Living

Live for free (almost) in a tiny home

How big is 320 square feet? It's roughly the size of a school bus. And Debra and Gary live in that amount of space with their teenage son. Why? Well, for starters, because it cost …

Critical List: John Bryson’s green credentials; biodegradable cups end as methane

John Bryson, Obama's new pick for commerce secretary, is a dyed-green-in-the-wool environmentalist (he co-founded NRDC), who's taken a swing through the corporate world. The U.N. carbon market shrunk for the first time since it was …

Cities

Great places: smart density as part of economic flourishing

Bring people together in a great place and great things happen.This is part four in a series on “great places.” Read parts one, two, three, and five. So far I’ve written that great places are …

Greening Barbie’s Dream House

Architect Barbie is building a new Dream House, and she needs help! Members of the American Institute of Architects can submit plans that fit Barbie's criteria, which include a house that "should reflect the best …

Green Home

Dim bulbs: Umbra on the supposed dangers of CFLs

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, My sister recently posted a story about CFLs causing cancer to her Facebook feed. Is there anything to this latest attempt to vilify the little lamps? Brian …

How to build a better playground

This story was written by Shanti Menon. In her new book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation, Berkeley-based environmental planner Sharon Danks explores the ways in which landscape design, architecture, child development, and …

How commuting can ruin your marriage

At least in Sweden, people who have a long-distance commute are 40 percent more likely to separate or divorce. That’s the finding of Erika Sandow, a Swedish social geographer who studied more than two million …

Mushrooms make short work of dirty diapers

As a sustainability solution, cloth diapers were never fun. Even the most eco-minded have been known to quail in front of a pail of soiled nappies. But a team of researchers has come up with …

Turn your car into a car-share

So you’ve successfully reduced your car usage, and now you have this hunk of metal sitting around outside your house, like a garden gnome that needs annual emissions inspections. Why not share it, and maybe …