subtitled The End of Capitalism or the End of the World.

Watch out for predators, as Eat Local KC launches a counter-offensive to Monsanto’s attempts to ban rBGH labeling in Kansas state and looks at the implications such a bill would have for farmers and consumers.

Herbivore Chile deals with her environmental frustration and proposes taking a month to find ways to deal with the emotional fatigue, while still keeping up efforts to live a more sustainable and self-sufficient life.

And symbiotic species Lynn from OrganicMania discusses semantics and suggests we cut each other some slack and call our eco-sins eco-mistakes instead.

Meanwhile, jungle forager Seeds Aside shares with us his first experience in freeganism, and the resulting delicious meal.

If you look up at the canopy you will see Mama Bird of Surely You Nest, who writes about the importance of baby steps and being kind to yourself and others on the journey to a better environment. And later on, she picks up the tab on sorting out the impact of hormones in our water.

The exotic Victoria E brings good tidings from the eco-beauty front: newly launched online store FutureNatural carries all your favorite natural brands and what’s more, she has an exclusive giveaway for you so check it out.

Notice the Fake Plastic Fish, where Beth Terry reports on the Plastic Bag Monster sightings allegedly taking place all over SF. But don’t despair, the Bag Monster Busters come to the rescue, as well as all the plastic bag related info Beth gathered for us.

Jungle resident David, The Good Human, wonders why isn’t the government and private investors or giant corporations investing in green technology:

“If I was a millionaire or billionaire, I would be so heavily invested in this kind of thing for a single, solitary reason – I don’t want my kids or grandkids or great grandkids have to deal with my inactivity on the matter.”

So, what’s the hold up?

Watching out for the cubs, Linda Sones at Ecostreet shares a few ideas on how to bring up a green baby, keeping children’s consumer needs to a minimum throughout their growing years.

Over at Green Talk, the story of 12 year old Hunter, who came up with an idea to help stop global warming. Find out what’s his Project Kool all about.

Emily from Wheels on the Bus speculates on the personal implications for her and her young of a possible energy crisis in our future and answers some difficult questions.

Admire the peculiar habits of Dawn, Frugal for Life who keeps clean the natural way with her quick and easy recipes for DIY cleaning products.

An example of efficient locomotion,Tao Oliveto of Tao of Change covers Lance Armstrong’s new bike shop/commuter center in Austin, opening in May.

Shelter is covered at Jetson Green, who has the scoop on the world’s first positive energy, mixed-use building for the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city called Masdar, in Abu Dhabi and particularly impressive images of the concept.

And marking his territory, JP Davidson of GreenDealsDaily reviews two green gadgets for us: the 40W Pharox LED light bulb and the BOGO solar powered flashlight, which donates a second unit to the developing world with each purchase.

Penny Nickel (great name) of Money and Values conserves resources with an easy green tip: if possible, use revolving doors to conserve heating and cooling energy.

And searching for Greener Pastures, Lisa Spinelli looks at the motivation behind big business going green.

And so we reach the end of this tour. Thank you for joining Carnival of the Green jungle tours. Next week, your guide will be The Expatriate’s Kitchen.

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March 3, 2008 at 10:00 am 10 comments

But I didn’t have time to clean up!

So, you know when your dinner guests show up at your doorstep when you’re still cooking dinner, and dishes are pilling up everywhere and you didn’t have time to make the bed or put away all the dirty socks in the living room? Yeah… Turns out I’m hosting Carnival of the Green on Monday, and this blog is a mess!

So anyway, if you have an environmental themed post this week you’d like to show off, send me a link and short summary until Sunday. You can use my contact form or email carnivalofthegreen at gmail. Please to include the words “Carnival submission” in the subject line.

Oh and you just HAVE to watch this video, it’s hilarious… in a creepy, disturbing-because-it’s-true kind of way. Other than my weekly Friday Linkfest, that’s the extent of my posts on Celsias this month. I know, color me pathetic.

February 28, 2008 at 3:40 pm Leave a comment

Bless google search terms

Preface:

Dearest ClosetReaders, I know I am one big disappointment to you because of my constant disappearing tricks. Let me assure you, this blog will get back on track in 2 or 3 months, and then I will fulfill all my broken promises to you (I’d link to them, but they are so many) and this blog will be totally awesome.

Until then, I really can’t commit to anything more than a post here or there. If you want to be sure you don’t miss my rare spurts of brilliance, I strongly recommend you subscribe to the ClosetFeed or the ClosetEmail. Realistically, I won’t be cluttering your mailbox any time soon. In the meantime, here’s a little something for your amusement. I started writing it months ago. Chile, lets see if I can top your b00bs with this one.

