Showing posts with label kimbo slice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kimbo slice. Show all posts

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Five Ways to Go Green Without Really Trying

We like green. Green apples. Green Bay. The Green Mile. Asparagus. And we have this sweater. Anyway, we like green, but we've never been "green." We're, shall we say, suspicious about any word so often swathed in so much righteousness. Because "green" can too easily be equated with "good," which is a vast oversimplification, especially when so much fact gets aggressively manipulated by so many interested parties in the name of "green."

We have this friend who gave us some perspective on "green." His name is Bjørn Lomborg, a political economist, environmental activist, and fierce optimist, who brought eight economists (including five Nobel laureates) together a year ago to come up with a sensible plan for environmental activism. It's called the Copenhagen Consensus. He wrote an essay in our 75th Anniversary Issue (October 2008) that convinced us that the small things we do (and some of the big things we do) can't amount to much unless we overhaul our list of priorities (placing malnutrition above, say, reducing CO2 emissions). His essay makes environmentalism a powerful and complex idea. You can read it here.

So, about being "green" we're a little ambivalent. But about doing good we aren't conflicted at all. The products on these pages are good, and using them feels good. They improve our lives. They work. And they're environmentally sound. Which is a bonus.

Virtues:

+ Gas-free

+ Noise-free

+ Aerobic

If pollution and sloth ever become virtues, self-propelled and riding mowers will be the trappings of the righteous. Until then, we'll stick with old-fashioned manual mowers. They don't use gas, don't stink, don't involve a potentially arm-snapping rip cord. And then there's the whisperlike sound they make. It's almost worth the looks you'll get from neighbors.


The hatchback already comes close to the practical ideal: Seats five, sips gas, handles like a go-kart, looks cool — enough. Utilitarian. But the new breed of sport hatchback is more sport, less hatchback. Take the MazdaSpeed3 pictured above. (See also: Volkswagen GTI, Subaru WRX.) With 263 hp, 26 mpg highway, and a $23,500 base price, it's frugal enough for daily commuting, roomy enough for errands — and powerful enough to remind you you're not driving a Prius.

Until the late 1800s, beer came in one kind of container — the keg — and was sold in one place: the local saloon. Folks wishing to drink elsewhere would bring jugs to be filled at the tap. These were known as growlers. And the invention of the beer can all but killed them.

These days beer makers across the country are distributing growlers again. (And many brewpubs and specialty grocers will let you fill your own growlers directly from their taps.) Plunk down seven or eight bucks plus a two- or three-dollar bottle deposit, and head home with half a gallon of the crispest, freshest ale (or stout or pilsner) you've ever tasted. When you're done, you bring the bottle back and reclaim your deposit — or treat it as a down payment on the next growler. The bottle itself gets cleaned and returned to its source, ready to be filled again.


Before modern chemistry gave us oil and latex varieties, "house paint" meant milk paint. You'd take a bucket of milk, add powdered lime (the mineral, not the fruit) and some pigment, and stir. The result was an odor-free, fade-proof coating with the added benefits of extreme toughness and zero cases of lead poisoning. Since 1974, the Old-Fashioned Milk Paint Company has been offering genuine milk paint in powder form, and there's a new version formulated specially for interior walls. Look for it wherever gorp is sold (or at milkpaint.com).

There's no reason to buy hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, body bars, body wash, or shaving cream when you can just buy a bottle of Dr. Bronner's. The stuff's been around since World War II, is 100 percent organic, and cleans everything from rugs to babies. Dr. Bronner's comes in eight scents — we prefer the original peppermint — and according to the label can be used in eighteen different ways. (According to the Internet, there are hundreds more.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

8 Ways to Green Your Home

8 Ways to Green Your Home


1. Clean Out Your Storage
We all have a closet or garage full of items that aren’t used anymore. An easy way to organize these areas is to group the products and decide what to do with them accordingly. Some sample groups could include electronics, household waste (paint, pesticides, motor oil) and scrap metal.

2. Recycle Smarter
Once you’ve grouped out what you want to get rid of, figure out how and where to recycle these products or donate them for reuse. Earth 911’s recycling locator at the top of this page can help. Another way to recycle smart is by closing the loop; buy items made from recycled content and with limited packaging.


3. Use Energy More Wisely
Compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) use 20 percent of the energy of incandescent bulb, and they also last 10 times as long. Keeping your thermostat at reasonable temperatures in both the winter and the summer is also a good energy saver. Finally, read your energy bill and check for trends from month to month, and ask your energy company about renewable alternatives.

4. Use Less Water
Whether it’s taking shorter showers or putting a bottle in your toilet tank, saving water is important because it is a limited resource. You can also reuse water around the house, such as using cooking water for plants (the nutrients from the food will benefit the plant).

5. Start Composting
Composting is hip again, and it’s a great way to reduce your waste and help your garden at the same time. You can include most food scraps and material like cardboard, which will biodegrade in your yard and produce nutrient-rich fertilizer. A cubic yard of compost is worth $80 in dirt costs.

6. Invest in Energy-Efficient Appliances
If you can afford it, start replacing older appliances in your home with more energy-efficient ones. These products will reduce your energy output and save money on your electricity bill. Buying a hybrid car is also an eco-friendly investment.

Start a Green Group
Plenty of green activities are meant to be a shared experience, such as carpooling. Talk to your friends about the importance of conserving, and develop programs and activities in your neighborhood for others to get involved. Students can also start a Club Earth 911 at their school.

Plant a Tree
It may seem cliché, but planting trees was the original carbon offset. Not only do they reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, but they can provide shade for your home (reducing energy costs) and produce fruits that you won’t have to buy at the store.

Share your own green tips with others by commenting below. Print the list to post on your refrigerator!

This story is part of Earth 911’s “Green Eight” series, where we showcase eight ways to green your life in various areas. Click here to see Earth 911’s “Green Eight” archive.

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