Green Living Tips

Cities

Getting their fair share: The rise of the barter market [VIDEO]

Barter markets — where people bring stuff they don’t want and exchange it for stuff that other people don’t want — are like urban sustainability Swiss Army knives. It’s amazing how many things they can do. They reduce the amount …

Green Living Tips

The great unwashed: Ask Umbra on twice-weekly showers

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, My two sons, age 12, shower twice a week, with prompting. I told them most Americans shower daily, and one of them stated flatly, “That’s crazy. It’s wasteful.” Now, I am all …

Green Living Tips

Too good to be true: biodegradable forks

Methane spoils everything. Natural gas drilling would be less risky if it didn't have the potential to release clouds of methane into the atmosphere. Methane cow farts make even grass-fed beef a less-green option than no beef at all. And …

Green Home

How to stay cool for next to nothing

Central AC is for suckers. Why are you cooling every inch of your house, even the dust bunnies under the couch, when the only part that actually needs to be cooled is your body? Having endured, sans air conditioning, countless …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra’s Book Club announces ‘The Joy of Less’ is next book

Dearest readers, Spring cleaning has gotten me thinking about de-cluttering — and the larger minimalist movement. It sure feels great to get rid of things we no longer use or need, but what’s to stop us from just filling up …

Green Home

Reno 9-year-old finds simple, smart water-saving solution

Two years ago, Mason Perez, then seven, went to wash deposits of ballpark ketchup and relish off his hands and face. The water in the Reno Aces ballpark poured out the faucet so hard and fast that it hurt his …

Locavore

What a hoe! — and other secrets of an orderly garden

Lookin’ sharp!Can you keep a secret? I think I’m in love. The object of my affection is about 5’4″, slender, and she’s the sharpest tool in the shed. Did I mention she’s a redhead? I’ve taken her out twice now, …

Climate & Energy

Critical List: John Bryson’s green credentials; biodegradable cups end as methane

John Bryson, Obama's new pick for commerce secretary, is a dyed-green-in-the-wool environmentalist (he co-founded NRDC), who's taken a swing through the corporate world. The U.N. carbon market shrunk for the first time since it was founded in 2005. Who's to …

Green Living Tips

Mushrooms make short work of dirty diapers

As a sustainability solution, cloth diapers were never fun. Even the most eco-minded have been known to quail in front of a pail of soiled nappies. But a team of researchers has come up with an excuse for switching back …