——————————————–

Yeah, I know every blogger in the bloggyverse has done a post about google search terms. And somehow, I haven’t… until now! Which is a shame, because you wouldn’t believe the things people type in google. Unless you have a blog. And cool stats that tell you what have crazy folks been googling. So today is your lucky day.

I mean, some of the things make sense, I’ve written about Diva Cups here. And clogs. And kitty litter. And kitty litter toilet clogs (I get these a lot. Now, who, in their right mind, dumps kitty littler in the toilet?). And toilet paper. I also get plenty of things related to recycling and clothes, or even Get Fuzzy, which makes sense too. Now, this is where we begin to leave the realm of reason and I begin to wonder who dahell is googling this stuff, and most importantly… why? WHY?

Some are just amusing:

closet environmentalists – yep! that’s us

beautiful facts – plenty of those here! Like this one, or this one.

i love green clothes – well good for you. I love green clothes too. Not the color, the other kind. No, not money. The other kind. You know, the new black…

more than one cute cat in the same pic – its true, you can never have too many cute cats in the same pic. Because I’m such a giver:

funny pictures

One of my favorites is when people ask google for the answer to the major questions in life (and google then sends them here, MUAhAHAHaHAHA).

what happens if you tumble dry jeans tha – Well, you’ve come to the right place. Allow me to explain. When you tumble dry jeans, you use energy. Producing energy makes CO2. CO2 causes global warming. Global warming kills polar bears. So basically, every time a tumble drier dings, a polar bear loses his ice cap. And drowns. 😥

how do you get bowel movement stains out – been using Alli, eh? I’m so sorry. Just don’t use the tumble drier or that will be polar bear blood on your hands as well as sh!t in your pants.

why does my boyfriend wear big sweaters – Why indeed

why is russian fashion so ugly – another great question

does leather just come from cows – oh, no, honey, leather comes from the mall. Everyone knows that.

Are pesticides good for you on apples?? – yes. DDT is good for me-e-e!!1!

does pooing reduce cellulite? *headdesk*

how to butcher a cow – did you try eHow? Wait, here it is. You’re welcome.

how to get creative with ground beef – this better not be what it sounds like…

But then there are things that make me scratch my head and go “WTF??”

i milk my beef cow – couldn’t figure out how to butcher it, eh?

sucker cows, beef – oh yeah, only sucker cows go into beef. The smart ones escape The Meatrix…. Pause- NOT!

the drink in amsterdam that makes you se – oh damn you blog stats, I would pay good money to find out how this sentence ends. Is it dead people? Colors? Flying unicorns? Whatever it is, I’ll have 2 of those!

residue on suspicious packages – must be anthrax. Gotta be. Cocaine maybe? Or maybe powdered sugar. I think a taste test is the only way to know for sure. Edit: Hmm… 2 hits from this in one day… Should I be worried?

Honey Crappings and buying Honey Crappings – eh? Nevermind. I don’t think I want to know.

how is hardcore recycled & why use recycled hardcore – starting to think this post was named rather unfortunately… Naive little me

if i told you i don’t hate you – yes, you would be lying. Now get the f#c% off my blog.

And now for the biggest douche in the universe award:

trick girls to take off clothes

but wait… maybe douche succeeded:

they stole my clothes im naked

Believe me, it gets even more disturbing than this, but for your sake, I censored. Can’t you tell? I don’t want to attract the wrong crowds here. Not that it makes any difference now:

And this after all the effort I make to restrain myself? Fuck that!

What about my fellow bloggers? What kind of crazy does Google send you? Or are you by any chance responsible for any of the pearls above? Care to explain? Different ones, maybe? Please, do tell! I won’t mock you, I promise.

February 16, 2008 at 12:40 am 9 comments

O look! Could it be? A post!

new yorkYou get the idea.

IT IS! That’s right, It’s Alive, folks. Sort of.

I really should put up an “warning: irregular posting” disclaimer. But that would just give me one more thing to procrastinate, so I better stay put.

If you must know, I had, of course, a perfectly good reason for my absence. I was visiting the distant shores of Uncle Sam. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve been back for 3 weeks now.The truth is, I actually started writing this 2 weeks ago, so at that time I had a perfectly valid excuse for being out of commission – I was jetlagged and had cold. In the meantime, I had to edit and re-edit this paragraph over and over because my old excuse is so outdated now.

