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Published: Sat, 24 Jun 2017 13:33:23 -0400

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Global green pact supporters launch Paris campaign

Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:35:44 -0400

(image) Hollywood star turned activist Arnold Schwarzenegger joined politicians and legal experts in Paris Saturday to launch a campaign for a global pact to protect the human right to a clean, healthy environment. "Less talk, more action," urged former French prime minister Francais Laurent Fabius, who also presided over the 2015 Paris COP 21 conference on climate change. Seeking to underline the urgency of the need to act, Fabius borrowed the turn of phrase from ex-California governor-turned climate campaigner Schwarzenegger, who joined the gathering, as did former UN chief Ban Ki-moon.



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Experts: US exiting climate pact may doom some small islands

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:41:46 -0400

(image) WASHINGTON (AP) — To small island nations where the land juts just above the rising seas, the U.S. pulling out of the Paris global warming pact makes the future seem as fragile and built on hope as a sand castle.



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Solar eclipse 2017: The best places to see the rare phenomenon this August

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:25:10 -0400

(image) NASA produced these extremely accurate maps of the 2017 solar eclipse. On August 21, for the first time in 99 years, a total solar eclipse will cut through the entire continental United States. If you’re in the bull’s eye center of the moon’s shadow known as the totality — the sky will go dark for a few minutes in the middle of the day, stars will appear, birds will become confused and start chirping their nighttime songs.



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Coal company sues John Oliver for being John Oliver

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:41:00 -0400

A U.S. coal company is firing back at John Oliver after the Last Week Tonight host slammed its CEO in a June 18 show. On Wednesday, Murray Energy filed suit against Oliver, HBO, and Time Warner for defamation. The lawsuit accuses Oliver of hosting a "false and malicious broadcast" and of carrying out a "meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character and reputation" of Bob Murray, the Ohio company's chief executive. SEE ALSO: Richard Branson: Business leaders are 'baffled' by Trump on climate change Oliver's show also skewered President Trump's pro-coal platform and promises to revive the long-suffering industry. The Trump administration has made a big spectacle in recent months of championing coal while sidelining efforts to address climate change. President Trump and Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, have often invited hardhat-wearing miners on stage to celebrate the rollback of key federal regulations — including orders to reduce carbon emissions and toxic air pollution from coal plants and limit water contamination from surface mining operations. Like Trump and Pruitt, Murray has frequently accused the former Obama administration of waging a "war on coal" that's led to steep losses in mining jobs and waning coal production. The 77-year-old magnate has blamed his industry's troubles — including widespread bankruptcies and mine closures — on President Obama's "evil agenda," though energy experts say coal's misfortunes have more to do with cheap natural gas. On his HBO show, Oliver poked holes in Trump's claims that his administration can erase the coal industry's broader economic problems and revive thousands of jobs. He also stressed the serious, and sometimes fatal, harm that coal miners can face while in the mines — including those owned by Murray Energy. In 2007, safety lapses at Murray Energy's Crandall Canyon mine in Utah resulted in the "needless deaths" of nine miners and rescuers, the U.S. Labor Department found. Federal regulators in 2015 accused Murray Energy of attempting to silence miners who filed confidential safety complaints to regulators.  President Trump signs a resolution in February disapproving  a rule addressing the impacts of surface coal mining operations on "surface water, groundwater, and the productivity of mining operation sites."Image: Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty ImagesThe coal company in recent years also terminated health benefits — including medical, prescription drug, and life insurance — for hundreds of its employees, a decision it largely blamed on Obama-era policies.  Oliver, in his characteristically over the top way, called Murray a "geriatric Dr. Evil" who is "on the same side as black lung."  The talk-show host pointed to a satirical article in the United Mine Workers of America's journal describing a squirrel hopping onto Murray's porch and telling him, "You shouldn't be operating your very own mines." To drive home his point, Oliver brought out a person in a giant squirrel costume. Murray CEO Bob Murray speaks to reporters in 2007 near Huntington, Utah, during the Crandall Canyon mine disaster.Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images"Bob Murray, I didn't really plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kinda forced my hand on that one," Oliver said.  He clearly anticipated the suit, saying: "And I know you're probably going to sue me over this. But, you know what? I stand by everything I said." Murray Energy took him up on that offer. The lawsuit, filed in a West Virginia circuit court, seeks financial damages and a court order barring rebroadcasts of the Last Week Tonight segment. "The false and defamatory statements in this broadcast severely and destructively impact Mr. Murray, and all of Murray Energy ... as well as coal mining itself,[...]


