Living

Enfant Terrible?

Umbra advises on population

Q. Dear Umbra, You once replied to a request for some simple things all environmentally concerned individuals should do by pointing them toward some “Top Ten lists” for eco-minded people. Without a doubt, hands down, the number 1 action that should be followed for anyone concerned with the environment is to limit your procreation to 1 child per individual (2 per couple), i.e., replace yourself only. This dwarfs anything you might do in other areas, like using compact fluorescents or choosing paper over plastic, or weatherizing your home. Stan B.Williamsburg, Mich. A. Dearest Stan, The ten-foot pole gives reproduction another …

Ugh, April 22nd already?

What’s the matter with Earth Day?

Tip #1: Make every day Earth Day by killing the vampires. Our advice queen Umbra Fisk tells you how to cut your spending on electricity in this recent video. Less energy use = less coal and natural gas burned to produce electricity. … Why does Grist hate Earth Day, you may be wondering? Are you guys jealous or something? No … yes … not really … then again, sorta. You see, every year as the calendar approaches April 22, the Grist staff gets cranky. “Here it comes,” we say to ourselves, “the day we’re supposed to do something GREEN and …

Sweetness and light

The lowdown on agave nectar and other ‘natural’ sweeteners

Agave: not just for tequila anymoreDear Checkout Line,What’s the skinny on sweeteners? I use agave nectar, but I’m wondering if the same thing that makes tequila can be good for me and my six-year old!  Is sucanat just another word for “sugar”? And what about Stevia? Liquid or powder, fair trade, organic — it’s all making me woozy. Or maybe that’s just my blood sugar. Thanks for checking it out,Sweetie Dear Sweetie,Your point on agave nectar is well-taken: Can the same plant that produces a drink that yields only hazy memories of crazy dancing, Miranda rights, and a Vegas wedding …

The Grist List

From Kanye to Kicks

Photo: SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr.Drink West, young manHip-hop ego Kanye is putting down the Louis Vuitton and picking up his very own organic energy drink. He plans to make it harder, better, faster, stronger by filling it with “what inspires him.” Hm … bet it pairs nicely with fish sticks. (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List — or view them all on a single page.)    

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Don’t buy Kimberly-Clark’s latest ruse

If a huge coal power plant goes next door and sets up a cute little boutique collection of five solar panels, have your basic feelings about that giant coal power plant changed? Probably not. After all, you’re reading Grist. But what if said coal company releases advertisements announcing that they’ve “gone solar,” complete with misleading close-up pics of those cute solar panels? Enough people might fall for it to make the ads worthwhile. Call it the cute little dollhouse effect: a nasty company builds a cute, green dollhouse version of their house, takes misleading pics suggesting that the dollhouse is …

A Clarity Day

Hydrogen fuel-cell car wins 2009 World Green Car award

Honda FCX Clarity.Photo courtesy of the New York International Auto Show.Is the Honda FCX Clarity really the world’s greenest car? According to the world’s leading automotive journalists, it is. Thursday morning they gave the hydrogen-fueled Clarity the World Green Car award at the New York auto show. But at my table, after the award was announced, there was a collective response of, huh? Auto show awards can often serve more for PR purposes than as actual testaments of a vehicle’s merit, but it was still a surprise when the hydrogen-fueled Clarity bested the electric Mitsubishi iMiev and the super fuel-efficient …

Ramp it up

Stalking the wild leeks of spring

On-ramp to flavorPhoto: dano272Early-spring walks in the woods are rewarding on their own. But while you  enjoy those first few sunny days after a nourishing spring rain, why not look for things that can feed your belly as well as your soul?  The woodlands here in the upper Midwest are teeming with gourmet goodies in the spring, and this abundance is there for the taking–if you just know where to look. Gathering wild foods is probably the most sustainable, and certainly the most ancient way to provide delicious and nourishing local food for your family.  It dates back to before …

Swept of my Fiat

Chrysler opens with a Fiat at the New York Auto Show

Photo courtesy of the New York International Auto Show. How will Chrysler save itself (and maybe even the auto industry)? With a tiny blue coupe tricked out with italian-leather seats, of course.  If there was any doubt about how large a role Fiat will play in Chrysler’s restructuring, Chrysler vice chairman Jim Press silenced those questions by driving on stage in a cobalt blue Fiat 500 at the New York International Auto Show on Wednesday.  The point of Chrysler’s press conference was supposedly to announce the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, but Press took a few minutes to make his bravissimo …

For a limited time only

Send in your green questions for Grist for Earth Day answers

Got a burning green question Grist hasn't answered yet? (Hard to believe, I know.) Think quick because you have until 3 PM Pacific today to send 'em in because our big brains -- along with a few other online eco-friends' -- will be answering them in a video montage for Earth Day.

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