I have a pretty hardcore to-go coffee habit. Every time I buy coffee in a disposable paper cup (which is often), part of me cringes inside at the thought of it filling up a landfill. Obviously, this doesn’t stop me from buying it, which is part of why I’m telling you — to publicly guilt myself into bringing a reusable mug to Starbucks! The scary part is that there are thousands of people who feel the same way, and keep buying coffee anyway just like me. Fifty billion paper coffee cups end up in landfills every year, and that’s just in the U.S.!
Most paper coffee cups are made from a combination of cardboard and very thin plastic to keep the drinks warm and prevent sogginess. Unfortunately, this also deems them not recyclable because the two materials are impossible to separate — a fact many coffee drinkers don’t realize. Shouldn’t we have a more eco-friendly solution for something that’s consumed by so many people every morning? Keep reading »
Dolphins living in an area affected by the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico are now suffering from lung diseases and other problems that are consistent with oil spills. How heartbreaking is that? A federal government study was conducted looking into the effects of the spill, and the sobering results were released in a paper on Wednesday. The paper has made the strongest connection so far between the BP spill and dolphin deaths, which have spiked in the Gulf in the years since the disaster. Keep reading »
Sometimes to get the public’s attention, you have to go to pretty extreme lengths. Which is why six female Greenpeace activists are in the midst of a 1000-foot climb up the side of London’s Shard building, in order to protest arctic drilling.
The Shard was chosen for its proximity to Shell Oil’s building. “They don’t want us talking about their plan to drill in the Arctic. We’re here to shout about it from the rooftops,” wrote the women in a statement pre-climb. The climbers hope to hang a huge piece of art on the peak of the building, which will highlight the beauty of the arctic. You can watch a livestream of their ascent — shot from helmet cams – here. Keep reading »
I am what one might call a leisurely bather. If one wished for some reason to paint me in a less flattering light, “bathroom hog” may or may not be the term best used to describe my habits. I can say with all honesty that I have never taken a shower in under 20 minutes; my ideal duration ranges from 45 minutes to an hour. I don’t necessarily want to take that long, it’s just that with all the shampooing, deep conditioning, exfoliating, shaving, Clarisonic-ing, and cleansing required to keep me looking just barely presentable, there’s no way I’m getting in and out of there in 15 minutes. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is, and I definitely don’t feel guilty about making you wait outside the bathroom door for four hours. I will, however, cop to feeling the tiniest bit sheepish about the havoc I’m wreaking on the environment as a result of my over-indulgent tendencies. While I absolutely under no circumstances do not want this Shower Coach 5-Minute Shower Timer (I have enough passage-of-time anxiety already), it would probably be a wise $2.99 investment on my part. And hey, just because the sands of time are not shifting in my favor doesn’t mean I actually have to get out, right? [Complex]
April is Earth Month, so naturally it’s the perfect opportunity for the fashion world (and, it goes without saying, the world over) to stand up and do what they can to take action. The latest venture into green comes from the CFDA and Vogue with Clean by Design, a new partnership with National Resources Defense Counsel. The council hosted a luncheon yesterday to announce the initiative, the premise of which could seem a bit strange — how does fashion directly impact the environment? Keep reading »
Who is to blame for Mother Earth’s metastasizing environmental crisis? Women, of course. Are we tossing out too many sanitary napkins? Drinking too many lattes in cardboard cups? Well, yes, but this is more serious. Us ladies are “wasting” billions of liters of water every year leaving the water running while we shave our legs. According to a survey by the UK water company Thames Water, a third of women leave the water running while we shave our legs in the shower, which amounts to enough “wasted” water every year to supply London with acqua for 25 days.
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You’ve seen prom dresses fashioned with duct tape. The next DIY sartorial eyeful is a wedding dress made completely from newspaper. I can’t imagine any bride wants ink stains on her big day, but at least designer Jenna Braga proves she could hack it on one of those weird “Project Runway” challenges. And hey, if it does take off, maybe it will bail out the struggling newspaper industry! [YouTube] Keep reading »
Not many starlets would talk about pee on “The Tonight Show.” But then again, not many stars would ditch fake-baking in Hollywood for composting at an Oregon eco-village. Ellen Page dropped facts about composting — apparently if you build it right, it doesn’t smell! — and announced how she and her eco-village pals liked to contributed nitrates to the compost by peeing together in a bucket. And that’s when Jay Leno said something very weird. [Huffington Post] Keep reading »
Hopefully by now, everyone’s invested in a few reusable totes for grocery trips instead of ruining the environment with plastic bags. But while you’re being all green and eco-friendly, it’s important to remember that between schlepping groceries, gym clothes, and random finds around town, more than a few germs have most likely found their way inside that tote bag. A recent study tested 84 bags from shoppers in Tucson, LA, and SF and found that 12% contained e. coli and over half held other harmful bacteria. Sounds pretty shocking, but when you think about it, this really shouldn’t be news, especially if you’re dumping raw meat inside those canvas bags. Multiply that by the amount of years you’ve owned your eco-friendly bag, and that’s months of bacteria just festering at the bottom. Sufficiently grossed out? We suggest you get to laundering. [Consumerist] Keep reading »
If you can’t afford a Birkin but are desperate to show off your fashion sense, then get yourself to Taipei. Some genius over there recognized the need for a Birkin-inspired, eco-friendly tote, so went a little DIY happy and screened an image of the covetable purse onto a canvas bag. Born from the creative moment is the Birkin designer reusable bag, perfect for carrying around all your goodies — from groceries to gym clothes — while inciting envy of those who are Birkin-less. Each tote only costs $45, which is a drastic difference from the real Birkins, and you’ll not only be helping the world but also your own appearance, and keeping your wallet happy. Interestingly enough, though, the real Birkin doesn’t have a wait list anymore thanks to the recession, you’ll have to wait three months to get your hands on one of these green-friendly designs! [BagSnob] Keep reading »