A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a database of state-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists. Find out if you live in a bicycle friendly community.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
Lazer Z X-Series zero-turn riding mower earns award for innovative RED Technology
The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?
Almond and wholesale nut farmers in California filed a lawsuit this month against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a regulation requring them to treat their crops with chemicals for the prevention of salmonella, preventing the farmers from selling raw almonds to their customers.
Wise sprinkler usage will conserve water while maintaining your attractive lawn.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a commercial recumbent bicycle when you can make your own out of parts of recycled bikes?
Two Spoke, an online forum devoted to cycling, gives cyclists a place to discuss everything from commuting bikes to cycling apparel to cyclist rights. This interview with a Two Spoke site administrator discusses the forum and its role as a resource for cyclists.
Second in a series of blog posts about how to convert a lawn mower or other gasoline small engine to run on propane.
Swiss manufacturer Stromer has announced a sweepstakes to give away a new electric bicycle in the U.S.
One of STIHL’s many battery powered tools could make a perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day.
Scotts Miracle-Gro now phosphorous-free in market leading Turf Builder product.
New Z925M Flex Fuel model offers alternative fuel option for landscape contractors.
Peckham’s Village Bicycle Project donates used bicycles and parts to poor families in Africa, and the effects have been life-changing.
Ecuadorians want $27 billion in environmental damages, in the largest environmental damages lawsuit, and Chevron says it won't pay.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
You can sneak a few attractive, low maintenance food plants onto your lawn, and your neighbors will never even notice.
Share your thoughts about using a bicycle to get around town and your tips for less experienced bikers.
You can receive a tax credit if you commute to work by bicycle.
Cities such as Seattle and Portland, Oregon, are accommodating swelling populations by allowing backyard cottages in existing neighborhoods. The units accommodate renters, elderly relatives and even ex-spouses. Could they make a difference?
My experiences with a reel lawn mower in a small urban neighborhood.
Landscapers, gardeners and DIYers have a fast and convenient solution that dethatches, bags, rakes, scalps, mulches and cuts lawns in a single tool.
Creating storage for groceries and other items on your bike is easier than I ever thought possible. With just two small wastebaskets and some rope, I gave my new bike some carrying capacity, and I spent very little money in the process. Make your own bicycle baskets and save!
Take a break from your automobile in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own images, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
If you're looking for a new lawn mower this year, consider buying a zero-turn lawn mower, which will really help you maneuver around obstacles such as trees and bushes.
A recent study of the University of Texas at Austin found that mixed native turf lawns require less maintenance, grow better and provide more weed resistance than a traditional, single-species lawn.
It’s time for lawn and garden work. In your opinion, which is the best garden tractor? Which tractor will you be using this year?
Currently sold only in Europe, the Honda Miimo is the company’s first commercial robotic product for domestic use, offering customers the ultimate in lawn mowing ease.
More electric riding lawn mowers are coming to the market.
In a recent survey, we asked our online readers if they thought genetically modified foods should be labeled. What do you think?
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Machine expert Hank Will offers advice on whether to drain the gas tanks of machines that will be idle for a while.
Build an inexpensive bicycle trailer out of upcycled walkers and other easy-to-find materials.
A people-powered revolution is afoot.
Qualifying referrals to Exmark can receive $100 Carhartt gift cards.
Husqvarna adds 3 all-wheel drive walk mower models to offer high quality options for any budget.
Exmark’s “Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane” provides a road map for landscape professionals.
New EPA regulations require 35 percent reduced emissions from lawn-care equipment by 2011.
Rick Stiles shares chronicles the first two weeks of his cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle.
A new report from the League of American Bicyclists finds women cyclists now make up 60 percent of U.S. bike owners between the ages of 18 and 27.
If you go shopping for an electric bike, you’ll find a wide range of prices and brands. Discover how to determine the best electric bicycle brands for your lifestyle.
This is a modified version of a guest post written by Zach O’Connor, Communications and Publications Coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), for the "Building the U.S. Bicycle Route System" blog. In it Zach explains how his coworker’s bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C., makes use of the District’s newly improved bicycle facilities.
The stylish new Sanyo eneloop bike features a partially-self-charging electric motor and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.
Checking out our bicycles, our gear and ourselves.
TrikE, an electric-assisted human powered vehicle (HVP), provides weather protection and storage while maintaining all the benefits of a bicycle.
Build a bicycle cargo trailer and haul almost anything—furniture, boxes, even a barbecue grill—using pedal power.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
Home gardeners and urban farmers can come up against garden laws and regulations that can limit the size, style and components of their garden.
As Offlining urges cyborgs to turn off their Blackberries, Neo-Luddites question technology's exponential encroachment on our lives.
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
"Organic farmers have the right to raise our organic crops without the threat of invasion by Monsanto's genetic contamination and without harassment by a reckless polluter. Beginning today, America asserts her right to justice and pure food."
