Our picks for the week of Jan. 9-15:
• This week's destination is the Azores, an archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean that belongs to Portugal. It's a taste of Old World Europe that's off the beaten path.
• Animals that thrive in caves have evolved to fit that unique environment, from a lack of pigment to a slow metabolism. Here are 10 incredible cave animals — or troglobites, as a scientist would say.
• U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a household name because of a horrific shooting in Arizona, but to those who knew her before Jan. 8, she has been a tireless environmental advocate.
• Catholic communes aren't the best vacation spot for everyone, but if you're serious about solitude and sustainability, the monastic life can be a godsend. Here are five monastic eco-retreats.
• This next batch of images are part of an exhibit that captured the effects of the Depression on the country's rural and small-town populations. Take a look at farm life from 1939-1943. The stories will leave you wanting to know more.
• Wine lovers already know that the East Coast has a few secrets of its own. Here are eight eco-friendly East Coast wineries.
• And since we're talking about relatively new technology, let's not forget to recycle the old. Here are some simple steps to getting cash for your used electronics.
Plus: Don't miss the week in photos, including an instructional image of how to put a kayak put to good use after an incredible snowstorm.