More help with environmental questions

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Here’s another great environmental resource: Slate‘s Green Lantern series, which debuted last fall and answers one very concrete, practical question each week. (Are manual transmissions really better for the environment? What kind of tree should you plant in your backyard to soak up the most carbon?)

The answers are typically fair, balanced, and as I realized when I read this week’s piece on the environmental merits of fresh vs. frozen orange juicethey almost always illuminate the real difficulty of pinning down just how “eco-friendly” something is: it’s not just the transportation but the production that counts. (It’s for this reason, in a well-publicized example, that environmentally sensitive Britons are better off buying imported lamb from New Zealand than they are consuming the home-grown variety.) And then, of course, there’s the matter of packaging and waste disposal, which further complicates things…

Of course, as this week’s article points out, “changing your mode of orange juice intake isn’t going to save the planet.” But it’s still nice to understand the many factors that go into these small, daily choices.

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