Umbra’s second helpings: The most sustainable forms of birth control

Birth control shouldn't be controversial. But could it be greener? Umbra pulls out an answer.


Guess what’s coming to dinner? The unprocessed food challenge continues

Having sworn off of hot dogs and Doritos, Grist’s green-living pioneer, the Greenie Pig, sets out to a backyard barbecue at a friend’s house. Her mission: to pass on the processed foods without coming off as a jerk.


Wondering which condoms to buy? Science has the answer

Debby Herbenick knows how you feel about condoms. You know you need them, but you just want to go into the drugstore, get them, and get the hell out of there. (This is basically why they invented those self-service checkout …


Vintage ads want you to eat vitamin donuts, put babies in cellophane, and spray everything with DDT

We don't think anything from our time period, besides possibly the Double Down, will cause as much consternation in the future as these vintage ads do now.


Meet Heartland, a just-discovered virus that landed two men in the hospital

It's actually not as big a deal as it sounds. But that won't stop us from going a little Hollywood.


Heart of glass: Has nature healed a California beach, or does that just make us feel better about our trash?

On the Northern California coastline, the ocean is swallowing up a former garbage dump -- a sign of Mother Nature’s power, sure, and a reminder of our wasteful ways.

Climate & Energy

Mice are killing people in California, scaring away subway riders in Britain

The spread of hantavirus among mice appears to be an unpleasant side effect of climate change.


Keeping it in the family: BPA’s effects might last in our bodies for generations

Scientists who exposed mice to BPA at low-level, consistent doses found that it caused genetic and behavioral changes that persisted for generations.


Ask Umbra: My dog’s pee pads are breaking my heart

A reader wants to find a sustainable alternative to her dog's disposable pee pads. Umbra sniffs around for an answer.