Bartering for a better environment

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This week on Earth Beat:  the business of bartering, the not so green side of lawn grass, food education at the Screaming Avocado, and hunting your own food.


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Bartering in Amsterdam
Bartering is big in these times of financial crisis… and it’s also good for the environment. But what if you don’t want what the other person is trading? You use imaginary currency – in Amsterdam, called Noppes. Marnie spoke to Udghosh Hessel, the coordinator of Noppes.

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Bartering in Argentina
When Argentina’s economy collapsed in late 2001, hundreds of clubs sprung up around the country where people bartered goods and services to get through the crisis. Now, even though the economy is pretty well back to normal, the bartering clubs are here to stay. Reporter Rachel Hopkin visited one such club outside the capital Buenos Aires.

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Bartering for conservation
In a barter system, the value of an item is based on how much it’s worth to whoever’s trading – and what they can give you in return. This is how a small environmental group has managed to set up conservation zones in more than 41 countries – not by outbidding loggers, but by listening to the locals. Marnie spoke to the Executive Director of Seacology, Duane Silverstein.

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Envirominute: lawns
This week’s enviro-minute takes a 60-second look at the eco-impact of all the grass grown on golf courses around the world.

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Green Deane on lawns
It’s easy to think that plants are a good thing no matter what… but some people disagree. Like contributor Green Deane, who has a lawn-shaped problem on his own front doorstep.

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Greening grass in Australia
According to the adage, the grass is always greener on the other side. But when the other side is Australia, it might not be green at all. Lawn grass needs water, which, in Australia, is a precious resource. But people’s lawns are precious to them too. It’s a recipe for friction. Marnie discusses the issue with Sydney correspondent, Lesley Branagan.

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School food crusader
In 2002, Paul Finkelstein was asked to teach a culinary arts course at the local high school. Since then, he’s opened The Screaming Avocado, a café within the school where the students cook for school credits and compete with the cafeteria down the hall. But this is no ordinary café. Paul Finkelstein joins Marnie to talk more about his relentless crusade for better food education.

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Holly Hunter
While Paul Finkelstein promotes the idea of growing your own food, some people might be tempted to take this concept to the next level and try to, say, kill their own food. We tracked down and spoke to such a hunter – Holly Heyser.

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