Why the Next Big Gardening Trend Is Taking a Cue from Local Biodiversity

Planting a tree and seeing it grow and thrive is one of the most long-lasting and fulfilling gardening experiences. I feel that way about the gingko in our front yard, but when it comes to wildlife value, a gingko is almost like having a plastic tree i…

Planting a tree and seeing it grow and thrive is one of the most long-lasting and fulfilling gardening experiences. I feel that way about the gingko in our front yard, but when it comes to wildlife value, a gingko is almost like having a plastic tree in your yard—it has zero value to the little critters that make nature work. A gingko attracts no caterpillars at all (which are essential for birds to raise their young), but a native oak, on the other hand, supports more than 550 species of caterpillars. According to Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware and a leading voice in the movement to plant more natives, a single pair of chickadees needs 6,000 to 9,000 caterpillars to feed one clutch of young.

Unfortunately, most of the plants sold by nurseries today are not wildlife-friendly natives but introduced from Asia and Europe, often decades and centuries ago. The good news is, that over the past two decades the movement for planting natives has been gaining traction. More nurseries are offering native plants and some nurseries specialize only in natives. Home gardeners and landscape architects have become more aware that say, the Bradford pear, a very popular ornamental pear tree, might not be the best choice.

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7 Simple Cooking Tips for Your Eco-Friendliest Kitchen

With The Climate Diet, award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg offers us the practical, accessible guide we all need. This new release contains fifty achievable steps we can take to live our daily lives in a way that’s friendlier to …

With The Climate Diet, award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg offers us the practical, accessible guide we all need. This new release contains fifty achievable steps we can take to live our daily lives in a way that’s friendlier to the planet—from what we eat, how we live at home, how we travel, and how we lobby businesses and elected officials to do the right thing. Here, Paul shares a whole host of simple tips to make our cooking—and yes, our kitchens overall—a whole lot more sustainable.


With the news this month that Eleven Madison Park, by some measures the most famous restaurant in the world, has gone vegan, I think it’s safe to say climate-conscious menu planning has gone mainstream. Queries for vegan recipes now regularly top Google food searches and any number of plant-based meat replacements are now widely available at American supermarkets, potentially pairing with millions of tons of emissions off of our meals.

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15 Very Doable Tweaks to Reduce Kitchen Waste

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of sustainable living and home design through a mother’s eyes.

Quick, where’s the biggest garbage can inside your home? Bet yo…

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of sustainable living and home design through a mother’s eyes.


Quick, where’s the biggest garbage can inside your home? Bet you said the kitchen, right? Our kitchens are the source of so much of the waste that flows into—and out of—our homes. From food packaging to forgotten leftovers, the trash fills up quickly.

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10 Sustainable Swaps for Common Single-Use Plastic Products

Earth Day is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by doing something productive for our planet. We’ve partnered with LifeStraw to collect a roster of awesome products—including their LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher—t…

Earth Day is right around the corner, and there's no better way to celebrate than by doing something productive for our planet. We've partnered with LifeStraw to collect a roster of awesome products—including their LifeStraw Home water filter pitcher—that'll help you cut down on single-use plastics and show the Earth a little more love.


When it comes to single-use plastics, we've all heard it time and time again: They're clogging our waterways and packing our landfills, even deteriorating and creeping into our food. We've talked about easy ways to be eco-friendlier (starting right now) and tips for making your kitchen more sustainable—now we're diving into ways to cut down on single-use plastic in your home.

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Your Biggest Climate Decision Isn’t What You Cook—It’s What You Don’t

With The Climate Diet, award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg offers us the practical, accessible guide we all need. This new release contains fifty achievable steps we can take to live our daily lives in a way that’s friendlier to …

With The Climate Diet, award-winning food and environmental writer Paul Greenberg offers us the practical, accessible guide we all need. This new release contains fifty achievable steps we can take to live our daily lives in a way that’s friendlier to the planet—from what we eat, how we live at home, how we travel, and how we lobby businesses and elected officials to do the right thing. Here, Paul shares on the the role of food waste in our overall climate decision making—and how it's a much bigger deal than we think.


We spend a lot of time climate-agonizing over what to buy and what to cook. By now, most of us know that beef can have 25 times the carbon footprint of legumes, that out-of-season air-freighted things like winter berries and fish from distant shores burden the planet, and that water from the tap is a vastly better choice than bottled. But if we’re really looking to trim our carbon footprints consistently throughout the year—what I call going on a climate diet—addressing what we do after our meals are cooked and eaten can be a real game changer. By doing that, every American could easily cut their carbon footprint from food in half.

