Living

On organic Christmas trees

Dear Umbra, Is there such a thing as an organic Christmas tree? How chemical-intensive is conventional Christmas-tree farming? If I want a Christmas tree, what’s the most eco-friendly way to go? Your fan, Lisa Seattle, …

A gift guide for eco-minded shoppers headed to big-box stores

More Advice Looking for more holiday gift ideas? Check out our past gift guides: Gifts Recommended by Grist Staff and Readers Even More Gifts Recommended by Readers Gifts for Young Folk Gifts for Every Stereotype …

In which we attempt to calculate how much an organic feast would cost

There’s something about Thanksgiving that seems to prompt people to think about where their food comes from. Maybe it’s all the cornucopias and sheaves of wheat depicted in supermarket circulars, or maybe it’s the focus …

Readers share instructions for tasty Thanksgiving treats

Try your hand at reader recipes. Photos: iStockphoto A couple of weeks ago, we asked you, dear readers, to send in your favorite Thanksgiving recipes. We got a smorgasbord of replies, from Dilly Dip to …

Locavore is New Oxford American Dictionary Word of the Year

The word “locavore” has received the esteemed honor of being the New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 Word of the Year. For you non-locavores, the word is defined as “a person who endeavors to eat only …

Umbra on fireplace ashes

Dear Umbra, What should we do with ashes from the fireplace? I’ve heard that they’re great for the garden and I’ve heard that they may not be so good for the garden. Are they a …

Eensy-weensy Smart car getting a big embrace from U.S. drivers

The Smart car ForTwo is coming to a dealer near you this winter — or at least, semi-sorta-near you. About 70 dealers around the U.S. will sell the eight-foot-long two-seater starting in January, and more …

Exercise can combat both obesity and global warming, says CDC

Americans facing the triple threat of climate change, obesity, and what-can-I-do-ness can tackle all three by walking or biking instead of driving — even if just for a half-hour per day — and eating less …

Preorder your high-end plug-in hybrid now!

Plug-in sports car to hit showrooms in 2010

Fisker Automotive is taking orders for its $80,000 (only $1,000 down!) "4-door plug-in hybrid sports sedan": The specs released so far (PDF) are: Performance details for the first car are impressive achieving 50 miles (80 kilometers) on a pure electric charge [sic]. Additionally, by further utilizing a gasoline or diesel engine offered by Fisker, one can extend the total range of their Fisker to more than 620 miles (1000 kilometers). The first Fisker will also deliver an extraordinary 100 miles per gallon -- performance figures that will ultimately help to reduce the need for the importation of foreign oil. Delivery will be in 2010, unless you drop $100,000 -- and heck, it's only $5,000 down -- for one of the first 100 in the "signature edition." Then you'll get it in Q4, 2009, "with exclusive show car package (final details to be revealed after Detroit launch, Jan. 2008)." The customer registration form is here. Tip o' the hat to Plug-in Partners, whose post on the car also discusses some other plug-ins that may soon be in showrooms around the globe. Note to readers: This blog post should not be taken as an endorsement of any product or company, particularly one that has not offered me a discount or even a test drive -- hint, hint.

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