Living

Dispatch from the virtual front lines of parenting

The fight to save childhood

Boys will be boys … online or off.School started this week. We have two fourth-graders and a second-grader. Ken has the misfortune to be driving a carpool that involves four boys and two schools and …

More, More, More, said the parents

Ask Umbra on big families

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I have recently become a grandmother. (Eek! Doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that I made the decision to have a child.) Though I had …

Walking the Chalk

Going back to school? Here’s a green cheat sheet

OliBac via flickrAh, back-to-school season. The rustling of leaves, the squeak of new sneakers, the reassuring sound of chalk on a blackboard. Wait, does anyone still use chalk? And if they do, is it emitting …

A stunt or not a stunt? That is not the question

Last week, Elizabeth Kolbert, a respected New Yorker journalist who writes admirably about our climate catastrophe and the environment, wrote a scathing attack on my book, No Impact Man. Sadly, casualties on the battlefield of …

You're not from around here, are you?

‘Localwashing’ in pictures — bogus marketing at its finest

Local food, local goods, local everything is in, as you’ve no doubt heard. Local is fresher. Local burns less shipping fuel. Local keeps the wealth nearby. Naturally, there’s money to be made off local, so …

Pane in the Glass

Should I suck it up and buy vinyl windows?

Not my window. But this is how they feel sometimes.TottoBG via flickrOnce upon a time, I was full of unswayable romantic notions about old houses. Then I bought one. I’ll refrain from going into too …

Tsunami of stupid

Rogue 9/11 ad isn’t from WWF — and its science is bogus

A Brazilian advertising agency’s rogue 9/11 ad crashes against WWF’s disapproval. Its message: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11. The planet is brutally powerful. Respect it. Preserve it.”Image: DDB Brazil via New …

Pop: The Question

Ask Umbra on bubble wrap

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, I just got married and received a lot of presents in the mail. I recycled/reused all the boxes, but I’m still stuck with a LOT of bubble …

Think Fast

Your greenest Ramadan

Islam is green by nature, and Ramadan offers a chance to make a big impact.Shawna AyoubAfter my grandfather had a stroke, the doctor said he might not walk again. He also said that getting him …