New Different

Learning to Love Toxic Sludge

Want to organize phony grassroots organizations, spy on citizens, “create” news, and thwart democracy? If you’re an E reader, probably not. But, Toxic Sludge Is Good For You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry, by PR Watch editors John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, will show you how it’s done. This detailed, well-researched expose about public relations blows the lid off the multi-billion-dollar corporate greenwashing industry. Readers get the inside scoop on how mega-PR firms like Hill & Knowlton, Burson-Marsteller and Ketchum PR influence and concoct the news to put the best face on corporate and government pollution and lawlessness. Published by Common Courage Press, the book is $20.95 postpaid. Available from:

CONTACT

InBook
140 Commerce Street
East Haven, CT 06512
Tel: (800) 253-3605.

—Tracey C. Rembert


Some Like It Hotter

Although its importance as an ecosystem is well-established, the desert still conjures up images of blinding sandstorms, skittering lizards and creeping snakes. The newest collection from Sierra Club Books is an anthology of desert readings gathered from writers around the world. Some highly original and challenging imagery enlivens The Sierra Club’s Desert Reader, A Literary Companion, edited by Gregory McNamee. From Muir to Darwin, and from Marco Polo to Borges, this literary work captures the essence of these dry but lively landscapes, spanning centuries and continents. The book costs $20 postpaid.

CONTACT

Sierra Club Books
730 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
Tel: (800) 935-1056.

—Tracey C. Rembert


Trees for the Future

The average automobile weighs about two tons and produces almost three times that amount of carbon dioxide each year. But you can offset your car’s emissions and contribution to global warming by making it a Global Cooling Vehicle! For $30, Trees for the Future will plant 200 trees (in such countries as the Philippines and Haiti, where forest depletion is advanced) to absorb and store as much CO2 as your car produces in a year. Thanks to the program, 62 countries worldwide have a bigger tree population…and a greener future.

CONTACT

Trees for the Future
Box 1786
Silver Spring, MD 20915-1786
Tel: (301) 929-0238

—Nicole Rivard


Replay Toys

Can child’s play deliver a message about the environment? Replay activity kits from Pappa Geppetto’s Toys teach kids the virtues of reuse and recycling while setting their imaginations free. Using paper, plastic and metal manufacturing scraps, kids can invent their own toys from kits like “Wind Gizmos,” “Space Vehicles,” or “Party Hats and Masks,” while lightening the load on our landfills. Craft boxes are available in four different sizes priced from $3 to $15. Kids can also receive contest and workshop information through the company-sponsored Junk Yard’s Kid’s Club.

CONTACT

Pappa Geppetto’s Toys Victoria Ltd.
P.O. Box 3567
Blaine, WA 98231-3567
Tel: (800) 667-5407

—Nicole Rivard


Invisible Dangers

Radon gas, radiation, carbon monoxide and lead have all been linked to serious health problems, including brain damage and breathing disorders. Identifying the presence of these dangers is the first step to eliminating them in your home. Excel Products Home Safety Test Kit provides six laboratory grade, EPA-approved testing kits for identifying these toxins. Four of the kits are reusable, while the water, lead and radon tests provide mail-in lab results in seven days for a $10 fee each. Available for $28.95 postpaid.

CONTACT

Excel Products
P.O. Box 1328
East Hampstead, NH 03826
Tel: (603) 329-5674.

—Tracey C. Rembert


Flowers, Trees, and Billy B.

What’s fun about photosynthesis, cross-pollination and ecology? Ask Billy Brennan, a/k/a “Billy B” the host of the video, Outside with Billy B. Dressed as Henrietta Horticulturist or Reginald B. Hunneycomb, this “Natural Science Song and Dance Man” packs natural science into lively song and dance segments like “Shake Your Butt and Dance,” to explain forest ecosystems, plant growth and other natural wonders to budding young ecologists. Heralded by USA Today and National Geographic, the video is available for $18.50 postpaid.

CONTACT

Publicity Matters
14644 McKnew Road
Burtonsville, MD 20866
Tel: (800) 4BILLYB

—Tracey C. Rembert


Arctic Discovery Lesson

Authentic spiritual drum beating, chanting and dancing set the outdoor stage for the story of a 1,000-year struggle by the indigenous Sami culture of Scandinavia to preserve their land and way of life in Even If a Hundred Ogres…, a video by Cinnamon Productions and director Joel L. Freedman. Performed at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, the hour-long video (introduced and narrated by Joanne Woodward) captures the Samis’ fight with past and present “ogres”—from Nazis to nuclear power technologists—who have continued to threaten their Arctic way of life.

CONTACT

Cinnamon Productions,
19 Wild Rose Road
Westport, CT 06880
Tel: (203) 221-0613

—Anne Wilke