Living

Living

Trashtivist: Where did the garbage go?

I want to tell you stories about my gross garbage. I really do. But so far, there's just not that much of it.

Could you squeeze into the world's skinniest house?

Why this drought will be way, way worse than the last one

A New York Times article about the current drought in the South compares it to a record-setting dry spell 60 years ago: Climatologists say the great drought of 2011 is starting to look a lot like the one that hit the nation in the early to mid-1950s. That, too, dried a broad part of the southern tier of states into leather and remains a record breaker. But this time, things are different in the drought belt. With states and towns short on cash and unemployment still high, the stress on the land and the people who rely on it for a living is being amplified by political and economic forces, state and local officials say. As a result, this drought is likely to have the cultural impact of the great 1930s drought, which hammered an already weakened nation. But it's not just the economy that's worse now than it was in the 1950s. Water usage is also way, way up. This drought rivals the record-setting 1950s drought -- it's already breaking records in some states -- but it comes at a time when the population is double what it was in 1950, and total water use is more than twice as high.

Living

Ask Umbra Book Club: How sustainable is minimalism?

Welcome to the first day of discussing Ask Umbra's July book club pick, The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Living Guide.

Living

Umbra takes on 25 dares in 25 days

Ask Umbra takes on a new sustainable living dare every day for 25 days.

DuPont herbicide may have caused mysterious tree plague

Millions of dollars worth of spruce and pine trees across the country have mysteriously withered and died in the past few months. The likely culprit is an herbicide marketed as a way to control lawn pests like dandelions. The herbicide is Imprelis, a new product from DuPont. It was supposed to be better for the environment than its predecessors and has been sold at a premium to professional landscapers. DuPont claims it "may not have been mixed properly or was applied with other herbicides." Landscapers just want to know if they're going to have to pay to replace the trees that died on their watch.

Thomas Edison would have loved energy-efficient bulbs

Thomas Edison's great-grandson, David Edison Sloane, is not mincing words when it comes to the GOP wanting to repeal energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs: As an inventor, Edison would have no interest in turning back the legislative clock. The wizard of Menlo Park dedicated himself to advancing human comfort, not freeze life as we knew it in 1879. Oh snap! Edison's great-grandson just called you retrogressive.

Living

Plastic purge: The poo problem

Millions of pet dogs in the United States means a lot of poo-filled plastic bags in landfills. Here's how Hank and I figured out a solution to that nasty mess.

Green Living Tips

Unwet and wild: Ask Umbra on dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is the latest hair-care craze. Ask Umbra investigates the tangled truth.

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

Sure!  
×