Ask Umbra: Can air fresheners make you sick?

A reader wonders about the effects of air fresheners. Umbra clears the air.


Sinners, repent! How our natural self-bias got us into this mess

This interview originally appeared in the Last Word on Nothing. Dearest readers, we hope you had a gluttonous, slothful, greedy, and lustful holiday, with only the tiniest touches of wrath. My compatriots and I at …


Dispatches from a no-wrap Christmas

Photo: plastic_batFor my mother, sweet vindication came as an early Christmas gift this year on page 59 of a lifestyle magazine. This particular magazine, which specializes in snappy home décor, delicious cookery, and other ways …


What are your green New Year’s resolutions?

What are your goals and plans for making 2012 the greatest, greenest year ever? Will you bike more? Cook more? Drive less? Go nuts with LEDs? Knit sweaters for penguins? Donate socks to weasels? Embrace …

Climate & Energy

Decor that helps you feel good about your power source

These adhesive decals stick to any flat surface and are even PVC-free! Why opt for green energy if you can't remind yourself and your guests about it every time you turn on the light? I'm …


Critical List: Deaths rise in Philippines flooding; how to recycle your Christmas tree

The death toll for flooding in the Philippines is over 2,500. For the first time in six decades, harbor porpoises are hanging out in the San Francisco Bay. First Solar, a company that makes thin-film …


Top five New Year’s resolutions for planet and profit

It’s that time of year when someone at a holiday gathering inevitably asks about your resolutions for 2012. Feel free to plagiarize mine: 5. Grow more of my own food. China’s biggest dairy admitted that …

Green Living Tips

‘Evotourism’ is the new ecotourism

Why journey all over the planet visiting natural wonders that are sure to disappear by the time your grandchildren are old enough to curse your profligate ways, when you can journey into the past, which …


Driving has lost its cool for young Americans

I’d rather be texting.Amidst all the hand-wringing over distracted driving, a critical point is getting lost. The problem isn’t the texting — it’s the driving. Clive Thompson made this argument in Wired last year: When …