Green Living

The Missing of Summer Lawns*

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It's Time to End the Wasteful Practice of Irrigating California's Residential Landscaping With Fresh Water

What a difference a drought makes. Once upon a time, a fundamental attribute of home ownership in California and the American West was an expansive, verdant lawn surrounding private homes, townhouses and apartment complexes. Indeed, some communities have historically imposed permit conditions or adopted local ordinances mandating the inclusion and maintenance of lush, healthy lawns […]

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Are Californians Finally Getting Out of Our Cars?

If Something Looks Too Good To Be True, Then It Probably Is

It looks like a miracle: Californians aren’t depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and  errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans. Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation  across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips,  researchers say a […]

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How Legalizing Marijuana Could Help Fight Climate Change

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The link between indoor grow operations and energy data

Now that the two states that just legalized marijuana sent their football teams to the Superbowl this year, it’s clear that the stars are aligning for legalizing marijuana nationwide. Sure, legalizing marijuana makes fiscal, moral, and practical sense, but what about the benefits to the environment? Well, it turns out that even the fight against […]

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Eco-Friendly Gift Guide

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Gift Ideas to Keep Your Holidays Green

To celebrate the holiday spirit, here are some gift ideas for your eco-savvy friends and family. May your holidays be warm (but not too warm) and bright. For the foodie: An “Eat Local” calendar For the techie: A portable solar charger For the minimalist: The gift of carbon offsets For the chef: A reclaimed wood […]

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Jeudi Gras – The Great American Holiday

Thanksgiving dinner

Jeudi Gras means”Fat Thursday” in English.  It would probably be a better name for the holiday than the current one.  Let’s face it: for most of us, the day involves a bit of giving thanks and a much larger amount of pigging out like there’s no tomorrow.  As the NY Times points out, this wouldn’t be […]

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Postcard from Barcelona

Barcelona Metro Map

Looking at the Catalonian path to sustainability

Flying into Barcelona, it becomes immediately obvious that this is a city with its eye on a sustainable future. Right along the waterfront is a large photovoltaic array, perched on four giant supports. It is emblematic of a broader set of initiatives that, for a short time, placed Spain at the forefront of renewable energy […]

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Better Standards for Designing City Streets That Work for People and the Environment

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In 2010, Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, through its City Streets Project, and the Berkeley School of Environmental Design’s Center for Resource Efficient Communities issued a report that looked at the ways in which industry standards for street design can interfere with efforts to make streets more pedestrian-friendly and the encourage […]

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California Enacts Nation’s First Comprehensive Fracking Law—And Everyone’s Unhappy

Controversial But Promising, SB 4 Constitutes Tangible Progress on the Fracking Front

Late last month the California Legislature passed, and Governor Jerry Brown signed into law, the nation’s first comprehensive system of regulating hydraulic fracturing, the oil and gas drilling technique more commonly known as “fracking.” It turns out that no one–the oil and gas industry, surface landowners or environmentalists–is particularly happy with the new law. And […]

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New Chemical Regulations Go Live in California

Making Prevention Real?

Today, after years of discussions and drafts, California’s new Safer Consumer Product regulations take effect.  They create a comprehensive chemicals regulatory scheme having three steps: identification and prioritization of consumer products containing chemicals of greatest concern (“product-chemical combinations”); performance of “alternative analyses” by the manufacturers of those high priority product-chemical combinations; and selection of regulatory responses […]

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New York Times Says Farewell to “Green Blog” and Environment Desk

A few days ago, the New York Times cancelled its “Green Blog,” dedicated to environmental and energy news.  The Times told readers to look for environmental policy news on the “Caucus blog,” dedicated to politics, and energy technology news on the “Bits blog,” dedicated to the business of technology.  The demise of the Green Blog came less than two […]

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