Living

Oh baby

Ask Umbra on birth control, single-serve coffee, and sanitizing countertops

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, In light of Lisa Hymas’ current series on GINKing, can you fill us in on the most eco-friendly forms of birth control currently available? Keeping It Kid FreeSeattle A. Dearest Kid Free, Indeed the “green inclinations, no kids” (GINK) posts have caused quite the stir. I’ve only dared to poke the issue with a 10-foot pole a few times in the past, but I think it’s a topic that deserves its place in the sun. I’ve also broached the subject of contraception previously, but it’s been several years and is totally worth …

The final countdown

Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Are you a possum?

Dearest readers, Thank you all so much for joining me this week as we got down and dirty with our first book club selection, Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money, hitting all the hot buttons like leaving the rat race, eating meat, and bucking the education system. We’re in the homestretch—let’s make Dolly Freed proud with our last day of discussion. So do you think there’s something to this whole possum living thing? And if the lifestyle is as simple as Freed says it is, why aren’t more people doing it? Is …

Circle of live(savers)

Wal-Mart stores are littered with wasteful products this month

This month, in honor of Earth Day, Wal-Mart is selling garbage next to the garbage already on the shelves. The only difference is that these new products have been reincarnated into useful items thanks to the upcycling company TerraCycle. Until April 29, these kites, pots, and bags made from waste are being sold right next to the products they come from. For example, this Oreo-branded backpack is on sale next to boxes of real Oreos:               As an added bonus, some kids might even pick up the backpacks thinking they’re full of Oreos. (The …

7 weird, yet helpful green tips from celebrities

From cooking recipes for gas-free beans to sipping on sustainably sourced biodiesel, find out which of your favorite celebrities are serving up (at times) more than a little weird, yet helpful tips to leading greener lifestyles. A star finds an unusual cure for acne, excess phlegm, and other unmentionables; a Hollywood heartthrob and HBO star rummages through the lost-and-found; and a Grammy Award-winning musician suggests steamy shower sessions for curbing water consumption. Here are some of our favorite green tips from celebrities. Woody Harrelson in Zombieland.Photo via Treehugger1. Woody Harrelson goes milk-free and then vegan to cure runny nose, redness, …

thank you for smoking?

Smokers to get their greenbutts in gear with compostable cigarettes

green-butts.com We’re not sure how Sir Mix-a-lot would feel about these butts, but hipsters would probably be all over them. Although … if so-called “100% natural” cigarette filters do become a biodegradable, flower-seeding reality, will it also unleash an invasion of smug litterbugs?* *Disclaimer: Smoking is gross. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.

Feng shweet!

The secret life of green roofs [SLIDESHOW]

The city of Portland, Ore., is aiming for 49 total acres of eco-roofs in the city by 2013 (the city’s paying up to $5 per square foot to any home or business that builds one). But what about green roofs outside the urban environment? What’s the appeal there? Blending more with the natural surroundings? Sure, green roofs are beautiful, keep your abode cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and tastier for wildlife passers-by. But, we wonder, what stories and mysteries lie beneath the non-urban eco-roofs … Photo courtesy shropshiretraveller via deviantART The fourth little pig, having hired an …

short-circuiting the runway

How to make recycling e-waste fashionable

Steven Rodrig, PCB Creations Don’t e-waste your money on a new pair of shoes when you could rock the look that screams “electronic fashionista” and “responsible recycler.” You’ll be breaking hearts — and circuits — when you strut out in heels that will never leave you feeling board. I suppose this artist either totally rejects or totally embraces the idea of throwaway fashion. —————————————————————————————————————————————————– Like what you see? Sign up to receive The Grist List, our email roundup of pun-usual green news just like this, sent out every Friday.

(Not) As seen on TV

The real ‘Food Revolution’ starts with healthy Appalachian cornbread

Why can’t a revolution based on traditional Appalachian foodways be televised?Photo: April McGreger Having watched the first three episodes, I’ve been thinking a lot about Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” TV Show. Who can argue with his efforts to get fresh food into West Virginia’s schools? No doubt, the pantries and fridges in most school cafeterias need to be purged and restocked. However, from what I can tell so far, our imported food revolutionary could stand to slow down and think a little bit harder about what he’s up to. First, Oliver has demonstrated little knowledge of (or interest in) the …

Let's do lunch

Egger’s Head: School lunches

Robert Egger has a lot going on in his head. Just ask him. As a nonprofit entrepreneur, a serial searcher for ordinary people doing extraordinary things, a deeply deep thoughts kind of guy, Egger gives us something to ponder every week. In this installment, he scratches his noggin over the school lunch crisis, which has become a hot topic of conversation and debate lately. We’ve got it covered from soup to nuts, as they say. You can catch up here on the tasty Grist discussion about school lunches.