New Different

Cover: Against the Grain

Telecommute Cover

HOME ALONE

The chance to enjoy a flexible work environment has persuaded 11 million Americans to become telecommuters. And now the people who wear pajamas to the office have their very own publication, the monthly magazine Telecommute. Published by The International Telework Association and Council, the magazine offers self-discipline tips to increase the productivity in your work space, and steps for making the transition from office to home a smooth one. Helpful book titles and web sites are referenced to assist the home-alone worker. And while on the web, take the time to visit The Smart Office a new listserve aimed at greening the workplace. This intelligent site, sponsored by Sustainable Development International Corporation provides a starting point for any business looking to become eco-friendly while also improving productivity and profits. “The listserve won’t focus merely on the idea of greening the workplace—it will be grounded in nuts-and-bolts information on how to go green,” writes webmaster Amy K. Townsend, author of The Smart Office. The goal is to create serious online networking to provoke real changes in the work environment.

CONTACT

Annual subscriptions to Telecommute are $18.95 from:
Murphy Media Group
PO Box 14357
Parkville, MO 64152
Tel: (816) 587-0119

Connect to the Smart Office listserve at:
http://www.smartoffice.com

—Jonathan Labozzetta


HAPPY MEDIUM

In an effort to raise consciousness about consumption overload, The Center for a New American Dream announces a new monthly on-line bulletin, In Balance. The bulletin summarizes recent news, conferences, policy proposals and upcoming events about the fast-growing voluntary simplicity movement. Available by fax or email, the no-frills bulletin concentrates on getting the necessary information to the public while, of course, avoiding ostentation and waste. “It’s about choosing and using our possessions carefully,” writes Editor Eric Brown.

CONTACT

The Center for a New American Dream
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 900
Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
Tel: (301) 891-3683
http://www.newdream.org

—J.L.


Under the Canopy Catalog Cover

FASHION BUG

Looking for a gift idea for the Earth-conscious consumer? Well, move over J. Crew, Under the Canopy is offering stylish and chemical-free eco-friendly clothing for men and women. This high-end catalog features organic cotton wear such as “eco-fleece,” whose earth-tones are achieved through low-impact dyes. You’re sure to make an impression in “The Artisan Sweater,” colorfully handkit from organic cotton by Peruvian artisans. There are also items for the eco-baby, Earth-friendly bedding, and bath products. Orders can be placed over the phone or online at http://www.underthecanopy.com.

CONTACT

Under the Canopy
PO Box 182247
Chattanooga, TN 37422
Tel: (888) CANOPY-9

—J.L.


WOVEN ORGANICS

When buying table linens, why not think organic? Eurofolk Art Imports sells natural placemats ($8), table runners ($25) and napkins ($8), all made of organically grown, unfinished linen and cotton blends. The oatmeal-colored, undyed fibers are handwoven into a variety of patterns on old-fashioned, energy-saving hand looms in Latvia. All of the durable linens are machine- or hand-washable, and are available from Eurofolk Art Imports.

CONTACT

Eurofolk Art Imports
7 Cottage Lane
Sparta, NJ 07871
Tel: (201) 579-3855

—Elizabeth Levy


Photo: Artisan Gear

HEMP ON THE GO

Do you ever feel like your travel gear is missing something? Maybe that something is hemp! Artisan Gear offers a complete line of travel accessories woven in the U.S. from hemp fiber. Items such as the suit bag ($125), rucksack ($47.50) and tri-fold wallet ($11.95), are available in natural, low-impact dyed black, green or indigo. Many are lined with eco-spun fabric, made from recycled soda bottles. Artisan also donates a portion of each sale to environmental organizations.

CONTACT

Artisan Gear
PO Box 307
Middlebury, VT 05753
Tel: (802) 388-6856

—E.L.


DESIGNER GENES

What is the future of agriculture? U.S.-based multinational corporations envision a brave new world of high-yield, genetically-altered soybeans, corn and cotton, all sold without product labeling. Dr. Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, authors of Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food, demand a closer look into possible hazards. “We must make any decision to proceed in a state of enlightenment, rather than in a state of desperation,” they write. Against the Grain throws a wrench into what could be an incredibly profitable corporate machine. Available from amazon.com.

—Jonathan Labozzetta


CHILLY SCENES OF WINTER

Explore the season with two books written for winter enthusiasts, the occasional snow hikers, and those who wonder, from the warmth of their kitchen, what creates the icy pattern on their window panes. Discover Nature in Winter offers hands-on involvement, whether in the wilderness or your own backyard. Armed with merely a notebook and your own curiosity, you will be invited to stargaze winter constellations, identify trees by their branches alone, or determine the wind chill. Winter: An Ecological Handbook takes a textbook approach to addressing questions as broad as “What is winter?” to the more specific “Why does a nose turn red in the cold?” If you ever wanted to know about the most common cold-weather injuries or how to build a quinzhee snow shelter, this is the book for you. Available from amazon.com.

—Jennifer Bogo


CHEMICAL BANK

Take a look at the ingredients list on the label of a common household product and you may struggle to remember your high school chemistry. If you’re concerned about what you may be ingesting, breathing in or absorbing through your skin, 1001 Chemicals in Everyday Products has been expanded in this second edition to answer your questions. A paperback science text for the layman, this guide by Grace Ross Lewis answers over 100 consumer questions about food additives, cosmetics, cleaning products and pesticides. The heart of the book is an A to Z exploration of chemicals, how they’re used, the products that contain them, and recommended precautions. Available from amazon.com.

—J.L.


Lost Woods Cover

RACHEL’S LOST WRITINGS

In a never-before-published collection, readers step with Editor Linda Lear into Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson. Through journal entries, letters, speeches and articles, it’s possible to trace Carson’s life and evolving consciousness from her work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Se

rvice to her international celebrity as an environmental journalist and committed pesticide activist. Carefully selected and insightfully prefaced, each chapter reveals more of Carson’s lyric prose, while responding to her career, her critics and, finally, her cancer.Available from amazon.com.

—J.B.


WOMEN UP FRONT

From India’s Chipko tree protection movement to the prime minister’s office in Norway, women have been stepping out of their traditional roles to spearhead environmental change. In Women Pioneers for the Environment, Mary Joy Breton describes the lives of over 40 such activists and the ecological circumstances which inspire them. Michiko Ishimuri, who brought Minamata Disease to the attention of the Japanese government, and Janet Gibson, who helped create Central America’s first coral reef reserve, are just two of the many spectacular examples. Available from amazon.com.

—J.B