First of all, let me tell you people, your toilets SUCK! Seriously. Gross toilet water close that close to my toosh makes me very uncomfortable. And what’s up with the toilet stall gap? You know, if I’m going to use the toilet in a public place, I would really appreciate some privacy! I mean, drop your lipstick and you know all my business. Not cool!

Anyway, where was I… oh right. So on this trip I got to see 2 more states, Michigan and New York. That brings up my total of visited states to a nice round number of …… 3 (Went to Florida Keys last year).

So while I only spent a few days in Michigan, I can say I “saw” it, mostly because  2 of them were spent driving up and down the state, which looking back was kinda stoopid. But yeah, I am not the best planner out there, and notoriously suck at being a tourist. Early starts are definitely not my thing.

After that I spent 2 weeks in New York, waking up late and being a bad tourist all around- I didn’t go ice skating, I didn’t see the statue of Liberty, I didn’t climb the Empire State, and I only made it to one museum (the Guggenheim). It was still pretty awesome, despite the bad-tourist guilt.

I even attempted some shopping. Mostly, failed. All I have to show for is a new red sweater and some thrift store pants. Despite the fact I keep telling myself I have to stop buying red sweaters. Every time I attempt shopping I end up buying a red sweater (and that’s it). It’s my fall back plan, if nothing else, there is always a red sweater I like. I’m really starting to get on my own nerves with this red sweater thing. Is there such a thing as red sweater rehab? If there is, I’ll sign up right now!

But anyway. I tried to be a good vegetarian (but not a perfect one). My slips included some mercury-laced sushi and a Starbucks bacon & egg sammich laced with better-not-think-about-it. I am not proud of it. It think that broke both of my survival rules (that I stick to because the American “food” industry freaks me out).

  1. All animal products must be organic.
  2. All corn and soy must be organic.

But yes, you got me. I was going to Starbucks. I have to admit they won me over with the organic milk. But then they went and burst my bubble by discontinuing it. Bastards. Then I discovered that you can ask for soy milk and soy milk is organic and actually drinkable. Even in cappuccinos.

Then I discovered that the American idea of cappuccino slightly differs from my pre-conceived Euro-notions: espresso, hot milk and milk foam. Starbucks thinks its ALL about the milk foam. Literally. No milk. Just foam. And you guys know I take my cappuccinos very seriously. So I developed a routine where after I deliver the stainless mug, I go over to the barista and ask to ease up on the foam.

That usually coincides with me being annoyed at the fact they are still wasting a disposable cup for my coffee IN SPITE my very specific cup instructions. Although on one occasion I did encounter a barista that was also annoyed at all the cup wasting behavior. Not that that changed anything. I hope she gets promoted and brings on a smackdown on cup-wasting.

On the up side, I was very happy to see I wasn’t the only freak with a mug. Although it seemed much more common and accepted in Michigan. You would think New York is where all the eco-hipsters are.

And you guys would be proud of how good I got refusing plastic bags. I’m an almost professional bag-refuser. The trick is to announce it early and clearly, before they scan your groceries or while they are folding your red sweater er… clothing item.

And well, that’s all for the travel report. Sorry I didn’t post a touristy picture of my self in front of a landmark. In a red sweater. I’m such a lame tourist I didn’t even take any pictures. Although I lugged my camera across an ocean and even got a new lens for Christmas. So Hiro Nakamura will just have to do. How do you guys even put up with me?

February 5, 2008 at 11:03 pm 9 comments

How to: Get shit-free ground beef

butcher'sPhoto by David Chief.

Here is step by step guide to getting shit-free ground beef.

  1. Go to an organic butcher or a good butcher that sells organic meat
  2. Choose a large chunk of a cheap cut of organic beef and/or pork
  3. Ask the butcher to grind it for you
  4. Separate in batches
  5. Cook or freeze the same day.

And voilá! Shit-Free!

This is because:

  1. This story was in the NYT this week.ground meat
  2. Feedlot cattle goes into ‘processing’ covered in shit. That’s because they live covered in shit.
  3. Organic grass-fed cows, by their very nature, don’t spend their lives covered in shit, hence, there will be less or no shit in their meat.
  4. There have been countless USDA recalls of ground beef contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 (read: shit) Most of them after the meat has been eaten.
  5. E. coli O157:H7 exists because of factory farming methods. They have created the problem by feeding grain to cows and made it worse by giving them antibiotics.
  6. Ground meat has a natural shelf-life of 24h. The fact that you can buy it in the supermarket with a month of shelf-life is just wrong.
  7. Carbon monoxide keeps meat looking fresh and perky even after weeks of its sell by date. You could be buying spoiled meat and never know it by the looks of it.
  8. I am a traditionalist. I think cows should live in the field, that meat should be bought at the butcher’s and ground right in front of you.

