Grist List

Cities

New walkability scoring site factors in safety, attractiveness, and hills

Walk Score is a wonderful thing, but it is not perfect. Therefore, it now has some competitors. The newest would-be Walk Score killer is Walkonomics, a site that tells you more than just how close you are to shops and restaurants and other places to which you might want to walk. FastCoExist explains: Ideally, you also want to know things like how safe the streets are, whether the sidewalks are wide enough, how clear the signage is, and also — less tangibly — how clean the street is, and whether it’s relaxing and fun. Distance, in other words, is not …

Living

$50 solar-powered water purifier is so green it’s like a joke

This invention is like a parody of a green technology: It’s solar-powered, it reduces pollution, and it provides clean water. All at once!! But we have to admit, it looks pretty useful and is actually rather attractive. TreeHugger reports: The Eliodomestico works like an upside-down coffee percolator to desalinate salt water. The ceramic oven has three main pieces. The top black container is where the salt water is poured. As the sun heats the salt water and creates steam, the pressure that builds pushes the steam through a pipe in the middle section. The steam condenses against the lid of …

How sea otters are saving the oceans

Sea otters are not only cute, they are important to the health of the ocean. This is how it works: When there are too many sea urchins, there is not enough kelp. When there is not enough kelp, there is more CO2 in the ocean, and that means that fish die and basically all hell breaks loose. But the otters eat the sea urchins, thus keeping the rest of the ocean in balance.

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