Tag Archives: keurig

Climate change makes hurricanes like Harvey more likely.

The only problem: That’s not what the data shows.

In “the early days of all of the Obama administration regulations, everyone said the sky is falling, we’re going to have to fix all of these plants simultaneously,” energy consultant Alison Silverstein said during a panel last Friday. “Um, not so much. It turns out that when people have to actually do a job they find cheaper ways to do it.”

Silverstein, a veteran of the Bush administration, was tasked by fellow Texan Rick Perry to write a Department of Energy report analyzing the data on coal plant closures. But she found that regulations and renewable energy did not play a significant role in shutting down coal-burning power plants. The aging plants were instead condemned by cheap natural gas and falling electricity demand.

According to Silverstein, the Energy Department pushed back on her results, which did not support the hoped-for conclusion. Her draft report was leaked to the press in June, and the DOE released the final report in August, largely unchanged.

Nevertheless, in September, Perry submitted a rule requesting subsidies for nuclear and coal plants, citing Silverstein’s report for support. It was “as though they had never read it,” Silverstein said. Not a bad guess.

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Climate change makes hurricanes like Harvey more likely.

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As new pipeline battles ramp up, the DOJ vows to prosecute activists who stop construction.

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As new pipeline battles ramp up, the DOJ vows to prosecute activists who stop construction.

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Singing protesters interrupt a White House presentation at COP23.

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Singing protesters interrupt a White House presentation at COP23.

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Sean Hannity fans are destroying Keurig machines for all the wrong reasons.

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Sean Hannity fans are destroying Keurig machines for all the wrong reasons.

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4 Different Methods for Preparing Your Morning Coffee

Turns out, theres more to making a cup of coffee than simply pressing brew on your coffee machine. In fact, outside of the U.S., many people are left shaking their heads at the concept of brewed coffee and its lack of thick, rich texture and flavor. And the differences of opinion over coffee prep arent solely rooted in snobbery did you know there are actual health differences between different preparation methods?

Whether youre concerned about your cholesterol levels, in searchof a more flavorful cup of joe, or just hoping to increase your coffee-making finesse, heres what you need to know about the pros and cons of the top four coffee preparation methods.

Brewed Coffee

Lets start off with brewed coffee, the most popular preparation method in the United States. This method involves putting a few scoops of ground coffee beans into an electric coffee maker, usually over a filter. Water is then heated and pumped through the machine, dripping down over the ground beans. As the water drips through the beans and the filter, it picks up the flavorsof the coffee beans and results in a nice, flavorful cup of coffee.

Now, lets consider the benefits and drawbacks. One of the biggest benefits of brewed coffee is its convenience factor. You simply turn the machine on (or use a timer to set it to brew at a particular time) and, as long as youve put your water, filter and coffee grounds into the machine, youll get a cup of coffee about five minutes later.

The main drawback, of course, is that its pretty easy to make your coffee too weak or too strong. Many coffee snobs complain that brewed coffee is, well, watery which makes sense, when you think about it.

French Press

By contrast, French press coffee is made by mixing coffee grounds directly with water. Youll need a French press machine to do this, of course. After steeping for about four minutes (youll adjust this based on how strong youd like your coffee to be), you press the machines filter through the coffee to strain out the grounds.

The biggest downside of a French press is that has a minor difference for your health. Some students suggest that the absence of a filter causes coffee oils to remain in the coffee, which can impact your cholesterol levels.

Coffee oils are most potent in coffees where the grounds have the longest contact with the water during brewing, states Healthline. A French press, which brews coffee by continually passing water through the grounds, has been shown to have greater concentrations of cafestol. Brewing in an American-style coffee pot with a filter, on the other hand, has relatively low levels, as the beverage is only passed through the grounds once. Most of the cafestol is left behind in the filter no matter what the roast.

Pour-Over/Chemex

Pour-over coffee, which is often associated with the popular Chemex machine, is kind of the best of both worlds. It utilizes a filter (which can help keep out cholesterol-raising coffee oils) but it offers the flavor and character of a hand-brewed coffee.

