Bringing energy efficiency to the middle class

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Pay As You Save (PAYS) is a financing intervention that hopes to address the rural middle-income market by enabling utility customers to purchase and install cost-effective energy-efficiency upgrades without upfront payment, personal loans or property liens. PAYS was one of four interventions that won the Finance for Resilience (FiRe) prize at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit 2015.

Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Some ingredients used in nail products have been tied to cancer, miscarriages, lung diseases and other ailments. The industry has long fought regulations.

On Sunday, New York Times reported that Governor Cuomo has ordered emergency measures to combat wage theft and health hazards faced by nail salon employees.

See the rest of the series on working conditions in New York City nail salons:

There are a number of publications relating to improving environmental conditions in nail salons. For more information, see:

There are also a wealth of research articles on environmental health risks associated with nail salons and how to prevent them:

Keurig caves on refillable K-Cups after ‘underestimating the passion of the consumer’

Read the full story in Mashable.

Keurig is bringing back its controversial, refillable My K-Cup brewing pods after waking up to the fact that people won’t buy their latest Keurig Brewers if they can’t brew coffee their way.

Later this year, the company will reintroduce My K-Cup, refillable brewing pods that let Keurig customers brew the grinds of their choice, in Keurig 2.0 brewers, CEO Brian Kelley revealed in an earnings call on Wednesday. The decision comes after a lengthy customer outcry and a sharp 23% year-over-year decline in Keurig Brewer sales.

At This Fashion Library, You Check Out Clothes Instead Of Buying Them

Read the full story at Fast Company.

It’s clear most of us have an appetite for collecting a never-ending series of new outfits. But it’s an impulse we may be able to indulge without actually buying anything new—or contributing to the social and environmental costs of fast fashion. At a fashion library in Amsterdam, customers can come in as often as they want to check out a new outfit. When they want something else, they can come back to swap it out.

This Water-Saving Faucet Forces You To Wash Your Hands The Right Way

Read the full story in Fast Company.

You might think you know how to wash your hands, but most of us are doing it wrong, at least according to the CDC and some recent studies. A new faucet is designed to force us to do a better job: After you get your hands wet, it stops just long enough—20 seconds—for you to properly scrub with soap. Only then can you rinse. The faucet also automatically saves water, because it uses the exact amount you actually need.

How Newbie Gardeners Can Safely Grow Food On Urban Land

Read the full story at NPR.

Most gardeners understand that the soil in big cities is often contaminated with lead — and know to get their soil tested. But the researchers’ interviews with 70 urban gardeners in Baltimore revealed that most are pretty clueless about how to avoid other types of contaminants — like heavy metals and asbestos — from getting into their vegetables.