For the Housing Market’s Greenest Buyers, ‘Earthships’ Are Taking Off
Long dismissed as hippie havens, off-grid communities are getting a fresh look as wasteful construction practices come under scrutiny.
For More Sustainable Affordable Housing, Just Add Mushrooms
Architect David Benjamin is bringing his biology-inspired recipe for construction materials to an affordable housing project in Oakland, California.
Where Do Abandoned Bicycles Go? In Some Cases, Madagascar
In a largely unseen system, abandoned bikes are repaired and shipped to people across the US — and around the world — who can use them to travel to school or work.
San Diego’s Frozen Zoo Is Bringing Species Back from the Brink
In what sounds like science fiction, geneticists are using cryogenically frozen animal cells to stop species from going extinct.
‘Open Source’ Seeds Loosen Big Ag’s Grip on Farmers
A handful of companies own the patents on virtually every seed planted in the US. Now, a new crop of unowned seeds is bringing biodiversity back to farming.
Inside the ‘Energy Villages’ Powering Germany’s Green Transition
“We believe citizens taking responsibility for their own energy supply is the future.”
How America’s First ‘Heat Officers’ Are Cooling Miami and Los Angeles
For the first time, two US cities are treating extreme heat as a crisis — and dealing with it accordingly.
‘Ventilation Corridors’ Funnel Cool Mountain Air Into Steamy Stuttgart
With strategically placed channels for air flow, the birthplace of the automobile is using urban design to lower the temperature.
What Growing Up in Rural Germany Taught Me about Guns
In the Bavarian village where I was raised, guns are a part of life. Mass shootings are not.
The Little-Known Tool Protecting California Towns from Polluters
Most Californians have never heard of the CalEnviroScreen — even those whose communities it has shielded from ecological disaster.
Psychedelics Show Promise as a Treatment for Alcoholism
As alcohol consumption surges, groundbreaking new experiments are showing the vast potential of psilocybin to treat addiction.
In Sweden, Drones Are Beating Ambulances to the Scene — and Saving Lives
New technology is intervening in the moments where speed matters more than anything. Welcome to the future of emergency medicine.
Through Online Platforms, Thousands Open Their Homes to Ukraine’s Refugees
Airbnb-style home sharing is changing what it means to be displaced.
A Bridge Will Help Humans and Lions Coexist in Los Angeles
As the only major Western city that is home to lions, L.A. is breaking new ground in infrastructure designed for big wildlife.
In the World’s Fastest Drummer, Scientists See a Bionics Breakthrough
The same A.I. technology that runs Jason Barnes’ prosthetic arm can teach people how to read Braille or play the piano in a matter of hours.
Want Drastic Climate Action? Maybe It’s Time to Sue the Government
When political leaders dither, “the only instrument that leads to non-negotiable results is the court ruling.”
A Diet Rich in Probiotics Could Climate-Proof Coral Reefs
New research shows that the “gut health” microorganisms can enhance the immune systems of living coral.
The App That Lets You Lend Your Eyes to a Blind Person
If you have a phone, you can be one of the 5.4 million volunteers who help the visually impaired with their daily tasks.
Amsterdam’s Instant Fix for Getting Rid of Junk Mail
By only delivering it to people ask for it, the city is saving thousands of tons of paper per year.
Would You Compost Your Body to Create Life after Death?
Three U.S. states have legalized “natural organic reduction,” in which the dead are returned to the earth to help nourish its growth.
The Movement to Give ‘Personhood’ Rights to Animals
Legal systems around the world are beginning to confront an existential question: What rights does an animal have?
Doctors Are Soothing Pain with Virtual Reality Worlds
Some patients are undergoing difficult procedures while surrounded by fluffy bouncing bears and winter wonderlands.
You May Already Be Wearing the World’s Most Sustainable Jeans
A family-owned Italian denim manufacturer is turning one of fashion’s most toxic staples green, one global brand at a time.
L.A.’s New Reflective Streets Bounce Heat Back into Space
The air in these neighborhoods is getting cooler — with huge implications for sweltering cities worldwide.
America’s Star Teenage Scientist Is Catalyzing Generational Change
At 15 years old, Gitanjali Rao has half a dozen inventions to her name. Now she wants to reinvent the world of science itself.
“Menstruation Vacations” Are Adapting Work for Women’s Health
“I call it a ‘do-what-you-can day’ — stay at home, take it easy, cancel all your appointments, or come in and work as usual.”
Notifications Off! The Distraction-Free Benefits of Five-Hour Work Days
By minimizing wasted time, companies are increasing productivity — and workers are going home before lunch.
Ask Me Anything! Our New Contributing Editor Michaela Haas
From the farmlands of rural Bavaria to the beaches of Southern California, our new colleague’s life has been a fantastic journey.
The ‘Cosmetics Shop’ Using Code to Help People Escape Their Abusers
“When a woman places an ‘order’ and gives us her address, that’s the signal for us to send the police.”
Inside the L.A.P.D.’s Experiment in Trust-Based Policing
Can the notoriously hardline force become an ally to Black communities?