Photo via Blogamole
If your reaction to insects is more fearful than interested, then Wilmer Valderrama has a show for you: He's signed on to produce the Science Channel's new series "Bugging Out," which he hopes will get people to stop fearing creepy-crawlies and learn to appreciate them. Valderrama, who, according to the L.A. Times, credits his love for nature to growing up in Venezuela, says, "To understand that sometimes physically these creatures can't really hurt you somehow makes you see them differently. Obviously in the entertainment industry and years of selling images of fear toward these misunderstood beings leads toward fear. But the more you can understand them, I feel like it's like when your father tells you that you should eat your greens and eventually you learn that they're good for you." (Via PETA)
Gene Hackman's Neighborly Efforts
Retired actor Gene Hackman spends a lot more time at his home in Santa Fe now -- and is speaking out in defense of his neighbors, the 200 chimpanzees formerly used in animal testing who live at the Alamogordo Primate Facility. According to Tonic, Hackman sent a letter to the facility's owner -- the National Institutes of Health -- encouraging the organization to prevent the chimps' move from New Mexico to a lab in Texas that still experiments on animals. "Scientists around the world have largely stopped experimenting on chimpanzees, in part because these animals just haven't proven to be good models for human health research," said Hackman in the letter, which Tonic excerpted. "The United States is the last developed country on earth still making large-scale use of chimpanzees in invasive experiments." (Via Ecorazzi)
The Teen Choice Awards Casts its Vote for Sustainability
At the Teen Choice Awards, fan-chosen winners included all of the teen scene's current staples -- the stars of "Twilight" and "Gossip Girl," Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and more -- but the show also incorporated green elements throughout its production: According to Mother Nature Network, the red carpet was really a recycled-plastic-bottle blue carpet; a wall of plants was donated to Los Angeles schools when the show ended; electricity came from solar panels and stationary bike generators; all the show's trash was sorted and recycled; and the press tent relied on LED lights, biodiesel fuel, and local, organic snacks. A-listers also had the opportunity to send charitable donations to the World Wildlife Fund, Farm Sanctuary, or the Much Love Animal Rescue. Mother Nature Network also talked to stars and nominees from "Glee," "Pretty Little Liars," and "NCIS: Los Angeles" about their green efforts; see the full interviews in their Ecollywood column.
Ben Sollee's Two-Wheeled Tour
Musician Ben Sollee is a cellist who turns out albums that feature "spare, melodic," and acoustic modern pop, as described by The Daily Green, so it's not a stretch to say that he's used to carving out his own path -- and for his next batch of performances, he'll really make his own way as he trades in his van for a bicycle. The Ditching the Van Tour, which starts on August 18 in San Diego and continues to Maryand, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, is, according to The Daily Green, "more about connecting with audiences and "thinking and acting locally than it is about reducing carbon footprints. Says Sollee, "There are a lot of expectations put on [musicians], and it leads to this crazy pace of life -- three-month periods where you're driving long distances from one venue to the next, loading and unloading the van, then staying in a cheap hotel. You don't even remember most of the shows when you're doing that." For more about the tour -- and how exactly Sollee carries a cello on a bicycle, see the full article on The Daily Green.