Sustainable Living

Ellen DeGeneres announces new vegan site

Lighter Footstep - Fri, 08/12/2011 - 17:10
Ellen DeGeneres has taken her love for the vegan lifestyle and turned it into a new website called "Going Vegan with Ellen." The portal, an offshoot of her official Ellen.com site, is an introduction to an all-plant diet and how to stop eating the animal products.   "Scientific studies supported by the American Dietetic Association have confirmed that vegan and vegetarian diets are associated with lower cholesterol, lower risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower risk of hypertension and Type 2 di


Categories: Sustainable Living

Urinetown: Not the musical

Lighter Footstep - Thu, 08/11/2011 - 04:45
You may have caught a few sensationalist headlines over the past few days about how parched residents of the drought-stricken, water-strapped west Texas town of Big Leak Spring have taken to drinking recycled urine. Well, this won’t be entirely untrue once the Colorado River Municipal Water District completes — construction began this week and is due to finish sometime next year —a $13 million wastewater reclamation plant in Big Spring that will transform sewage wastewater (AKA pee water) into household tap water.


Categories: Sustainable Living

What’s a food rave?

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 21:09
In Britain, a food movement is brewing, one where people are not only sharing food with their friends and neighbors, but they’re sharing food with members of their communities that they don’t know.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Starbucks is in growth mode again

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:55
Starbucks Coffee celebrated its 40th birthday this year, and although the last recession caused some shake-up within the organization, the company is once again expanding its business. According to an article on MSNBC.com, Starbucks’ expansion plans include 200 new U.S.-based stores in the next fiscal year.


Categories: Sustainable Living

New blood test detects baby's gender at 7 weeks

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:53
It used to be that a pregnant woman had to wait at least until the end of her first trimester (11-12 weeks) to get an early indication of the gender of the baby she was carrying. And that was with an invasive test such as chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis that came with a potential side effect of miscarriage and was only used to detect potentially life-threatening diseases within the baby.   For most women, the first real chance to know the baby's gender is the ultrasound performed at 20 weeks (or possibly even after the baby is born).


Categories: Sustainable Living

Conan debuts competitor to Shark Week

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:49
Discovery Channel's Shark Week has once again come and gone, delivering thrills and scares to millions of viewers who've come to enjoy the annual programming event.   As Conan O'Brien pointed out last night however, only five people die each year from shark attacks; prompting him to wonder if we shouldn't be focusing on more serious threats.   Referencing statistics that show an estimated 450 people die each year in the Un


Categories: Sustainable Living

Review: Stain Solver organic cleaner

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:05
I was sent a jar (for free) of Stain Solver organic cleaner. The only ingredients are sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate (aka soda ash).


Categories: Sustainable Living

Glass food storage

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:02
I haven’t totally given up my plastic food storage containers yet, but I’m working on it. I’ll be buying glass containers from now on. The list of health concerns about the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) that leaches from plastics keeps growing, the latest concern being that it makes male mice act more like females.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Beautifully simple design: The plastic bottle light

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 18:00
I'm stunned by the beautiful simplicity of this wonderful idea.   Cut a hole in a developing world roof big enough for a plastic soda bottle to fit snugly into. Fill a bottle with water and a little bleach and set it halfway into the hole cap side up.   Voila, you now have a daytime light bulb.


Categories: Sustainable Living

2 must-see food films

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 17:50
"Forks over Knives" Released in theaters last spring, this movie makes a strong and compelling argument for a plant-based diet.


Categories: Sustainable Living

2011 Solar Decathlon: ENJOY House

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 17:19
Between Team New York, the (em) powerhouse trio of Parsons the New School for Design, Milano the New School for Management and Urban Policy, and the Stevens Institute of Technology, and the work of today’s featured team, Team New Jersey (a collaborative effort


Categories: Sustainable Living

62.8 million Americans volunteered in 2010

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 16:23
The 2011 Volunteering in America report has been published by the Corporation for National and Community Service, and in 2010 nearly 63 million Americans devoted more than 8.1 billion hours of volunteer time.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Green business trend: Cloud computing

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:36
  Change is a given in the Information Technology (IT) world and a growing trend in the IT industry is cloud computing.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Daily Briefing: Wed.

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:17
FREIGHT WATCHERS  For the first time ever, the U.S. unveiled fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles Tuesday, mimicking an effort that has already been slowly boosting the mileage of light-duty cars since 1975.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Mayor crushes car parked in bike lane with armored personnel carrier

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 15:14
Artūras Zuokas, mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania is an avid cyclist and avowed enemy of people who park their cars in the bike lane. He recently released a very funny video showing him driving over a Mercedes parked in a bike lane with an armored personnel carrier (obviously staged, but good). Check it out:  


Categories: Sustainable Living

Protesters released after eco-activist gets 2 years in prison

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 13:59
  This week a U.S. District Court Judge sentenced Tim DeChristopher to two years in jail for making false bids during a federal oil auction in 2008. For a few hours, DeChristopher was joined by more than two dozen protesters.   Following the sentencing, 26 protesters sat down on Salt Lake City’s South Main Street on the TRAX rail line, a light rail service in the city.


Categories: Sustainable Living

A few notes on the singular legacy of Ray Anderson, sustainability pioneer

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 12:38
As many of you in sustainability-obsessed circles have likely already heard, we lost a pioneer and a giant in the field the other day with the passing of Ray Anderson, CEO of the Georgia-based industrial carpet company Interface Inc., which Ray spent the last 15 years of his life turning into a test lab for sustainable industrial operations.


Categories: Sustainable Living

Not of the garden variety: Indoor composters and compost collectors

Lighter Footstep - Wed, 08/10/2011 - 05:01
Hello there and welcome to part two of a compost-crazy, two-part edition of “Not of the garden variety," a weekly, product-centric series that's all about exceptional, agrarian-minded outdoor living accessories and odds and ends — items for in and around the garden that you won't find in the backyards of every Tom, Dick and Harry.   Yesterday, for part one, I rounded up a few standout outdoor composters rang


Categories: Sustainable Living
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