Secondhand style: No hoochie dresses, please

Grist dared me to wear nothing but thrift store clothes for a week. Dresses? No problem. Shoes -- well, that's another story.


Plastic purge: The good, the bad, and the ugly

The plastic purge is over, and here's what I've learned: Avoiding plastic makes you lose weight.

Green Living Tips

Burn, baby, burn: Ask Umbra on sun-protective clothing

Do pricy sun-protective garments really do a better job than regular old clothes? Ask Umbra unbuttons the question.


Viva veggies: Say goodbye to bacon, boys

You should be a vegetarian, and so should I. So I'm going to try it for one week, and drag my family along with me.


25 days of dares: Kiss a cow, cut the shower short

This is Umbra’s third entry in the series “Grist dared me to make a change.” Read the first and second here. And support her dare with a gift to Grist! Day 7, July 11: Meatless …


Trashtivist: Shameful soup stink

The take-out food is killing me. My trash bag smells like old lentil soup. But when you have kids, you have to feed them.

For the first time ever, renters can get solar incentives, too

There's a reason California is the largest solar market in the country -- I mean, aside from its abundance of sun. Namely, its regulators keep coming up with new ways to allow people to DIY-up …


Ask Umbra Book Club: Is minimalism just for the rich?

Is a streamlined life something only a privileged elite can afford? Ask Umbra explores.

Green Home

Not one more winter in the tipi, honey

Going off the grid seems romantic at first, but unfortunately, women are often the first to encounter the worst realities of homesteading.