KIOTI tractor company realizes significant growth in North American markets.
The 2011 report focuses on the Garden Effect and Payback-if-sold. The Garden Effect is the estimated increase in a property’s market value as a result of having beautiful landscaping.
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
So, I separated my bicycle gear for the cross-country cycling trip into two piles: needed, and nice. The needed items came in at 43 pounds. I will be traveling through towns almost everyday so replenishing items like soap, insect repellant, sun tan lotion, first aid items, bicycle parts, and personal hygiene should be easy. With this in mind I drastically reduced the quantity and different types of consumables: 37.8 pounds.
Improve your nighttime cycling safety with these do-it-yourself bicycle turn signals.
Weeks three, four and five of our cross country bicycle trip start in Missoula, Mont. and end in North Branch, Minn.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
Bikes Make Life Better is the title of a new, fun video from the People for Bikes campaign.
(Video) The U.S. Secretary of Transportation bikes to work at the behest of his bicycle commuting employees.
Cub Cadet is known for providing break-through innovations, a reputation supported by the Best Buy rating.
In a war on gardens, the City of Orlando has taken issue with the rows of beans, greens, and other vegetables occupying Jason and Jennifer Helvenston's front yard garden. The Helvenstons respond to the City's request they remove their "illegal" garden.
Help save this small family farm in Michigan, and stand up for our right to live sustainably!
On May 4th in Washington DC a giant gluten-free cake will be built to raise awareness of the lack of labeling laws that would assure those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance a safe, reliable definition of gluten-free food labeling.
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
The CS2410 subcompact tractor is appropriate for those homeowners with property sizes ranging from just under an acre up to 5 acres, possibly more.
The Hoss Seeder's unique features include its all-metal frame and ease of attaching to the wheel hoe.
Investments in lawnmower fabrication processes save more than 310 tons of steel annually.
Growstone makes breakthrough, high-performance hydroponic growth mediums and soil aerators from discarded glass.
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.
Traveling by train is becoming more convenient for bicyclists with the new Amtrak baggage car.
Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.
Integrating cycling and public transit is an inexpensive and efficient way to travel longer distances.
As state transportation officials send billions back to Washington, advocates hope bicyclists and pedestrians aren't left holding the empty bag.
The number of bike commuters is on the rise everywhere in the United States, but especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities where it has increased an average of 80 percent.
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
Starting in North Branch, Minn. and ending in Brantford, Ontario, author Rick Stiles continues his cycling across the country — and the border.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Optimize your training routine for the best results.
My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Instructional videos from the League of American Bicyclists provide basic bicycle safety tips.
The Trans-America trail cycle across America.
John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.
Short overnight trips are a great way to introduce your family to bicycle travel.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
Check out the 2012 Bicycle Travel Award winners selected by Adventure Cycling Association.
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
A Colombian concept that reclaims the streets has found a home in dozens of cities across the U.S.
Advocating for biking during election season can result in the government focusing on bikeability and walkability.
Join a free webinar about women and cycling this Wednesday!
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
Steve offers a few thoughts on line trimmers and brush cutters.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
Put your riding mower to work!
Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!
Jason Helvingston of Orlando, Fla., fights for his right to grow food in his front yard garden after the City of Orlando cited him for illegal gardening, pitting food self-sufficiency against city ordinance.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.
Bicycling for transportation takes center stage during National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.
For three days before the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, John D. Ivanko and his family rafted, biked, toured some of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, and savored farm-to-table cuisine that blew us away at The Historic Stone House.
Go out for a spin this May during National Bike Month, and join the growing ranks of people who are discovering the benefits of bike commuting.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities -- the go-to bicycle infrastructure guide for planners, engineers and contractors.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
Ian Klepetar has been living out of a tent — and building a business empire that benefits bicyclists.
Recent studies and stories from around the world indicate that bicycle travel of all kinds has increased in popularity. The Adventure Cycling Association lists nine new indicators that bike travel and tourism are booming.
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
30 states now working to establish official national bicycle routes, with more states interested — new online map and progress report document growing momentum
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
EcoSharing.net lets you easily swap, give away or borrow items from your Facebook friends.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
California architect Matthew Hofman gives a 1978 Airstream a good green makeover.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
A quick glance back at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Lawrence, Kan.
Plant a patio garden, get a more efficient TV and change your light bulbs, suggests eco-designer Sabrina Soto.
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.
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.
Re-Nest's list of its favorite Etsy stores makes navigating the handmade goods shopping site easier to navigate.
Simple rosemary mayonnaise makes an exceptional sandwich spread.
Worldwide fish consumption is at an all-time high, so take action by eating only sustainably harvested seafood from ethical sources.
Celebrate spring by throwing a free tea party--here's how.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
The Burning House website asks people to post lists and photos of everything they would take if their house were on fire. It's an interesting glimpse into what really matters--and a bittersweet reminder to love what we have.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated--and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
As world food prices hit a record high, follow these tips for reducing your grocery bill while still eating well.
