DIY green cleaning
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
Net zero high rise is a self-contained sustainable community.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
I first ran into the Green Building Initiative last March at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference in Boston.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Highlights from the "Make Your Own Green Cleaners--for Pennies" workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Despite the worldwide increase in environmentally friendly lifestyles, the United States still ranks as one of the least eco-friendly consumer societies. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares ways to green your habits.
TerraChoice’s annual Sins of Greenwashing study finds that 95 percent of the products claiming to be green have used vague language, unproven claims and false certification labels.
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps--using inexpensive materials you already have around the house--to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
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.
In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
ECOvention, LLC announced today that as of August 2010, more than 30 Whole Foods Market locations in the Rocky Mountain region will use the multi-functional, eco-friendly GreenBox to serve take-away customers at their brick-oven pizza counters.
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
Find out what’s in your paper products with Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
More tips, ideas, and considerations for choosing green gifts. A sequel/supplement to last year's article!
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
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.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
A good layer of environmentally friendly mulch such as eucalyptus, pine bark or cocoa hulls will discourage weeds, keep soil up to 10 degrees cooler and help prevent plant disease. What's your favorite green mulch?
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
An abundance of greens but a shortage of inspiration? Here are some ideas beyond just adding them to salads.
Readers share information and recipes about their favorite eating and cooking greens.
Try to grow some sorrel in your garden this season. It has a unique, zesty flavor that adds a zip to many dishes — and it has a long growing season.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
This spring, try more interesting salads with spicy, crunchy, and colorful greens.
Convert your old jeans into brand new items without spending a cent.
Build this classy Shaker-style laptop - desk - for letter writing or to support your laptop computer.
You can shingle your roof with hand-split shakes, crafted using a froe and mallet, and dry, straight-grained wood.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
Here are some suggestions for removing rust from cast iron.
Some of the nastiest chemicals we bring into our homes are used to clean ovens and drains--and they're not necessary. Learn how to clean your entire kitchen using vinegar, baking soda and a little salt and lemon juice. You'll love the results!
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
NXP's wifi light bulb would allow homeowners to turn LED and compact fluorescent lights on and off from anywhere, using any Internet-enabled device. Some say it's the first step toward building "smart" computer-controlled homes. Do we need this?
Simplify the Christmas season with these 12 tips for gifts, gift wrapping and decor—as well as steps you can take to make your celebration light on the planet.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
Clean out the hive at the end of winter
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
If you love salads, lettuce and greens are a great vegetable to grow. They do great in pots or in garden beds. With a few pointers, you can grow salad ingredients for the entire season.
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
Need more storage space? Who doesn’t? You can make better use of the space you have available with some wooden shelves. Building free-standing shelves is easy and can be inexpensive. This is a great woodworking project for beginners.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Learn how to eliminate mold growth in your home and improve indoor air quality by using Concrobium.
Absorb and Clean delivers unmatched performance for cleaning up liquid spills on land, water, and hard surfaces instantly.
Sixteen states have banned the sale of dishwasher detergents with high phosphate levels, and the American Cleaning Institute has urged its members to remove them.
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Tips on how to protect water quality with phosphate-free cleaning projects during spring cleaning.
How we clean out chimney on our A - Frame house with a steep roof.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
Preventing allergy causes as opposed to treating the symptoms.
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.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Follow the sawhorse plans from our 1985 article (with a few variations), and you can build sturdy, inexpensive sawhorses.
Build a reflecting telescope to enjoy the nighttime celstial show.
Create memorable gifts for a youngster with a handcrafted toy or game.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
Instructables is a great website for finding DIY projects, and recently site administrators have reorganized the site to make it easier to find the project you're looking for.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
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.
From shampoo and lotion to wood polish and drain cleaner, you’ll be surprised at how many common household products contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Here’s how to identify problem products and find the best alternatives to buy — or save a little money by making your own.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
With WASHDROPS™, consumers can wash everything from vehicles and patio furniture to aluminum siding, conserve water, a precious resource, and be environmentally responsible.
To make liquid hand soap all you need is a bar of soap and a cheese grater. What could be easier?
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
Check out this natural All-Purpose Cleaner recipe.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Gathering weeds from your garden or yard can make a quick, healthy spring meal.
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
These DIY furniture pieces can be cut and fabricated from any flat, sturdy material.
Macrameing has been a popular craft medium for decades. Share your most outlandish macrame project.
Have you ever let your imagination run wild and built a fanciful, unique … (spinning wheel, bat house, garden tool)
If you want to learn how to paint your house without the help of professionals, this article from the archives is for you. Exterior home painting can be a snap with the right tools and information.
