Living

How to stay cool for next to nothing

Central AC is for suckers. Why are you cooling every inch of your house, even the dust bunnies under the couch, when the only part that actually needs to be cooled is your body? Having …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra’s Book Club announces ‘The Joy of Less’ is next book

Dearest readers, Spring cleaning has gotten me thinking about de-cluttering — and the larger minimalist movement. It sure feels great to get rid of things we no longer use or need, but what’s to stop …

EPA critics are hogging the air time

According to a Media Matters report, cable news channels are flooding the airwaves with people who oppose the EPA's rules regulating greenhouse gases: They get four times as much airtime as supporters. Of 199 guests …

Food

Contaminated compost? Toxins might be lurking in that bag you’re about to buy

Do you know what’s in your compost?The growing number of municipal and commercial composting operations has been one of the few bright spots in the environmental landscape, from San Francisco’s curbside composting service to this …

Websites help you choose a walkable, low-commute home

Looking for an apartment involves a lot of guesswork — if you believe Craigslist, absolutely everything is "steps from shopping and transportation!" If you want to figure out how to maximize walkability and minimize commute, …

Solar-powered bikini lets you charge gadgets with your boobs

Everybody knows you're not supposed to get a tan anymore. So what's the point of lying out on the beach, if you're just going to wear SPF 800 sunscreen? Well, if you're sporting designer Andrew …

Reno 9-year-old finds simple, smart water-saving solution

Two years ago, Mason Perez, then seven, went to wash deposits of ballpark ketchup and relish off his hands and face. The water in the Reno Aces ballpark poured out the faucet so hard and …

Living

Hoofin’ it: Ask Umbra on faux-leather Birkenstocks

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I love Birkenstocks, but what’s the deal with Birko-Flor? A leather alternative, sure. But they’re vinyl, and I believe vinyl is a four-letter word in Grist world. …

Finally, Congress has a sensible solution to high gas prices: Drive less

Rep. Earl Blumenauer and the congressional Livable Communities Task Force are still patiently trying to explain to the rest of Congress that it might be a good idea for people to be able to move …