building with earth
Yes, unreinforced masonry is a risk in earthquake zones. Here’s how you can find the earthquake risk for your area, plus tips for making adobe houses more stable.
One of the greatest needs in the world is disaster resistant housing – houses that can hold up against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Properly designed structures can save millions of lives and millions of structures every year.
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.
Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.
Website links to earthbag building projects.
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
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.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?
Here's where you can find or build a press for making compressed earth blocks, and some helpful advice on sealants.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
12 of Morton’s buildings have been awarded the National Frame Building Association’s Building of the Year Award for 2011.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
Build your own wood-fired earth oven for baking fluffier, more flavorful bread and other baked delights.
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.
Earth floors are a durable, versatile and attractive option for new homes and renovations alike.
Build a simple backyard barbecue pit with no more than a shovel and a good cover panel for your next barbecue party.
Three New Colors Provide More Options for Consumers
Every now and then we need to re-evaluate our thoughts, just as we re-evaluate our things. Learn about making cloth Christmas gift bags and find out how walking barefoot in the grass is good for you.
July is UV Safety Month. Don’t forget to protect your skin and eyes from the sun while enjoying long summer days.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
My inbox is stuffed this week with emails from bloggers and pundits heralding the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirming for the world that global warming is real and that we have, indeed, done our share to cause it.
The cold, hard facts about how Annie Warmke, goat herder extraordinnaire, found her calling in a barn with Eleonore Rigby and her two tiny kids.
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.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Houses take a lifetime to pay off these days, and even a prosaic shed, barn or coop requires a heavy investment of money, time, skilled labour and imported materials. For thousands of years, though, people around the world used an ancient technique to build homes and other structures quickly, using nothing but local material and simple, easily learned skills.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
A number of tea companies are donating proceeds from sales to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.
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.
Describes two internet radio stations that provide environmental music.
The countdown to savings is on now at Morton Buildings.
Here's what it means when a building department requires "sealed drawings" of your project.
A Precision Garden Seeder can make planting seed crops quick and easy!
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Bryan Welch's book, Beautiful and Abundant, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating ecotourism's impact on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
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.
Chado-En tea company will donate 100 percent of profits from the sale of its special cherry blossom tea to Japanese relief efforts.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Check out this interesting video showing the construction of the Builders without Borders Straw Bale Eco-House.
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
This year Earth Day turns 40 and focuses attention to building a global clean energy economy.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
Kids love to build forts and space ships, and create secret places to dream and imagine.
Save forests, use local materials, build a durable house made of whole trees.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings.
As we continue to watch a zero energy home get built in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, I’m digging the opportunity to learn more about building materials that I’ve seen in finished form but never in process. I like the
The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
We Westerners tend to think we’ve got it all going on when it comes to green living in general, and green building in particular.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence suggests some tasty, eco-conscious recipes and tips for your Earth Day celebration.
Turn out the lights. Light the candles. Tomorrow night (March 28) from 8:30-9:30 (in your time zone) is Earth Hour.
This describes how older individuals can take steps to keep themselves cool on very hot days.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated--and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
This May 2014, Be the Change Project is attempting to build a cob house in one day with 50 people.
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
60 people raised a cob house in one day in Reno, Nevada, with the Be the Change Project and House Alive.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Learn why it is helpful to have a group of fellow homesteaders, then start a group of your own in your local community.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Give thanks and give back to the earth this Thanksgiving by greening your celebration. Here are eight tips to get you started.
Have you heard of “guerrilla gardening,” where folks toss flower seeds into vacant lots, or sometimes sneak in at night and plant flowers in unkempt highway medians or strips along city sidewalks? Check it out this year as a fun and fruitful way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
April is National Garden Month! Learn about the benefits of building a garden and tips on how to create one even if you don’t have a big backyard.
