9 Green Gift Ideas for Your Friends

April 3, 2017 by  
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You and your friends are dedicated to going green in every aspect of your lives, from recycling and composting to reducing your carbon footprint. So why should gifts be any different? If you’re looking for the best environmentally friendly…

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9 Green Gift Ideas for Your Friends

9 fun things you can do during Earth Hour!

March 25, 2017 by  
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Today at 8:30 pm , WWF’s Earth Hour will begin. Started in 2007 , Earth Hour is a symbolic act to get us thinking about our planet and our impact on it. But more than that, it’s also part of a simple idea to start an environmental resolution — this is not only about one hour in the dark, it’s about creating a brighter future. Even though you’re switching off your lights and electronic appliances for the environment, you don’t have to sit twiddling your thumbs in the dark. There is still a lot you can do without using a watt of electricity. Earth Hour can be as fun as it is good for the planet, and if you’re looking for some entertaining ways to spend it you’re in luck because we’ve rounded up 9 fun activities that are sure to deliver a good time completely off-grid! Candlelight dinner via Shutterstock Have a candle-lit dinner using menus from celebrity chefs Celebrate the hour with your partner, friends or family and have a candlelit dinner with your own tasty dishes based on WWF’s Livewell principles, which has been created for healthy people and a planet with a brilliant future. Get inspired by celebrity chefs who support the Livewell principles . Board Game Pieces and Dices via Shutterstock Invite friends around for a quiz and board games by candlelight WWF’s Earth Hour is all about people coming together to celebrate our world. If you’ve decided to invite friends over, the Earth Hour team has created a fantastic Quiz to download to make the most of the night while the lights remain off. The night sky via Shutterstock Take a wildlife walk or go star-gazing Get closer to nature while doing something for your health and well-being by taking a night walk or going star-gazing. And if you don’t have a telescope, don’t worry. Just darkness, a blanket and hot drinks will be enough for a perfect star-gazing hour. San Antonio Texas River Walk at night via Shutterstock Go for a nightime city walk If you are a “city animal”, why not take a walk around town and see what has switched off in your city? In past years, many landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House, the Tour Eiffel and Big Ben switched off their lights in honor of Earth Hour. This year is sure to find more participants, so be sure to check out what else is happening. Silhouette of biker at sunset via Shutterstock Go for a nighttime bike ride Cycling is not a trend, it’s part of a sustainable lifestyle. Everyday more people decide to leave their car at home and start cycling. And once you’ve started cycling, you can’t stop. So why not go for a ride during the hour? Yoga exercise via Shutterstock Try candle-lit yoga or exercise “Mens sana in corpore sano,” says the famous Latin quotation. WWF’s Earth Hour is a moment for appreciating the brilliant world we all share, and how we need to protect it. Use this time to pursue a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Playing the Guitar via Shutterstock Have an unplugged jam session at home Invite your friends over and unplug while you enjoy some in-house music. Children reading via Shutterstock Read a bed time story Light a candle to create a cozy atmosphere, and transform your favorite bedtime story into a fantastic journey of the imagination. Make a green energy resolution WWF has lots of resources to help you be green every day. Check out their resources for making a lifestyle change  and then plan with your family and friends how you will change things up even when it isn’t Earth Hour. + WWF EARTH HOUR 

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9 fun things you can do during Earth Hour!

How to Have an Eco-Friendly Galentine’s Day

February 14, 2017 by  
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Ah, Galentine’s Day. A sacred holiday observed on Feb. 13 by single females and their friends everywhere. And although it may actually be Valentine’s Day, there’s no reason you can’t celebrate Galentine’s Day today or…

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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Galentine’s Day

What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for the Environment?

November 17, 2016 by  
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President-elect Donald Trump has a lot of people worried. Worried about their healthcare, their reproductive rights, and the citizenship of their friends and family. But perhaps the most worrying effect of a Trump presidency is one that could have…

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What Does a Trump Presidency Mean for the Environment?

Friends Use Recycled Cardboard Boxes to Build Amazing Life-Size Pirate Ship!

November 12, 2016 by  
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Three creative eco-artists have built an incredible life-sized pirate ship out of recycled cardboard ! Three Reddit-using friends named Josh, Mikey and Joel made the ghostly ship in just five days for what was probably the best Halloween party ever. Armed with just a hot glue gun and box cutters, the trio masterfully transformed old cardboard boxes into a meticulously detailed vessel fit for Treasure Island. The friends came up with the idea for the ship when planning a “Halloween Party on Treasure Island.”  To prepare for the project, the friends began what they call “trolling”- or stalking the streets for piles of cardboard left at curbsides , waiting for garbage truck pick up. The trio loaded these bounties up in their car and hauled the cardboard to the warehouse-studio where the party took place. Using hot glue and blades, the guys began building up the massive ship. Cardboard planks make up its sides, and circular holes were cut out to serve as portholes. Larger sheets of cardboard were cut to make curly waves licking at the base of the boat, while trimmer remnants added texture to the faux- wood on the side of the boat. A tattered, discarded sail was hung from the ship’s cardboard mast. The intricate piece was crowned with a ghastly figurehead depicting a skeleton witch with wild cardboard hair and a curling cardboard tongue. The incredible project shows what a little creativity can do with material otherwise headed for the garbage. Via Bored Panda

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Friends Use Recycled Cardboard Boxes to Build Amazing Life-Size Pirate Ship!

Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

October 24, 2016 by  
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If you are sick and tired of having your bicycle stolen stolen, then we have just the thing for you. After he and several of his friends lost their bikes to sneaky thieves, inventor Daniel Idzkowski came up with the most bizarre solution. SkunkLock prevents bike theft by releasing a chemical deterrent released when a would-be thief tries to cut through the lock , and it’s noxious enough, nobody would want to stick around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba1OLoPIBfY Made with hardened medium-carbon steel , the black and white U-Lock contains a hidden pressurized deterrent that the company says actually induces vomiting in most cases. These noxious chemicals are so strong they “elicit an instinctive response to run away immediately,” according to the company’s Indiegogo page. They say it’s possible a bike might smell if the chemicals are released, but not likely, although they include disinfection instructions with their locks. Related: Engineering Students Create the World’s First Unstealable Bike What chemicals do they use? SkunkLock doesn’t quite disclose that information, saying they prefer to keep their formula a secret so thieves can’t figure out a way around it. They do say on their Indiegogo page that capsaicin compounds may be present in the lock, but that SkunkLock isn’t “strictly a pepper spray product.” While some bike owners may be deterred by the idea of noxious chemicals, SkunkLock assures people their bike lock is safe and legal. The company purposely skewed away from electronic and smart locks, saying electronics can fail or be dismantled. Instead their lock fights back, as per the company slogan. Once the chemicals are released, the company says the structural integrity should still be there but the lock won’t deter against thieves in the unique skunk-like fashion any more. There’s no expiration date on the bike lock, but the company plans to keep improving the technology and hopes SkunkLock owners will buy updated versions in the future. SkunkLock is currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo . A limited number of people can snag a SkunkLock for $99; from there the price goes up to $109 and then to $119. You can check out the campaign here . + SkunkLock + SkunkLock Indiegogo Campaign Images via SkunkLock Facebook and SkunkLock

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Crazy SkunkLock makes would-be bike thieves vomit

New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

September 23, 2016 by  
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At Humanitas Deventer , an independent living home for seniors in the Netherlands , it’s not uncommon for an 80 or 90-year-old resident to have a 27-year-old neighbor. Students can live at Humanitas Deventer for free. All they have to do in return is spend 30 hours each month being a ” good neighbor .” 27-year-old Patrick Stoffer is a graduate student at Saxion University. He’s one of about five students who live at Humanitas Deventer. During their 30 volunteer hours, the students teach the retirees skills like how to send an email or Skype, or just share a meal and a conversation. Many of the students have formed profound relationships with their elderly neighbors. Related: This nature-filled community is a smart housing solution for Singapore’s aging population “At first I thought I’m just gonna help out a little bit, but you find out that these relationships are deeper than you would expect,” Stoffer said in a video . One of his roommates is 89-year-old Harry, a retiree, whom Stoffer describes as a “joker” who “knows how to handle the ladies.” They’ve become close friends. One new aspect of living at Humanitas Deventer for the students is the closeness to death . Stoffer described how one of his friends in his hall passed away. While he’s had to confront death, he’s learned death is “also part of life.” A lack of affordable housing in other university towns has inspired communities in other areas around the world to adopt intergenerational living models. One similar community is Judson Manor in Cleveland, Ohio, where music students live in a 1920’s luxury hotel converted into a senior home in exchange for playing music for the elderly residents. Urban design student Jurriën Mentink shared his experiences at Humanitas Deventer in this TEDx talk – where do I sign up? + Humanitas Deventer Via AJ+ Images via Humanitas Deventer and Humanitas Deventer Facebook

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New Dutch housing model lets students stay at a senior living home for free

Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover renews call for monopoly investigation

September 15, 2016 by  
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With little warning, Germany chemical giant Bayer made a bid to take over U.S.-based Monsanto for $66 billion. Together, the fused companies would create the world’s largest seed and pesticide company, which many argue would equate to a monopoly. The U.S. Department of Justice has already investigated Monsanto’s monopoly over the nationwide market, and the merger will most certainly give the company more influence over agriculture than it has ever had before—a terrifying thought. Monsanto has been the subject of heated debates at all levels, from public meetings in community centers to the federal level. The company’s top-selling product, RoundUp, contains glyphosate as its active ingredient, which has been linked to cancer, respiratory ailments, and autism. Glyphosate is already banned or highly restricted in Europe and other parts of the world, but regulators in the U.S. have failed to act swiftly, in part due to the heavy influence of Monsanto. The pesticide maker has also lobbied widely and even filed lawsuits to block GMO labeling and bury the World Health Organization’s report on glyphosate as a carcinogen . For years, environmentalists and health advocates have been fighting against Monsanto, but the company’s deep pockets have made it an uphill battle. With the Bayer takeover threatening to increase those resources, public concern should be on the rise. Related: Mark Ruffalo confronts Monsanto chief: “You are poisoning people” “The attempted takeover of Monsanto by Bayer is a threat to all Americans,” said Bernie Sanders on Wednesday, decrying the Bayer bid. “These mergers boost the profits of huge corporations and leave Americans paying even higher prices. Not only should this merger be blocked, but the Department of Justice should reopen its investigation of Monsanto’s monopoly over the seed and chemical market.” Bayer’s proposed bid led Friends of the Earth Europe’s senior food and farming campaigner Adrian Bebb to issue sharp criticism . “Bayer’s buyout of Monsanto is a marriage made in hell, which threatens to further lock in industrialized agriculture at the expense of nature, farmers and the wider public,” said Bebb. “While public support for local and greener food continues to boom, this mega corporation will be doing its best to force damaging pesticides and GM seeds into our countryside.” Via The Guardian Images via Mike Mozart , Paul and Cathy/Flickr and Bayer  