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
Wrap drinking glasses in handmade paper for pretty, easy-to-make vases and votive holders.
See how a structure made from cob, a form of earthen construction, handles a laboratory shake test.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
Smaller spaces, simplifying and creating healthy homes are top trends in home improvement.
Craving fresh food during the long winter months? Here are nine vegetables that you can find fresh in February--and great ways to prepare and serve them.
A new open-source website helps consumers track where their products come from.
The best defense against potential hazards in products you like? Be responsible.
Architect Nathan Kipnis also presented 10 key areas that designers, builders and citizens should be striving toward in the post-peak oil era.
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.
The vast majority of Americans believe labeling GMOs is necessary and ethical.
Columbia University's Earth Institute will hold an informational session on its Sustainability Management program on February 10.
Extend the life of your washer and dryer and save money on repairs with these 10 tips.
Silicon-based LEDs, expected to hit the market in two or three years, could lower prices by as much as 75 percent.
Two Brooklyn filmmakers found a way to grow fresh food in the city--in the bed of a 1986 Dodge pickup.
Every time I leave the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR I come home with a bag full of stuff that I have accumulated along the way. My youngest son typically tears into the bag, once exclaiming that my return from the FAIR is always “like Christmas.”
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.
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.
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
The owners of Finca Exotica on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula utilize their lush garden for everything--including a natural antidepressent.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
Food has become both a political and a fashion statement--and foodies could save the environmental movement.
Chinese worker Chen Shun Qun says she is paid and treated fairly at the factory that makes Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Give your hangers a little pizzazz--and protect your clothing--with this simple project that makes use of worn-out shirts.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
Reconnecting with family photos and important papers may seem like small change in the wake of the tornadoes' massive devastation in the Southeast last week. But what if it were the last surviving photo of your mother?
As grocery prices rise, now more than ever we need tools to save money. These websites help you get organized and give you the tools you need to buy the best--for less.
When I bought my farm, I did it to live in the woods. I would like to say I was deliberate. And intentional. But clueless is probably a better word. I should have suspected something when I bought the land and they threw the house in for free.
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
During national bedbug summit, health experts urge thorough cleaning and heat as the best prevention and cure for the nasty pests.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
The ground hog may be signalling an early end to winter, but today's a day to stay in with good food, an arsenal of craft projects and a warming bath.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
Shortages and soaring cotton prices have prompted U.S. farmers to plant more cotton and less food. Hemp is much more versatile and less resource-intensive to grow. Unfortunately, outdated U.S. laws prohibit its production.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
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.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Flea market shopping takes dedication and agility--and it's a ton of fun if you're well prepared.
Rich, creamy Parmesan and Brie Polenta is a Meatless Monday meal fit for a king.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
Some consumers are wary of the impending federal phaseout of incandescent light bulbs. Are you?
In GE's new bulb, a halogen capsule--which turns on instantly--is nestled inside a compact fluorescent swirl. The halogen bulb turns off when the CFL warms up, maintaining the light's energy efficiency.
Because it could cause eye and skin irritation and harm reproductive systems, the Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding it. Baking soda is a solid, safe alternative.
Cree's new dimmable LED bulb emits a warm, incandescent-like color.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
The EPA will regulate perchlorate and other toxic chemicals--but you may want to consider water filters in the meantime.
Homeowners and renters who made five or more energy-efficient improvements found satisfying savings, a new study finds.
Gardening can make a difference! Across the country, people are building rain gardens to filter contaminants and ease overburdened stormwater systems. Here's how to build a rain garden in 10 easy steps.
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils--but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian makes use of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--all in their prime right now.
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
EcoSet consulting company helps Target and other corporations cut down on garbage and carbon during commercial production.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
While it's almost impossible to completely avoid GMOs, you can minimize your exposure by eating organic and knowing which products are the worst offenders.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
The four principles of Tea ceremony—harmony, respect, purity and tranquility—are the means to a good life.
Together, wabi (humility) and sabi (beauty in rust) become more than the sum of their parts--a philosophy that promotes peace, serenity and respite in our homes.
Learn how to identify and expel radon, the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S., from your home.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
The DEA spends more than $10 million to eradicate "ditchweed"--the remaining stalks of heirloom hemp that were protected by the military and considered a national treasure during World War II.
At Luna Lodge, a quiet resort and spa on the Osa Peninsula, pampers and educates guests about living sustainably.
Most Americans have tried low-energy light bulbs and like them.
Giving yourself a quiet space for retreat and reflection helps nurture quiet, calm and peace.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
The square footage of green roofs--which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and resources and provide valuable habitat--grew by 28.5 percent last year.
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
This 19th-century Creole cottage was disassembled, moved and meticulously reassembled and restored on a new site in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Built for its climate, the welcoming home is an excellent example of passive cooling and material reuse.
