From the Vault: Welcome, Spring!

Spring has sprung. Are you ready for the season of sunshine and optimism?

The natural world is unfurling and coming alive – and we invite you to celebrate the season of renewal and boisterous good health with a springtime selection from our archives.

These flowering plants grow in the wild on open fields throughout the country. Distinguished by its spiky leaves, thistles can serve as a tasty potherb. Just cut off the leaves’ sharp tips, peel the rind off the root and use salt water to boil these parts of the plant.

A Guide to Foraging for Food: 20 Tasty Wild Plants

If you are applying to college, you have a better chance of getting in with lesser grades on a sunny day.

Uri Simonsohn is the behavioral economist at the University of California at San Diego who conducted a study of the science of sun. As he told Psychology Today, “Applicants who are strong academically are more likely to be admitted on cloudy days, whereas candidates who are strong socially are more likely to be admitted on sunny ones. Cloudy days call to mind thoughts of staying inside to read or study.” No word on what snowy days say about academics.

10 Benefits Of Sunshine

Tumble-drying needs huge amounts of energy (see below). So go for a combination of an eco-friendly spin dryer for when it’s raining, and washing lines (standard or fancy) for when the sun’s shining.

Tumble dryers use around 2.5 kwH of electricity per hour. Compared with the rest of your appliances, that’s huge. Dry naturally, and you’ll save $100s a year. Oh, and millions of tons of CO2.

Save the Planet, Save Cash: 25 Best Ways to Green your Green

Traditionally, spring-cleaning involved scouring the house from top to bottom. Our grandmothers rolled up their sleeves, grabbed a scrub brush and bucket and went to work. Comforters were packed away, windows washed until the glass gleamed, rugs beaten and aired out in the sun. That sounds like a lot of trouble to me…

From Dreaded Chore to Refreshing Ritual: How to Reinvent Spring Cleaning

Many of us want a bronzed look, but achieving a safe summer glow can be tricky. We want to look gently kissed by the sun, not smacked in the face by a metallic tangerine. So check out our favorite products this season for sun-less (and safer) color.

The Gold Guide to a Safe Summer Glow

Forget the days of mindlessly jumping in a taxi to go from point A to point B. Urban hiking is all about planning, executing and enjoying the journey, another great example of slow travel. According to the Urban Dictionary, urban hiking is “the exploration of diverse urban environments on foot.” Conservation and travel groups alike promote urban hiking, as it not only gets people outdoors and active, but also allows them to explore the ins and outs of urban landscapes…

The City Girl’s Guide to Urban Hiking

Images: Matt McGee, foxypar4, WarmSleepynicephore, Evil Erin and brartist.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.