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FALL 2011 issue 14

A BEACON IN THE SMOG

This is your password for Grist’s one-night only SPEAKEASY Party. Shake your senses and experience an exciting night out at Grist’s swinging-est club scene featuring Chef Caspars’ decadent cuisine, drinks “a gogo”, keynote speakers on green issues, and much more...

Seasonal Newsletter

Proceeds from the auction will help support Grist’s online magazine and Going Green programs. PM WHEN: 8:00 FRIDAY, JUNE 16TH

HALL WHERE: BENAROYA 200 UNIVERSITY STREET SEATTLE, WA 98101 206.215.4800 • TICKETS

710 2nd Ave # 860 Seattle, WA 98104

Inside this issue: BIKENOMIC$ $TAY COOL! YOUR NEW FOOD PYRAMID


You know how some people make lemonade out of lemons??

At Grist, we’re making lemonade out of the looming

climate apocalypse.

Stay cool for next to

nothing. 1. Buy a fan. A good one. Not too big.

2. Secret Sauce: Buy a polymer bead-filled bandana or a synthetic “cooling towel”

3. Aim fan at head. Marvel at results.

Freewheeling: Bicycling & the art of being broke by Elly Blue More and more of us have less and less money these days. Fortunately, there are a lot of things you don't need money to do, and bicycling is one of them. When you're broke, a bicycle can help a lot. Financially, for starters. Cars are expensive beasts. If you make less than $70,000 a year, you probably spend almost 20 percent of your household income on transportation. That's more than you spend on food. But bicycling also has lots of other benefits, the kind that shouldn't have anything to do with money, but that are all too elusive when you have none. Health. Lack of stress. Community. Civic participation. Fun. Joy. Bicycling makes you feel free, and when you feel that way you believe that more is possible. So here's a short guide to bicycling through the new, not-so-great Depression. In true Depression style, your first step is to not buy anything. There's a good chance you already have a bike in your household -- most people do. Grab it! If you don't have a bike in your house, borrow one from a family member or neighbor, preferably someone who's about your height. Make sure to shift the seat. Borrowing will save you from buying a bike you hate, one that will fill you with guilt whenever you walk past it to the car or the bus stop. And it will become your new best friend. It will teach you what you do and do not want out of a bike. It will remind you that you have generous friends. Once you have that bike, ride it! Ride it wherever you like. If this means down the corner to get milk from the store, don't

forget to bring your backpack. If this means 5 or 10 miles to work, spend some time with a map first to find routes that don't suck. Some places, including New York and Chicago, are covered by an app called Ride the City that can tell you the safest and/or fastest routes around town, and Google Maps and other sites have also started offering biking directions. If you can find someone to ride with, even better. Put some air in the tires -- if you don't have a pump, your nearest bike shop will gladly let you use theirs. Take a minute to familiarize yourself with some safe riding basics, and give the bike a basic checkup. And just go! There is one expense you cannot escape: Fuel. You'll eat more, and you'll find that the very cheapest food on the market, the fried and processed bready stuff, just doesn't get you up those hills. This all costs something, but it's nothing next to the price of inactivity. At some point, if you don't like your neighbor's bike or if they aren't interested in trading it for your old push mower, you'll need to do some shopping. Figure out your budget and what you absolutely need from a bike. Start shopping around. Try local thrift stores, rummage sales, and the internet. See if someone else you know may actually want to sell or trade you theirs, so you both score. You should also know that there is a huge worldwide network of places where you can fix your bike, get parts and gear, and even get a new bike, for free. A bike can be key to running a business, large or small. You are free to go where you want, when you want.

LACK OF STRESS

FUN CIVIC PARTICIPATION

HEALTH COMMUNITY

JOY.

Introducing a new food pyramid... by Jess Zimmerman Here’s the USDA’s new food guidelines, in an appropriate graphical form: the plate chart. (A pie chart would have too much refined sugar.) It lacks the mystical and ancient appeal of the food pyramid, but is perhaps more relevant to your daily food-eating life. (But is it kosher or something? Why is the dairy on a separate dish?) [Update: It’s a glass of milk! I JUST got that.]

The take-home messages are:

• Avoid oversized portions. • Make 1/2 your plate fruits & veggies. • Make 1/2 your grains whole grains. • Switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk. • Go for lower-sodium options. • Drink water. Hard to argue with that. The USDA takes the plate thing a little far, though, demonstrating portion sizes by showing food on generic white dishes, with no size reference except a grid. (As cliche as “the size of a pack of playing cards” was, I can visualize that better than “taking up the pictured amount of real estate when put on a 10-inch dinner plate.”)


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