This fresh spring soup is rich and creamy without the heaviness of cream.
Find out how wabi-sabi, an ancient Japanese philosophy that promotes attention, reverence, generosity and respect, can build the foundation of a happy home.
A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops could cause "a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure."
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
As farmers markets open across the country, here are 10 good reasons to get out and support your local farmers. (The freshest seasonal food is just a part of it.)
In Japan, wabi-sabi can be found in the small moments of beauty and acts of hospitality that pervade the culture.
My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
A number of tea companies are donating proceeds from sales to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
Two students have created an inspirational blog that features one upcycling project--something made from discarded materials--each day. They've committed to keeping it going for 30 days, but with your help it could go forever.
Empty nesters Ed and Joan Kobrinski downsized their lifestyle and moved to a smaller home where they could grow more vegetables. "We've learned to enjoy and appreciate living comfortably and contentedly with less," Ed says.
The average American uses twice as much water as the rest of the world. We can lower our consumption by taking a look at how we eat, shop, travel and live. (Taking shorter showers isn't even the half of it.)
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.
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
Concerned about the U.S. Department of Agriculture's refusal to stop Monsanto? Here are four steps you can take now.
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!
As climate variability causes coffee yields to shrink and prices to soar, we may need to start looking at alternatives.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
In Arizona, an intrepid desert gardener harvests rainwater to grow his own food. A Missouri garden writer feeds his soil to feed himself. In Texas, a garden wall encourages community. These are a few of my favorite gardens.
A San Francisco architect brings wabi-sabi to his work through craftsmanship, employing natural materials to create a holistic environment that’s not cookie-cutter or slick, and eschewing ornamentation for what is needed and meaningful.
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
Simple to make, this stone bath mat is a treat for your feet.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
If fiddlehead ferns are popping up in your local market or local woods, grab them while you can. Incorporate this fabulous, fleeting spring treat into a fresh, slightly tangy pasta dish for Meatless Monday.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
Seattle leads the way in asking the federal government to implement a comprehensive, health-focused food system.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Using herbs and food to dye Easter eggs gives them beautiful, earthy color--without scary chemicals. And it's surprisingly easy.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
In the wake of a study that shows access to public transportation is crucial to lowering carbon footprint, the Smarter Cities Project names the top regions for smart transit.
The United States imports more than $2.2 trillion worth of products from 150 countries every year. That's just crazy, given all the benefits that buying locally can bring to both consumers and communities.
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
Don't throw away the Peeps left at the bottom of your Easter basket. They're the building blocks of many good projects.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
An unpublished British study says that plastic bags are a greener option than paper or cloth--but only if you don't make the most of your reusable bags.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
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.
As we watch the devastation's aftermath in Japan, the world will learn valuable lessons from a culture that reveres service to others, deep acceptance and community.
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.
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
Instead of corned beef, whip up traditional Irish colcannon--with a healthy twist.
A 30-acre organic and biodynamic farm is the beating heart of the thriving 1,000-acre Serenbe community near Atlanta. As more developers integrate agriculture into suburbia, the joys and benefits of farming are becoming available to everyone.
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
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.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Luna Lodge, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, relies on hydro power.
Every good home needs a porch. From fireside chats to sleeping--and even hanging laundry--porches can accommodate every aspect of our lives. Here are five inspiring examples to put a fire under your porch-sitting fantasies.
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns--for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
British scientists have found that many pesticides--including those commonly found in food and 16 that were previously considered safe--disrupt male hormones.
China joins Canada, Europe and the United Arab Emirates in banning BPA from children's products. What is the United States doing? So far, nothing.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
NaturalNews readers overwhelmingly chose Monsanto as the world's Most Evil Corporation.
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
Barbara Bourne’s exquisite photos capture Costa Rica’s lush Osa Peninsula, where Luna Lodge and Finca Exotica are showing guests how exquisite sustainable living can be.
“Do you sometimes feel like your life is a microfield for everything that’s going on today?” scholar, philosopher and researcher Dr. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and a founder of the Human Potential Movement, asked the crowd gathered this morning for the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado. That got my attention, especially when she went on to say that humans now face “the most profound task in human history—choosing whether we grow or whether we die.”
At this moment, Houston says, many of us are “encapsulated bags of skin carrying around dreary little egos,” caught up in “lives of serial monotony.” Still, she has hope. Humans, she said, have an opportunity to play a role in “the greatest transition the world has ever seen, the most far-reaching and rapid change in our history.”
“We are coded with potentials, few of which we ever learn to use,” Houston said. “We can no longer be half-life versions of ourselves, and something huge is beginning to happen as the world’s mind is discovering itself.”
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, kids are leaving town and dumping a lot of really good, useable stuff. If you have a college in your town, it's a great weekend to go Dumpster diving near campus.
