In praise of the prosaic

Girl Fixing Bike

I feel a bit sheepish coming in to blog for the day. I'm the first one to harp on infrequent so-called "bloggers" as not the real thing. To blog is to be prolific. Anything else is an occasional essayist and, if you're choosing the Internet as your venue for it, you're not even an essayist. Maybe just a venter. This is the kind of stuff marketing for the web will make you say. And it's true, … [Read more...]

Less is definitely more

Bike Food

It's an oddity of modern life that we consume an immense amount of calories — much of them from empty or sugary carbs — while using our bodies about 90% less than in previous eras due to a sedentary lifestyle. So, more calories in + fewer calories out = fat storage. Is it any wonder that we have a crisis of obesity in the Western world, and in the US in particular? But unless you plan to start … [Read more...]

Year round Christmas tree


About ten years ago, when I was a very poor single mom, I had no money to buy a Christmas tree one year. At the time it felt like a bummer. My solution was to tape two pieces of roll out white paper together and paint a tree on it. I added painted lights, ornaments and a star, and hung it on the wall. Now when I look back at photos, the ones of that year, and our homemade tree, are some of my … [Read more...]

Homemade Halloween

Witch Bike

This essay originally appeared in the launch issue of Transition Voice, the online magazine I edit on peak oil, climate change, and economic crisis. One of my worst parenting memories happened when I took my daughters trick-or-treating on the vaunted Lawn of the University of Virginia campus one year. The girls were little at the time, and the picturesque associations of the annual UVA … [Read more...]

Recession sensitivity

Money Bike

The old days are gone and there's more than a few analysts who don't see the high life ever returning. They say that the peak of cheap oil production in 2006 means economic growth is over. Instead, we can expect a continual contraction of the economy that will ultimately affect us all. Whether its fate, or karma or just chance, we're the people alive today and we're the one's who have to deal … [Read more...]

Capturing embodied energy

Bike Bowl

Have you ever heard the term "embodied energy?" It refers to energy that has already been spent to create something. Take a box of cereal as an everyday example. Embodied energy is everywhere Inside the box there's cereal. The embodied energy in the cereal contains everything from the sunlight and water (energy) that fed and made the grain grow, to the human laborer or machinery and fuel (or … [Read more...]

Back to school

Bicycle Book

Forgive my few weeks absence from The List. I've been catching up on loads of work at Transition Voice, getting the kids off to school, and preparing for a busy fall season in the Transition Town group I help co-lead. But I figure, what with rogue earthquakes kicking up in odd locations and hurricane season dead upon us, it's time to get back to encouraging conservation—those practices that … [Read more...]

Depression-era planning for today and tomorrow

Bike car

The debt debate out of Washington exhibited many qualities. But sanity wasn't among them. In fact, the smart money says that enacting the spending cuts called for in the deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans will pull money from the economy, kill jobs, stop orders for goods and otherwise hamstring an already flogged economy. At the same time, the deal's failure to call for … [Read more...]

Gender gap?

Deborah's Rig

  There's a fascinating discussion going on in bike-blog-land as a result of Elly Blue's Bicycling's Gender Gap post at Grist. Editor’s Note: This is a guest post on Lindsay's List. If you're a friend of Lindsay's, a friend of energy conservation, or just have an idea to help women live locally with a smaller carbon footprint, then send us a piece of your own through our Contact … [Read more...]

Party time

July Fourth Party

With July Fourth on the horizon most Americans are likely to participate in some kind of get together or another this holiday weekend, either as a host or an attendee. This brings up the burning question of how to party with the smallest carbon footprint. If not for everything you're doing (perhaps the party is 45 miles from your home) but at least the most that you can. Disposable party ware … [Read more...]