Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra’s DIY shampoo and conditioner video

Shampoo and conditioner are things you’ve likely never questioned. But did you know they weren’t used until the 20th century? These packaged products are often expensive and contain toxins that are dangerous to our health. …

diet right

People who eat organic junk food don’t know what organic means

Organic Oreos? Don’t bite the hype.EricSkiff via Creative Commons Atkins. South Beach. Master Cleanse. Each of these diets is supposed to help you lose weight (and feel great!). “Organic,” on the other hand, does not …


How to make cities more foot-friendly

Walking in heelsPhoto courtesy loungerie via FlickrOf all the commuting options available, perhaps the most overlooked is also the cleanest, healthiest, most affordable, and given to us by our mamas — feet. In a weekend …

Dirty laundry

For the agrichemical industry, organic cotton is a pest

Like the food you eat, the clothes on your back come from somewhere. If you wear cotton, that “somewhere” is ultimately a farm (with detours at a textile mill, a clothes factory, etc). Growing vast …

Decrease your carbon forkprint

Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Live chat with author Anna Lappé

Editor’s note: The chat’s now over, but you can replay it in full. Anna Lappé, author of Diet for a Hot Planet:The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do …

in the red hott seat

‘Love seats’ flirt with creating better bus times

Kadaver off the Record Copenhagen’s buses are introducing another way of getting around while you get around town: “love seats,” or “kærlighedssæder.” (Gesundheit!) A social experiment of Danish bus company, Arriva, these special spots aim …

Green is the new green

Ask Umbra on the word “green,” DIY laundry detergent, and computer batteries

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, Whenever I read the word “green” in quotation marks, I get the same sensation as when I hear nails on a chalkboard. Can you help me understand …

The GINK Chronicles

50 years after the Pill and this is the best we can do?

Happy 50th Birthday, Pill.The media are making a big deal out of fêting the Pill on its 50th birthday, but forgive me if I don’t see much reason to celebrate. Of course I’ll grant that …

Producer credit

Keeping the farmer in farmers markets

Photo: Natalie MaynorEarlier this week, the Wall Street Journal aired a bit of dirty laundry that was hiding out in local food’s hamper — the ongoing fight over who gets to sell in farmers markets. …

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