Green products rule at Ambiente 2011, the world's most important consumer goods fair, in Frankfurt, Germany, this week.
Mother readers weigh in on the wabi-sabi objects that give them joy and solace--from old books to heirloom quilts (and a few surprises). This community of kindred spirits embodies the art of appreciation. Enjoy!
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica’s verdant San Carlos agricultural region is a dynamic, living example of permaculture and biodynamic farming, where every being is part of a system that nurtures the body and the soul.
Tom Newmark won't rest until he's helped establish 10,000 seed sanctuaries--living gardens devoted to propagating and nurturing endangered plants--across the world. He came a step closer this week with the establishment of a sanctuary in India.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Wabi-sabi is underplayed and understated, a quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It’s a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon obscured behind a ribbon of cloud.
Experts say that that bathroom and kitchen remodels--once a sure-fire way to move a home for sale--aren't necessarily the ticket anymore. Creating a house that feels homey and welcoming is most important.
A new study warns that energy-efficient LED light bulbs contain potentially hazardous metals. Some lights had eight times the amount of lead allowed by California law.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
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.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
Finca Luna Nueva's Sacred Seeds Sanctuary is a living laboratory to nurture tropical and native species through the next 10 years of climate change.
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
A quiet life filled with appreciation for simple things is the richest life possible.
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
The White Hawk Project aims to save an endangered stretch of primary virgin rainforest on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
When you celebrate Meatless Monday with hearty, savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, no one will miss the meat.
Turn empty oatmeal and salt containers into pretty storage canisters--in a snap.
Sue McKay Miller divested herself of nearly everything she owned and moved into a yurt in the wilderness to determine how much she really needs to live a satisfying life. Turns out, she really doesn't need much.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
DiggersList is giving away wildflower seeds to anyone who posts something for sale on its site, and Re-Nest just came out with an awesome guide to buying, selling and swapping stuff online. Spring cleaning just got easier!
Ever wonder what, exactly, you're getting when you pay a little extra for Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood and paper products? This video offers a comprehensive look at the FSC's roots and branches.
When Joan King Salwen is invited to speak with Bill and Melinda Gates about The Power of Half, she learns how valuable homemade gifts can be.
When a group of graduation students began designing a home on the Navajo reservation in southeast Utah, they knew keeping it cool in the desert would be an issue. Their innovative solution--a Windcatcher--is the first of its kind in the area.
Bring some spring into your life. Sprinkle some wheat grass seeds in an old apothecary jar and watch them grow.
Strongly influenced by wabi-sabi's principles, the leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement railed against "the swinish luxury of the rich," ornamental excess and the poverty of people who lacked creativity.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture deems Roundup Ready alfalfa safe, leaving organic crops vulnerable to contamination and paving the way for more superweeds.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
A year-long study in Oklahoma found that consumers who used energy-tracking technology and pricing plans that let them analyze their usage can cut their consumption in half.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
Stackable chairs made from molded hemp represent a breakthrough in using the versatile, renewable fiber.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
Americans are being asked to turn up the thermostat 3 degrees on June 21. If you find you don't notice the difference, why not keep it up? You will notice the difference in your electric bill.
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that garden and in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
While photographing homes from California to Maine, I’ve found much wabi-sabi brilliance. My favorite shots of all time capture the magic of simplicity, the beauty found in age and the good instincts that wabi-sabi encourages.
Today is not a day for selling books. It's a day for prayer and solidarity with the Japanese people.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Aquifer depletion, rising temperatures, population increase and ethanol production are conspiring to send grain prices soaring and could lead to a world food crisis, Earthwatch Institute president Lester Brown predicts.
While federal regulators fiddle, Wal-Mart bans controversial flame retardants from its shelves. Will more retailers follow suit?
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term "smart grid." We have a lot to talk about.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
Most Americans believe that cleaning products are required to list ingredients on labels. They're not. But Whole Foods is taking matters into its own hands with a color-coded rating system that holds manufacturers accountable for green claims.
Fearing a sugar shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would defy a District Court judge's ban on Roundup Ready sugar beets.
Fracking, buying American, GMOs and unplugging topped the green news this week.
Consumers are intrigued by smart grid technology, but they need a lot more information and better tools before they'll participate.
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
EcoSmart's new line of natural bed bug repellents can prevent the pests from hitching a ride home with you.
Gather your friends to host a party or just enjoy the quiet as you turn off the lights for one hour to show your love for the planet.
Concerned about GMOs in your family's food? Take action.
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.
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. "It's like living in a fun clubhouse," Sayra says.
Late summer's hot days give way to cool nights--perfect for sleeping under the stars. Spend a few nights outside, before it's too late.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
Costa Rica's hospitable climate nurtures the most amazing produce, from hearts of palm to starfruit.
Whip up this delicious vegetable-based soup tonight. You'll never miss the chicken.
