Living

Biking

So what is this Cycle Chic movement?

Cycle Chic is about the "rehumanification" of cycling. Open your closet, put on something you love, get on your bike, and go.

Green Living Tips

Barking up the wrong tree: Ask Umbra on printing emails

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Can you bring some balance and common sense to the Wall Street Journal‘s aw-shucks oversimplification of the issue of to print or not to print emails? I learned about it from a few colleagues’ change in email signatures, encouraging people to print their emails to promote a “sustainable” industry. I was amused at first, but now I’m getting worried. Greenwashing a wasteful habit is trivializing and dismissing a serious contribution to our landfill issues and carbon footprint. Bit o’ Sunshine Don’t get too cozy with the idea of printing out reams of …

Study: Rich old Republicans are pessimistic about your future

A new Gallup poll finds that only 44 percent of those surveyed thought that today's youth would have a better life than their parents. That's worse than during the recession. In fact, it's the lowest percentage on record, for a question they've been asking since 1983. (The highest, weirdly, was in December 2001 — 71 percent of people thought youth would be better off then, way more than in any other year. It must have been all that post-9/11 optimism.)  But the actual youth aren't feeling that dire. Among people ages 18 to 29, 57 percent thought they'd be better …

Living

Sharing and caring: the implications of collaborative consumption

Rachel Botsman wants you to share.Lots of the most interesting changes in the direction of sustainability are happening outside green politics (i.e., the stuff I’m always writing about). One that’s always fascinated me is the spread of sharing economies, or “collaborative consumption.” Grist had Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, authors of What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, in to visit the office a while back and they got me fired up about it all over again. Now there’s a big feature piece in Fast Company, “The Sharing Economy,” in which Botsman and others discuss a dazzling variety …

Population

World population projected to hit 7 billion on Oct. 31

      Image: National GeographicToday, the United Nations announced that the world’s population will reach an historic 7 billion people on Oct. 31, 2011. World population hit 1 billion people in 1804. It took 123 years to add the next billion, but less than a century to cruise past the next four billion — from 2 billion people in 1927 to 6 billion people in 1999. The U.N.’s Population Division also projected that the world will reach just over 10 billion by 2100, a number based on many uncertain assumptions about the future. Demographic projections are often mistaken for predictions, but they …

Turn a month of trash into a month of treasure

A couple of Austrian design students have issued a challenge — to themselves, but you can get in on it. They're posting an upcycling project every day for 30 days, and for every guest submission they post, they'll extend the project one day. Send in your upcycling ideas and help them rehabilitate a month — or six months, or a year — worth of trash. Some of our favorites: Coat hangers made of metal measuring tapes have an advantage over the regular kind: They can fold up to travel. A lot of bakeries and bread companies discard loaves that are a …

Green Living Tips

Care about the forest? Here’s what you can do

Who cares about the forest? That’s the question author/artist Franke James explores in this creative personal story commissioned by the Forest Stewardship Council of Canada. Check out the visual essay below, or watch it as an animated video.

How to help victims of the Alabama tornadoes

Alabama's still reeling from severe tornadoes. Supporting the environment also means supporting humans when the environment f*cks them over, so we figure you're looking for a way to throw your shoulder in. Here are some ideas for how to do your part for people who may not be feeling so keen on Mother Nature right now. If you're in the area, volunteer. Among other things, various organizations need people who can/are willing to: Translate Spanish Socialize with seniors Operate a chainsaw Clean up Serve food Drive people to FEMA stations If you're not in the area, donate money to relief groups. …

Green Living Tips

A very, very, very fine house: Ask Umbra on communal living

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, How do I reduce my carbon footprint in a house full of people? Hannah HulsePort Orchard, Wash. A. Dearest Hannah, How best to keep it cool in a communal house?Photo: sheepwoolinsulation.ie You’re on one of those reality shows where they all live together, aren’t you? America’s Next Big Brother of the Jersey Shore, I think it’s called. I’m glad you wrote in — now I have your autograph! Maybe I can barter it at the farmers market for some of their lovely goat’s milk cheese. Communal living, filmed or not, is tricky …

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