Living

BPA Babies and Cash Registers

We’ve known for a long time that bisphenol-A (BPA) is bad for us. Study after study shows the ill-effects of this widely-used industrial chemical on our bodies–and in particular, on developing babies’ bodies. The list …

I'm only human, of flesh and blood I'm made

Making buildings more efficient: It helps to understand human behavior

If I told you how much energy your neighbors use on average, and whether you fell above or below that average, would that induce you to save more energy? What if, depending on whether you …

36 years and countless converts later....

More power, less roadkill: How one professor’s landscape has shifted

I took Environmental Studies 101 during my first college semester 20 years ago with Dick Andrus, a professor who has just marked 36 years of teaching at Binghamton University. I thought it’d be good to …

Pet Poop, "Clean" Coal, and Old Mattresses

Ask Umbra on ditching dirty things

Send your question to Umbra! Q. Dear Umbra, What is the greenest way to dispose of pet waste? Scoop and flush, or bag and throw in the trash? Jenifer M.Vienna A. Dearest Jenifer, Flush or …

GoodGuide scanner makes healthy food shopping point and click

Last year, a colleague suggested I check out a startup with the intriguing, and so-very-California, name of Tao It. Founded by Berkeley professor Dara O’Rourke, Tao It aimed to tap a multiplicity of databases to …

Citizen Martha

Martha Stewart blisters meat industry in Thanksgiving show

Martha Stewart is easy to caricature. But the sister values good ingredients–and has realized that industrial agriculture churns out flavorless crap. That has caused her to ask second-order questions about the food system–and use her …

It's a roux story

Turn your turkey carcass into a spectacular gumbo

Turkey gumbo: the Thanksgiving centerpiece finds its true calling. All photos by April McGreger Before accepting a Thanksgiving dinner invitation, I ask my host two questions: Will you be roasting a turkey and may I …

Calling All Wildcats

This Friday, don’t just Buy Nothing — use nothing!

Courtesy AdbustersFor twenty years, the people behind Buy Nothing Day have been pleading with consumers to avoid the frenzy inherent in “Black Friday,” the no-holds-barred shop-o-rama that comes the day after Thanksgiving. This year, they’re …

Of price and men

Making buildings more efficient: looking beyond price

Photo courtesy kimberlyfaye via Flickr Using energy more efficiently in buildings may be the fastest, cheapest way to substantially reduce carbon emissions in the short-term. How can we make it happen? Last week, New York …

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