On the Cover: Taylor Mac

Taylor Mac is a playwright, actor, singer-songwriter, performance artist, director and producer. “A critical darling of the New York scene” (NY Magazine). TimeOut NY has called Mac …

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Deity- and Demon-Neutral Speech

So apparently the day after Halloween is the new day after Thanksgiving in terms of Christmas insanity. To me this is the official war on Christmas and everything else is a skirmis …

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Environews: December 2016

Environmental news from around the state and the West. Trump, grief and what you can do Things don’t always change for the better, but they change, and we can play a role in that c …

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Sophie Says: All the Mornings After

Post-election awakening. Wednesday morning, November 9, 2016 Caught in the worry about the future of America and Planet Earth last night. But this morning I woke up. Like the kind …

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Editor’s Notebook: December 2016

A note about last month’s cover. It began with the idea, “What might the Oval Office look like with a woman at the helm?” We imagined flowers, family photos, a certain grace not co …

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Ask Umbra: What’s the Greenest Kind of Christmas Tree?

Q. Dear Umbra, I’m visiting my sister out West soon, and she suggested we go cut down a Christmas tree in the woods. This sounds like a terrible idea to me. Isn’t cutting down a pe …

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Ask Umbra: Are Coconut Products Bad for the Environment?

Q. Dear Umbra, My wife and I have started using coconut oil a lot. I know demand for palm oil is proving horrible for the tropical forests of the world, and was wondering if the sa …

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What type of plane is least bad for the planet?

Q. Dear Umbra, Does it matter if I fly a turboprop, jet, or Boeing 787 over the ocean? Will Seattle, WA This story originally appeared on Grist. A. Dearest Will, Oh — it matters, v …

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DIY, Home, Live

Big Life in a Tiny House: Travels to Texas

Previously on Tiny House: The electrical, plumbing and composting toilet are in place, but with a sudden move to Washington state on the horizon for Michelle, finding a place to pa …

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Food & Health, Garden, Live

Ask Umbra: What should you do with your food scraps?

Q. Dear Umbra, When disposing of food waste, what’s better: putting it down the garbage disposal, or disposing of it in the solid waste stream? I know my water treatment plant inci …

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Food & Health, Garden

Ask Umbra: Hot tips for getting your compost pile cooking

Q. Dear Umbra, I’m tired of my compost not cooking. Can I just bury it around my plants and pull the stray volunteer seedling that emerges? Kristina Cleveland, Ohio This story orig …

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