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Visions of Sugarplums: Sweet Excess During the Holidays

For neither an abundance of waste nor an abundance of waist, you can still pass on the cheer while taking a pass on the food. Over Thanksgiving, I read An Abundance of Food, Wasted, a New York Times editorial by Jonathan Bloom, who is a journalist and a blogger on the excellent Wasted Food blog....

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Tags: Celebration, Diabetic, Diet, Family pressure, Food waste, Holiday consumption

Towards a Greener Ham?

Meat consumption is rising around the globe. What are we going to do about it? Is there such a thing as a greener meat? The New York Times had a great article about meat the other day, As More Eat Meat, a Bid to Cut Emissions. It quoted United Nations statistics showing that meat production caus...

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Decking the halls, cutting some carbon

Over the holidays many people flock to their community's light display. These acres of lights arranged in dazzling designs, some of them animated, are a popular source of entertainment for after kids have been tired out by other more active pursuits. If you're like me, you enjoy the displays whil...

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Tags: Energystar, Green lighting, Holiday decorations, Led bulbs, Light bulbs

Coming Full Circle with the Planet

A recent New York Times editorial, Save the Economy, and the Planet, was optimistic about President-elect Obama's commitment to making good on promises to address climate change, even in the face of the current recession. Obama's stance is that the present is an ideal time to invest clean energy ...

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Rocks that Eat Carbon

As a political science student I’m a junkie for all the latest global happenings. I spend much of my free time scouring through news outlets such as the Economist and BBC. On a recent binge I stumbled across an article from the Economist that discusses a recent discovery that may be a key t...

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Tags: Carbon

Your Office Holiday Party Doesn't Have to Be Lame (Even in a Recession)

As recently as last year, the holiday office party was a really big deal in England, where drinking to excess and even injury is considered almost a patriotic duty (see the Washington Post: In Britain, A Respected, If Rowdy, Holiday Ritual), but the US has its share of jokes about indiscretions a...

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Tags: Celebrations, Community, Decorating, Green office, Workplace

Reciprocity and The Gift Economy

"What power resides in the [gift] given that causes its recipient to pay it back?" --Marcel Mauss, The Gift Picture yourself in the following scenario: right before the holidays a co-worker or friend unexpectedly gives you a gift. What do you do? a)Improvise something to give them as a gift b...

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The Handmade Touch

As I wrote in a previous post, secretly, I love to give gifts. Ironically, the holiday pressure to buy kind of turns off this urge, but the rest of the year, for birthdays, Mother's Day, or no occasion at all, searching for—and finding—the gift that says, "This is exactly to your taste," can be f...

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Tags: Family, Green gifts, Handmade, Holiday, Memories, Traditions

Holiday shopping--just don't

Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Turn them away this year. By Dr. Juliet Schor, reprinted from the Los Angeles Times (edited from original) As if American consumers don't already have enough on their minds, we've just had Black Friday with Cyber Monday still to come, the nation's annual rituals ...

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Tags: Consumption, Economy, Holiday spending, Shopping

Cookies and the global economy

Today I began to get the itch to follow a family holiday tradition and bake a bunch of cookies. Every year my mother used to make more than a dozen varieties of sweets, from yogurt-covered pretzels to iced gingerbread to colored dough that was squeezed in patterns from an antique sort of press. W...

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Tags: Cookies, Cooking with a conscience, Fair trade ingredients, Green cooking

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