You can build this simple, light-weight roof rack to transport your bicucles.
If you are planning to build a backyard deck, consider whether the best strategy for footings is using deck blocks or cement piers.
Natural Home and the Obamas are in sync on fun, waste-reducing holiday projects. Find out more about decoupage ornaments.
Wood pallets can be used as is or stripped and remade into new forms. What creative uses have you found for wood pallets?
You can fabricate this metal log lifter to make firewood cutting easier and safer.
Engaging in new projects around the house or yard can put us in unfamiliar territory where we might make mistakes that are potentially dangerous or just embarrassing.
Jim Oseychuk built this intricate garden shed for his wife and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Holiday gifts frequently come with "some assembly required" and can cause frustration for late-night Santas. What is your most memorable some-assembly-required experience?
Keeping your tools in good working order saves time and money.
Make your own hand-crafted broad axe with these easy to follow directions.
Learn how to make giant bubbles like a professional bubble artist at home with this DIY video. Complete with a recipe to make a giant bubble wand and your own homemade soap solution, you’ll be ready to impress everyone on your street with human-sized bubbles.
Purchasing the materials for a DIY project can involve making a number of decisions. When you’re deciding on the materials for an outdoor wooden project, are you more apt to be swayed by cost or durability?
You don't have to be a master carpenter to take on a DIY project. What building project have you done all on your own that you are the most proud of the results?
Here is a plan for a metal candle lantern made from a coffee can, metal clothes hanger and a stick of wood.
Easy DIY Halloween costumes for the lazy
Put a barrel or two on wheels and you can feed your flocks and herds with ease, including diagrams, photographs and instructions.
Learn how to make a bootjack from a branch and scrap of wood.
To make the pulp for homemade paper, look no further than your waste and recycling bins.
Build a highchair that will follow your child through years of growth and development.
Using wood you’ve harvested to start creative wood projects is not impossible. Many sawyers have created beautiful wood structures made from lumber they’ve cut themselves.
Can the clutter that threatens to chase you from your workshop be remade into usable items?
Donn Saindon built this beautiful 1,200 square foot home from reclaimed wood and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Joe Bonn built this impressive home in Colorado and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
Robert Craig built this 960 square foot barn in Oregon and won his category of the Wood-Mizer Personal Best contest.
FrogTape’s latest painting tape provides endless design possibilities and masking protection.
Here's what you need to know about laminate flooring, from suggestions on how to choose it to tips for installing your own.
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
If you still want to do everything you can to make your home healthy—for your family and the planet—take a look at how you clean. Like it or not, we have to clean our homes on a regular basis. Natural Home offers lots of great ideas for making your own healthy, natural cleaning solutions—or look to some of the great green solutions now available at your grocery store.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
Clearing out life's detritus is an important first step when spring cleaning. Follow these tips to make clutter-free, organized living possible.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
The babies have arrived, now is the time to take care of all of the other parts of caring for the newborns!
The kids have finally arrived, and we have plenty of photos of them!
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
Do you support or work for a nonprofit that helps protect the environment or promotes sustainability? Whether it’s a small local group or a national one, this month you have the opportunity to help it get recognized in GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Green Awards. Here’s how.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS' green homes editor offers remodeling advice for home owners interested in reducing their environmental footprint.
STIHL provides support to new online resource for do-it-yourself audience.
You can upcycle (make crafts from recycled materials) to beautifuly and simplify your world! Have a few old T-shirts that are past their prime? Make them into a rosette pillow! Use homemade recycled paper to send friends and family chic, personalized greetings cards. Overrun with stuff to recycle? Transform tin can lids into a melodious windchime! Have fun and get creative turning your old stuff into treasures!
Giving handmade gifts will save money while showing the recipient that you care. Homemade sugar scrub, rice pillows, glass magnets and iPod covers are all easy to make and exciting to receive. Spend time, not money, to give the perfect holiday or birthday gift.
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
Use everyday recyclable materials to create personalized DIY stationery.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
Home improvement stores offer free DIY classes. What project have you not started yet but dream of doing?
Instructions for building a cold smoker (and three other things you can do with steel oil drums).
Tell us about your all-time favorite fix-it tool.
For May Day on May 1, make one of these 10 May Day Baskets with recycled materials.
Share the story of your success with a DIY project home business.
You can build a low-cost, squirrel-proof bird feeder using simple tools and inexpensive materials. All you need is some plastic drain pipe and caps, hardware cloth and a bit of wire (or a wire hanger). In no time at all, you’ll have all sorts of birds at the feeder — and the squirrels will be perplexed!
Blogger Steve Maxwell offers tips and a video explaining how to choose and use a router table.
