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Fighting Apathy, Fighting Poverty

I recently watched a recording of rock legend Bono giving a rousing TED Talk  filmed at the 2013 TED conference. The topic, which he framed in the context of a brief ten minute presentation, was on the current state of world poverty. I think that, if you’d asked me to comment intelligently on the topic […]

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Rethinking Orphanages

When you talk to your average non-traveler about international volunteering, it’s a given that a few things are going to come to mind: saving the animals! Providing compassionate disaster relief in areas torn asunder by tsunamis! Caring for adorable orphans! (Optional: “you know, like Angelina Jolie or whatever.”) The reality of grassroots volunteering is, obviously, […]

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Is Our Enthusiasm for Quinoa Misplaced?

Quinoa is kind of a thing. As far as grains go, it’s definitely having a moment. Foodies and healthy eaters alike go gaga for this Peruvian export that was, in recent memory, an obscure offering sold only at whole food shops. Quinoa is tasty, low-fat, and packed with protein and amino acids. It’s a delightful […]

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Gifts for Greenies!

Fa-la-la, y’all! Christmas is coming. Mention this factoid in a mixed group right now, and one is liable to elicit reactions ranging from gleeful excitement to naked terror–with an individual’s feelings largely contingent on how much progress they’ve made on their holiday shopping. There are, of course, plenty of people who celebrate other festive occasions at this […]

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Climate Change, Panda Problems

Who doesn’t love a panda? As judged by the representation of these black-and-white bears in cartoon, mascot, and cuddly plush form, it’s safe to say that the answer is “no one.” And yet, despite pandas’ popularity, their continued existence as a species continues to hang precariously in the balance. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) […]

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Cooling Of the Upper Atmosphere Is More Than Just Moving Junk Around

Higher levels of carbon dioxide in the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere aren’t just affecting the weather—they are apparently impacting the movement of objects orbiting the planet, such as satellites and space junk. While higher levels of greenhouse gasses like carbon dioxide are indicted for causing warmer climates, the actually tend to have a cooling effect on […]

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Making a Difference, $25 At a Time?

How many of us have ever voiced the thought that, if we won the lottery or stumbled into a seven-figure inheritance, we could change the world for the better? It’s a nice fantasy, but not one that many people ever have a shot of bringing to fruition here in the real world. On the other […]

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Superstorm Sandy—A Few Ways To Help

I have family in the Northeast, and so naturally have been closely following the news related to Superstorm Sandy’s aftermath. My loved ones were all spared the worst of the storm’s wrath, but many others were not nearly so lucky. Every major news station shows pictures of displaced New York and New Jersey residents, huddled […]

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Amazon Jumps in the Green Game With Vine.com

Amazon.com, possibly the biggest shopping hub on the Web, just got a little greener. The e-commerce giant recently unveiled Vine.com, a new site that’s big on sustainability. I love online shopping, and have long looked at Amazon as the place to go for great deals on just about anything. Now, Amazon clearly hopes to harness […]

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Will Climate Change Affect the Way We Eat?

Slate Magazine, in partnership with the New American Foundation and Arizona State, will host an event in Washington, D.C. in April 2013 dedicated to exploring the future of what and how we eat in a post-climate-change world. Under the Future Tense banner, the “Feeding the World While the Earth Cooks” summit will examine the options […]