Tools for Green Living

THE EARTH UNDER SIEGE

News on Earth, a monthly newsletter launched last year, is an all-star addition to environmental publishing. With contributions from such well-known green journalists as Mark Dowie, Annie Berthold-Bond (who serves as associate editor) and Mark Hertsgaard, News on Earth features one special theme per issue, with topics that include global warming, the search for a green car, the world's oceans under siege and the food fight over genetic engineering. A one-year subscription to the newsletter is $15.

CONTACT

News on Earth
Public Concern Foundation
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2245
New York 10010
Tel. (212) 741-2365

—Meagan Boltwood


ONE FOR THE FISH

The CD Fish Trees Water Blues on the Bullseye Blues and Jazz label is a benefit disc for the Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund's Fish-Trees-Water campaign, a multi-year effort to save the Great Northwest salmon, now critically endangered through almost all of its habitat. Even if this CD didn't help out a worthy cause, it would still be worth buying because it's musically superior. The first piece, “Stone River” by J.J. Cale, is also the best, a rare environmental song that doesn't preach and rocks throughout. Ani DiFranco makes her usual high-energy impression with a talking blues of sorts called “Fuel,” and Loudon Wainwright III tosses in one of his better oldies, “Hard Day on the Planet.” The rest is mostly hard-core blues, and all the better for it. The legends on display here—John Lee Hooker, Ruth Brown, Etta James, Mavis Staples—all demonstrate that there's no age limit on this compelling music.

CONTACT

Bullseye Blues and Jazz
One Camp Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
Tel. (617) 354-0700

—Jim Motavalli


AIRBORNE PROTECTION

Americans now spend as much as 90 percent of their time indoors, exposing themselves to air that according to the Environmental Protection Agency is five times as polluted as the outside. You may have heard that the air on airplanes is recirculated, which exposes the 600 million who fly from American airports annually to a wide variety of germs and viruses. This prompted Congressman Jerry Nadler to introduce the Safe Cabin Air Quality Act, but to no avail. You can either pack your own breathing apparatus or try Airborne, an effervescent tablet made from seven herbal extracts, as well as antioxidants, electrolytes and amino acids. Airborne is specifically targeted at crowded indoor environments, including schools and offices as well as airplanes. What's more, reluctant flyers, the natural ginger in the tablets fights motion sickness.

CONTACT

Knight-McDowell Labs
PO Box 2884
Carmel, CA 93921
Tel. (831) 626-4407

—J.M.


NATURE'S COLORFUL WAY

Did you know that nature has its own alphabet? Photographer Kjell Sandved, who is not adverse to dunking himself in a pond full of lily pads or working while covered with moths in a tropical rainforest, roamed the world to find unique patterns in nature, specifically on the outstretched wings of butterflies. The result is his Butterfly Alphabet poster, which has all 26 letters and the numbers one to nine captured in brilliant color. Now children can delight in these same images, accompanied by fanciful butterfly rhymes, in a book from Scholastic ($5.99). Sandved also maintains an extensive library of such whimsical likenesses as a “scaredy cat” in a caterpillar-eaten leaf, and a pair of dancers in the accidental juxtaposition of orchids.

CONTACT

The Butterfly Alphabet
PO Box 39138
Washington, DC 20016
Tel. (800) ABC-WING

—J.M.


MAKING CONNECTIONS

Learn how to use the economic power you have as a consumer to create a better world! Connections is the quarterly newsletter for members of the Co-op America Business Network and the Social Investment Forum. The 12-page newsletter is full of bite-sized chunks of information and contacts in the field of socially responsible investing. Did you know that parents can get special CDs to help with day care expenses? That Green Seal certifies more than 80 products as environmentally sustainable? Or that the Pesticide Action Network publishes an Organic Cotton Directory listing more than 200 businesses? The newsletter is free to members of either group.

CONTACT

Co-op America
1612 K Street NW, #600
Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 872-5307
URL: http://www.coopamerica.org/

—Fran Ryan


GREEN SIGNALS

Still looking for a radio station with unique, alternative and noncommercial programming? Instead of vainly searching your FM dial, try logging on to Zero 24-7, the world's first green and commercial-free global web radio station. Sponsored by Zero Population Growth and programmed by Irish BBC veteran Mark Daley, Zero 24-7 is dedicated to providing cutting-edge music of the kind rarely heard on radio, as well as thought-provoking guests and progressive opinions. Listeners need a computer with a sound card, speakers and a G2 Real Player, which can be downloaded free at the station's web site, www.Zero24-7.org.

CONTACT

Zero 24-7
Tel. (800) 767-1956

—F.R.


OUT OF THE TOY BOX

New England's Toy Box contains a diverse selection of environmentally-friendly children's gifts, most of them made in small-scale cottage industries, which support local New England economies. According to its president, Deborah Bentley, “Companies that care about the environment also care about the future of our children.” Among the items in the toy box are the nature's food chain board game, Into the Forest (for kids seven and up, $15); animal card games like Crazy Apes (kids four and up, $5 a pack); handcarved wildlife swings made from tires ($90 to $100); and Foundlings organic cotton bunnies ($14.50).

CONTACT

New England's Toy Box
44 Kent Road
Warren, CT 06754
Tel. (888) 588-8697

—J.M.


BOOKS

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DAVID AND GOLIATH

Grassroots groups across the country are hard at work pelting pebbles at big business, but are they making a difference? According to Ronald T. Libby's Eco-Wars: Political Campaigns and Social Movements, grassroots campaigns are bringing the business world to its knees. The chapters examine five case studies, ranging from the assault on genetic engineering to the fight to save endangered species, and in each instance highlights an activist group that has had considerable impact. This book is a fresh look at how tiny David

s can successfully influence corporate Goliaths. Available for $21.50 from Columbia University Press.

—M.B.


MAKING ECO-CHOICES

Do you want to fight impending development in your neighborhood or learn how to preserve a local species? The National Wildlife Federation's 1999 Conservation Directory will help locate the organization that's right for you. Organized by region, type and keywords, the directory makes it easy for users to search its updated descriptions of worldwide environmental groups. The latest edition contains over 3,000 entries of government and non-governmental organizations, educational institutions, conservation resources and more. Available for $61 from National Wildlife Federation.

—Kathleen O'Neil


FOOD FOR THE WORLD

Worldwide, there is enough food produced to provide daily meals of at least 4.3 pounds to every person on the planet. But despite that, almost 800 million people don't get enough to eat. Why is hunger so pervasive and what can be done about it? These are the questions addressed in World Hunger: Twelve Myths. In this completely revised second edition, Frances Moore Lappe dispels commonly held misconceptions about hunger and examines its relationship to food production, economics, politics and the environment. Available for $13 from Grove Press.

—F.R.


LAST CHANCE TO SEE THEM?

Combining a highly readable narrative form with a gripping subject, Watching, From the Edge of Extinction by Beverly Peterson Stearns and Stephen C. Stearns is an absorbing book in the honorable tradition of Douglas Adams' Last Chance to See. Do you care that Hawaii has only nine native crows left in the wild? You will after reading their story here. Traveling around the world, the authors look at such cliffhangers as the African wild dog, the Barton Springs salamander and the Mediterranean monk seal. Available for $30 from Yale University Press.

—J.M.