Living

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.

Prescription for healthier humans: More time at the park

The average boy partakes in two minutes of “vigorous activity” each day. The average girl, just one minute. The solution is right down the street.

Umbra’s second helpings: Speedy showers [VIDEO]

We're rinsing off an Ask Umbra classic about power showers.

Disney’s pollution of America may also be literal

The EPA suspects that Disney Studios may have introduced carcinogenic chromium 6 into the regional water supply.

Is your cup compostable — or biodegradable? And why does it matter again?

As more cities adopt municipal composting programs, the range of to-go ware made from bioplastics is expanding. Here's what you need to know about what's real, what's greenwashing, and why it matters.

Save the median strip! Or, how to annoy E.O. Wilson

Emma Marris, author of "Rambunctious Garden," challenged noted conservationist E.O. Wilson by arguing that we should learn to value all types of nature -- human-altered places as well as pristine landscapes.

Out of room on the ground? Go build a house on top of a mall

No matter how much evidence we trot out about how dense living is superior, someone’s always going to demur because they want a big house with a big yard. And you can only get those in the suburbs, right? Well, …

Honda Miimo is basically a Roomba for your lawn

Can you imagine just being able to sit around and watch television all weekend on your massive energy-sucking flat screen while someone else niftily, sustainably, mowed your lawn? Someone you didn’t have to pay? Someone you didn’t even have to …

Five reasons to shop at thrift stores

An endless quest for the latest fashion trends is money-draining, space-consuming, wasteful, and takes a toll on the environment. Here's why a shift to thrift is worth it.