Living

It Could Be Verse

Climate-news poem: apocalypse edition

This here is a cinquain! My seventh-grade teacher would be so proud. Check out the growing collection of weekly climate-news poems. Report: We’re in trouble. Frost, blight, drought, pests, high seas. We should move to safer ground now! But where? NOAA chief Jane Lubchenco and Obama science adviser John Holdren unveiled the government’s new, massive report on climate change impacts.Kate Sheppard / Grist

Going bananas

Can we be ‘green’ and eat tropical products, too?

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. ———————- Is your green cred slipping? Dear Checkout Line,We try to buy local food whenever we can. Some things just seem doomed to have air miles on them, though. Is there anywhere in the U.S. that can grow bananas? Or coffee and tea?Best,Pat Dear Pat,Personal confession: If frequent-flyer miles were assigned to my coffee habit, I could probably commute from New England to Tibet for free. After doing …

The House Doctors Are In

Symptom: High utility bills; Diagnosis: Full energy efficiency workup

Photo illustration by Tom Twigg / Grist The red Honda Fit from a local car-sharing service pulls into the driveway of a suburban San Francisco Bay-area home, and two clean-cut young guys in khaki jump out and start unloading a Ghostbusters array of gadgets — something resembling a giant black megaphone, a glowing tube attached to a video screen, and a handheld device that looks like it was pilfered from Dr. McCoy’s sick bay. Meet the “greenup” team from Sustainable Spaces, a four-year-old San Francisco firm that conducts residential energy audits and energy efficiency retrofits to shrink a home’s carbon …

The Grist List: From Beer Soap to Banana Skins

Beer Soap turns lager into lather, and more

BudwasherNext time you bathe, boys, lager up with a bar of Beer Soap, guaranteed to do a better job of attracting the ladies than, uh, just the beer alone.   (Click below to see the next item in this week’s Grist List—or view them all on a single page.)                

Jam session

I find my thrill in blueberry preserves–and so can you

As we approach the summer solstice, long, hot days spur a growth frenzy in the garden. That explosion of fertility produces the excesses that I live for. I love being swamped by 100 pounds of the fragile soft fruits of summer. It is a race against time. I must work quickly in order to get the fruit processed while it is at its prime. There is no satisfaction quite like turning the problem of too large a harvest, bound for the compost heap, into a prized condiment that will brighten the rest of the year. Have you pancakes and eat …

Welcome to the JP Green House

In which we chronicle the creation of a groundbreaking eco-home

Editor’s note: This month, Grist contributor Ken Ward and his partner Andrée Zaleska begin chronicling their conversion of a rundown, 100-year-old store into a green home that serves as both family living quarters and a public space for climate activism, green building education, and community gatherings. Recently, I visited the pair for a tour of the space — and an up-close glimpse of their dreams. When the JP Green House is finished, it will be a marvel to behold. From the eco-insulation to the stage for community performances, from the backyard beekeeping to the front-stoop organizing, the house will be …

Mother Earth? Try Father Earth

Slideshow: Green dads we heart

When it comes to eco-parenting, mothers tend to get the spotlight — everything from cultural references (Mother Earth and Mother Nature, anyone?) to marketing blitzes (hello, Big Green Purse!). But there are plenty of fathers out there doing their part for both progeny and planet. We showcase a few of them here, including our own Grist staff dads.

Sparkling Wit

Ask Umbra on rinse aids

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dearest Umbra, While pleased as pie to have a new super-efficient dishwasher, I remain curious as to the chemical composition of the required rinse aid. This dishwasher relies on a hot water rinse and its stainless steel tub to somehow dry the dishes — there is no energy-sucking, plastic-melting heating element to accomplish dryness. However, this dishwasher will not run unless its rinse aid receptacle is filled. While I could probably trick it by filling the rinse aid reservoir with water … that would seem likely to promote unsightly spotting. While I enjoy the …

On pins and needles

Fiber Arctic show ties crafty art to climate change

“Ice Cold” by Kris GarlandPhoto: Sarah van SchagenGlobal warming got you in stitches? Trying to understand all the tightly knit issues by looking for common threads? Weave your way down to Schmancy (part of the “trilogy of awesome“) in Seattle, Wash., for an artsy display of embroidery, quilting, felting, and otherwise fiber-fab interpretations of the Arctic’s plight. The Fiber Arctic show, on display through July 9, features sculpted icebergs, sequined whales, stranded polar bears, and one very sassy reindeer. Though Schmancy regularly hosts group shows, this one was unique in terms of the environmental theme, offering the artists more of …

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