Eco Links to Green Your Weekend


PhotobucketIf you’re still chuckling from the weirdest of 2008’s green building designs, pop some popcorn and pull up a chair before you check out the Dragonfly – it’s a 600-meter-tall wing-shaped skyscraper filled with self-sufficient offices and vertical gardens. Would you be happy to see this against the Manhattan skyline?

PhotobucketNew Zealand comedian Mike King has been talking green for a while now, yet that didn’t keep him promoting the pork industry – until he broke into a pig farm with animal activists and saw things for himself. “If I had known this was going on I would never have supported this.” Read the full story at Stuff.

PhotobucketAnother summer, another tide of sunscreen attacking man and beast alike – unless you go for the new wave of eco-friendly versions. Check out Alternative Consumer’s recommendations, and have a look at our own.

PhotobucketIf you work in the heirloom tomato industry, you’ll be fuming after Scientific American’s Brendan Borrell described heirlooms as “feeble and inbred” in an article that implied these strains of fruit were fatally flawed and needed a genetic band-aid. A blistering response wasn’t long in coming, prompting Mr. Borrell to take back a few of his ill-chosen words. You can read our Vanessa‘s thoughts on the subject at Civil Eats.

PhotobucketHow about this for inflammatory? Writer and activist Michael Pollan is so concerned about food from mass-commercialized agriculture that he advises us to avoid all food we’ve seen advertised. Pioneering or paranoid? Read his argument at AlterNet and decide for yourself.

PhotobucketWhen people look at wind turbines, they make a lazy association: spinning blades = bird-killing machines = worse than traditional power. The problem, argues Benjamin Sovacool at Scitizen, is that few of us see first-hand the damage mining and acid rain does to our feathered friends, and out of sight means out of mind. Wind turbines have a ways to go, it’s true, but the conventional energy industry kills far more birds.

PhotobucketFor the fellas out there who like to explore themselves – I mean figuratively, for pity’s sake – there’s a new magazine on that very topic, called Masc. Top tip? Funny is hot.

PhotobucketSome things shouldn’t be so small – stamp-sized cellphone manufacturers, I’m talking to you. In the same category is bonkers Brit Perry Watkins, who has turned a children’s ride into the world’s smallest road-legal automobile. Parking should be a cinch, although beware of being crushed under the wheels of passing bicycles. A unique concept, we dearly hope.

PhotobucketIf you clicked on our popular TOMS vegan shoe giveaway and are now finding that standard footwear no longer measures up, hot-foot it to Greenopia where Katherine has listed the top eco-sneakers on the market today and gives advice on where to donate your shoes when they’re falling off your feet.

PhotobucketHe’s walked 1,200 miles to raise awareness for the plight of homeless children. He’s about to walk the 600 miles from Atlanta to Washington. And he’s 11 years old. A kind of philanthropic Karl Bushby, Zach Bonner is a fund-raising walking machine, and you can read his story at MSNBC.

PhotobucketAs someone who once got a chili seed in one of his eyes, I can attest that making hot sauce is dangerous. You need to know exactly what you’re doing, so we reckon you can’t go far wrong with Aleta’s comprehensive guide at Omnomicon. Although – is there a greener alternative to vinyl gloves?

PhotobucketWe know that organic is the way to go in principle. But what about practice? Enough of “should”: is organic better? Chelsea Green‘s Makenna Goodman isn’t so sure. Have we been robbed by companies willfully misusing the loosely-defined organic label? Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Farm thinks Goodman’s aim is a little off: the real problem is the food system that small-scale farming challenges. Where do you weigh in?

PhotobucketIf you’re wondering what the force of nature known as Bette Midler is up to these days, you don’t live in New York. She’s been tackling the city’s legendary garbage problems, and her New York Restoration Project has stumped up $38 million for good causes – not the first time she’s set such an inspiring example. Respect to the lady with the voice that parts your hair.

PhotobucketSo, modular house-building is convenient, adaptive to the environment and oh-so-very-cool. But did you realise that you could knock a prefab together in just 8 days? It takes me that long to put up a shelf, let alone a house.

PhotobucketFinally, a dumb but impressively brave act of environmental terrorism. Just imagine if their timing had been off.

Image: Sleeping Bear

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.