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11 Expert Tips for Thrift Shopping (Secondhand Treasures Await!)

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of thoughtful living and home design through a mother’s eyes.

When I was pregnant with my son, a college friend told me, “I ha…

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of thoughtful living and home design through a mother’s eyes.


When I was pregnant with my son, a college friend told me, “I have one piece of advice for you: Don’t buy anything new.” He was a dad of two by then and knew how quickly kids grow out of things, and how short a time we’d actually use our baby gear. I was already a flea market shopper, but I took his advice to heart as we added to our home to accommodate a child: buying a vintage rocker and dresser to furnish our son’s nursery and saying yes to all the hand-me-downs. Six years later, this “nothing new” mindset extends to almost every purchase I make.

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Thinking About Composting? This Is Your Ultimate Guide

It’s always gross when you go to take out the trash, only to find the bag smells like rotting food—and maybe is even dripping from the bottom. Bleck. But what if I told you there was a way to prevent your trash from smelling, all while being more eco-f…

It’s always gross when you go to take out the trash, only to find the bag smells like rotting food—and maybe is even dripping from the bottom. Bleck. But what if I told you there was a way to prevent your trash from smelling, all while being more eco-friendly in the process? Sign me up!

Composting offers both these noteworthy benefits, not to mention that it creates rich fertilizer that your gardens or houseplants will love. (Seriously, people call it “black gold”!) However, I didn’t know the first thing about composting—not to mention how I could do it in my apartment—so I called in an expert: Erin Rhoads, an eco-lifestyle blogger and the author of Waste Not, a guide on how to make a big difference by throwing away less.

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11 Eco-Friendly Gifts You’ll Be Tempted to Keep

We’ve partnered with Lifestraw to share eco-friendly gift ideas—from the Lifestraw Home water filter pitcher to reusable food wrap, aka your leftovers’ new best friend—for everyone on your list this holiday season.

As a self-proclaimed tree hugger, …

We’ve partnered with Lifestraw to share eco-friendly gift ideas—from the Lifestraw Home water filter pitcher to reusable food wrap, aka your leftovers’ new best friend—for everyone on your list this holiday season.


As a self-proclaimed tree hugger, the holiday season has sometimes presented a challenge. It’s a time that can be heavy on consumption and waste (not to mention, the usual air travel to visit my far-flung relatives).

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7 Ways to Reduce Waste When Packing & Moving

For many, this year has forced a decision to move homes—a need to downsize, a desire to escape from cities to the suburbs, or a yearning to move closer to family. As a newly minted college graduate, I recently decided to move out of my tiny Boston apar…

For many, this year has forced a decision to move homes—a need to downsize, a desire to escape from cities to the suburbs, or a yearning to move closer to family. As a newly minted college graduate, I recently decided to move out of my tiny Boston apartment back home to South Florida. It wasn’t until I actually began packing up that I realized I’ve never moved out of a fully stocked apartment before.

Standard practices of packing and moving have traditionally involved a slew of eco-unfriendly purchases. According to the EPA, paper and cardboard—trusty helpers during a move—were the largest component of municipal solid waste in 2017, while 69.9 percent of plastic containers and packaging in the same period were landfilled. Knowing what I did, one of my first questions to myself was: How can I make this move both efficient and more sustainable?

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7 Ways to Make Your Laundry Routine More Eco-Friendly

Our partner Dropps is reinventing cleaning for good, so we’re teaming up with them to share totally doable way you can make your laundry routine a bit more green. One of our top tips: Opt for an eco-conscious detergent, like their laundry detergent pod…

Our partner Dropps is reinventing cleaning for good, so we're teaming up with them to share totally doable way you can make your laundry routine a bit more green. One of our top tips: Opt for an eco-conscious detergent, like their laundry detergent pods, which are naturally formulated, free of unnecessary chemicals (like chlorine and phosphates), and safe for delicates.


For a lot of people (myself included), more time spent at home this year has also meant more time spent cleaning. All of a sudden, the whole family is eating three meals a day in the kitchen and I’m going through dishwasher detergent pods (like these citrus-scented ones from Dropps) nonstop.

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