Eco Links to Green Your Weekend


PhotobucketHere’s a whole new kind of scam – pretending to be exposing an animal rights outrage. As greenUPGRADER reports, the “Human Society Of America” (there’s no such organization) claims to have exposed the appalling use of kittens are shark-bait (not true) and are asking for donations to give to animal rights groups (who know nothing of these events). Bless.

PhotobucketAt last! A use for discarded banana peel – shoe polish. (A much nicer alternative to the usual variety which is filthy stuff at the best of times, and in some cases is toxic and even stains skin!)

PhotobucketRegarding the fight to reduce carbon dioxide, it’s possible there’s more at stake than we thought. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Earth System Research Laboratory now believe that if CO2 levels continue to rise, there will come a point where the global climate’s ability to recover will be so diminished that irreversible changes will take place, despite any countering measures we might undertake – and it would take a thousand years to get back on track.

PhotobucketCount me among those people who obsessively love the taste of vanilla (so good in all sorts of things), but have no idea how to extract its goodness. Correction: count me among them no longer, thanks to bethany actually.

PhotobucketIf only the U.S. were as bike-friendly as Copenhagen (although it’s getting there). The cycling mothers of Japan want their government to be as well, in the wake of new laws banning sannin-nori (“three on a bike”). And in a country with a famously low birth rate, some are even threatening to stick to one-child families to make the government pay attention.

PhotobucketJust imagine if your favorite search engine were vetted by a discerning team of researchers who sifted out all the wheat from the chaff so you didn’t have to. Searching a keyword and actually finding what you want? Impossible, surely – but that’s the admirable philosophy behind Sweet Search. Let’s just hope they have a lot of researchers.

PhotobucketAnd speaking of sweet, here’s my nomination for Wrong Of The Week: the Baskin Robbins Chocolate Oreo Milkshake. Are you sitting down? You would be after this monster – it’s 2,600 calories (that’s not a typo) and 135 grams of fat. In other words, it’s more than the recommended daily calories for an active man in a single drink. I fear for my species.

PhotobucketFor happier news, Small Business Trends looks at how rural small businesses in America are going to be shaping up over the next year – and the theme is Local Local Local. We couldn’t agree more (the new President will probably have his hands full with the economy).

PhotobucketWhen trimming back on a household budget, it’s worth taking a good hard look at grocery shopping. Here are 20 ways to do that courtesy of Woman’sDay – and the star, for me, is #4: “DIY and save.” May 2009 be the year of the Ingredient, sending prepacking packing.

PhotobucketThere are people who never seem to get sick, and cheerfully fly around at work in glowing health while the rest of us fight off the seemingly inevitable winter cold that’s doing the rounds. But it’s possible that there’s a secret behind the invulnerability – and it may involve massages, ginger and cold showers. Alicia Potter and Diane Mapes explain at MSN.

PhotobucketWith all the current talk of energy independence and living off the grid, it’s surprising to see a major green site arguing just the opposite – but Sarah Lozanova makes a good case for staying grid-dependent at CleanTechnica.

PhotobucketChallenging another common assumption is Carly Weeks for GlobeLife Health, who argues that free-range chickens may not have as great a life as we suppose.

PhotobucketThe problem with science (a journalist friend tells me) is that nothing’s certain. It’s woolly, vague, full of probabilities and possibilities. In other words, no good at all for stringing an arresting headline together. But this is because EcoGeek’s Law Of Incremental Suck matters more than exact deadlines laden with doom. Every day is progress – every day helps. It doesn’t help sell newspapers, but that’s just too bad.

PhotobucketRoofs should be alive! Our obsession with green roofing is hardly a secret, so you’ll understand how much fun we had looking through these examples sent in to the Huffington Post by its readers. But now we want more – MORE. Any others that you’d care to suggest?

PhotobucketHello, what’s this: people eating a billion frogs a year? No, it’s not a bizarre Monty Python sketch but a sober analysis of UN trade data…and even John Cleese et al. couldn’t make some of these delicacies up!

Image: Peter Giger

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.