Over 100,000 thunderstorms occur each year in the U.S. Stay safe during Lightning Safety Awareness Week
This mesmerizing video shows city lights, wildfires in Australia, and even gas flares in the Middle East, all photographed from a satellite high over our heads.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
This blog post is a description of starting a building project using Structural Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs.
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
I had no idea putting dirt in a box was this difficult.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Building community through sharing work and food.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
What is the best way to learn cordwood construction? Are there workshops or classes offered?
The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
Learn how to build using the cordwood construction technique. Author Richard Flatau recommends taking a workshop or building a practice building.
"Earthen Floors" by Sukita Reay Crimmel and James Thomson provides essential information for creating beautiful floors using natural techniques.
The best time for selling your cordwood home. Tips, websites, suggestions, and what to do BEFORE you build.
Tips on how to control soil erosion and help protect one of Earth's most important natural resources.
Tips on how to test your house for radon during January's National Radon Action Month!
The fourth annual Earth Hour is Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Turn off the lights and take a stand against climate change!
Join the Picnic for the Planet for Earth Day, April 22, to celebrate the planet we live on, its food and the people who live here.
How to save energy in commercial and industrial buildings.
Tips on how you can reduce your exposure to radon in your home.
Tips on how to feed birds during the winter.
Tips on how to prepare yourself for a day of hiking!
Weather conditions impact spring migration – which migrants will you see this week?
Ready for summer recreation? Hit the water safely during National Safe Boating Week.
Captured rainwater off of roofs can save money and water use.
Create a pollinator-friendly garden to attract hummingbirds, bees, bats and other animals.
List of the Top 10 Apps for Taking Tech Outdoors.
Are you Weather-Ready? September is National Preparedness Month.
One of the most recognizable features of wetlands is their smell. What makes these areas so pungent?
National Arbor Day is April 25. Celebrate by learning about trees, volunteering or planting a tree at home!
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
The 10 People's Choice finalists are great examples of the socially and environmentally responsible business leaders that meet the standards of Green America’s Seal of Approval.
This will be an ongoing series, which pays homage to Eco-conscious individuals by sharing their stories of hope, inspiration, challenges and insight into making the earth a better place for generations to come.
Spotlight on Earth Stewardship pays homage to eco-conscious individuals by sharing their stories of hope, inspiration, challenges and insight into making the earth a better place for generations to come.
Tips on how to improve air quality while driving your kids to school.
Tips on how to protect children during Children's Health Month in October!
In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, Target has opened recycling stations at each of its 1,740 stores.
Tips for water conservation during a drought.
Tips on wasps and ways to get rid of nests around your house or property.
Tips on how to clean up after a hurricane.
Facts on the links between weather and pumpkins and what you can do with leftover pumpkins.
Tips on ways to use fallen leaves in the fall.
Planet Connect's Get Green Video Contest wants you to show how you can Green Your City with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Tips for driving safely and saving gas during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Announcing the 2012 Wildlife Conservation Youth Engagement Grants!
Audubon's annual Christmas Bird Count allows citizens to help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
Tips to save energy and water during the holiday season.
Tip for avoiding lead sinkers when ice fishing.
Tips on how to be smart about salt this winter and protect water quality.
Tips on how and where to view bald eagles.
Information on World Wetlands Day and their benefits and tips on how to protect your local wetlands.
Help measure the amount of 'light pollution' in your community and contribute to a growing data set by participating in Globe at Night.
The Great Backyard Bird Count in 2013 runs from February 15 through February 18! Help scientists gain a snapshot of how winter bird populations are changing across North America.
Tips on how to stay safe during clean-up activities after a tornado.
Save water from March 12-18, 2012 during Fix a Leak Week!
Tips on how to protect local wildlife and water bodies during the spring thaw.
Tips on how to protect water quality with phosphate-free cleaning projects during spring cleaning.
Tips on how to construct a compost bin and what to include in them.
Tips on how to calculate your nitrogen footprint.
Tips on how to celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 6-13!
May is American Wetlands Month. Find out the many environmental benefits of wetlands and find out how you can help protect them!