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US investigates after lab improperly ships nuclear material

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:06:23 -0400

(image) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. regulators said Friday they are launching an investigation into the improper shipment of nuclear material from the laboratory that created the atomic bomb to other federal facilities this week, marking the latest safety lapse for Los Alamos National Laboratory as it faces growing criticism over its track record.





Ancient Egypt: 3,000-Year-Old Wooden Toe Discovered Near Luxor is World’s Oldest Prosthetic

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 11:15:13 -0400

(image) A big wood-and-leather toe from Egypt is the oldest prosthetic discovered so far, researchers believe, and provides an insight into the world of ancient medicine. Researchers at the University of Basel found that the wooden toe had been refitted several times to the shape of the woman who wore it, that it had signs of wear and that the user, a priest's daughter, wanted the prosthetic device to be comfortable. "By using a sophisticated way of fixing the individual parts of the prosthesis to each other, the artificial limb had a balancing effect and gave, to some extent, a freedom of movement," Andrea Loprieno-Gnirs of the University of Basel told CNN.



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US halts Brazil beef imports after failed safety tests

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 23:52:08 -0400

(image) The United States announced Thursday a halt to all imports of fresh beef from Brazil, the world's second-largest producer, citing "recurring" concerns after large shipments failed food safety tests. The ban will remain in place until satisfactory corrective actions are taken, the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement that will again put the reputation of Brazil's industry under the spotlight. All meat imported to the US from Brazil has been inspected since March, when some of the country's top meat producers became embroiled in a tainted-meat scandal.



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Rolling sequoia: Idaho tree tied to John Muir set for move

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:09:03 -0400

(image) BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Not very often does a 10-story-tall, 800,000-pound landmark change locations. Especially one that's alive.



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Watch: SpaceX is launching a reused rocket, hoping to prove spaceflight can get cheaper

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:20:02 -0400

(image) One of the biggest problems with space travel is that it’s freaking expensive. If humans are ever going to become a spacefaring species, with colonies on the moon and Mars — as big thinkers like physicist Stephen Hawking insist we should — space travel is going to have to get a lot cheaper. "We have to figure out how to improve the cost [of traveling to Mars] by 5 million percent," Elon Musk said last year, announcing his personal dream to establish a human colony on Mars.



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The 9 funniest lines from a coal kingpin's lawsuit against John Oliver

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:41:28 -0400

John Oliver is facing the legal wrath of a lawsuit-happy coal baron after a brutal segment in which the host tore into the American coal industry. The document accuses Oliver of a "ruthless character assassination" of Robert Murray, CEO of the nation's largest coal mining operation, Murray Energy. SEE ALSO: Coal company sues John Oliver for being John Oliver It didn't exactly come as a surprise; in fact, Oliver more or less dared the notoriously litigious coal boss by mocking an earlier cease-and-desist letter from his company on the show. And at least one first amendment lawyer has said Murray doesn't have much of a leg to stand on. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the absurd spectacle of the legal team for the man Oliver described as a "geriatric Dr. Evil" trying to out-bombast the HBO comedian's signature hyperbolic wit in dry legalese. Here are some of the lawsuit's best moments: Murray's giant squirrel tormenter "Defendants continued their ruthless character assassination and attack on Plaintiffs’ business reputations by describing Mr. Murray as someone who 'looks like a geriatric Dr. Evil' and arranging for a staff member to dress up in a squirrel costume and deliver the message 'Eat Shit, Bob!” to Mr. Murray.'" This is one of the lawsuit's several references to a staffer dressed as a giant squirrel whom Oliver brought out to insult Murray. The stunt was a reference to some apocryphal company lore about a squirrel urging Murray into the coal business — it's a long story. Suffice to say, Mr. Nutterbutter seems to have really gotten under Murray's skin. BTW Murray didn't actually talk to a squirrel, OK? "Specifically, in reference to an absurd story that Mr. Murray claimed a squirrel had told him he should operate his own mines, Defendant Oliver stated 'You know what, I actually believe him on that one.'" At least everyone's in agreement that Murray didn't actually consult a squirrel about his business decisions. Maybe there's hope for an amicable resolution yet! Oliver endorses Mr. Nutterbutter's vulgar harassment "If that were not enough, after the live taping, Defendant Oliver exclaimed to the audience that having someone in a squirrel costume tell Mr. Murray to 'Eat Shit' was a 'dream come true.'" On second thought, he's got a point. Have you no decency, Mr. Nutterbutter? Good faith efforts "Even worse, toward the end of the broadcast, Defendant Oliver confirmed that Defendants intentionally expanded their attack against Mr. Murray and the Plaintiffs as retaliation for Plaintiffs' good faith efforts to ensure the accuracy of the broadcast. Defendant Oliver stated "Bob Murray, I didn't really plan for so much of this piece to be about you, but you kind of forced my hand on that one." Murray's lawyers seem to be working under a loose definition of "good faith efforts" that encompasses cease-and-desist letters. Neither ceasing nor desisting "Intentionally and in obvious retaliation for this humanitarian request, Defendant Oliver boldly announced '[a]s we have been explicitly told to cease and desist, let us do neither of those things, and let's talk about Bob Murray.'" How many lawsuits are able to claim that a defendant explicitly announced their intention to ignore them on national television?  Clinton conspiracy "[HBO parent Time Warner] is widely reported as a top ten donor of Hillary Clinton, as tracked by the Center for Responsive Politics at OpenSecrets.org. As a presidential candidate, Mrs. Clinton's agenda was to 'put a lotta coal miners and coal companies outta busi[...]