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Bayer’s proposed $66B Monsanto takeover renews call for monopoly investigation

IKEA is opening a free DIY restaurant where you can learn Swedish cooking skills

September 5, 2016 by  
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Looking to improve on your Swedish meatball recipe? IKEA is already the seventh largest restaurant chain in the world, and they’re hoping to ramp up their culinary cred by opening up a DIY Kitchen in Shoreditch, east London. Starting September 10th, the Ikea Dining Club will let aspiring chefs cook a meal for up to 19 of their closest friends under the supervision of a head chef. Best of all, the dining experience will be free of charge for all guests. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DFmkFz3MT0 The massive furniture store has already branched out into on-site food-production for restaurants , and now the company is courting foodies who’d like to test out their cooking skills in a professional kitchen and dining room. Participating DIY chefs can name their restaurant and choose their own menu, including, of course, traditional Scandinavian dishes. Related: IKEA’s Space10 is working on on-site hydroponic farms for restaurants Ellie Pniok, commercial manager for Ikea Food, explains the power of food is behind the dining club’s creation, “We bond and connect over the everyday process of cooking meals together so to celebrate this firmly held belief, we are opening The Dining Club to bring people together to enjoy a meal from beginning to end. This will take place in an environment that reflects a homely kitchen, so you can host a dinner party for all of your friends.” In addition to the cooking and dining experience, the Dining Club will also host a series of culinary workshops. The club will be open from Sept. 10 until Sept. 25, with only 38 sessions available. Reservations can be made online . + IKEA Dining Club Via Mashable Images via IKEA

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IKEA is opening a free DIY restaurant where you can learn Swedish cooking skills

Pesticide industry spending ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars’ to slow U.S. bee protection

June 17, 2016 by  
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Would it surprise you to hear that the pesticide industry is actively working to halt measures that would protect bees from dying in record numbers across the continent? A new report published by Friends of the Earth (FOE) this week lists the tactics the industry is using to get in the way of much needed federal and state legislation and, spoiler alert, there are a lot of them. Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 44 percent of honeybee colonies nationwide died off last year, marking a sharp increase in the destruction that has a devastating trickle-down effect on American food crops. Yet, the pesticide industry still works to block protective legislation and it’s all because they stand to make a profit on the death of our important pollinators. For years, chemical researchers and entomologists have been building a case against pesticides, composed of overwhelming evidence that widespread use of the chemicals—primarily in agriculture but also in public parks and residential areas— threatens bee populations in a very real way. Without wild honeybees, the nation’s crops and food supplies are in danger , so many agencies at the federal and state level have considered programs to protect bees, ranging from pesticide bans to protected “honeybee corridors” to “pro-bee-iotics” that may protect the buzzing beauties from dangerous chemicals. Related: 44 percent of U.S. honeybee colonies died off last year FOE’s 29-page report ( PDF ) comes with an ominous title: “Buzz Kill: How the Pesticide Industry is Clipping the Wings of Bee Protection Efforts Across the U.S.” But, the severity of the language seems appropriate, given the report’s findings. Following an in-depth evaluation of continued efforts by the pesticide industry to interfere with or block protective programs for bee populations. The report says the industry is spending “hundreds of thousands of dollars” at the federal and state level to lobby against measures that would reduce or ban pesticide use, leading to weak legislation that does more to protect pesticide companies than bees. The FOE report also claims the pesticide industry has “infiltrated federal regulatory agencies” through employees of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency who previously worked for different regulatory agencies and companies including Bayer, Syngenta, and Monsanto , which all profit from pesticide use. FOE also charges the pesticide industry with creating misinformation campaigns against bee-protecting legislation, by “directly funded or influenced science by donating to education initiatives and building strategic alliances with academics.” Despite the industry’s efforts, some states are making forward progress to protect bees. Earlier this spring, Maryland became the first state in the country to ban neonicotinoids, the class of pesticides with strong links to the decline in bee populations. Other types of pesticides harm bees , too, which means reducing pesticide use or restricting certain varieties is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to protecting bee populations. Federal and state lawmakers must be free to evaluate their options without the tainted influence of the industry that seeks only to profit from the destruction of our delicate ecosystem. + Friends of the Earth Images via Shutterstock ( 1 , 2 ) and Friends of the Earth

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