Green Homes

The ins and outs of green construction and natural building, with specifics on solar design, home insulation and more.

Energy Independence, Thanks to Thermal Mass and Solar Panels

By Sara Yerkes

Gaining energy independence is just one of the advantages of solar energy. One California couple demonstrates how they got off the energy grid, once and for all. Originally published as "Energy Independence, Today" in the JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1986 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Solar Carriage House

By Angus W. Macdonald

A solar carriage house is a blend of superinsulation and earth sheltering, a promising option for owner-builders. Includes information on Wallis carriage house, Merkel carriage house, the future of carriage houses and photographs. Originally published as "The Solar Carriage House" July/August 1985 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Energy Efficient Homes: SOLARC 98

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

An Oklahoma architect combines earth sheltering and passive/active solar design features to create standardized plans for energy efficient homes. Originally published as "SOLARC 98" in the May/June 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Passive Solar Design in 1985

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

Architect Joseph Kawecki and the Pipics demonstrate an emerging concept in passive solar design in 1985. Originally published as "Understated Solar for Gray Winters" in the March/April 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.


Energy Tax Credits in the 1980s

By the Mother Earth News editors

The time is running out on this powerful financial incentive.The National Energy Act of 1978 allowed people who invested in renewable energy equipment to earn energy tax credits in the 1980s. Originally published as "Energy Tax Credits" in the January/February 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Living With a 12V DC Home Power System


Using 12V DC for home power requires some adjustments, but generating your own energy will protect you from rising utility rates. Originally published as "Low Voltage Living" in the November/December 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Use Cordwood Construction to Design and Build Your Own House

By Richard Flatau

A mortgage-free, owner-built cordwood house.      

A Tour of the Rocky Mountain Institute

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

An energy efficient home and office. Originally published as "Exporting Energy in the Rockies" in the July/August 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

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Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.