Sarah Laskow

Sarah Laskow is a reporter based in New York City who covers environment, energy, and sustainability issues, among other things.

Business & Technology

The federal government wants to pay for your electric bicycle

Electric bikes and electric motorcycles are awesome. They help you go up hills. They help you reach your destination with a minimum of armpit sweat. And they do this while dumping less carbon into atmosphere than their gas-powered equivalents. (Yes, there is such thing as a gas-powered bicycle. Yah. It’s stupid. We know.) The only problem with e-bikes is that they’re expensive as hell. But it’s your lucky day, because the federal government wants to help you buy one. Technically, what the government wants to do is give you a break on your taxes for buying an e-cycle of any …

This jawfish is a more dedicated parent than any human will ever be

This fish will gestate its babies in its mouth. He doesn’t eat while they’re developing. Would you do that for your babies?

Cities

At Etsy, even the trash travels by bike

If this were a Portlandia sketch, you’d think it was too unrealistic.

This is what four decades of Amazon deforestation looks like. (Spoiler: It’s bad)

NASA satellites might capture some amazing images of the Earth's surface, but they capture some incredibly depressing shots, too.

Living

If this photo doesn’t make you want to live in a tiny house, nothing will

We love us a good tiny house, but you know what is better than your run-of-the-mill tiny house? A tiny house on a tiny rock. A tiny house on a tiny rock in the middle of a river. With a kayak your only connection to land.

Cities

Awesome idea: Require a cycling test to get a driver’s license

As a cyclist, sharing the road with cars is scary, for obvious reasons: They’re gigantic metal objects moving fast enough to kill you. But as a driver, sharing the roads with cyclists is also kinda scary. Most drivers are good people who don’t want to kill anyone while they’re out doing errands, but they don’t really understand the logic of how cyclists behave. At the Guardian, Tom Richards has a simple suggestion to ameliorate this problem and to make the roads safer: Make sure that people driving cars on the road have had experience biking on the road, too.

These bands are ditching tour buses for tour bikes and tour trains

Tour buses are basically synonymous with sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll, and also that scene in Almost Famous that guaranteed you’ve still got “Tiny Dancer” in your head. But now some bands are ditching buses altogether. It doesn’t matter if you’re just a guy with a guitar who wants to get up on that stage and sing your heart out or if you’re a 10-piece band with the show to match — you can pull off a whole tour minus the gas-guzzling groupie machine. Ben Sollee and his band, for example, are on a Ditch the Van tour this …

Cities

Crowdfund your community project with Brickstarter

Bryan Boyer and Dan Hill may be saints, sent down on high by the God of City Planning. They have come up with a tool that may actually make the process of improving a neighborhood less tedious, less difficult, and less prone to 10-hour-long community meetings in which everyone has to say what they think. It’s not finished yet, but if Brickstarter, a crowdsourcing tool for community projects, does what it promises, starting a community garden or a co-working space may no longer take years off your life, both in time and in stress. Wired explains: People can propose projects, …

Even fish are getting skin cancer now

For the pale-skinned among us, the ocean is one of the most dangerous places to be. There’s no place to hide from the sun, and the water is so frickin’ reflective that even if that SPF 45 sunblock weren’t being washed off by waves and spray, it wouldn’t do much good anyway. But for the fish, the ocean should be a safe place. At the very least, they shouldn’t have to worry about the sun. However, we humans have made a gigantic hole in the ozone (remember that thing? Still there!), and part of that hole is over the ocean. …

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