Good News: Week 21

Finally, a revamp of the food pyramid is set to launch. A Fair Trade foodie mecca in Santa Monica Mall. In former Soviet Georgia, two families are turning hospitality into agritourism. An unlikely duo pairs up in the global fight against climate change. Summer is synonymous with music festivals, how can they be made greener? Google invests millions in wind power. An electric car glossary. In packaging too, it’s paper over plastic. What happens to your discarded clothing?

FOOD & WELLNESS: Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate
Whatever you do, don’t call it a pie chart. The Obama administration is about to ditch the food pyramid, that symbol of healthy eating for the last two decades. In its place officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables. The circular plate, which will be unveiled Thursday, is meant to give consumers a fast, easily grasped reminder of the basics of a healthy diet.
Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate, by William Neuman, The New York Times

FOOD & CULTURE: A Fair-Trade, Handmade Foodie Mecca Opens in a Santa Monica Mall
Los Angeles is full of food paradoxes: The best sushi is found in strip malls, the best tacos are in parking lots. So you probably won’t be too surprised to hear that the most exciting new food experience in Los Angeles can be found in a mall. The massive foodie emporium The Market opened this weekend on the Dining Deck of Santa Monica Place, where you can watch local chefs sculpt organic gnocchi, eat hand-crafted chocolates, or head to a culinary school where you can learn to do it all yourself.
A Fair-Trade, Handmade Foodie Mecca Opens in a Santa Monica Mall, by Alissa Walker, GOOD

EXPLORATION: Agritourism in the former Soviet Union
First the roasted eggplant arrived, topped with walnut paste and pomegranate seeds, followed by seared red peppers glistening with oil, and a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes, scattered with herbs. Then bread from a nearby kiln, a soul mate for the homemade cheese, which was akin to mozzarella with a sour kick. The two women of the house soon shuttled in with carafes of red and white wine, squeezed from grapes tended on the surrounding land and coaxed to life in cisterns out back. It was a fine finale — or so we thought — for our first lunch at a small farmstead in Georgia, the fertile backyard of the former Soviet Union.
In Former Soviet Georgia, Two Families and the Art of Hospitality, by Clifford J. Levy, The New York Times

CLIMATE CHANGE: An Unlikely Power Duo Emerges in the Global Fight Against Climate Change
Bill Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg have circled each other warily for a decade, ever since Mr. Clinton landed in Harlem after leaving the White House and Mr. Bloomberg ascended from a hugely successful business career to become the mayor of New York City. They have appeared together at a few civic functions, dined out a couple of times a year and hacked at golf balls on the same course. But until now they have never joined forces on a project with global reach that could advance both of their legacies. They are taking on an issue — climate change — that may well shape the world’s economic and social future for decades to come.
An Unlikely Power Duo Emerges in the Global Fight Against Climate Change, by John M. Broder, The New York Times

SUSTAINABLE SOUNDS: How can Summer Music Festivals & Tours Be Made Greener?
Each summer, like thousands of other music lovers, a few friends and I travel to see our favorite bands play, sometimes, if we’re lucky, for many shows in a row. In the spirit of peace and love, we gather to celebrate the community music creates, but what many don’t realize is that such gatherings can put some serious stress on the environment. Festivals and tours come with a lot of not-so-green baggage—between the food used to feed concert goers and the water (usually bottled) that keeps them hydrated to the massive amounts of fuel it takes to get attendees, staff and performers all to the venues, festivals and tours can leave a giant carbon footprint. In light of this, musicians and activists are creating initiatives aimed at ‘greening’ music festivals and tours. Here are some examples of how musicians and concert-goers are trying to tread a little lighter.
A More Sustainable Jam: Greening Summer Music, by Jennifer Bunin, Ecocentric Blog

SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS: Google Invests Millions In Wind Power
Following a series of generous investments in  solar thermal and wind power, Google has announced another investment of $55 million in wind power for the 1,550MW Alta Wind Energy Center (AWEC) project, thereby bringing the web giant’s clean energy investments to about $400 million.
Google Invests Millions In Wind Power
, by Don Michael Acelar De Leon, PSFK

MOBILITY: A Glossary of Electric Car Terms to Help us Stay Current
Don’t get left behind while the future charges forward. We’ve created a definitive list to charge your knowledge of electric as the auto industry gears up for a hybrid vehicle forecast filled with plug-in and battery options. Here’s a list to help you brush up on the lingo and fuel your thirsty intellect.
A Glossary of Car Terms to Recharge Your Thinking
, by Luanne Bradley, EcoSalon

INNOVATION: Packaging the Future: Could Paper Take Plastic’s Place?
In our convenience-obsessed culture, no matter how many articles about slow food are passed along online or liked on Facebook, fast and easy vittles are still king. And most everything fresh in supermarkets (think salsas, cheeses, fruit salad, hummous and yogurt) is kept in plastic containers, some of which are recyclable, and most of which are not. Even our cans are lined with plastic coatings – and now that they have been found to leach BPA into food and beverages (which is enough of a concern that even Coca Cola’s shareholders are demanding a change), I have been avoiding them, which ironically means more plastic containers. But what if there were an inexpensive, renewable alternative?
Packaging the Future: Instead of Plastic – Paper?
, by Starre Vartan, Inhabitat

SUSTAINABLE STYLE: What Happens to Our Cast Off Clothing?
Ever wonder what happens to your clothes when you just have to let them go? Maybe you were kind enough to spare them from ending up in a landfill by donating them to a thrift store for a tax credit; maybe you were even clever enough to “new-life” them into cut offs, a mini-skirt or something else relatively simple to make.
EcoSalon Investigates: What Happens to Our Cast Off Clothing?
, by Louise Lagosi, EcoSalon

 

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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