You can make your own pour-over system simply by tying some cheesecloth around a medium-sized bowl, placing ground coffee beans on top, and then slowly pouring hot water over the grounds into the bowl below. Of course, you can also invest in a machine such as the Chemex or a similar type of product.

The main drawback to pour-over coffee is that its arguably the most labor-intensive. You have to pour hot water slowly over the coffee beans, which means its a very hands-on process.

Keurig

Finally, the newest option for coffee preparation: the Keurig machine. There are plenty of other brands that manufacture machines similar to the Keurig (Nescafe is one of them), but Keurig was the first, and remains the most popular, machine of its kind.

The Keurig is incredibly easy to use. All you have to do is place a pre-made K-cup (a plastic cup filled with coffee grounds) in your machine, add water, and press brew. Youll soon have a single cup of coffee ready to enjoy. Because the amount of groundsin each cup is standard, theres little room for error, so youre unlikely to end up with watery coffee.

Of course, those of us who care about protecting the planet will already know that single-serve coffee pods come with a MAJOR drawback: Theyre horrible for the environment. If you enjoy making single-serve coffee, the best way to make your coffee more environmentally friendly is to spring for a reusable K-cup filter that can easily be put in your machine. You just add regular coffee grounds to the reusable cup, push brew, and clean the filter when youre done.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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4 Different Methods for Preparing Your Morning Coffee

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You’ve geeked out over “An Inconvenient Truth.” Watch these next.

You’ve geeked out over “An Inconvenient Truth.” Watch these next.

By on May 24, 2016Share

Along with a good chunk of the environmental space, Grist is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the release of An Inconvenient Truth, the Oscar-winning documentary that dragged climate change in front of the eyeballs of millions. (Check out our complete oral history of the film and interviews with the activists, politicians, and artists it influenced.)

Perhaps you’re in celebration mode, too, and have re-watched the documentary in all its early-2000s Keynote glory. (If not, you can for free today!) Perhaps you’re feeling inspired. Stand tall! Sub out that incandescent sack of filaments for a lovely compact fluorescent lamp! You’re an environmentalist!

Now wipe your brow with a recyclable, grab an armload of in-season fruit, and binge watch these classic environmental docs next.


Food, Inc.

From Participant Media (the same folks that produced An Inconvenient Truth), Food, Inc. tells the story of our utterly zany industrial food system. After watching, this author stopped eating fast food for good (though, to be honest, not for lack of desire). Watch: Netflix.

Gasland

Josh Fox’s documentary on hydraulic fracturing helped launch the anti-fracking movement. A true conversation about climate change isn’t “possible without the awareness An Inconvenient Truth brought,” he told Grist, but here’s a conversation-starter, by way of the energy system. Watch: Netflix.

Chasing Ice

Photographer James Balog traveled to the Arctic to capture photos of dramatically receding — and in some cases, disappearing — ice. If you weren’t already convinced climate change is serious, these glaciers beg to differ. Watch: Netflix.

This Changes Everything

When Naomi Klein published This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate in 2014, she pointed to climate change as an opportunity to rework our entire economic system. But what about the people in that system? The film project of the same name is, according to director Avi Lewis, “a portrait of community struggle around the world on the front lines of fossil fuel extraction and the climate crisis.”

For the optimal dose of anger and action, don’t sub the book out for the movie: Soak ’em both in back-to-back. Watch: iTunes, Amazon.

Under the Dome

China has an air pollution problem. In Under the Dome, that problem is laid out with pressing slideshow wizardry. Remind you of another environmental movie? Deborah Seligsohn, former principal adviser to the World Resources Institute’s China energy and climate program, points to the documentary as An Inconvenient Truth’s most immediate descendent. “In four days, it had 250 million views on the web. That’s the influence,” she told Grist. Watch: YouTube (below!).

Catching the Sun

Catching the Sun confronts the big questions imposed by a burgeoning global solar industry. Is a 100-percent solar-powered world achievable? And if so, who stands to benefit? Director Shalini Kantayya has called mainstream environmentalism “a thing for the privileged.” As she told Grist, “If you have extra money, you can put solar panels on your home or pay for organic food.”

