Thursday, April 21, 2011

Monthly Slow News Summary: April 2011

On Slow Living:

It's Earth Month! Check out Discovery News' slideshow of Earth Day celebrations around the world and Newsweek's slideshow of places endangered by climate change for some inspiration - then follow up by perusing GOOD's "Earth Day Every Day" special page that curates the best of their green living stories to find some tips for actions that go beyond the obvious ones you're already doing.

Do you bring your own reusable bags when you go shopping, or forgo bags altogether? Ecosalon did a brilliant post on why you should consider it.

Jorg & Olif brought our attention to the international Slow Art Day. It's already past for this year, but next year will be held 28 April 2012, so there's lots of time to get your city on the list of those participating.

This review has me wanting to try OmmWriter to create a distraction-free environment for writing.

The Atlantic had a great book review that pointed out the huge role the introduction of bicycles had in social change in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The disaster in northeastern Japan has spawned innovation in publishing that use slow-design methods, with handwritten newspapers emerging in affected communities, and the Twitter-crowdsourced Quakebook fundraising for Japan Red Cross.

Brand marketing gurus BBMG's newest report identifies a group they call New Consumers, who comprise up to a third of the US population and combine pragmatism and a do-it-yourself attitude with an interest in sustainability and social responsibility, according to a synopsis in Environmental Leader. Hmm, the New Consumer sounds like the Slow Consumer to me.

It's election time in Canada, again. Engaged citizenship is definitely a goal of the slow movement.
(poster via a friend's Facebook feed)

On Slow Food and Permaculture:

CSRWire profiled the Slow-Food-affiliated RAFT's important work in identifying and preserving endangered North American heirloom plant varieties and livestock breeds that are adapted to specific terrains and climates.

Eat Magazine noted the release of Slow Food's sustainable fish buying guide to coincide with this year's Slow Fish festival in Genoa, Italy.

The USDA is considering (finally!) warning labels for artificial food dyes, and Ecosalon posted a brilliant and thorough synopsis of why such labels are sorely needed.

The Rambling Epicure outlined ten rules for eating the French way, and Active Kids Club suggested ten ways to connect nature with food. Both lists are really about Slow Food. Meanwhile, RedGage reported on the emerging #NoFastFoodFriday movement on Twitter.

Life On The Balcony has posted a great DIY for turning a (preferably heat-treated) pallet into a vertical garden for small spaces (found via Apartment Therapy). Combine that idea with Mike Lieberman's advice on Ecosalon and soon you'll be growing your own food no matter how small your space.

Jorg & Olif did a great piece on the slow-food trend of home-curing meats with a great recipe for brined pork. The same process (shown in this short video) is used to make salt beef (or corned beef for you Americans).

On the philosophical front, Michael Pollan did a great interview explaining the recent 'war on foodies' with the Globe & Mail that makes a fascinating, nuanced read. Meanwhile, Bob Comis wrote a compelling piece for Grist on why the food movement needs to move beyond the gourmands and localists in order to effect real change for the greater good.

On Slow Fashion:

Lou Sagar mused about the adoption of the Slow Fashion movement by luxury brands as a marketing strategy (at least I think that's what he was musing about - but the distinction he tried to draw between eco-fashion and slow fashion just didn't ring true to me). Meanwhile Ecosalon posted a fascinating and provocative piece about the fashion industry's prevailing business models.

La Poubelle Verte abounded with inspirational slow fashion from Junky Styling and Martin Margiela. Swooooooooon. What incredibly beautiful work!

Rowena Ritchie reports to Ecosalon that the 'Hemline Index' theory has been thoroughly busted - so, continue to wear whatever length skirt you want.

Bright Young Things (the designer of the Uniform Project Year 1 shirtdress) has been picked up by Urban Outfitters! How exciting - congrats to Eliza!!! I hope they'll carry these pieces at the Canadian locations.

Meanwhile the Uniform Project has launched a gorgeous new site design that shows off the many facets of the project and makes space for new initiatives (like other bloggers who are taking the UP 1-dress challenge, and the UP-inspired LBD fundraiser party we're having here in Edmonton) to be introduced.

On Slow Travel:

Jorg & Olif rounded up the three best Slow Festivals going, tempted us with a cycle-and-yurt holiday in southern Norway, and profiled a couple who are documenting their trip cycling the British Isles at the speed of spring (which reminds me of Will Ferguson's book about chasing the sakura!).

On Slow Design:

GOOD profiled some great DIY urban design projects - amazing stuff.

The ten principles for creating a Slow Home got more great press from Natural AwakeningsJorg & Olif and the Miami Herald.

A friend sent me this YouTube video showing DIY sun tunnels made from 2 litre pop bottles filled with water. Measurements taken on a bright day show they can provide the same amount of light as a 50 watt incandescent bulb.

On Sustainability:

The NYT's Paul Krugman summarized what happened when an expert witness brought in as a ringer went off-script at a Congressional hearing on climate science, and the UK's New Scientist explained how the US budget compromise will affect the environment. Sigh.

The Guardian published an interesting piece on what Japan's disaster tells us about what a post-peak-oil world might look like.

Discovery News reported that our opinions on climate change are measurably affected by the weather.

...Have a great Easter long weekend everyone!

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