If spring is giving you peas, it's best to eat them right away before their sugars degrade. Here's how to whip them up into a wonderful spring soup.
To freshen up your home without a major remodel, clean up and invest in lower-cost fixes such as paint, hardware and window coverings.
Kitchen Gardeners International's 20ate campaign urges Americans to say no to junk food.
Invite the birds into your yard with this simple bird feeder made from a toilet paper roll.
People living near massive livestock operations may be at risk from the pollution they generate--which is higher in some cases than the nation's most polluted cities.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
There can be no greater happiness, the Japanese say, than to live a life that follows the natural order of things.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
You don't have to pay $50 a pound for fresh morel mushrooms. Watch this video and find out how to forage for morels yourself.
Take a lesson from Southerners, who know a thing or two about keeping cool naturally. These homes take advantage of old-fashioned and cutting-edge passive cooling techniques to stay temperate even during hot Southern summers.
Forced to extremes by illness, these homeowners built sacred, beautiful homes completely free of toxic chemicals, petrochemical fumes and other poisons. For all three, better housing has meant better health.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
Location near public transporation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
When we stayed on an organic farm in Costa Rica, my kids and I experienced the beauty of self-sufficiency and saw how truly sustainable development benefits the local community as well as the global one. Mostly, we miss the homemade butter.
Rancho Margo in Costa Rica's Arenal district is a self-sufficient farm and intentional community that sends guests home with a new sense of what's possible in sustainable living.
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.)
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, a community of sustainable treehouses in the jungle canopy, connected by zip lines and suspension bridges, is an Ewok Village come to life.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
Delicious, nutritious quinoa gives nutty goodness to this summer dish that takes advantage of tomatoes, corn and eggplants--summer vegetables at their best.
The sweet smell and healing properties of bay, eucalyptus and ginger will make your sweetheart's Valentine's Day massage memorable.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
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.
Give Mom a gift that offers fair wages and opportunity to people and communities in developing countries. There are now more Fair Trade products available than ever.
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.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Concerned about Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and genetic engineering of our food? Let President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack know.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
Christy Oates's brilliant fold-out furniture takes up virtually no floor space when it's not in use. It's the perfect solution for small homes--and a hopeful sign for the future of design.
If we use high-quality items in our everyday lives, our lives become a sort of training. By using each item with care and careful consideration, the way we live becomes a tradition.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus National Advertising Division recommends that Sherwin-Williams modify or discontinue advertising claims that its “Harmony” paint line is completely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Architecture students designed and built an airy, light-filled Chicken Chapel in Vermont that's light on the land and glows like a Japanese lantern at night.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
We no longer have to make what we need to get by day by day, but for many the desire lingers—and even surges as a strong cultural movement from time to time. Making and growing things yourself is a gentle rebellion against a mass-produced world.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
Healthy home advocates are concerned that wireless power and gas meters, which are being installed in homes across the country, could release dangerous radiation.
During National Ground Water Awareness Week next week, let's bring attention to what natural gas drilling is doing to our ground water supplies.
BPA levels in families who ate fresh rather than canned and packaged food dropped by 60 percent, a study found. Cooking at home with fresh food is the best way to avoid this potentially dangerous chemical
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive "punch" that packs a punch.
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.
On Wabi-Sabi Wednesdays, I feature excerpts from my book, Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House, which was released last month.
Wabi-sabi’s roots lie in Zen Buddhism, brought from China to Japan by 12th-century traveling monk Esai, who also picked up a few tea seeds while he was there. Zen, with its principles of “vast emptiness and nothing holy,” stresses austerity, communion with nature, and reverence for everyday life and everyday mind as the path to enlightenment. Zen monks lived ascetic, often isolated, lives and sat for long periods of concentrated meditation. To help his fellow monks stay awake during these sessions, Eisai taught them how to process tea leaves into a hot drink. Tea had arrived in Japan.
Once it left the monk's hands, tea took on a life of its own. Around the 14th century, the ruling classes developed elaborate rituals that took place in large tea rooms built in a gaudy style known as shoin, with imported hanging scrolls and formally arranged tables for vases and incense burners. Tea practitioners proved their wealth and status through their collections of elegant tea utensils and lacquered serving ware during three-day weekends where up to 100 cups of tea--as well as food and sake--were served. All of the day's revered Tea masters pushed the opulent style, to the delight of Chinese merchants and importers.
Combine two of this hopeful season's symbols--herbs and eggs--in this simple project that celebrates spring.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
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.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
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.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
Tell America's largest chocolate company that slave labor and Valentine's Day chocolate don't mix.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Floods are our nation's most common natural disaster, and they're threatening many areas right now. Take these prudent steps now to make sure you don't get caught off guard if floods threaten your home.
Zen Buddhism's Seven Ruling Principles are wabi-sabi's foundation. They're also excellent guiding lights for a good home and life.
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Essentia introduces the world's first memory foam mattress made without chemicals.