The documentary is Kantayya’s take on where environmentalism should be heading. Spoiler alert: It’s a story of hope, not doom. Watch: Netflix.

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You’ve geeked out over “An Inconvenient Truth.” Watch these next.

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Meet the black activist who derailed a big polluting project before ​graduating college

Meet the black activist who derailed a big polluting project before ​graduating college

By on 18 Apr 2016commentsShare

Destiny Watford was a 17-year-old student at a south Baltimore high school when she asked a roomful of students if they suffered from asthma. To her dismay, every single hand went up.

That was three years ago, when Watford was in the middle of a fight to stop Energy Answers International from building a solid-waste incinerator in the Baltimore neighborhood of Curtis Bay. Her mother, along with many friends and family members, had asthma, and her neighbor died from lung cancer. The culprits seemed obvious to Watford: the medical-waste incinerator, coal pier, and slew of chemical plants surrounding Curtis Bay that foul the air. A proposed solid-waste incinerator, the biggest of its kind in the United States, was poised to move in a short walk from her high school.

Watford, along with other young people from Curtis Bay, decided to fight, largely by pressuring public officials. Last month, they scored a victory when state regulators pulled the incinerator project’s permit. For her efforts, the Goldman Environmental Foundation named the 20-year-old Watford one of six winners of this year’s Goldman Environmental Prize on Monday.

The award is fitting for Watford, who works with Free Your Voice, a human rights committee of United Workers. In 2015, the Goldman was presented to six people, including Berta Cáceres, an activist for indigenous rights who was killed in Honduras last month. It’s a prize for people who bring attention to the consequences that environmental inequities bear on their communities.

Watson, for instance, drew a connection between Baltimore’s environment and riots following the death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed, 25-year-old black man who died in police custody after getting arrested for no good reason. Residents rioted while officials fumbled to bring charges against the officers responsible for Gray’s death; Maryland’s governor declared a state of emergency, imposed a curfew and deployed the National Guard on Baltimore. Watford wondered why reporters weren’t asking what she called deeper questions about the environment in which the riots were taking place.

When I interviewed Watford, I asked her how she felt about winning. Her response was about winning the fight against the incinerator, not about winning the Goldman and its $175,000 award. A 20-year-old who’s more excited about stopping a waste incinerator than about winning a pile of money? Meet Destiny Watford, a young person who puts her community first. Here’s an edited portion of our recent conversation:

Q. Early on, you linked the death of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore riots, and the environment. Why?

A. Before we even learned about the incinerator, we were learning about our basic human rights. When we found out the incinerator was proposed to be built in our community, it violated every single value, belief, and basic human right that we had. When it come to the death of Freddie Gray, when it comes to incinerators, when it comes to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, those issues are different, but they’re not separate. They’re all issues of injustice — of systematic injustice, which we’ve been fighting against.

Q. What about environmental justice in particular? What do you think grassroots activists should understand about winning campaigns against big polluters?

A. When polluting developments are proposed, they’re usually in poor neighborhoods. They’re proposed in places where it’s perceived that our voices aren’t very strong, that there won’t be a public outcry, or that there isn’t a lot of power and so there won’t be a lot of pushback or resistance. And a lot of times, those are communities of color. It always comes down to who or what has power. When we’re resisting against an established system that creates developments like the incinerator, it’s really important to have power in communities if you are to win.

Q. You won a big victory against the proposed incinerator, but your community continues to be plagued by toxic pollution. What’s next for you?

A. As it stands now, all the air quality monitors have been removed from our community, so we don’t even know how much worse it’s gotten for us. As far as pollution goes, and how to even begin to figure out how to deal with it, I’m not completely sure, but there needs to be some sort of accountability. For instance, we’ve been working to bring in air quality monitoring to issue health impact assessments about the existing pollution in Curtis Bay. We need to measure and know what kind of specific pollution there is, how it’s affecting people, and how to deal with it.

