Grist List

Food

Half of Americans drink at least one glass of soda every day

Gallup has discovered a great divide in American society: There are those of us who drink soda and those of us who do not, and the country’s split almost exactly down the middle. Soda drinkers make up 48 percent of the country’s population. These are the people who drink at least one glass of soda every day — half of them drink more than two. Then there are the rest of us — 52 percent of Americans only drink soda every once in awhile:

Animals

Wolverines refrigerate their food

Wolverines are loners, and they don’t like to share. They try not to hang out anywhere near other wolverines or other mammals, a social preference that some of us can relate to. And like other grumpy, anti-social creatures, wolverines do not like to share their food. You’d think that they’d be safe by living in the coldest reaches of the planet, in the middle of snowy wastelands. But they cannot escape the pesky insects and microbes that find a way to live anywhere and that would be happy to feast on the food that wolverines have scared up. To defeat …

Living

This beer coaster can grow into a tree

It’s a little too easy to create a ton of waste while you’re getting wasted. Unless you’re near a store that provides growlers or you invest in a keg, drinking a lot of beer creates a lot of empty beer cans. And if you happen to be drinking at one of those bars that hands out paper coasters a little too liberally, you’re piling up even more useless waste. The beer company Molson Canadian’s on a green kick, though, and they’ve created coasters that aren’t entirely useless. Each coaster has seeds wedged in it, and if you plant it and …

Biking

In Copenhagen, you can check bikes out from the bicycle library

We love a good bike share, but you have to admit that the bikes all look the same. Meanwhile, people’s bicycle preferences and needs are as varied as … well, as their taste in books. Which is why Copenhagen, always first with the bike innovations, lets you borrow bikes from the bicycle library.

Climate & Energy

The sun’s atmosphere looks like an amazing painting

Sure, the surface of the sun is hot and all, but the sun’s atmosphere is hotter — by a factor of 1,000. And as it turns out, it’s not just hot like “will burn you up faster than a Tony Robbins seminar” hot. It’s also hot like gorrrrrrrrgeous. Scientists know that the sun’s atmosphere (the corona) is hot as hell, but they don’’t know exactly how it behaves. So a smarter-than-smart NASA scientist decided to make a colored image of its heating and cooling patterns. The result is fabulous:

Food

How to eat ice cream and end an unjust criminal system at the exact same time

Driving around upstate New York, you see a lot of abandoned dairy farms and a lot of struggling towns with prisons nearby. They’re connected: As milk prices dropped and the state’s dairy industry started suffering, politicians brought prisons upstate as a job-creation programs. Milk Not Jails aims to break that connection by creating economic opportunities in the dairy industry instead of the prison industrial complex, Treehugger reports. The grassroots groups partners with smaller dairy farms whose owners support criminal justice reform, and helps them sell their products in New York City. That’s a perfect target market for a combined dairy/prison …

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