Living

From Mafia to Mushroom

Three cheats to the wind “Italy police arrest eight in Mafia wind farms plot.” And the climate takes another hit. Can you rig it? Oil rigs: The new wind farm eco-resort. Home is where the Honda is Living out of your car? Take the junk in your trunk and turn it into an auto-mobile home. Who wants the last bite? Worcester’s buttonquail: The other extinct meat. Toadstool There’s spore to this fun guy than meets the eye — it’s a biodegradable bench with bloomin’ ‘shrooms. Holy shiitake! Photo: designboom.com No funny business The Grist List bureau is taking off next …

Where the Wild Greens Are

When the season’s first edible weeds poke through, it’s time for gumbo z’herbes

You can’t beat them, you might as well eat them. Here in central North Carolina, the harbingers of spring have arrived. No, not daffodils. I’m talking about my favorite wild greens: pepper cress and dandelions. Just this week, I’ve tucked handfuls of these herbs into sandwiches, topped pizza with them, and folded some into soft scrambled eggs. Their peppery kick and bittersweet bite are just what I need after a winter of sweet, earthy, and starchy root vegetables. Almost everyone I’ve encountered loves young spring greens — even if they don’t know it. For the uninitiated, I wait until the …

Umbra on LCD vs. plasma TVs

Dear Umbra, My husband and I are going to be buying a new television soon. Between an LCD and a plasma set, which is the more environmentally friendly? Lorraine B. Ossining, N.Y. Dearest Lorraine, Welcome to the promised follow-up to our previous examination of the digital television revolution. This week we finally take an opportunity for tortured reference to the revolution being digitized. I suppose everyone is probably making that joke. You heard it here last. Two too many? To recap the situation as seen from television-free floor 2B: there are around 275 million TVs in the U.S. These historically …

Brewer's Dozen

In our latest tasting, organic beer comes of age

Imagine Norman Bates, twisted hero of Hitchcock’s Psycho, stumbling into a funhouse of mirrors and finding Mother at the center, her image reflected on a thousand surfaces surrounding him. He might freak out, right? That’s a bit how I feel when I walk into Carrboro Beverage Co., a small and extremely well-stocked beer store in Carrboro, N.C. The walls and cooler displays form a veritable crazy-quilt of craft beers from around the world — but mostly from the United States, which has become the global leader in artisanal brewing. I usually have to make myself steer clear of the place …

Umbra on the digital conversion

Dear Umbra, I’m awfully concerned about this switch to digital televisions, and it’s not because I’m worried about getting a converter box. I’m anxious at the prospect of millions of old televisions finding their way into the landfills in one mass trashing of old technology. Already at my small apartment complex I’ve seen three big TVs thrown into the dumpster. Isn’t this toxic waste? No one’s talking about anything but converter boxes and rabbit ears. What should people be doing with their old TVs if they decide to opt out of converter boxes and just buy a new one? Isn’t …

From Orgasm to Oscar

Llama sutra Good: Making sex-toy deliveries by bike. Better: Promising to come within the hour. Best: Calling yourself the Kinky Llama. Oh you NASA boy Dear former Apollo astronaut/current climate-change denier, you remind us of that space cadet who chased her ex-lover around in a diaper. Must be something in the air up there, eh? Soda fountains of youth Ah, remember when we sweetened things with sugar and Michael Pollan had nothing to bitch about? Pepsi does too! So drink up, America — the corn syrup comes back June 14. Green is the new irony How best to assert your …

Remake your living

Tips for landing a green job

Ah, the daily grind: An endless progression of dreary days with that pathetic guy in the next cubicle who spends half his time complaining and the other half in loud personal conversations for which the phrase “too much information” was invented. And that boss of yours? One shudders. But fear not. You can remake your living and land a green job — all in one fell swoop. Here are some career-planning basics to get you started. Got goals? One-year periods are just about perfect for career planning. Annual plans are just long enough to accommodate multiple projects that require lots …

Sales figured

Survey finds Americans still want earth-friendly products during recession

A survey released Wednesday confirms that Americans remain interested in buying environmentally responsible products even during the recession. Conducted by Boston communications firm Cone Inc., the finding is the latest in a string of surveys drawing cheery conclusions about green spending. According to Cone, about 34 percent of 1,087 adult consumers said they are more likely to buy green-leaning products in the current economic climate, while 44 percent said their environmental shopping habits have not changed because of the economy. Only eight percent said they were less likely to buy earth-friendly products due to the downturn. The survey — whose …

Umbra on beer and wine

Hi Umbra, Due to, among other things, (organic) beer, I ended up in a rather heated discussion on the environment the other day. I’m wondering if you could help clear up a couple of these more or less classic micro-level questions. Which is more environmentally friendly: lighting a cigarette with a match or a lighter? (And how bad is smoking from an environmental point of view anyway?) After hand wash: paper towel or air dryer? Paper cup of coffee or good old ceramics? Wine or beer? Kjetil M. Oslo, Norway Dearest Kjetil, Organic beer: so pure it makes drinkers forget …

Got 2.7 seconds?

We've devised the world's shortest survey to find out what kind of actions our readers are taking. You know you want to.

×