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.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
At Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica's southern Arenal district, guests get a true farm-to-table culinary and educational experience.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Chris Kilham—founder of Medicine Hunter, TV personality and author of 14 books on natural health and plant-based medicines—speaks about three plants he's disovered that could make a profound difference in our health -- naturally.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
Celebrate hemp, one of Mother Nature's most useful plants, during Hemp History Week. This versatile, multi-purpose plant has a rich history in the United States. Unfortunately, it's now illegal to grow it here.
This Meatless Monday, whip up a batch of Julia Butterfly Hill's Top Anything Sauce, made with peanut or almond butter, and make a meal out of fresh veggies and quinoa.
In the kitchen, we can cultivate our sense of aesthetics and function. Tools can be beautiful. Food can be art. Cooking can be meditation.
Just as libraries transformed society by giving everyone access to books, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library is providing all citizens the opportunity to borrow seeds and grow their own food. Start a seed-lending library in your town!
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
Celebrate Meatless Monday with this sweet, tangy spring risotto.
A flea market basket that called to me, my grandmother's hand-embroidered linens and a quilt made by a circle of women in Minnesota are among the wabi-sabi items that I wouldn't want to be without.
Get your garden ready for spring by making this sturdy, comfortable outdoor bench from recycled-plastic lumber and an old truck tire inner tube.
Sacred Seed Bread delivers the healing power of medicinal seeds in a delicious, homemade loaf.
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
As organic industry leaders urge consumers to take action against GMOs--the biggest threat the industry faces this year--soapmaker David Bronner gives $25,000 to seed an anti-GMO march on Capitol Hill.
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will "shake up the industry," Healthy Building Network official predicts.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Buying "natural" cereal could get you a bowl full of GMOs. To keep genetically modified ingredients off your family's table, buy organic.
Perfect for spring, this pasta dish can be made with the spring herbs that are popping up in your garden or market and a little leftover wine (either red or white will do).
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
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?
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
Salt glaze pottery, primitive colonial furnishings and pewter bring wabi-sabi into your home--while honoring our American traditions.
Alabama Chanin makes sumptuous fabrics from scraps, Mona Hoffman imagines the people she's crafting each lamp for as she makes it, and potter Shiho Kanzaki believes that attitude is everything. These are a few of my favorite wabi-sabi artists.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
James E. Churchill’s advice for finding and preparing chicory, mint, catnip and blackberries, found in a 1970 issue of Mother Earth News, is timeless—and very timely right now.
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?
Over the past 15 years the noise level in cities has increased sixfold; urban noise doubles every eight to ten years. Even in the country, we can't escape the sound of airplanes and engines. What can you do?
Karen and Tony Tipsword's rehabbed 720-square-foot cabin allows them the freedom and independence to live their dream of running a campground. "Being happy does not mean a large home filled with things," Karen says.
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
You could spend a fortune on flowers from faraway for Mom--but why? This sweet bouquet made from fresh-picked flowers and flea market finds is cuter than anything FTD could deliver. This one's great for weddings and graduation parties, too.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
Once a barren wasteland destroyed-like much of Costa Rica's land--by decades of cattle ranching, Rancho Margot is now a verdant and productive paradise. Find out how the Sostheim family has accomplished this in just seven years.
A bill that would make hemp production legal in California would create jobs and opportunities in the financially strapped state.
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
Patty Bouillon started a Facebook group to connect tornado victims with photos after she found an ultrasound photo among the debris swept in by last month's tornadoes. Her account is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time
Medical marijuana was a $1.7 billion industry last year--just shy of Viagra as pot-related businesses crop up across the country.
Chado-En tea company will donate 100 percent of profits from the sale of its special cherry blossom tea to Japanese relief efforts.
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!
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
This simple, chilled Spanish soup featuring fresh summer herbs--basil, cilantro and parsley--in a cool, tangy tomato base is sure to be a hit at your Fourth of July picnic.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
In a Boulder, Colorado, neighborhood, residents are getting off the grass. They're donating their front yards to a community organization that grows enough fruits and vegetable on the former lawns to feed 50 families. Now, that's local food.
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
Wabi-sabi is wildflowers, not roses; weathered wood, not plastic laminate; native landscaping, not Kentucky bluegrass. Pictures tell a thousand words.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
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.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
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.
This home in the Florida Keys captures prevailing breezes and takes advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open walls and a reflective roof to keep its occupants cool and comfortable without air conditioning.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His "aesthetic of the people" made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
Earth floors are a durable, versatile and attractive option for new homes and renovations alike.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
In Oak Park, Michigan, a mother of six faces 93 days in jail for planting vegetables in her front yard. People across the country are rallying to her defense.
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
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.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
Julia Butterfly Hill understands the need for extreme measures when it comes to environmental activism. In the late 1990s, she spent 738 days living in a redwood tree named Luna, to bring attention to the plight of the world’s ancient forests. Through her vigil, she negotiated to permanently protect the 1,000 year-old tree and a nearly three- acre buffer zone. She says that our forks are also powerful change agents.
