Best of TreeHugger: Unrecycled Recyclables, the Walmart Government, and the Civil Rights Movement of Food

As we enter the home stretch leading up to Copenhagen, with talks moving to Barcelona, initial reports aren't exactly encouraging. Will the United...

As we enter the home stretch leading up to Copenhagen, with talks moving to Barcelona, initial reports aren't exactly encouraging. Will the United States step up and commit to a meaningful 2020 emission reductions target? And will China manage to reconcile its obligation to developing nations while working with the United States?On the conundrum of recyclable packaging that doesn't often get recycled, Pablo Paster takes another look at TetraPak, the company that makes aseptic milk carton-like packaging that holds everything from wine to soup to tomato sauce.Walmart's special software package helps its suppliers screen their chemical ingredients for hazardous materials, and it could blaze a path that U.S. government regulators could follow. But John Laumer wonders if Walmart should be acting as a kind of de facto government regulator?Even lactose intolerant folks have found they can digest raw milk, and it's been said to reduce allergies and asthma in children-ailments that are on the rise in the United States. But the stuff's illegal. The author of a new book discusses the fight for raw milk, "the civil rights movement of food"?After his list of things he loves about America, Sami Grover takes the other side of the argument, pointing at a distrust of government and a love for the car. Meanwhile, Dan Kessler spends some time in Jakarta, a city where getting around almost always requires an engine.In his review of James Hoggan's Climate Cover-up, a book on the "climate change is a hoax" messengers, Lloyd Alter sees a successor to Vance Packard's Hidden Persuaders, the half-century old expose of the machinations of advertisers and politicians.Our readers sent in their photos of their "green" Halloweens, and we celebrated 4-year-old Kiva's milestone of $100 million in microloans.
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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