Grist.org amatur ab me

April 17, 2010

Every morning I wake up. I listen for the town crier to give me the news and good Roman flour for good Roman citizens. Then I hit up grist.org. No site better aggregates and diffuses the ebb and flow of environmentalism. DS likes treehugger.org, but there is no filter there. Everything imaginable gets picked up. The current page ranges from renewable production in China, to state vulnerablilty to oil spikes, to EPA warnings about fleas and lice on pets. There’s just too much going on. Huffingtonpost green is also not so useful; it features cute animals just as much as real green news. The New York Times only hits environment stories once they get big. Nytimes also suffers from the way we live now mentality, which takes a few small stories and boils them together into some massive narrative about present American society.

Enter Grist. Small and lean (and Seattle based!), grist.org has regular columnists with assigned beats, long running series, and an active set of commenters. They cover long term environmental policy, specific sustainable practices that can be put into effect, notably through the Ask Umbra video and Indoor Gardening Girl video series, and recipes. They talk about food policy, international carbon trading regimes, and even, and perhaps most importantly, the changing face of the environmental movement itself. Some of the most interesting posts examine Greenpeace and Sierra Club tactics to see how they play out, and how these organizations have used Facebook, Twitter, and blogs to wage asymetrical and symbolic public relations wars against corporate actors. Grist has also covered Waxman-Markey and Boxer-Kerry, i.e. Lieberman-Kerry-Graham much better than anyone else. In a mainstream source, you might hear a miss contextualized quote or two from Lindsey Graham about energy, but you sure wont see this. There is no more important source for understanding climate change, the environment, and the politics of green than grist.org

Americans, according to the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, use about 18.5 gallons of water in their toilet daily. This is quite a bit of freshwater, and there is a very simple and easy way to diminish this rather high water consumption.

Step 1: Find a container that fits behind your toilet
Step 2: Fill it with water.
Step 3: Open back of toilet, put the container into the back of toilet, making sure that it does not disrupt the pump mechanism.
Step 4: Close the back of toilet. You are now displacing X amount of water per flush, where X equals the volume of the container you have placed in the back of your toilet.