Tips on how to replace driveways, sidewalks, patios and walkways with pervious pavements, materials that let water seep through to soil.
Tips on how to help save fuel and money while driving.
Protect your home and yourself by making your property Firewise! Here are explanations on how to think of your property in zones and additional tips for protecting your home property.
Tips on how to enjoy fireworks safely!
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
Tips on how to improve lakeshore habitat conditions by reducing nutrient pollution.
Volunteer to take care of the public lands in your area during National Public Lands Day on September 29, 2012!
Explanation of what bioretention systems are and how they are used to reduce and filter storm water runoff.
Tips on how saving energy this fall and winter can help reduce nutrient pollution in water bodies.
Tips on what to do with leftover pumpkins during the autumn season.
Tips on how to conserve energy and save money with compact fluorescent bulbs during shorter daylight hours.
Tips on what to do with all the fallen leaves this autumn.
November 11-17, 2012 is Geography Awareness Week and the theme is 'interdependency' this year.
Tips on how to travel safely and save gas during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Tips on how to reduce energy with lights during the holiday season.
Tips on how to choose the best Christmas tree and what to do with it after the holiday season.
Participate this year in the annual Christmas Bird Count from December 14, 2012 - January 5, 2013 and help scientists understand how bird populations have changed over the past century.
Tips on which birds to keep an eye out for in different weather conditions.
Tips on how to stay safe and warm during extremely cold wind chill temperatures.
Tips on how to increase your car's fuel efficiency by checking the tire pressure.
Does Punxsutawney Phil have competition for 'predicting' the weather? Take a look at these other animals and insects that can tell when the weather is changing, or can't they?
March 10-16, 2013 is National Groundwater Awareness Week and groundwater provides over 40 percent of U.S. population with drinking water. You can protect water quality at home by conserving water.
April 26, 2013 is National Arbor Day! Celebrate by planting a tree at home or enjoying trees where you live and learn about the many benefits they provide.
Protect and enjoy our nation’s 70,000 miles of rivers during National Rivers Month.
July is UV Safety Month. Stay safe in the sun with these tips.
Going to the beach? Get real-time info on Great Lakes beach water quality, weather and water conditions.
Buzz…sting…ouch! Why are yellow jackets more aggressive at this time of year?
What makes a piece of land a wet-land? Not all wetlands are wet for the same reason.
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A brief preview of Cole's presentation at the Mother Earth Fair Sept 24/25 at Seven Springs, PA.
The Gourmet Butcher's road trip to the Fair.
The 2013 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., last weekend was again a source of great energy and exceptional education, thanks to 15,000 attendees, more than 125 presenters and some 300 sponsors and exhibitors.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt chats with Dan Lepinski of MOTHER EARTH NEWS RADIO about converting sunshine into electricity at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Are you headed to (or just arriving back from) the MOTHER
EARTH NEWS FAIR at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania? Share your favorite fair
experiences (and photos), and find out how you can keep up with what's going on
at this FAIR and future events.
United Nations Climate Week invokes memories of first Earth Day and how far we have yet to go to clean up our environment.
Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count to help scientists study winter bird populations: www.earthgauge.net/?p=33409
Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a laptop for 5 hours! America Recycles Day is Nov 15.
Ready to decorate? Show your holiday spirit with LED lighting to save energy and money. www.earthgauge.net/?p=33327
WTAJ has partnered with the National Environmental Education Foundation and Project Noah to help show wildlife and the impacts of weather on living things in Central Pennsylvania.
Was it a teacher? A parent? A field trip? What was your Earth Changing Moment? Share your first connection with the environment.
Getting ready to carve a jack-o-lantern masterpiece? Learn how weather impacts the pumpkin harvest
Celebrate the 20th anniversary National Public Lands Day on September 28! Find a volunteer site.
It doesn’t matter how much you know already, there is always something to learn at the Mother Earth News Fair.