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Study: egg shape depends on flying skills of bird

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:35:15 -0400

(image) The rich variety in shapes of the eggs that birds lay -- elliptical, pointy, spherical -- seems to be linked to how well a given bird flies, researchers report. "In contrast to classic hypotheses, we discovered that flight may influence egg shape. Birds that are good fliers tend to lay asymmetric or elliptical eggs," said Mary Caswell Stoddard, a biologist at Princeton University and one of the lead authors of the study.



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'Breast Cancer Genes': How Much Do They Increase Cancer Risk?

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:53:00 -0400

(image) Women who carry genetic mutations in the "breast cancer genes," called BRCA1 and BRCA2, have about a 70 percent chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes, according to a new study. The findings are based on an analysis of nearly 10,000 women with mutations in either the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, mutations that are known to increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The new study is more rigorously designed than some earlier research that looked at how much the risk for these cancers increases in women who have these genetic mutations.



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Scientists debate: could renewable energy entirely replace fossil fuels in U.S. by 2050?

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:00:00 -0400

(image) Scientists generally debate their studies and projections in relatively civil language, but perhaps the currently adversarial tenor of U.S. politics has spilled over into science. A 2015 study on the potential for renewable energy use in the U.S. has now produced not only a stringent attack, but a harsh rebuttal to that attack in language rarely seen among academics. Two years ago, Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University and the director of its Atmosphere and Energy program, published a paper.



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Archaeologist Searching for Amelia Earhart Remains: If We Find Human Bones, We Might Solve Mystery

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 14:25:41 -0400

(image) An expedition to search for the remains of Amelia Earhart is set to begin on Saturday, and archaeologist Fred Hiebert says they are hopeful human bones will be found. Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan went missing on July 2, 1937. “Amelia Earhart caught the attention of the early age of air exploration,” Hiebert tells Newsweek.



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New orbiters for Europe's Galileo satnav system

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 13:47:24 -0400

(image) The European Space Agency signed a contract with a German-British consortium Thursday to build eight more satellites for its Galileo satnav system, an alternative to America's GPS, the agency said Thursday. The deal was signed at the International Paris Air Show with German company OHB as the prime contractor, and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd in charge of navigation systems. The ESA signed on behalf of the European Commission, which owns and funds the system.



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SpeceX's Falcon 9 vs. Falcon Heavy

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 22:00:03 -0400

(image) The Falcon Heavy is seemingly just a Falcon 9 with two Falcon 9 first stages attached to it. Shouldn't it be easy to make it fly?



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Hummer factory gets second life making electric cars