Q. Yours is hard work. What gets you up in the morning to do it?

A. Just knowing an incinerator was going to be built in the community where I grew up, where my family grew up attracted me to working against it. Watching my nephews and other small family members grow up here, and watching neighbors and schoolmates — I mean, Curtis Bay is my home. I want to protect my home and the people that I care about. And the more I worked on the campaign, the more I came to realize that places like Curtis Bay have been taken advantage of and used for so long, and it’s really important to me that does not become our fate. That’s what gets me going.

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Meet the black activist who derailed a big polluting project before ​graduating college

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Congress passed around the blame for Flint’s lead crisis. John Oliver gives it right back to them.

Congress passed around the blame for Flint’s lead crisis. John Oliver gives it right back to them.

By on 18 Apr 2016commentsShare

America’s best Brit John Oliver took a brief pause from skewering presidential candidates Sunday to skewer Congress’ response to the Flint lead-poisoned water crisis. As Oliver points out, the crisis is hardly Flint’s alone: 2,000 municipal water systems in all 50 states show elevated levels of lead, which can contribute to brain damage, developmental difficulties, and lower IQs in children.

In response to this disaster, Congressional Republicans Rep. Mark Meadows (NC), Rep. Tim Walberg (MI), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT) all have said that is it shocking — just shocking — that federal regulators could let something like this happen in the United States.

How does something like this happen in the United States?

As Oliver explains, it happens in part because of representatives like Meadows, Walberg, and Chaffetz, who voted to cut funding for government programs dedicated to cleaning up lead pollution.“You would think that our members of Congress would be onboard with doing more to fight lead poisoning.” Oliver said. Well, they aren’t, and Congress has only done its best to cut funding to other organizations that protect public health, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Watch Oliver explain above.

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Congress passed around the blame for Flint’s lead crisis. John Oliver gives it right back to them.

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The Future of Food Has Robot Arms and Smells Like Bacon

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<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>
Cooki, a robotic cooking machine prototype, on display at the Parisoma “Future of Food” meet-up Maddie Oatman

In the not-so-distant future, a robot named Cooki will make you dinner. Cooki will follow a recipe drawn from a database of millions of crowd-sourced ideas accessed through a subscription service similar to iTunes. Then, it will stir together pre-chopped ingredients with a robotic arm. Instead of the $15 required to buy and deliver take-out food, Cooki’s meal will cost you $4 to $5.

At least, that’s how the future will look if Timothy Chen has anything to do with it.

Chen is the CEO of Sereneti Kitchen, the company producing an automated robot that can supposedly cook “restaurant-quality” meals at your kitchen counter and clean up after itself. Chen was one of around a dozen entrepreneurs pitching their victual innovations at a tech event called the “Future of Food,” hosted by the San Francisco co-working space Parisoma on Wednesday. A line snaked around the block at the entrance of the building at 7 p.m. when I arrived. Inside, designers, data-geeks, food marketers, and underground supper club hosts mingled over beers or the papaya-colored smoothie samples from the Pantry vending machine. I overheard the phrases “superfood” and “drought-friendly” more than once over the course of the evening.

Timothy Chen unwraps a plastic tray of ingredients to feed into Cooki during a demonstration

The concept behind the cooking robot comes from Chen’s 18-year-old twin sisters, Haidee and Helen, who wondered why their mom had to spend so many hours making fresh food every day. “Shouldn’t cooking be as easy as pushing a button?” their IndieGogo campaign page implores. Aside from making cooking more efficient, Sereneti’s social mission includes a desire to cut down on food waste and promote access to healthy ingredients.

Though Cooki only really does one-pot cooking, Sereneti imagines its machine making 60 percent of the world’s types of food—from pastas to salads to curries. Chen hopes to retail Cooki for around $500, or $200 if customers subscribe to a recipe and ingredients delivery service. (You could also prepare and input your own ingredients into the robot).