Headed back to school? Protect air quality, save energy and recycle for a healthier, greener school year.
Fall is a great time to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs. Save up to $50 per year.
Building a fire to stay warm? Use these ‘best burn practices’ to minimize smoke & protect your health: www.earthgauge.net/?p=17955
Small but mighty: birds have smart strategies for surviving cold weather.
Protect our water supplies during National Groundwater Awareness Week by saving water at home: www.earthgauge.net/?p=23794
A cold winter and late-season snow in some parts of the U.S. could mean a rough spring allergy season.
We all have the responsibility to do are best to preserve the Earth and the environment in any way we can. Some people take it to the extreme, but that isn't always necessary. There are many ways we can make simple changes in our lifestyles to contribute to saving what's most precious for our children and future generations.
Show us how you take a second to conserve water!
Memorial Day signifies the unofficial start of summer and onset of hot weather. Use these tips to stay cool.
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
Whether you live on the beach or 1000s of miles away, there are easy ways you can protect coastal water quality.
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.
Extolling the virtues of salvaging and reusing building materials
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Building a small cordwood cafe in Colorado. A fun project for everyone!
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
Our experiments with an Alaskan small log mill attached to our chainsaw had variable results making planks from downed trees.
The last week of the month has been a busy one with are preparations for the ending of winter and the start of a new growing season. We've got some details on a new cover crop and why we choose and simple composting toilet system compared to others.
Talking about the excitement of Anna's new book cover that we got to preview from the publisher this past week and the anxiety of our new born chicks as they go out into the big world. Also have some details on how to make your own cleft graft.
Talking about how to make a DIY electric fence wire holder and how we got a tailgate transplant for around 150 dollars and some signs of spring.
Announcing our new webcam that will be showing the latest flock of new born chicks in all their cute and feathery glory.
Finally, we start to take shape.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
See how a structure made from cob, a form of earthen construction, handles a laboratory shake test.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.
Dan Chiras discusses the long-term benefits of building a green home.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health and here are some helpful tips about siting
A homesteading family undertakes Extreme Home Makeover: Goat Edition at the possible expense of their sanity.
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
Jim and Julie are starting their homestead in Texas while still living in Australia. Managing the project by remote control is the challenge, and they are learning as they go. This is an adventure of faith and confidence.
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.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
Thanks to all the volunteers of the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. We couldn't have done it without all your hard work!
World nuclear electricity-generating capacity has been essentially flat since 2007 and is likely to fall as plants retire faster than new ones are built.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
Low-fired brick is a very sustainable building material with low embodied energy. They are made with locally procured clay and fired with rice hulls, a by-product of growing rice. Brickyards are located near urban areas to minimize transport costs.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
Tips for saving energy at home while trying to stay cool.
Bike-share programs are now operated in more than 500 cities in 49 countries. Most cities are finding that bike sharing leads to better mobility and safer streets.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Some things have come full circle, so now we have a chance to fix it right this time!
How we built a cob oven and rocket stove hybrid.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan catches Mike Ard, who has come to the FAIR from Ohio and has recently inherited a 60-acre dairy farm. Mike's main challenge is choosing between the numerous FAIR sessions.
The excitement at the FAIR is contagious, and our amazing volunteers are helping to keep it all running smoothly.
Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design and some assistants demonstrate her method of constructing strawbale walls with clay at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pa.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS interviewed poultry advocate Oprah HenFree at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
On sunny days it delivers about a half a megawatt of electricity to the biodiesel plant, while providing strategic shade to plants below. Energy is produced above as farmers harvest below in a genuine double cropping scenario.
This garden is practically maintenance free as it produces some of the most beautiful and most beloved flowers. After you have tried it, you will wonder, why didn’t I start growing hardy annuals sooner? Don’t miss the opportunity to garden in the forgotten seasons.
In our culture we are used to government regulations telling us what to do – can we talk on our cell phones while driving? Or, should I wear my seat belt? Or has this food been properly processed? Raw milk is your chance to embrace your rights and freedoms and do your research and ask the hard questions – you have no one else to rely on to do this for you.