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:27:31 -0400

A U.S. auto plant that once made giant gas-guzzlers will now make cars that don't need gas at all. AM General, which previously built the Hummer H2, sold its factory in South Bend, Indiana to the electric carmaker SF Motors, both firms announced  Thursday. SF Motors will pay $110 million to produce "intelligent electric vehicles," according to publicly available filings. It will spend another $30 million to upgrade the 700,000-square-foot commercial assembly plant. SEE ALSO: Electric vehicles are now the cleanest cars in America The company didn't elaborate further on its plans for the factory, such as how many cars it will produce annually or what types of smart driving or electric-powertrain technologies they'll use. But executives said the arrangement will preserve about 430 U.S. auto worker jobs that were at risk of disappearing.  AM General built Hummer H2s from 2002 to 2009.Image: Scott Olson/Getty ImagesSF Motors is a young division of Chongqing Sokon Industry Group, a major Chinese manufacturer of motorcycles and commercial vehicles that's expanding into the U.S. electric car market. SF Motors officially launched earlier this month with a new headquarters in Silicon Valley. The division has hired several former engineers from the leading electric automaker Tesla, Electrek reported. Tesla cofounder and original CEO Martin Eberhard is also reportedly a consultant for SF Motors, according to the news site. SF Motors' move into Indiana is a pretty poignant symbol of the clean energy transformation: a plant that once produced beastly sport-utility vehicles will now churn out cars with virtually no tailpipe emissions. A Kentucky coal mining museum sparked a similar narrative this spring when it installed solar panels on the building's rooftop. 2017: solar panels installed at the coal museum and electric cars being built at the old Hummer factory https://t.co/ZPmpOCypPb — Tom Randall (@tsrandall) June 22, 2017 The deal with AM General also arrives as sales of electric vehicles are surging in the U.S. and globally. About 2 million plug-in hybrid and battery-powered vehicles were on the roads worldwide in 2016, a 60-percent jump from the year before, the International Energy Agency reported this month.  While that's still only 0.2 percent of total light-duty vehicles globally, the agency said it expects sales to keep climbing as car battery prices plunge and governments adopt policies to fight climate change. A Tesla Roadster recharges.Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesTransportation comprises about one-fifth of total greenhouse gas emissions, mainly through the burning of petroleum fuels. AM General originally built the South Bend plant in 2002 to make the Hummer H2, a civilian version of the Humvee (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle) sold by General Motors. The company produced the H2 under contract to GM until January 2009. The Indiana company said the sale will not affect its military assembly plant, where it supports and upgrades hundreds of thousands of Humvees still serving the U.S. armed forces. WATCH: Faraday Future just unveiled a super fast Tesla competitor — here's what it looks like[...]


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The EPA Quietly Approved Monsanto's New Genetic-Engineering Technology

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:24:00 -0400

(image) DvSnf7 dsRNA is an unusual insecticide. You don’t spray it on crops. Instead, you encode instructions for manufacturing it in the DNA of the crop itself. If a pesky western corn rootworm comes munching, the plant’s self-made DvSnf7 dsRNA disrupts a critical rootworm gene and kills the pest.  





Things About the ‘Star Wars’ Universe That Make No Sense

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 21:15:00 -0400

(image) There are lots of things we all love about the 'Star Wars' universe. Even so, there's plenty that makes very little sense.








Dinosaurs That Once Roamed Antarctica 'Live' Again in Exhibits and Film

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:42:00 -0400

(image) But nearly 200 million years ago, Antarctica was very different. There were no polar ice caps, it was far warmer and wetter than it is now, and its lush, forest environments were inhabited by a variety of animals — including dinosaurs. Scientists dedicated to uncovering Antarctic dinosaur fossils spend months at a time camped on glaciers and digging in a frozen desert in order to excavate and reconstruct beasts that lived in the distant past.



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'City that never sleeps' wants to dial down the volume

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:02:21 -0400

(image) Car horns, sirens, drilling, jet overflights and restaurants where diners have to yell to be heard -- New York is one of the loudest cities in the world. The five-year, $4.6 million project -- the brainchild of researchers at New York University, working in concert with city residents and city hall -- is using machine learning technology and sensors to build a sound library. The idea is to record the full panoply of noises in the city of 8.5 million residents and use artificial intelligence so that machines can recognize sounds automatically, ultimately giving authorities a way to mitigate noise levels.



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Eclipse chasers blaze trail to Oregon for view of a lifetime

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:38:59 -0400

(image) MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Just before sunrise, there's typically nothing atop Round Butte but the whistle of the wind and a panoramic view of Oregon's second-highest peak glowing pink in the faint light.



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Evolutionary biologists have been misinterpreting a key point in Darwin’s theory for years

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 13:57:26 -0400

(image) Richard Prum, Coe Professor at Yale University and author of “The Descent of Man, and...





Curious wild seal checking out a snorkeler is amazing and nerve-wracking

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 09:34:20 -0400

(image) Few people get to experience the glory of nature up close and personal. SEE ALSO: Dolphins prove they're the coolest animals alive by hydroplaning on the shore Blogger and Adventurer Lizzie Carr was snorkeling off the southwest coast of England in the Isle of Scilly with a group of friends when she captured the amazing moment a curious seal swam up to greet them. In the video she posted to Instagram, the wild animal investigated Carr's fellow snorkeler using its whiskers and — more frighteningly — its teeth. A post shared by Lizzie Carr (@lizzie_outside) on Jun 20, 2017 at 11:56am PDT The wild seal used its toothy mouth to examine the snorkeler's head, but Carr dispelled any worry about the encounter in her post.  "Don't worry — he's being friendly," she wrote. "Seals use their whiskers and mouths to judge size, shape and textures." "The cheeky seal was so inquisitive and playful. He just wanted to play. When he started to lay on top of us we soon realised he was after a little tummy rub." That magic moment you and your mates get photobombed by a seal. Only on Scillies! #scillyseal #oneofthegang #readyforthewild A post shared by Lizzie Carr (@lizzie_outside) on Jun 20, 2017 at 2:24am PDT Although this closer encounter is pretty amazing to watch, it's preferably done from a distance. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association warns against getting too close to wild seals for that picture perfect selfie. "Getting too close to a wild animal puts you—and the animal—at risk," said the NOAA. "Seals have powerful jaws, and can leave a lasting impression." Thankfully, no one in Carr's group was injured.  WATCH: Algae emitting eerie blue glow makes this beach look otherworldy



