Jess Zimmerman

Jess Zimmerman was the editor of Grist List.

Cardboard bike helmets are safer than plastic

Yeah, it sounds a little Calvin & Hobbes, but riding around with corrugated cardboard on your head can actually be safer than the plastic and Styrofoam concoctions you get at the bike store. The Kranium cardboard bike helmet absorbs four times more impact energy than equivalent polystyrene. One helmet was smashed five times in a row and still had enough muscle to pass a standard safety test. And yeah, it's waterproof.

This clean air ad was deemed too hot for Boston public transit

Man, is this ad from ever edgy! First, it has a big picture of Scott Brown -- granted, just his face, not even his pecs or anything, but you know what's implied by a picture of a congressman. Rowr! And just look at those naked facts, parading themselves around so shamelessly. No wonder the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority refuses to post it on trains.

How close are you to the country's dirtiest coal plants?

If you live west of D.C. and east of Omaha, there's a good chance you're pretty close to one of the 25 dirtiest coal plants in the U.S. Twenty of them are 50 to 100 miles away from major urban areas, according to Climate Progress.

Introducing the booze-fueled power plant

Bourbon's birthday was yesterday, but if you're anything like me, you're still celebrating. So you'll be glad to know that whisky -- we'll go with the Scottish spelling, because this is happening in Scotland -- is the newest addition to the Unlikely Biofuels Club. Helius Energy is building a 7.2-megawatt plant in Scotland that will run off of waste from whisky distilling. Isn't that so much classier than powering your car with Four Loko?

Pop-up book brings kids' ideal green cities to life

Spanish design firm Play Studios asked kids to describe what they thought cities would look like in the future, then animated the kid-rendered cities in pop-up book form. There's plenty of fantasy here, but these budding urbanists also have an eye for connected, sustainable, eco-friendly living. Check out the monorails running between buildings in Boscopolis, or the cars in Bright City that run on fallen leaves.

Houses made of bacteria could save 800 million tons of CO2

What would the world be like if we could build houses out of bacteria? For starters, the story of the Three Little Pigs might have ended very differently. But biomanufactured bricks, made of a mixture of sand and non-pathogenic bacteria, could also help house people in developing countries while saving almost 800 million tons of CO2 every year.

A thrilling tale of bicycle revenge

K.C., who writes the blog A Girl and Her Bike, is a girl with a bike. She's also a District of Columbia police officer. But …

The ‘Dirty Dozen': Which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides?

The Environmental Working Group has released an updated list of the Dirty Dozen, the fruits and vegetables with the worst pesticide levels. Drumroll please: Apples …

This is what the history of climate change research looks like

Need at-a-glance visual evidence of that "scientific consensus on climate change" we keep talking about? Skeptical Science has put together an interactive visualization of 4,000 …