Columbia University's Earth Institute will hold an informational session on its Sustainability Management program on February 10.
Plant a patio garden, get a more efficient TV and change your light bulbs, suggests eco-designer Sabrina Soto.
Tips on how to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.
Tips on how to protect your skin and stay safe in the sun.
Tips on how to protect yourself form harmful algal blooms.
Tips on how to save water at home and protect water quality during National Water Quality Month.
Check out Earth's Journey for recycled, up-cycled and/or environmentally friendly art.
Tips to help wildlife beat the heat with fresh water.
Tips on how to prepare for emergencies and/or natural disasters.
Information on how to volunteer on National Public Lands Day.
How to avoid contacting poison ivy and poison oak.
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Tips on how to conserve energy at home with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Earth Gauge describes the links between geography and weather during Geography Awareness Week.
Tips on how to use "best burn practices" at home to minimize wood smoke and protect your health.
Hold on to the holiday spirit while saving energy and money this season with holiday LED lights.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
Tips for limiting your exposure to pollen to help manage allergy symptoms.
Tips on how to properly maintain your home's septic system.
June is National Rivers Month! Help protect your local waterways with these simple tips.
Tips on how green roofs can benefit your wallet and the environment!
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
Tips on how to dispose of pet waste properly for National Dog Day!
Tips on how to prepare yourself for a natural disaster during September's National Preparedness Month!
Tips on how to take part in citizen science projects during the fall!
Tips on how to save energy, water and fuel at home and on the road in 2013!
Tips on how to protect naturally-beneficial estuaries.
Are you ready for the kinds of severe weather that could impact the area where you live? National Severe Weather Preparedness Week takes place from Mar. 3-9, 2013. This is a great time for you and your family to “Be a Force of Nature” by learning the importance of planning for severe weather events and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes.
Are you air aware? Learn how air quality affects your health during Air Quality Awareness Week.
Plant life along small streams starts a food chain that stretches all the way to the ocean.
Check out our time-lapse video of peppers growing from seed to sprout.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine comes to life in the recently released Wiser Living Video Series. Volume One of the Series features some of our most popular workshops from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS taught by members of the editorial team and expert community. Become more self-reliant in and around your home by tackling 19 projects ranging from keeping backyard chickens to making tinctures.
Kids get to have fun, learn about gardneing and start veggie seeds at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Still looking to score free tickets to the 2012 Puyallup Mother Earth News Fair? Here's your chance! Tell us what you want to see at the Fair no later than Friday, May 25, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets.
One workshop at the Puyallup, Wa., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was on learning how to make butter, hosted by Organic Valley.
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR last weekend was full of great presentations about all facets sustainable living, including on learning how to garden.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS editor gets a chance to spend her birthday at the fair, surrounded by fun and inspiring people and activities.
Becky Venn of Alpacas of Wintercreek explains why these gentle critters make great livestock.
Learn about our experience attending a Mother Earth News Fair as an exhibitor.
Our office was abuzz with bee activity this morning! We received four packages of bees today before they were delivered to their final garden homes.
See nature work in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
World renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle explains the poor maintenance of the world's oceans, and necessary steps to take in order for this damage to be reversed.
Disneynature is premiering its new documentary, Oceans, on Earth Day 2010 to show the beauty and harsh reality of the Caribbean's threatened coral reefs. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased from April 22 thru 28 will go to support the preservation of coral reefs in the Bahamas.
Learn about what goes on at the Heritage Harvest Festival in Virginia and the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania, both held in September.
Today we officially celebrate Earth Day, but we can celebrate healthy soil and all that it contributes to our lives every day.
You can save gas and money by keeping your tires correctly inflated. And now a group of high school students has launched a project to encourage drivers to regularly check their tires.