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Doctors Want Sugar and 'Cancer-Causing' Foods Out of Hospitals

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:50:00 -0400

(image) A major doctors' group hopes to put an end to a great irony served up daily at most U.S. hospitals: The food offered there tends to contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer — the very same conditions for which many of the hospital patients are seeking treatment. At its annual meeting on June 14, the American Medical Association (AMA) House of Delegates, which represents more than 200,000 physician members, issued a policy statement that called for the reduction of sugar-sweetened beverages and processed meats, and an increase in the availability of healthful, plant-based foods in hospitals. Under the resolution, physicians and hospital staff are encouraged not only to counsel their patients about the health consequences of a poor diet but also to lead by example by offering healthier foods at the hospital.



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Watch a tiny virus take a constitutional under a laser-powered 3D microscope

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 08:13:10 -0400

(image) If you're anything like me, you spend a significant portion of the day wondering about the paths viruses take when they're cruising around your internals. Luckily for us, a newly developed microscope from Duke researchers can show the exact path taken by the little critters (?), down to the micrometer.The system, designed by a team led by...



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Group votes to protect some Atlantic corals, balk on others

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:44:09 -0400

(image) PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal panel voted on Thursday to offer new protections to some deep-sea corals in the Atlantic Ocean but held off on protecting others so it can get more information first.



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Take your love of the environment to work with these 11 products

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 10:05:29 -0400

Just to let you know, if you buy something featured here, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission. Thinking green is more than just a bumper sticker. These days, it’s a whole new way of life. You already recycle at home and compost whatever you can, but what happens when you go to work? Just because you have to work 9-5 doesn’t mean all those eco-friendly vibes should get tossed out the window.  SEE ALSO: You’re just 1 minute away from iced coffee with the HyperChiller These 11 products can help take environmentally friendly habits to the next level – without requiring employees to totally abandon their usual routine.    Stacks on stacks    Image: treefrogStop feeling guilty about all those memos. This tree-free paper is manufactured from 100 percent bagasse, a byproduct of sugarcane that is renewable and fast growing. Oh yeah, it’s also completely biodegradable and compostable. Get a five-ream case here for $49.87.       Sun power  Image: Everly home & giftOffice with a view? Turn any window into a power outlet with this attachable disk that uses sunlight to charge your iPhone or tablet. Get it here for $49.99.         The eco-friendly push you need   Image: ecobuttonEven if it’s just a few minutes, putting your computer to sleep when you step away can save energy. The Ecobutton plugs into your computer via USB. Press it once to have the computer enter a low energy state, and then again to return it to full functionality. The software provided with the button tracks activity and calculates the amount of energy saved. Grab it here for $25.38.        Show off that green thumb  Image: click and growThis innovative indoor tabletop garden supports several herbs, including basil, thyme, and mini tomatoes, which are packaged in cartridges that slot into various units. Simply add water to start the growing process and enjoy fresh herbs with your lunch every day. Grab it here for $64.95.  Sippin’ green   Image: Collingwood ecowareIf your office has a kitchen, reusable straws are an easy way to reduce plastic waste. While a bit more of an investment than buying plastic ones in bulk, you’ll end up purchasing them less frequently. Grab a pack of four here for $7.99.    Charge up  Image: ecoalkalinesEach purchase of these certified carbon neutral batteries supports corporate green initiatives such as reforestation, alternative energy initiatives, and biofuel production. Get a 24-pack here for $17.99.      More energy, less waste  Image: PrimulaReduce paper waste and still get your caffeine fix by trading those flimsy paper coffee filters for the Primula single serve coffee brewer. The “brew buddy” sits right on the rim of your mug and features a reusable mesh filter, giving you a great cup with each pour. Grab it here for $6.81.     Refill friendly  Image: If you insist on your caffeine fix being store bought, this BPA-free reusable mug, which is dishwasher and microwave safe, can be used over and over. Check if your local spot has a similar policy to Starbucks, which gives customers a discount for bringing their own tumbler. Get the coffee chain lookalike here for $10.95, [...]


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