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Mairi Beautyman
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Blog Entries by Mairi Beautyman

Saddened by What Seems To Be a New LEGO Mission Statement

Posted September 23, 2009 | 09/23/09 03:29 PM ET

I love LEGOs. My brother's sprawling city (including space station) snapped together on six folding tables was a child's wonderland, with the highlight being the 'snow' (soap flakes) we'd douse it with every winter. While the bottom line is better than ever, corporate changes are sending...

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Bike Gear Is Hip Fashion Trend for 2010

Posted September 16, 2009 | 09/16/09 09:04 AM ET

Good news for the bikers out there: The fashion industry has decided bike gear is totally hip.

At DKNY's Spring 2010 show in New York, the audience was captivated by sassy winks of hot pink, khaki, and sharkskin gray bike shorts seen as layering pieces underneath both...

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Does Your Toilet Really Need to Chirp Like a Bird? Japan's Un-green Lifestyle Expectations

Posted September 9, 2009 | 09/09/09 12:18 PM ET

From the fantastic public transportation system to the exploding Toyota Prius sales to the eco sex clubs and streets without a lick of trash, Japan is a formidable force on the green front. But after a 20-day trip, four social norms stuck out that made me...

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Anti-fungal Drugs Could Save Endangered Frogs Around the World

Posted August 26, 2009 | 08/26/09 12:12 AM ET

Is there hope for the Panamanian golden frog, a national symbol of Panama which uniquely communicates with other frogs by waving a leg?

Anti-fungal drugs could save endangered frogs around the world, according to IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Panamanian golden frog...

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C'mon Seattle, Why Reject the Plastic Bag Fee?

Posted August 19, 2009 | 08/19/09 11:16 AM ET

Writing from a country (Germany) where a fee for bags at checkout is standard and accepted without even the slightest snarl (though don't expect them to pack it for you), I was surprised to see Seattle voters recently rejected a measly 20-cent bag fee. And this from...

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Hurry Up and Kill the CD Already

Posted August 12, 2009 | 08/12/09 02:00 PM ET

There's something about a vinyl record that has mystique. A tactile essence. It comes in a envelope that can be framed as art, or tucked into a bookcase smoothly. It exudes a certain sex appeal that draws a following.

A CD, on the other hand? There's nothing nostalgic...

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From Slow Food to Slow Living: The New Green Lifestyle Trend

Posted August 5, 2009 | 08/05/09 02:14 PM ET

Meaghan O'Neill, the editor-in-chief of TreeHugger.com and I were recently discussing similar philosophies on what makes our personal lifestyles green, and came up with the term "Slow Living," a cannibalization...if we can play with words...of Carlo Petrini's vision with the Slow Food Movement.

Slow living...

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BMW Decides Formula One Is Bad for the Environment

Posted July 29, 2009 | 07/29/09 08:40 AM ET

Yes, it seems like a pretty basic idea: Mindlessly driving around in circles burning gallons and gallons of fuel (and even blowing up a car or two every so often) for the sake of public enjoyment is absolutely horrible for the environment. According to Reuters, luxury car...

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Is a "Green" McMansion Socially Acceptable?

Posted July 22, 2009 | 07/22/09 04:18 PM ET

A modern, single-residence, 2,675-square-foot house in Chicago is attracting attention from both the neighbors and the world. The city's one-of-a kind net-zero home, reports The Chicago Tribune, tucks 48 photovoltaic panels and a rainwater collector within a "butterfly" roof, among other green features, and will produce as...

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Keep Yourself and Your Child Away from FDA-approved Pesticide Linked to Parkinson's Disease

Posted July 15, 2009 | 07/15/09 02:49 PM ET

Yet another report is out suggesting pesticides are a leading cause of Parkinson's Disease, which attacks the nerve cells that controls muscle movement. But this one is particularly disturbing with the news of a direct link to FDA-approved pesticide Lindane.

According to the U.K.-based Daily...

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Britain's 2010 Shanghai Expo Pavilion Is Expensive "Hairy" Tomb for Seeds

Posted July 1, 2009 | 07/01/09 10:22 AM ET

Is Britain's 2010 Shanghai Expo Pavilion a tribute to nature gone awry? Designed by U.K. architect Thomas Heatherwick, the six-story structure is a virtual pin cushion of 60,000, 7.5-meter long (about 25 feet) acrylic "hairs," waving in the wind. Each acrylic rod contains a seed from...

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Creators of the Hydrogen 'Urban Car' Attempt to Crush Hydrogen Car Challenges

Posted June 17, 2009 | 06/17/09 09:18 AM ET

At first glance, a car powered by super plentiful hydrogen sounds pretty good. The newly unveiled Urban Car, for example, emits less than 30 grams per kilometer of carbon dioxide, less than one third of the carbon produced by Volkswagen's Polo Bluemotion, creators Riversimple told...

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Students Plan Green Future for Mosques in Abu Dhabi

Posted June 10, 2009 | 06/10/09 06:04 PM ET

A few weeks ago I mentioned that God seems to be going green. Or houses of God, that is. The most recent news on this front comes from Abu Dhabi, where students have designed a sustainable template for "mosques of the future in the UAE."

According to...

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Puppies? Koalas? How About These Endangered Species, Oprah and Miranda Kerr

Posted June 3, 2009 | 06/03/09 02:19 PM ET

It's a good time to be a cute animal in need: This month Oprah poses with a lap full of shelter puppies for Oprah Magazine and Orlando Bloom's girlfriend (or fiancée...) Miranda Kerr gets naked for Rolling Stone to aid the endangered koala bear.

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Can the New 32GB Apple iPhone Make You Greener?

Posted May 27, 2009 | 05/27/09 09:40 AM ET

Once again, the cell phone market is buzzing: According to Wired magazine, the new, glossy 32GB Apple iPhone, expected to have double the internal flash memory, will almost certainly hit the pockets of hipsters around the world sometime in early summer.

Since a few solid years...

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Market for Green Goods for Babies is Booming

Posted May 20, 2009 | 05/20/09 09:36 AM ET

Want to make millions with the environmental movement? Target junior. The market for green goods is booming in the baby arena, and the trend makes sense: Harmful chemicals are doubly damaging on those likely to be the most sensitive.

For infants, the risks include the gender-bending Phtalates,...

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Why is Oprah Promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Posted May 13, 2009 | 05/13/09 12:03 PM ET

Last week, in an embarrassing PR failure, Kentucky Fried Chicken proved it couldn't handle the mega influence of one of the most powerful women in the world, and the free chicken coupon giveaway left the Colonel incapable of delivering the goods--or the buckets, that is.

But...

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5 Ways to Green Your Shaving

Posted May 6, 2009 | 05/06/09 12:57 PM ET

The other day, wandering through the pharmacy, I found myself looking at a giant four-foot tall green razor, the latest model from Venus. And, as was the intent, it made me wonder if I should toss my perfectly functioning reusable purple razor for a new, lime-colored one.

...
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Germans and Their Scornful View of Tap Water

Posted April 29, 2009 | 04/29/09 10:53 AM ET

I live in Germany, and Psychology Today recently did a fantastic article on something I've noticed for a while: Germans are brainwashed into drinking bottled water, and requests for tap water at a restaurant are often met with scorn, sour expressions, or downright refusal.

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No Spam Filter? You've Got a Bigger Carbon Footprint

Posted April 15, 2009 | 04/15/09 11:04 AM ET

You could be racking up your electric bill by just letting spam slip into your inbox. Yes, even when you haven't the slightest desire to "watch Avril Lavigne naked," "purchase cheap and affordable drugs online," or develop a friendship with Melinda who cheekily says "I like that...

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