Don’t hate the player: How fun and games can encourage sustainable choices

Guilt trips and penalties don't always work to change behavior. What if we make it more fun to do the right thing?


Ask Umbra: Can I escape the clutches of palm oil?

A reader wonders if there are any palm-oil-free butter substitutes. Umbra spreads her knowledge.

Climate Change

Why climate hawks should care about birth-control access

Any morally acceptable pathway to prevent catastrophic global warming includes broad access to affordable birth control for the world's women.

Green Home

House fit for a green: Sustainable home construction booms

With the value of the residential green building market expected to grow fivefold by 2016, builders say going green is great for their business.


Grand Canyon gives Coke the finger, bans bottled water

Once upon a time, there was going to be a ban on the sale of bottled water at the Grand Canyon, because apparently people can’t be trusted to tell the difference between a majestic natural wonder and a public rubbish …

Green Living Tips

How to make mineral water … really

if you’re going to make carbonated water at all, why not live deep, suck the marrow out of life, and clone your favorite top-shelf mineral water?

Green Living Tips

Me against the world: The trouble with travel and the climate

Last fall, our green-living pioneer, the Greenie Pig, set out to offset the globe-warming gases she produced on a trip to Texas. Four months into it, she’s not even halfway to her goal. The lesson? Well, read on …


Eco-friendly LEGOs made of sawdust and coffee

Earth Blocks are basically LEGOs, but made out of coffee grounds, tree bark, sawdust, or tea chaff mixed with a plasticlike binder material. Finally, a way to teach children that being eco-friendly means playing with monochrome toys made out of …

Protein Angst

A challenge to chefs: Make me a delicious vegetarian entree — or stop claiming to care about sustainability

Chefs these days like to talk big about sustainable food, but they forget one of the key tenets of eco-friendly eating: cut back on the meat.