• Outside Magazine

    Love Nature? Your Lawn Says Otherwise.

    On a winter day in 2016, Louise Washer received a call that would change her life. As president of the Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA), Washer was overseeing habitat restoration projects, monitoring water quality, and working to eliminate pesticide use in seven watershed towns in Connecticut. The call was from her friend Donna Merrill, who was developing a community land stewardship project at the Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Partnership, similar to the NRWA. Merrill had just experienced an aha! moment upon discovering the citizen-powered ‘Bee Highway’ in Oslo, Norway—a city-wide trail of bee-friendly food and shelter stations. Emboldened by Oslo’s dedication to protecting its pollinators, Merrill and Washer teamed up on a…

  • Outside Magazine

    How to (Finally!) Take That Kid-Free Vacation

    For our first kid-free vacation in three years, my husband and I planned a weekend in Cape Cod. Just the two of us, our neglected road bikes, and maybe some cold lobster rolls in our jersey pockets. When we actually pulled it off last spring, it felt like a second honeymoon. No responsibilities, no cheddar bunnies. We could finally catch our breath.

  • Outside Magazine

    How to Build a Green Van

    My family and I bought a Ford Transit last spring, and it felt like a dirty secret. Despite being a relatively svelte RV, the typical Class B camper gets 16 to 20 miles per gallon and emits far more greenhouse-gas emissions than my Prius or bike, both my long-preferred modes of transit. Vans are traditionally converted using toxic materials, such as foam insulation, chemically treated plywood, vinyl, and various other plastic parts. Surprising, right? Scrolling through thousands of #vanlife photos, one might have the impression that it’s a vehicle for woke nature enthusiasts and families raising the next generation of Greta Thunbergs.