Evidently when it comes to visualizing our future, a lot of people expect the worst and are inclined to leave it up to God. It is up to God, of course, but God gave us two eyes in the front of our heads to look forward and prepare for what’s to come.
Green building guru Lloyd Kahn recounts his favorite new discoveries from the Puyallup, Wash., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
A look at the completed project and some of the features.
Learn more about the life and work of Malcolm Wells, the "Father of Earth Sheltered Design."
A New York Times article reports a recent, rigorous study confirming that acupuncture can ease chronic pain, including that from migraines and arthritis.
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
Whether you’re traveling or staying home, try these tips for a healthy & environmentally-friendly Thanksgiving. www.earthgauge.net/?p=33317
Our MOTHER EARTH NEWS library app acts as a virtual library for you to download and store all of our digital resources, including our gardening apps, canning how-to guides, digital issues, and more.
Headwater streams are small streams or tributaries that carry water from the upper reaches of a watershed to a river.
Efficiency pays off! Resolve to save energy, water, fuel and money in 2014. Get started with these tools.
MetLife Stadium is reducing waste, saving energy and saving water. Take a page from their playbook. www.earhgauge.net/?p=33964
Help scientists study how bird populations are changing during the Great Backyard Bird Count.
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
Try these simple actions at home that can help reduce water pollution.
A quick glance back at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Lawrence, Kan.
Engineering is helping to solve some of our biggest environmental challenges. Learn more during EEWeek.
Spring is the perfect time to give your home cooling equipment a check-up before hot weather arrives.
The dream, the drive and now the doing.
One of the favorite events among attendees to the Puyallup MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was investigative author Doug Fine’s Hemp Bound talk. Here are his thoughts on why hemp matters so much, a belief that was translated into a passionate and funny workshop.
This video slideshow combines photos and video clips of heritage livestock breeds that were present at various Mother Earth News Fairs.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
Discount pricing on all Morton buildings now through February.
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
Soil Life is an all-natural, organic blend of microbes designed to enhance the nutritive value of soil in all growing conditions.
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
The work invovlve in tranforming a house that wastes energy into a house that's 50%-95% more energy efficient is called a "deep energy retrofit." We need to find ways to do more of these to save energy, money and the environment.
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
Discussion of some of the first log building tools you will need to build a log home — debarking spuds and drawknives.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
Finally getting the barn roof repair project started was a big deal for us as well as a few other things that are worth checking out if you are interested in modern homesteading.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
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.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
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.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
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.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
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.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will "shake up the industry," Healthy Building Network official predicts.
Adzes and broad axes have been used for centuries in log cabin building. Learn a bit about what these tools do and how to use them.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.
Here's a chance to transform your home into the greenest one on the block and then pay it forward to your neighbors to help paint your whole town "green."
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.
Want to Save on Earth-Friendly Products? Check out Worm's Way's sale by clicking on the Earth Week banner at WormsWay.com and enjoy up to 20 percent off your purchases.
Friends and I travel to the Open Source Ecology project in rural Missouri to take a tour and help out laying up earth bricks.
Press Release about UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative’s Toolkit, “Achieving the Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting.”
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
Back at the lab we are installing a new three inch line from the air dryers to the throttle body.
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
40 years of reading Mother, the value of accumulation of reading the contributions of others during that time.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
How a non writer can with effort contribute in a small way. To read more on our life style go to www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com
Christopher shares an experience of painting his family farmhouse, but when he used flat, not glossy paint, his uncle was not happy. How could the uncle have responded in a more productive manner?
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
Meeting in person a long time Mother Earth News reader.
Claire finds a recipe for hard lotion and makes molded lotion bars to give as Christmas presents.
Since her first house move, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Cathie Ackroyd, has become so very conscious of the impact we humans have had and are having on our planet’s environment and hoped to find a place to settle that would allow us to gain an element of self-sufficiency in a relatively car-free community.
While many of those visiting our Hostel are farmers and homesteaders themselves, some come from that “city culture” and seem to take their first hesitant steps outside of a flatly paved driveway when they arrive at our place. Wide eyes, a sense of adventure.