“I love food!” Hill told Natural Home & Garden. “I love preparing meals that are both decadently delicious and happily healthy. I’m a joyous vegan, and I celebrate how fabulous this lifestyle is for my body, my world, my planet, and for the animals as well.”
Hill eats animal-free food that’s organic, local, in season, and free of added junk—food that she calls “a celebration of life.” Her recipe for delicious vegan lasagna takes about a half hour to prepare and provides plenty of opportunity for interpretation. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, substitute 1 teaspoon each of the dried herbs or 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning.
Bryan Welch's book, Beautiful and Abundant, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating ecotourism's impact on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
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.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
No party is complete without cake, and this delicious Sunshine Cake has been the crowning glory of every Summer Solstice party I’ve ever thrown. Sharon Kebschull Barrett, one of my favorite herbal chefs, developed this recipe for her 1999 book Desserts from an Herb Garden (one of my bibles). Lemony, with a surprising hint of rosemary, this cake just tastes like summer—and the bright yellow color celebrates the sun.
"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.
Make homegrown tomatoes the star of tonight’s dinner by whipping up Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet, rich sauce is a classic.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
Treat your cat to fresh spring herbs when you whip up this healthy homemade kitty food.
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver today, I heard Home Depot Foundation CEO Fred Wacker say that the nonprofit sector is so far ahead of the profit sector in addressing healthy homes that it’s embarrassing for the profit sector.
I heard Ellen Tohn of Tohn Environmental Strategies say that the government will fund energy-efficiency updates in 1 million homes in the next year, making it paramount that energy workers understand healthy home principles. Poorly done house tightening could trap residents inside with contaminants and create hazards.
And I was pleased to hear health care pioneer Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, put quality housing in the same arena as diet, exercise and public policy as a key to achieving individual health. “If you don’t have healthy housing, I don’t care how many times you push away from the table or how far you walk, you’re not going to be healthy,” he said.
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
Bird-X's new Bed Bug Alert is a business card-size device that can be slipped under a mattress or into any tight spot to attract and trap bed bugs--alerting you to a problem before it's too late.
Fusion Bread Salad makes use of the cherry tomatoes and basil that are prime right now--and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to make this hearty, nutritious main dish.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation.
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
Apartment Therapy's smart, comprehensive guide to the best summer flea markets and salvaging spots nationwide just might influence your summer travel plans.
Inspired by back-to-the-landers Scott and Helen Nearing, Kate NaDeau grows her own food and enjoys the simple pleasures of seasonal living in her handbuilt stone cottage in Maine. She is the epitome of good wabi-sabi living.
Despite their widespread use, nanoparticles are not well classified, regulated or even understood. Fortunately, the FDA is signaling a turn toward more accurate classification and rules for their use.
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
Follow along as we journey to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where sustainable development, organic agriculture and ecotourism are thriving.
A handful of cities has implemented a new service that lets residents stop junk mail. If your city isn't one of them, you have options to keep wasteful, unwanted solicitations and catalogs out of your mailbox.
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
Cut old milk jugs into the shape of your choice, rough them up with sandpaper and string them together to make surprisingly pretty window shades that offer privacy while letting the sun shine in.
Celebrate and spread the word about Fair Trade food and products with a World Fair Trade Day breakfast on May 14.
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Planting heirloom, non-genetically modified seeds is a great way to help preserve endangered plant varieties--and the planet's very ecosystem.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
Not quite ready to get rid of family heirlooms and art that you don’t have space to display? The Japanese practice of rotating precious items through a special alcove, or tokonoma, on a seasonal basis is less painful than giving away or selling them.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
Quick pickles--which don't require turning your kitchen into a sauna--are a fast, fun way to preserve abundant cucumbers (or even green beans). Simply soak vegetables in saltwater and vinegar solutions and let the flavors develop in the fridge.
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?
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
From the boxy ranch house to the superfluous McMansion, suburban housing has never been particularly inspired. These three homes show what you can do with that raw material, with a little ingenuity and a willingness to work with what's there.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors--in your own backyard.
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.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term "certified home" includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
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.
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
In Costa Rica, all the elements are in place for a Slow Food revolution. Check out the organic bounty--and enjoy a delicious gourmet take on a traditional native dish.
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
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
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Skip the steaks if you're firing up the barbecue tonight. Marinated and grilled veggies and tofu, served up with wasabi mayo on grilled bread, is a hearty, delicious way to celebrate Meatless Monday.
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.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
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.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can learn to simply observe.
In the first study of its kind, Duke University researchers found multiple toxic chemical flame retardants in car seats, breast-feeding pillows, changing pads, crib wedges and bassinet mattresses. Ask about flammability standards before you buy.