Making wooden replacement handles for tools is easier than you think.
Homegrown.org's Amanda Hoover shakes off a DIY fail — an attempt at homemade natural food coloring — and holds her head high.
Reuse burnt-out lightbulbs to make this adorable, unique DIY holiday wreath.
The economic stimulus package that President Obama signed last month provides $20 billion for investment in a greener economy.
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
Conventional household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. Learn how to mix up your own homemade cleaners with these suggestions from Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence.
I’m sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares what she's learned about the challenges of mass producing eco-friendly products that meet our own tough criteria.
A new study shows that people who buy green products are more likely to cheat and steal than people who buy conventional products.
Mindy Pennybacker’s new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, and her website, GreenerPenny.com, offer easy tips for daily green living.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
The Giving Tree Band has done it again with their latest folk album, "Great Possessions." Read how they created what has been dubbed "the greenest of albums."
The green movement is showing up in some unexpected places.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
Vespa USA highlights five decades of smart metro mobility, freedom and fun.
In 45 years, Deltec Homes have never lost a house to high winds.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
When the dining table is laden down with mail, laptops and other clutter, the entire house feels messy. Follow these seven steps to keep your dining table free of detritus. (Set it for dinner right after breakfast, if you have to.)
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
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.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
This low-cost, easy-to-assemble fire pit from Instructables is made with concrete tree rings and rocks. Just add a grill and you've got the perfect backyard hangout, all for around $50.
Crafting laundry detergent saves time, money and lightens your environmental footprint. Plus it’s simple!
These DIY garden lights reuse plastic bottles and provide soft, natural lighting for evenings spent outdoors.
How to make a homemade cheese press in order to make a massive cheese.
You can build your own industrial-chic reclaimed-wood table with only a few hand tools, spending about $120 on copper pipe.
Readers vote on whether they think making beer, mustard or pickles sounds like the most fun, plus which seems easiest.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
Bust the myths surrounding poison ivy and decide which DIY remedies are right for you.
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial recumbent bicycle when you can make your own out of parts of recycled bikes?
Finding the perfect desk with just the right amount of work space can be a hassle and a financial drain. Build your own desk with this do-it-yourself tutorial, and you’ll have room for your computer, notebooks, phone, printer and any other work-time necessities, and you’ll save some serious cash in the process.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
Borrowing from a Native American tradition, utilize porcupine quills to make beautiful beads.
Robert Maxwell shares tips on maintaining motivation.
Learn how to make a pinwheel for a fun, outdoors toy.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, share his make do tool tips with fellow DIY homeowners.
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, explains just how easy it is to install laminate flooring yourself.
The Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce is the only statewide green chamber of commerce in the country, and they're opening their first local chapter in Phoenix next week.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
Join the green collar economy by going through a green job training program. Learn the ins and outs of solar photovoltaics, wind power or biomass and save the planet while furthering your career.
Discover Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy and learn how you can get in on the action by finding or even organizing events in your area.
Learn about five easy ways for companies to help the environment by implementing a few simple changes to their building and operations.
The "Earth Shelter" at The Farm Community in Tennessee combines the geothermal properties of the earth with solar design to produce a very energy efficient home.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
Use these green tomato recipes when garden season leaves you with an abundance of green tomatoes on your vines.
A new job-finding website, Good Food Jobs, can help you find meaningful work in the food industry.
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence introduces her new blog, Natural Home Living, and shares everything you need to know about going green. Natural Home Living focuses on answering your green home questions, following green building news and showing you how to save money by going green.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Readers share resources and information about their food-related jobs.
Don't choose vinyl: There is a greener option.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Midwest Living designers give the Smart Home at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry a green makeover that features zero-VOC paint, furniture made from recycled steel and reclaimed wood, and other planet-friendly home decor.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
Energy-monitoring devices won big at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
The Seed Savers Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Just six months after he succeeded George DeVault, Aaron Whaley has resigned.
Find out more about your best options for a greener roof.
Come one, come all to The National Heirloom Exposition, the gardening event people are hailing as “The World’s Pure Food Fair!” This exhibition will be held in Santa Rosa, California and will host a variety of natural food events, including the largest showcase of heirloom fruits and heirloom vegetables in history.
Enjoy this alternative "green" building strawbale gingerbread-style house made with graham crackers, mini-wheats and pretzels.
Share your thoughts. What homemade and natural cleaning products do you find work best in your home?
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Remember to look for these key words when buying good, green gifts.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses the pros and cons of green consumerism.
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
President Barack Obama's second wave of stimulus money creates new green jobs.
The reasons for the inequitable distribution of human nourishment, worldwide, are complex and hotly debated.
