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White House Refused to Listen to the EPA

by: Heather on 06/25/2008
Posted in: Activism

I realize that there's absolutely no reason to be surprised by this, but somehow I still am.

According to today's New York Times, senior Environmental Protection Agency officials released a statement last week stating that in December The White House "refused to accept the E.P.A.'s conclusion that greenhouse gases are pollutants that must be …

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Recipe Post - Mint Pea Lime Soup

by: Heather on 06/24/2008
Posted in: Cooking

Now that it's summer (sort of) and fresh, local produce is available, here's a wonderful vegetarian recipe from ExtraVeganZa by Laura Matthias for Mint Pea Lime Soup. It's fabulous!

Mint Pea Lime Soup

This elegant, zesty green soup has a stunningly bright color and a unique minty flavor that intrigues most every palate. It is also packed with …

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Guest Post - Paul Scheckel

by: Heather on 06/23/2008
Posted in: Guest Posts

This just in from Paul Scheckel, author of The Home Energy Diet, about the importance of pushing the envelope of your comfort zone when it comes to the environment. Thanks Paul!

Action for a healthy future

My resolve to foster energy awareness grew last month.

I usually offer my local workshops on home energy for free, and I'm thrilled if 10 people who care show up. I recently spent a week in Carbondale, Colo., to co-teach a one-week class on sustainable building practices for Solar Energy International. Twenty dedicated adult learners enrolled in the workshop. These participants came from all around the country and places as far away as Jamaica and Pakistan. They were all taking personal steps to make their homes, businesses, building practices, and lifestyles more sustainable and efficient.

The course included daily field trips. The local Waldorf School is the second-largest straw-bale structure in the country. I'm not a big fan of straw bale -- perhaps because I've seen too many early failures. But to my surprise, the building works, and my attitude towards straw bale construction has changed. The school is comfortable, efficient, welcoming, and feels "alive" -- an inspiring place to learn.

Another site visit took us to a contemporary residential development that adheres to the vernacular design of the old western mining town. Each of the dozen homes sports roof-mounted solar electric and hot-water panels. To our surprise, we learned from one homeowner that the developer had written covenants for the lots which included a no-clotheslines rule. This outdated practice shows that efficiency remains the unseen, unsung, and still struggling older sibling of younger track star "green" and the sexy "renewable." If only we could show off efficiency like we can show off a roof full of solar panels. (Psst! Guess which one costs less and saves more?)

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Books to Build a Better World

by: Heather on 06/20/2008
Posted in: Author Events

As part of a series of interviews focusing on current trends in the publishing world, Tom Masters of Future Perfect Publishing recently interviewed Chris and Judith Plant, the principals of our company, about the focus and direction of New Society Publishers.

From the interview:

FPP: Given the concerns about global climate change and all of its …

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SVO - Powering Your Vehicle with Straight Vegetable Oil

by: Heather on 06/17/2008
Posted in: New Books

Unlike biodiesel, in which oils are combined with alcohol to form a stand-alone fuel that can be used in a conventional diesel engine, straight vegetable oil can be used in a modified diesel engine with no chemical alteration of the oil. In SVO: Powering Your Vehicle with Straight Vegetable Oil, Forest Gregg provides the definitive practical guide …

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