Alternative heating methods
Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Unit helps homeowners heat more space while slashing high hot water bills
Radiant floor heating may save energy in the average home, but for especially well insulated new houses, here's why it's probably not your best option.
FCX Oil-Fired Condensing Boilers, designed and manufactured by Geminox, provide a reliable and efficient alternative to non-condensing boilers. FCX Boilers feature a steel, non-condensing primary heat exchanger coupled with a stainless steel, condensing secondary heat exchanger.
Here are a few talking points that can help peacefully resolve home heating arguments.
Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simple tips to get disposable paper towels out of your house. You'll never miss them.
Walkable neighborhoods will help keep baby boomers active and healthy after retirement.
Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals, but figuring out which are the worst can be difficult. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence clues you in to the top five chemical ingredients to avoid when buying summer skin care products, and helps you learn about a few natural alternatives.
Settling on a flooring option for the tipi was pretty simple after coming across an awesome company that was right under my nose the whole time.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of energy your home requires to stay comfortable. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence fills you in on how to weatherize your home and collect stimulus money.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
The Gourmet Butcher explains the best ways to re-heat red meats.
Have you found helpful ways to cut your energy use at home? Whether it's turning down the thermostat or installing new light bulbs, tell us what you've done to conserve energy and how well it's worked.
Cam describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
Made from natural minerals, sea salt, water, sand, recycled coal byproducts and natural fibers, CompoClay is a promising alternative to gypsum, engineered wood and resins.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
Steve explains a little about why he chose to install reclaimed cast-iron radiators, including a video tour of his installation.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
A blog about the joys of wood heat that covers comfort, energy savings, ecology and history of the trees and sustainable harvesting
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
WiseWay Pellet Stove is the first and only EPA-certified and UL-listed non-electric pellet stove on the market today. This pellet stove eliminates the need for electricity by using a gravity-feed natural draft to accomplish a high efficiency rating of 75 percent. It’s capable of heating up to 2,000 square feet and able to hold a fire up to 31 hours on a 40-pound bag of pellets. The stove is also mobile home approved.
The Snail, the winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition, saves both energy and space by heating food with magnetic induction.
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
Being in control of your own home heating.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
As climate variability causes coffee yields to shrink and prices to soar, we may need to start looking at alternatives.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
Think you're safe because you're buying BPA-free plastic? A study has found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 70 percent of plastic products--even those without BPA.
Steve Maxwell, Canada’s Handiest Man, provides tips on splitting firewood for home heating via woodstoves or fireplaces.
Passive solar design comes to Navajo families, as architecture students build homes on Utah reservations.
Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.
Check out the Kimberly stove, an energy efficient, small space wood cookstove.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) provides state-by-state information on incentives, rebates and grant programs for renewable energy systems and energy efficient home improvement programs.
T. Boone Pickens is calling Americans to submit videos about the importance of independence from foreign oil. The contest ends Oct. 25, and the winning video will be sent to national political leaders.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
There are plenty of alternatives to handing out sugary candy at Halloween time.
We finally build somthing!
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
Explore how you can make your own home grown organic fuel to power your own transportation or electricity.
When it's cold outside, who doesn't love a cozy fireplace or woodstove? Wood heat is a comfortable way to warm your home, and there are many reasons it's a practical choice, too.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
Let's dream a little dream of green home improvement, without worries about funding.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
After only a few nights with a wood stove in the tipi, I've become happily addicted to warmth I have to work for.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Learn how to build a simple, dual-burner rocket stove using recycled materials from your homestead, garden or workshop.
Wayne you'd better slow down! The master of vehicle gasification is hard pressed to stay within the speed limit.
Here's how Wayne Keith he shuts down the wood gasifier when he gets to where he's going.
Here's Wayne Keith lighting up his woodgas truck. He's driving on wood before he gets out of the driveway!
Taking a bath in the winter takes a little more planning at our off-grid, no-plumbing home.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
A report from economic analyst Mark Cooper shows that continuing nuclear power projects in the Southeast will only produce billions of dollars in excess costs.
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
To learn more about large wind energy companies and wind power generation, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with a representative from Horizon Wind Energy about the wind energy industry in this Wind Energy blog. With wind farms in 18 states, Horizon Wind Energy plays a role in the future of wind energy in the United States.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
We have the technology, today, to make our power grid more sustainable, cleaner, more robust and more reliable just by replacing old-fashioned metering with “smart-metering” and agreeing to pay homeowners who generate electricity.
Michael Paul Holmes of Paul and Sabrina's EV Stuff will present a workshop on electric vehicles at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Scott Davis, microhydro energy expert, will present a workshop on microhydro energy at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Lyle Estill of Piedmont Biofuels and Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute will present workshops on low-carbon solutions and local eating at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
The political system is not broken.
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
Organic Pond is pleased to announce that the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) has reviewed the company's PureBacteria+ Biological Pond Muck Reducer and has listed PureBacteria+ for use in organic production.
Finally! Design experts and contractors say granite and marble have lost their luster. Find beautiful, natural alternatives to that and solutions to other common design mistakes, including dull color pallettes and overused water features.
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
Cam Mather tries out a battery-powered chainsaw at his off-grid homestead in Ontario.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
Wood gas, or wood gasification, is a decades-old renewable energy technology that converts chunks of firewood, wood chips or other cellulosic biomass to power vehicles.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
Gasification guru Wayne Keith shows us some of his daily farm operations.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Alisa Shorey will present a workshop on beekeeping and Jack McCornack will present a workshop on 100-mpg cars at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Generate energy in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
One of my earliest vivid childhood memories is sitting on my father’s lap as a young girl reading the magazine together in the 1980s and all throughout my childhood. He would read aloud while I studied the pictures of passive solar building, vegetable gardening, sheep shearing, building your own sugar shack and the beautiful array of topics which he read to me frequently. Those images, along with the camping trips in the mountains, the whitewater and canoeing excursions, and our family trip to Alaska, have been etched in the catacombs of my childhood memories and have sculpted the person I have grown to become.
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home & Garden, is beginning research on electric in-floor radiant floor heating products as an efficient method of heating the new nursery.
After the kidding is over, we take good care of our girls! And, the babies need to be bottle fed, so here are the instructions on how we feed our kids.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
The thousands of families who have built affordable homes, cash up front, made of earthbags, straw bales, cordwood, cob and rammed tires are not in danger of losing their homes in the current mortgage crisis.
Read about new legislation that would stop the government from funding the fossil fuel industry. Then, sign your name to the petition and make a difference.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.