Skullcap is the best herb for calming nerves, according to Erin McIntosh at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup.
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
Animal Husbandry tent experiences from Day 1 of 2011 Mother Earth News Fair.
Fermentation expert Sandor Katz (aka SandorKraut) gives a cultural and historical introduction to fermentation practices, including the nutritional benefits of homemade sauerkraut and other fermented foods.
At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .
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.
Jessica visits the 890-acre farm belonging to the nonprofit Seed Savers Exchange, the largest nongovernmental seed bank in the U.S. and a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving our nations heirloom seeds and biodiversity.
Although the Centers for Disease Control has launched a vigorous nationwide public health campaign urging everyone, particularly elderly and vulnerable people, to get vaccinated against the flu, some researchers disagree with the message.
Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute held a teleconference on Dec. 11 to discuss the advantages of a green economy, for the environment and the U.S. work force.
The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program launched its 2011 Change the World, Start with Energy Star Campaign. This campaign encourages and inspires Americans to commit to energy efficiency by highlighting grassroots efforts of individuals all over the United States.
Many media outlets are pulling no punches when it comes to global climate change as a major factor in Hurricane Sandy's catastrophic destruction.
Across the U.S., voters of all political leanings gave overwhelming approval in the 2012 presidential election to taxing themselves and spending money for new parks in their communities, The Trust for Public Land announced. Of the 57 measures on local and statewide ballots, 46 passed, an approval rate of 81%.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
Earth warming is causing rapid glacier melt all over the world raising the average sea level at an alarming rate.
Don’t miss these featured documentaries showing on PBS’s Earth Day programming.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
Tired of pests? Here are five tips for knocking ‘em back without resorting to pesticides and toxic chemicals.
It's easy to get distracted and forget a few absolutes when it comes to food safety. Take this quiz and see if you know your stuff!
As America’s fuel use continues to decrease, proposed solutions such as the Keystone XL pipeline and food-to-fuel conversions may be unnecessary.
Have you ever dreamed of taking your part-time homestead to a full-time salary? What's holding you back? Business books say most people are more afraid of success than failure.
We sat down for an interview with James Duft, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair Planner and Programming Manager. Read about what you can expect to see, do and participate in if you attend the upcoming Fair in Puyallup, Wash. Sheep dog training, cheese making, bread baking and antique tractors await!
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Associate Editor Shelley Stonebrook offers tips for building permanent garden beds and paths. Shelley presented her workshop “10 Great Ways to Make Gardening Easier” at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
Begin your garden planning with what,and particularly how much, you want to eat. Take a look at what you are eating now and go from there.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
This gift set of four farm-themed board books features illustrations that tell the story of a day in the life of each of four animals: chickens, goats, cows and pigs.
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
Fresh apple cider is a traditional part of fall harvest celebrations - a part that we at MOTHER EARTH NEWS wouldn't miss! We put the Whizbang Apple Grinder and Cider Press to the test, and happily sampled the fresh apple cider as a result.
The Gluten and Allergen Free Expo provides a chance to be inspired and energized by the most passionate and creative gluten-free cookbook authors and bloggers.
This blog post describes the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff's afternoon spent harvesting their homegrown garlic.
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
Ford delivered more than 900 test-drives of its 2013 electric and hybrid vehicles to visitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
This video slideshow reveals the sacred magic
contained in the Native American corn that sustained many Indian tribes for
thousands of years before professional plant breeders turned it into an
Great Quotations: the 4th installment in a series. This post features 14 fabulous eco-quotations, from thinkers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Thoreau, Edison, and others.
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.”
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.
No matter your level of gardening expertise, our Guide to Organic Gardening app has the advice and how-to you need to dig in and grow a bountiful organic food garden. With articles on composting, beneficial insects, weed control and more, you'll have a wealth of organic gardening know-how at your fingertips after you download this app onto your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet.