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
An update on generating electricity with pedal power and which exercise bike we decided on and testing soil for nutrient ratios along with fixing a pair of leaky boots with adhesive and inner tube scrap patch.
So maybe you can't afford the pricey furniture and decor on display at the design shows in Milan and Vegas. Just take a look at these ideas and start riffing.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
Build an inexpensive bicycle trailer out of upcycled walkers and other easy-to-find materials.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Gather a few pallets and get geared up to make your very own spacious rabbit hutch with just a few supplies for under $25 dollars!
Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Steve Maxwell spotlights the three myths that prevent people from realizing the full value of the self reliant lifestyle, and how to dispel them
Make your barn doors glide with skateboard wheels and other easy to find materials in this DIY project to create sliding barn doors.
You can make a simple bench for the garden or patio by recycling an old headboard.
Learn how to make your own bushcraft knife using only simple tools and materials, including an old file.
Skylight scoops are the latest design in skylights which help save more energy and enhance a building’s environment.
This easy-to-make mosquito-net tent will keep flying critters from bugging you throughout the night.
You can make these outdoor chairs for less than $80 by recycling a whiskey barrel and using a few other supplies from your workshop.
This acorn-shaped wool garland is easy to make and perfect for fall decor.
Learn how to build a simple, dual-burner rocket stove using recycled materials from your homestead, garden or workshop.
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
You can stretch your budget for wedding flowers by growing some of your own. Learn how to select, schedule, and plant flowers — then make them into wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces.
Here’s what to look for when purchasing a portable table saw for DIY building projects around your homestead.
Don't have the budget for a hot tub? Check out how these homeowners saves money and space by planting vintage clawfoot tubs in their gardens.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
Personal users can now buy welding and cutting products and accessories online from the comfort of their home.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Need to get your kids out of the house? Learn how to build your own playground and give them a convenient place for outdoor playtime.
How to quickly and easily make a soothing herbal tea blend for children, plus bags and boxes to hold it.
Wrap drinking glasses in handmade paper for pretty, easy-to-make vases and votive holders.
One of the easiest ways to make your own newspaper pots.
Rechargeable tool packages use the same battery to power multiple tools: saws, drills, drivers and flashlights. What are the benefits of these systems?
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Thinking about bees? Check out this DIY top bar hive!
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.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Skip the packaging and synthetic chemicals and learn how to make your own, cold-processed shampoo bars.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
At last, we construct the foundation.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
So here's an idea - why not take existing technology and build a DIY diesel electric pickup truck? Is it even possible? I think it is, but I'll need your help!
The sweet smell and healing properties of bay, eucalyptus and ginger will make your sweetheart's Valentine's Day massage memorable.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Dan Chiras discusses the long-term benefits of building a green home.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Wireless temperature control mattresses and pads offer a dream come true for
Believe it: With patience and pecking around, you can find low-voc paint for little more (maybe even less!) than you'd pay for conventional paint. What's your experience?
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
Using an MPG app may help reduce your consumption of gas, and make your commute and road trips more economical and green.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding rings and green engagement rings.
Marketing green homes has been limited to few websites with outdated listings that cost the seller or agent an arm and a leg to list. As a homeowner who had invested a lot of money in a green remodel of my own, I was perplexed as to how I was going to show off all the features of my home in a normal MLS listing. With years of research and development, I created a very innovative way to buy, sell, and market sustainable homes.
Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.
Some businesses toss around the word "green" to be hip and fit, but the question is just how green are their products and buildings anyways? Let's take a closer look.
Mother Earth News' green homes editor discusses eco-friendly insulation options, and explains why some are greener than others.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
Even progressive cities have work to do, and sometimes the biggest changes come from good people asking the right questions.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
‘Tis the season to shop for green gifts—here’s how.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Information about energy-efficient washing machines and cellular window shades. These energy-efficient appliances and window shades will please environmentally conscious consumers.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
If you crave great music with an eco-conscious cause, attend Rock the Green, Milwaukee’s first green music festival.
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
Target Red Shop offers Lulan Artisans’ fair trade clutch bags to help build better lives for weavers in southeast Asia and end human trafficking.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
A company called From War to Peace makes “peace bronze” out of disarmed nuclear missile systems. The bronze is then transformed into cool items such as jewelry and bottle openers.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
Accelerating Appalachia is the world's first nature-based green-business accelerator that connects innovators, investors and mentors that are aligned with people, place and prosperity.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
How does your city rate for bikeability? Check the Bike Score website.
The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of more than 100 green apps.
