There's been a lot happening on the environmental front in the past few weeks, in the first days of the historic Obama administration, with massive coal ash spills in the Appalachians, volcanoes, earthquakes and octuplets. Here's some stories you may have missed:
It's Beer Week in San Fran (cheers!), and that made us take extra notice of this interesting debate over green beer marketing in Huffington Post. The makers of the delicious Fat Tire beer in Colorado (one of the most beloved of regional beers, in all my travels), New Belgium, have been doing a lot to reduce their environmental impact, including saving energy and looking into smart grid technology.
Even so, rumblings of a recently ex-employee have focused a bright light on the company's commitment, leading to an interesting discussion of how companies should handle green goals and green marketing. Check out our gallery of tasty organic beers.
In a move that has outraged opponents of nuclear power, legislators have so far included provisions for $50 billion in new loan guarantees for next generation nuclear power plants. Nuclear power has long been controversial in green circles, with critics saying it's too dangerous, unreliable, expensive and now distracting from focusing on conservation and expanding infrastructure for true renewables like solar and wind.
A leading anti-nuclear group, NIRS, the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, has led a petition of some 243 business and community groups, all asking Congress to dump support for nuclear power from the stimulus package.
Congress is expected to vote on the massive stimulus package Tuesday.
In a move after our own Green Cheapskate's heart, social media maven sarazen has launched a thought-provoking experiment in budget living. Noting that people on food stamps (hey, like a friend of mine now!) get by on about $3 a day for food. She writes on her blog about this project, "While we cannot duplicate all of the difficulties that go along with those circumstances, we decided to see for ourselves just what we could do with $3 a day per person for food." So sarazen is attempting to feed her family of six three times a day for one dollar per person per meal, or $18 a day. It will last 14 days, until February 13, for a total of $252.
That about how much a small dinner party costs at a nice restaurant in NYC. Still, sarazen's goal is to make it tasty and healthy, and to shop only at a regular grocery store. No clipping coupons unless they are available at the store ("because many people don't have time for coupons"). The family did agree they could use sugar, salt and pepper they already had on hand, since most homes have those basics most of the time.
Think it can't be done? Jeff Yeager, the Green Cheapskate, told the Boston Globe this week that it isn't as hard to eat healthy on a budget as one might think. Buy less meat and more beans, lentils and brown rice (especially bulk dried), and you can fill up on nutrient-rich food without spending much. Shop around the perimeter, and avoid processed foods.
"This is turning out to be a great learning experience for my kids," sarazen told me over IM. "This is better than any lectures about starving children in China." Follow her progress, comment, and maybe give it a try yourself!
One of our most popular features at TDG is our greenest colleges roundup, as well as our green school guide for all ages. Huffington Post has more fresh green tips for school, as well as information about a student essay contest.
In 500 words make the case for your school being the greenest, and score a chance to win a cool hybrid bus.
Also check out this smart bird (a heron, my favorite birds!), who fishes like a human being. Via digg:
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.