With more than 40 years of expertise on how to live on less (and love it!), MOTHER EARTH NEWS introduces our Guide to Self-Reliance and Country Skills app. This app, available for both Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, contains advice and how-to on organic gardening, raising backyard chickens, canning and preserving your harvests, and how to save money by applying a DIY mentality to your life.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the How to Can app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar.
This free app puts the growing info you need right at your fingertips: cultivation guides for each major crop, plus how-to for invaluable gardening skills.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
When traveling, consider checking out the community gardens in the area. You can meet local people who are passionate about gardening and learn about the climate and crops that may be different than yours.
Stephanie Tourles, author and Seven Springs, Pa. FAIR Speaker, shares how to make a delicious, ice-cold watermelon cooler. Refresh after a day in the heat with this super easy and nutritious drink.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
Crushing a truck, harvesting garlic, and fixing a broken flywheel shaft key are just a few of the things that got done over the last week at WaldenEffect.org complete with photos of all the juicy stuff.
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.
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.
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.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
The Classy Coop Giveaway grand prize was given a good home with our contest winner and her backyard chickens. We were happy to see this mobile chicken coop is already being broken in. Bring on the eggs!
Many years ago, years before I moved to the country, I was what would be considered "a prepper." I saw disaster every time I turned on the TV, or read the news on the internet, or visited forums that talked about stockpiling beans and bullets. I panicked, thinking I could never have enough control for the sake of my family, never be "prepped" enough.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
The place I call home these days is The FarmSchool, a fertile 180-acre strip of ridge top in Athol, where 15 student-farmers are spending a year learning the ins and outs of growing food, managing forests, and raising animals for meat. I arrived at the farm in October, just as the leaves were reaching their peak brilliance. The Farm School — which offers three-day programs for schoolchildren, a summer camp, a full-time middle school, and the apprenticeship program I’m in — takes us through all seasons of farming, weaving together class work and on-farm training.
Keep your pets from licking off herbal ointments by adding a pinch of cayenne.
Discover some of the properties of essential oils, along with some tips for cleaning with them.
Learn how to make an herbal tincture with The Herb Companion team at the Mother Earth News Fair.
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.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
The past year was a rewarding one for apple discovery, because I potentially found the apple that started my apple search about sixteen years ago — the ‘Harper’s Seedling’ apple.
Monticello's Heritage Harvest Festival inspired us to keep at those challenges that frustrate us on the farm.
In this piece, author Mary Moss-Sprague discusses the simple pleasures of tasty, home-canned tomato preserves.
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
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.
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.
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
Simplify the Christmas season with these 12 tips for gifts, gift wrapping and decor—as well as steps you can take to make your celebration light on the planet.
Another set of Great Quotations. These seven quotations have direct relevance to gardeners and farmers, but they offer wisdom that everyone can learn from and enjoy.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
Always wanted to master the art of the perfect pie crust? With our step-by-step How to Make the Perfect Pie Crust app, you'll have the techniques and recipes you need at your fingertips. The app comes with scrumptious pie filling recipes, too!
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
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.
The Washington State Conservation Commission gave away trees at the Mother Earth News Fair as part of their conservation efforts.
Locally grown, homemade, grass-fed, free-range and downright delicious food invades the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
Andrea Chesman, author of Recipes from the Root Cellar, shares one of her favorite winter vegetable recipes.
Visitors enjoyed hundreds of test drives of Ford hybrid and electric cars at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
A Nov. 5, 2012, press release from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP warns current CO2 reductions put us on target for 6 degree average global
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
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.
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.
We're getting revved up for winter seed swaps, and planning our tomato plantings to account for all the great tasting events next summer and fall. Find out how to find your own local events, or host your own!
Whether or not it was devised by clever Mexican potato growers, the cheap, easy to build, and space-saving potato tower is a unique alternative to rows, barrels, and other methods for planting, growing, and bringing in your season's spuds.