Midway through the “Future of Food” event, I wander over to Sereneti’s table to catch Cooki in action. Dressed in an argyle sweater and sporting rectangular glasses, Chen’s a quick-talking guy with a background in robotics. “This is the Keurig for food,” he explains, referring to the individualized coffee pod machines that I’ve covered in the past. He pulls out clear plastic trays full of raw bacon, lamb, cherries, and pine nuts that have been prepared and preserved with the help of food scientists. Once loaded up with the goods, the machine extracts one of the trays, tips it into a pot heated underneath by coils, and begins to stir. Soon, the smell of bacon oozes out from under the machine’s glossy white hood.

Chen has pretty big dreams for Cooki: As he sees it, it will not only save parents time, it could also make them money. By crowd-sourcing recipes and charging people one-time-use fees, “every time someone uses your recipe—you get paid,” Chen explains. “It’s the ultimate in multi-level marketing,” he says to me—”and it’s not even a Ponzi scheme!”

Okay. While Cooki’s frying, I decide to check out some of the other booths. A man with watery blue eyes and a thick French accent passes out crackers smudged with bone-white brie made from almond milk. Unlike some of the tasteless, pasty vegan cheeses I’ve sampled in the past, Kite Hill’s cheese draws from the traditional cheesemaking process: Cultures and enzymes are added to the milk to create an actual curd. Kite Hill claims to be the only company treating almond milk this way. The result is impressive—if I didn’t know any better, I would think it was a sheep’s milk cheese. Kite Hill’s cheesemaker, Jean Prevot, who hails from France, spent 15 years in the dairy industry before turning to almond milk “for the challenge of it.”

Soft ripened almond brie from Kite Hill

At the table across the way, two chipper, unblinking blonde women dish up crackers made with flour from ground-up crickets. Their San Francisco-based company, Bitty Foods, produces the cookies as well as a cricket-based baking flour “that’s high in protein, drought-resistant, and lower in greenhouse-gas emissions,” as cofounder Megan Miller tells one taster. I overhear two men discussing their cookies in between bites. “There’s a little aftertaste,” one says. “It’s subtle—if I wasn’t thinking about it, I wouldn’t have picked up on it.”

Leslie Ziegler and Megan Miller serve cricket-flour cookies from their company Bitty

Over to the Kuli Kuli Foods table, where women in acid-green aprons peddle samples of bars made of moringa, a leafy plant that Time recently deemed the new kale. Kuli Kuli is the first US company marketing moringa. Its founder, Lisa Curtis, first learned about the plant while in Peace Corps in Niger in 2010. Feeling malnourished on the local diet, she was urged to try the nutrient-dense moringa plant, which is high in calcium, protein, amino acids, and vitamin C. The plant grows super fast and thrives in hot, dry climates. Curtis realized that locals weren’t marketing the superfood because they had no international market, so she set out to create one in the US by importing the plant in powder form. Aside from fueling her own fruit and nut bar company, she tells me that local juice joints around San Francisco are picking it up for use in smoothies. (Side note: Fidel Castro is a huge moringa fan.)

Moringa bar samples from Kuli Kuli

I want to love moringa. If the current California drought is any predictor, we’re going to need plants that survive harsher conditions and provide such an impressive array of nutrients. But this one tastes rather grassy, and goes down like a shot of wheatgrass, which is to say, abruptly. So power to Kuli Kuli, but here’s hoping its moringa recipes continue to evolve.

I make it back to Chen’s table just in time for the tasting of Cooki’s “sauteéd lamb and macerated cherries” dish. Cooki had certainly cooked through the lamb, softened the cherries, and roasted the pine nuts. I don’t eat meat, so I had to rely on other people’s tastebuds to know how the dish turned out. “It’s pretty good,” one woman, Barb, told me, and shrugged. “I do wonder how it will cook vegetables,” another taster said. Neither of them were aware that the dish included bacon grease. To which, I had to ask—doesn’t everything taste pretty good when coated in bacon grease?

Lamb, cherries, and pine nuts (and bacon) made by Cooki

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The Future of Food Has Robot Arms and Smells Like Bacon

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5 Ways to Reuse K-Cups if You Already Own a Keurig

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5 Ways to Reuse K-Cups if You Already Own a Keurig

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