Living

Umbra on winter biking

Dear Umbra, Here in Cleveland we recently endured the first snowstorm of winter. When I look out the window and see all that pretty white stuff, I can’t help but reach for my car keys instead of my bicycle helmet. Can you offer any suggestions for safe and warm winter riding? Jon B. Lakewood, Ohio Dearest Jon, Has anyone out there tried gel toothpaste on their eyeglasses as an anti-moisture measure? It’s just one of the winter riding tips I found, but I think we need to hear some testimony from the streets. If it works, a whole world will …

iPhone rideshare app coming soon

It’s the 21st century, folks — text with your hitchhiker’s thumb. An iPhone application called Avego will soon be available to hook up drivers with those who need rides, helpfully suggesting a safe place to pull over and calculating the split cost between driver and rider. No word on how it’ll go over in Ontario, which recently effectively made ridesharing illegal.

Are we nearing a breakthrough on electric cars?

Marc Gunther rounds up the evidence.

Ideals vs. reality: Alarm clock edition

In which an argument erupts over electronics disposal

Last night, my fella decided to replace his 15-year-old alarm clock. For the eight years I’ve known him, he’s had to fiddle with the dials and whack the speakers every night as he sets the alarm, so this is something of an overdue miracle. But then there was this: “What are you going to do with it?” says I. “Throw it in the trash,” says he. “That’s not the proper way to dispose of a small electronic device,” says I, confidently. “Why not? It cost six bucks,” says he. “Because it’s full of heavy metals that end up in the …

A defense of the GM bailout

Because small fixes make the biggest difference

Despite the excellent reasons to reject the GM bailout, consider this: a strings-attached investment that tweaked GM’s production model could reap huge climate benefits — perhaps bigger than anything else we do to autos in the near term. That’s because the biggest opportunities in fuel economy are at the low end of the fleet, not in FutureCars. Remember: you save more fuel switching from a 15 to 18 mpg car than switching from a 50 to 100 mpg car. (The explanation is here and here.) For a company like GM that’s based on building fuel-wasting behemoths this has huge implications. …

A review of Joel Makower’s Strategies for the Green Economy

If there were an M.B.A. school for green executives, Joel Makower undoubtedly would be its dean, historian, and booster-in-chief. Joel Makower. During a 20-year career, Makower has chronicled the rise of the green movement in corporate America through books, hundreds of stories, and countless speeches. Along the way, he has carved out a mini green business empire for himself. He is executive editor and chairman of Greener World Media, which owns Greenbiz.com, a website that reports on the burgeoning industry. He also has marketing ties to green business groups and sits on the boards and advisory committees of various green …

The recycle cycle

A fascinating new video explaining the full cycle of recycling, from innovative recycling startup RecycleBank:

From Backseat to Front Seat

Honk if you’re lovemaking Think a small, fuel-efficient car will get in the way of your, um, backseat driving? Fear not, sez this guide: size doesn’t matter. Photo: Marisa Harris Reduce, reuse, ridiculous Tomorrow is America Recycles Day, so you can finally get rid of all that paper you’ve been stockpiling. And thanks to this group, all those recyclables can translate into free mayonnaise! Yay! Turtlenecking It’s hard out there for a last-of-his-kind tortoise. Or, as it turns out, not so hard. Photo: putneymark Thar she blows This week’s best headline: “Red Vadge of Courage.” Just edging out “Helicopters Collect …

Times Square billboard will be powered by renewables

A billboard powered entirely by the wind and sun is coming to New York City’s Times Square. And when the wind don’t blow and the sun don’t shine? The billboard, advertising office-equipment giant Ricoh, will just go dark.

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