For decades, corporations have been able to skirt past being held accountable for any environmental irresponsibility, and that has helped propel us into a time where pollution is out of control, and our natural resources are at a constant decline. Raising the standards for these faceless corporations is becoming evermore necessary.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.
Check out this green gingerbread house built by MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff: It includes cookie and candy versions of SIPs construction, a living roof, and a solar electric system.
There’s no reason not to “go green” when picking up a game for a young loved one. Despite the abundance of “Made in China” plastic toys and games that line the aisles, some companies have made it their business to create amazingly fun toys and games for children in ways that protect, preserve or restore the planet.
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.
Safely eliminate mice in your home with these house mouse control tips.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
In our modern society, we are starting to realize how important the environment is and how fragile it really is. Our resources are limited, and if we aren't kept in check, we will ruin any hope we have of preserving it. Using the technology we have available to help us is something everybody can do.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
New, efficient technology is replacing the old, and it is transforming the way in which we live, and more importantly, our impact on the environment.
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.
"Integrated Forest Gardening" is the first, and most comprehensive, guide about plant guilds ever written, and it covers in detail both what guilds are and how to design and construct them, complete with extensive color photography and design illustrations.
Alternative energy has become a hot topic in recent years as we try and work towards more sustainable resources. Whether we'll get there or not remains to be seen.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
Biking and walking to work have significant health benefits, according to a new study. Pedestrians and cyclists have lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and tend not to be overweight.
For two weeks, I tested a hybrid vehicle. My family liked the car, I liked the car and without a doubt, the Ford C-MAX Energi is an amazing ride.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
The stylish new Sanyo eneloop bike features a partially-self-charging electric motor and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.
Learn how to make fried green tomatoes with a cheesy crust with this twist on a classic Southern recipe.
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz recently discussed the price of the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt. What do you think?
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
When shopping for the holidays, consider these seven strategies for giving greener gifts.
How to make Thai-inspired fried green tomatoes.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence finds another great reason to indulge herself in Aveda products: Aveda is the world’s first beauty company to receive Gold Cradle to Cradle accolades.
Pizza Fusion is one of the 10 finalists in Co-op America's People's Choice Award for green business of the year. The company uses only organic ingredients and delivers its pizza with hybrids.
The 10 People's Choice finalists are great examples of the socially and environmentally responsible business leaders that meet the standards of Green America’s Seal of Approval.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
Carrotmob, a project of Virgance, a company that organizes activism campaigns, works to create social change by rewarding green businesses through consumer buying. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about this innovative activism group.
Canada is helping define "green" products for its advertising industry.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.
I think testing your home for radon is a good idea, and these dogs agree with me!
The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to its environmental marketing guidelines would make it more difficult for marketers to make false green claims for their products.
PriscillaWoolworth.com makes conscious shopping easier by selling a variety of green household products and fair trade items from around the world.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
We offer you some helpful tips on how to have a green holiday this year.
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
If you need a new car — and want one that employs green vehicle technology or hybrid vehicle technology to save gas — there’s no major reason to wait.
To what extent are manufacturers able to take advantage of the enigmatic nature of the term ‘sustainability’ to effectively green wash their products?
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
February’s stimulus plan offers tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements, which could keep your money in your wallet this tax season.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding venues.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
Integrating cycling and public transit is an inexpensive and efficient way to travel longer distances.
Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco-friendly wedding decorations.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
How to roast green tomatoes to be eaten alone or to boost the flavor of other recipes.
JWTIntelligence predicts big green changes in the coming year (including tube-free toilet paper).
Dynamic Recycling is a La Crosse, Wisconsin-based computer and electronics recycler, IT asset management and electronic scrap purchasing company. Since the company’s January 1, 2007 inception, Dynamic Recycling has been providing exceptional customer service to the Mid-West and beyond in regards to accountability to the various needs of corporations, scrap yards, municipalities, educational institutions and manufacturers to whom they work with.
Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
What can you do with mounds of green tomatoes? Turn them into the best enchilada sauce you'll ever have.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change. It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”
Try to get clean water and wanting simple bottling options with the purity. Most of the experts in water say you need a countertop water filtration system. Which one is the way to go? This story shows you one option but seems to be kicking it up.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
When my father's health was failing, he requested to be buried on our property. The purpose of this story is to take you through our walk with an ailing parent and to encourage and inform those who may be considering an at home burial.
A Beautiful Green Backyard Burial: This story is written to help inform anyone that may be considering being buried, or burying a loved one, on their own property. It shares some of what one may go through at the end of a life's journey.
A vast range of eco-hostels are available to book through Hostelbookers, helping you plan a greener trip
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
Looking for a great home metalworking project? Follow these DIY patio furniture instructions to build scrap-metal furniture for your patio.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.