Living

Living

Wool balls keep your laundry soft, and maaaaybe save energy

When I was taught to do laundry, I was told that a Bounce dryer sheet went into the dryer with every load of wet clothes. But the green-minded among us have come up with a better solution to keeping your …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra: What’s up with those ‘DO NOT EAT’ packets in shoeboxes and pill bottles?

A reader wonders what to do with those silica gel packs that come with vitamins and shoes. Umbra offers her a chill pill.

Green Living Tips

Umbra’s second helpings: Keeping your cool without air-conditioning

A reader wonders about the best ways to beat the heat. Umbra has plenty of suggestions for this hot topic.

Living

Giant fish made of plastic bottles make Rio+20 look like Burning Man

What does the Rio+20 conference have in common with Burning Man? Apparently, the fact that you might encounter weird, large-scale art made of recycled materials. These fish, made from discarded bottles, grace the Botafogo beach near the conference. From certain …

Living

Ikea won’t tell where it gets its wood — and Congress is about to give it a pass

Particleboard is the furniture equivalent of mystery meat -- and Ikea, which in the past has been a leader in responsible wood sourcing, is helping keep it that way.

Population

Why women’s needs must be part of the conversation at Rio

Increasing women's reproductive freedom is crucial to building a more sustainable world. So why are their needs largely being ignored at the Earth Summit?

Green Living Tips

Good clean fun: Can green gadgets replace the washing machine?

Grist's green-living pioneer, the Greenie Pig, tries her hand -- literally -- at skipping the resource-guzzling washer and dryer.

Media

Newly discovered mushroom is actually a rubber vagina

Well here’s a story that sounds like an urban legend: Villagers in China unearthed a mysterious plant that they thought might be some type of mushroom. It’s described as “fleshy and meaty,” with “something that looks like lips” at one …

Living

The Christmas lights of the future will run on firefly juice

Fireflies make light without electricity, and by copying them, scientists have figured out how to do the same thing. Only instead of the yellowish light of fireflies in the night, a team at Syracuse University has figured out how to …