Living

Living

Umbra’s second helpings: DIY lube [VIDEO]

Looking for love products in all the wrong places? Don't let toxic lubes rub you the wrong way. Umbra puts a little green lotion in your motion.

Living

J.K. Rowling’s sustainable-wood treehouse is a mini-Hogwarts

Every thing that J.K. Rowling thinks of is magic. Well, maybe not her novels for adults. But definitely this two-story treehouse that looks like a mini-Hogwarts.

Living

Carly Rae Jepsen communes with nature in her new video

If you were looking for the perfect capstone to your “driving your tiny car to the woods for an awesome camping adventure” mix, then your problems are solved: Just throw the whole playlist away and replace it with this song …

Climate Change

Nature, revised: In a brave new world, we write the rules

Eco-critic Ursula Heise talks about the tired stories we tell about the planet, and suggests that we find some new ones.

Animals

Wolverines refrigerate their food

Wolverines are loners, and they don’t like to share. They try not to hang out anywhere near other wolverines or other mammals, a social preference that some of us can relate to. And like other grumpy, anti-social creatures, wolverines do …

Living

This beer coaster can grow into a tree

It’s a little too easy to create a ton of waste while you’re getting wasted. Unless you’re near a store that provides growlers or you invest in a keg, drinking a lot of beer creates a lot of empty beer …

Population

Security hawks should be freaked about population growth

Civil conflicts tend to crop up in countries with lots of young people and not enough jobs. See: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and the Palestinian territories.

Cleantech

Levitating LED light bulb could easily be the coolest thing in your house

The internet is full of makers, creating homebrewed technology out of stuff they have lying around, but every so often someone makes a thing that I can totally see as the centerpiece of tomorrow’s science-fiction way of life. For instance, …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra: Should I buy a refurbished laptop for college?

A reader asks if it does the planet any good to buy a used computer rather than a new one. Umbra takes a byte out of the question.