Living

Climate & Energy

Critical List: Congress does everything it can to screw the environment; fabric cleaned by sunlight

Congress voted to put sanctions on Iran, which would make it harder for Iran to sell oil, but potentially make oil sales more profitable for the regime overall. After all the work that the anti-Keystone coalition did, Republicans are trying …

Biking

How bikes can solve America’s most pressing problems

(click to embiggen) Air quality, obesity, commute times, strained family budgets, unnecessary deaths, runaway health care expenses — is there anything that a mass shift to bicycles transportation wouldn't solve? And it's not like this is a fantasy — Europe …

Living

Ingenious origami cup eliminates plastic lids

Yes, yes, we should all bring our own mugs when we go to Starbucks. But failing that, wouldn't it be nice if we could eliminate plastic waste from the equation by leaving off the lid? Designer Peter Herman's Compleat cups …

Cities

The spookiest horror film about energy waste you’ve ever seen

David Parker's "Light" depicts light pollution and wasted energy as a sort of Blob, not necessarily malign but relentless and implacable. In the film, energy-burning lights start dripping goo that covers the ground and finally drives people out of their …

Living

Team Tupperware: Doing away with disposables for good — and loving it

Pig out: This week, the Greenie Pig opts out of disposable junk.Somewhere on the California coast, between redwood territory and the Bay Area, lies the world’s most self-righteous coffee shop. My boyfriend, Ted, and I stopped there two summers ago …

Green Living Tips

The best sustainable Christmas tree ever

Book lovers can sidestep the eternal question of farmed versus PVC (they both suck) and opt for a holiday display that's a monument to reading … or bibliophilia, anyway, since trying to actually read any of the books in this …

Video

The most bare-chested grocery-bag video you’ll watch today

This is maybe not the most complex Tim Minchin song I've ever heard, but you have to admit it imbues canvas grocery bags with some much-needed rock star cachet. At least by the time the giant fan comes out. (Hat …

Green Living Tips

Ask Umbra: How can I de-stink secondhand clothes?

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I strive to reduce/reuse/recycle, but as someone who is sensitive to chemicals, purchasing used clothing presents problems. Sometimes soaking the clothes in borax or vinegar, and washing as much as a dozen …

Cities

Palestinians can’t get statehood, but at least they’ve got these zero-emissions schools

Yeah, it kinda sucks to be a Palestinian these days, what with the failed peace talks and everyone but you having an Arab Spring. That doesn't mean your non-state state isn't making progress, though: Just check out the plans for …