At the University of Minnesota Dr. Nate Hagens teaches an honours course called “Reality 101: A Survey of the Human Predicament.” Hagens operated his own hedge fund on Wall Street until he glimpsed, “a serious disconnect between capitalism, growth, and the natural world. Money did not appear to bring wealthy clients more well being. ”Reality 101 addresses humanity’s toughest challenges: economic decline, inequality, pollution, biodiversity loss, and war. Students learn about systems ecology, neuroscience, and economics. “We ask hard questions,” says Hagens....

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It takes serious strategy to save serious money. Unless you’ve won the lottery, acquiring wealth takes a lot of hard work. Not only do you have to put years into a career, but you also have to be disciplined about keeping the money you make. People who are serious about growing their bank accounts usually have frugal lifestyle habits that make saving go more quickly. By implementing some (or all) of these habits in your own life, you can supercharge...

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It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons. For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier. And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy. Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even...

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From frequency and stride to what to do with your arms, here’s how to get the world’s easiest fitness fix. There is so much fetishizing of exercise. What with the gadgets and gear and just-right outfits – the Lycra! The Lululemon! – at times fitness is more like maintaining membership at an exclusive club. But the beautiful, gentle act of walking, that’s different. Walking is not about gear or clothes or expertise; it’s easy, cheap, and exceedingly kind to the...

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Plastic is one of the most enduring materials we make; it takes an estimated 500 to 1,000 years for it to degrade, but 50 percent of the plastic we produce is used once and then thrown away. Eight million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. Facts like this are plentiful, but you get the idea. So, a call to arms. Here are some very easy things to give up in order to curb your contribution to...

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In my work as a consumer psychologist and author, I’ve read countless studies about consumer behavior, and I’ve conducted plenty of research on my own, interviewing hundreds of shoppers about how, when, and why they shop. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to avoid piling up too much stuff and how to stop making unnecessary, excessive, and ultimately unsatisfying purchases. Read12 Ways to Stop Wasting Money and Take Control of Your Stuff by Kit Yarrow at Money.

Summer is here and the air is full of the the sound of whining air conditioners, all seriously sucking kilowatts. Yet much of that air conditioning load could be reduced or the air conditioning season shortened if we did simple things, many of them common before air conditioning was common in North America. Here are some low-tech tips for keeping cool. The best ideas are those that keep the heat out of your home in the first place, rather than...

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Beans. That’s right. If you want to start saving seeds, we recommend beans. Or peas. Why? Legumes are by far the easiest seeds to save, and among the easiest to germinate. You can’t go wrong. With that, let’s learn more about the basics of seed saving. In order for a plant like lettuce to produce seed, you must wait for it to send up its gangly flower stalks, which eventually produce tiny seed pods. By this time. the lettuce leaves...

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Many are wondering whether there is room for a vegetable garden in a drier future. Some are looking at ways to conserve water, and others are looking at vegetable varieties that have adapted to growing in hot and dry conditions. Below are some suggestions for vegetable gardening in times of drought that I’ve gleaned from research and these conversations. Read 5 Tips For a Bountiful, Water-Saving Vegetable Garden in a Time of Drought by Ramon Gonzales at Treehugger.

Keeping the sun off of our homes and windows during the summer can end up saving us both money and energy, because we can avoid some of the heating effects and keep our homes cooler to begin with, so less energy is required to keep them comfortable. And one of the best ways to do that is by planting shade trees in the right location around our home, where they can block the sun from streaming in our windows and...

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