How old is your phone? I bet mine is older

Planned obsolescence is morphing into desired obsolescence: Customers want gadgets to wear out so they'll have a good excuse to buy a new one. But some of us cheapskates aren't playing along.

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra on whether balloons are eco-friendly

Is there such a thing as a balloon that doesn't blow? Ask Umbra bursts a few bubbles.

Cool new game is like SimCity for the whole environment

Is environmentalism a GAME to you? Does it look like some kind of GAME??? Oh, it doesn't? Well, it could. Upcoming game Anno 2070 lets you go all Sims on the fate of the planet.

Google's open-source, wireless, smartphone-controlled lightbulb

Google continues to roll out new details about its wirelessly-controlled “smart” lightbulb, which gets around all the problems usually associated with making a home energy-aware. The latest: the company is working on open-source software that …

Fossil Fuels

Mark Ruffalo wants you to fight the tar sands

Actor Mark Ruffalo explains why you should join him and thousands of others in protesting the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 20.

Biodegradable urn helps you push up daisies

Now you can say, "I'll go green over my dead body!" and not have to worry about people thinking you've lost it. Designer Martin Azua's Bios Urn pries eco-friendliness from your cold dead hands, by using cremains …

In a world of 7 billion, what does the typical person look like?

Here's a new take on the "new normal." National Geographic has run some calculations on our population averages, now that we're staring 7 billion in the face. The verdict: The most typical human right now …


Living large — and healthy — on the bike

Bicycle transportation, despite its importance to anti-obesity campaigns, isn't necessarily a recipe for weight loss. It is, however, exactly what public health advocates should be promoting instead: An excellent way to get and stay healthy, …


The young and the carless: Ask Umbra on how to get rid of your car

Want to ditch driving for better ways of getting around? Ask Umbra has good ideas for getting rid of that hunk of metal that’s been weighing you down.