PS: I don’t really know why I am posting this, since I am already 95% vegetarian by now. And I think you should be too.

December 10, 2007 at 2:51 pm 16 comments

Another reason to eat organic

There is a very good multipart article about GMOs on Celsias, which I strongly advise you to read. It explains very well what GMOs are and why you should be afraid of them. I’ve been freaking about it, since I’ll be visiting the US myself pretty soon.

For my part, there ain’t no way I’m eating that shit. Which, here in Europe is no problem because of mandatory labeling. Now, for those of you who live in the US, that’s not exactly so.Your government decided that you have no right to refuse to eat GMOs, even if you wish to do so.

Since 1/2 of all soy, and 1/3 of all corn in the US is genetically modified, and those two are in everything, you can bet your treehugging ass you’re eating it, whether you like it or not.

So, if I were you, I would stick to organic cereal, organic tofu, and if you must eat processed food, stick to the organic versions. Because the organic standard is the only guarantee you have today that you are not eating GMOs.

And keep in mind that corn is most frequently found as HFCS (which you should avoid on its own, because its nasty), and soy, besides obvious things like tofu, soy milk and soy sauce, and in less obvious things like chocolate, baked goods and all kinds of processed food.

And of course, soy and corn are pretty much the bulk of industrial animal feed these days, but I know ya’ll are either vegetarian or eat organic meat only, so thats not an issue. Right? RIGHT?

So go on and read John Robbins’ articles, Part I and Part II and decide for yourself.

December 9, 2007 at 1:23 am 4 comments

Living in Hippie Town

DroevendaalPhoto by Hedwig. And that’s not really our garden, its common space. And that’s not really my house either. And the stage was for a party.

So, remember a while back I told you guys I was moving out of my apartment? I even promised to tell you more about my new place… Yeah, I know I also hinted that my posting might become more regular, and we’ve seen how that turned out 😀 Well, here I am, keeping yet another overdue promise.

After more than a year cohabitating with ClosetBoyfriend, I’m back to living in student housing for a few months. And, believe it or not, its actually been a step forward in terms of greenness. All because I was lucky enough to end up in a house where everyone was already pretty green by my own standards, in a wonderful place called Droevendaal.

The house itself is a sort of a bungalow with a garden, in a little student complex of sorts. The toilets and washing machine use rainwater, and we use green electricity. But probably the main factor that makes us green is the strong communal component in our house. We eat together everyday and all the food is shared. Oh, and there is a strict vegetarian policy, which accounts for the fact that I only ate meat one time since I’ve lived here (at that conference).

But our eating habits also mean that we have an extremely high food turnover, which means food never goes bad and we get by with one very small fridge (the under the counter kind) for the 6 of us. And its enough! (And yeah, this surprised me too. So if you think you really need a ice-cube spitting monster for your family of four, really, let me assure you that you don’t.)

And this probably has something to do with the fact that our 6 person household only uses around 4200 KWh per year. Compared to 4600 KWh of the average European household and 11.200 KWh of the average American household (note that the average household typically consists of 3 or 4 people).

We have a compost bin in the garden, and though we don’t have anything growing right now, we still have a sizable stash of homemade jam in the pantry from this summer’s berries. But I have to say, my favorite thing is that, for the most part, my housemates are pretty committed to eating organic and that’s just such a relief I don’t have to persuade them, or, alternatively, always do the shopping myself.

Although, sometimes, I still like to grace the most dedicated vegetarians among them with horror stories of cow pus in their non-bio yogurt or baby cow stomachs in their non-bio cheese. Just to keep them motivated 😀

We also have 2 house cats that satisfy my cat-loving needs. One of them is really old and I swear, he’s the ugliest little feline creature I have ever seen. The other one is cute and slutty and likes to hang out in my room. Would be cuter if it wasn’t for the daily dead mouse in our kitchen. I lovingly refer to them as ‘the ugly one’ and ‘the slutty one’.

So there you have it, my new house. I quite like it here and that goes a long way towards enduring the absence of ClosetBoyfriend.

Ps: I think I’ll still add a some pictures to this post, so if you want to see just how ugly the ‘ugly one’ is, check back later this week.

December 3, 2007 at 2:58 am 4 comments

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