eco friendly living
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.
According to a new study published in Science journal, destruction of predators at the top of the food chain has alarming effects for both humans and animals.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence lists some eco-friendly ideas for future Cash for Clunkers programs.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
Sailors for the Sea presents its new Rainy Day Kits teach young sailors to care about marine ecology and the environment with fun, interactive games.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco wedding dresses.
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
Hosting a gathering for casual fun or big celebrations can use up a lot of resources and leave a mess. What are you favorite tips for keeping waste to a minimum without sacrificing fun when hosting a great event?
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about environmentally-friendly wedding food ideas.
Check out Earth's Journey for recycled, up-cycled and/or environmentally friendly art.
When you do business with someone, you are indirectly condoning their methods. with access to the internet, anyone can do a little research to see which businesses are living up to our high expectations.
Instituting community-wide, Eco-friendly programs can be a great way to beautify cities, save money, and do your duty to help preserve the planet. It might be difficult, but all it takes is one person to make a difference.
WorldofGood.com by eBay sells ethically sourced and eco-friendly products.
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
Last weekend—the second anniversary of the tornado that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas—residents invited the public to see its progress toward becoming one of the first green towns in the United States. Greensburg homeowners and business owners have rebuilt much of the town with eco-friendly construction materials.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding venues.
Despite the worldwide increase in environmentally friendly lifestyles, the United States still ranks as one of the least eco-friendly consumer societies. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares ways to green your habits.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco-friendly wedding decorations.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
America's Best Organics introduces American-made gift box.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding gifts and eco-friendly wedding favors.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues that are both easy and fun to remedy.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
The ecovillage/commune movememt that started in the 1960s is alive and well in 2009.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
From carbon footprints to added wear and tear on everything from trails to monuments, travel of any kind leaves a mark on the environment. The difficulty of balancing the environmental effects of your travels with a desire to see and appreciate firsthand the natural and manmade marvels of the world isn't an easy task, and is an issue that's inspired a wealth of discussion. What do you think? Would you travel less, or otherwise change the way you travel, in order to protect the environment?
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.
Try these approaches for a stylish, eco-friendly tub and shower.
GoodLight is first to offer sustainable, non-toxic candles for restaurants.
We can create eco-friendly clothing without producing waste. Find out more about zero-waste design and its effect on the fashion industry.
Ellington Handbags based out of Portland, Ore., makes eco-conscious, high-quality products and donates part of its proceeds to an environmental organization.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding rings and green engagement rings.
Want to enjoy the warmth of your home this winter without using more energy than is necessary? These tips are for you!
Cute just got a whole lot more profound. This stylish business deals a right hook for justice.
EcoSharing.net lets you easily swap, give away or borrow items from your Facebook friends.
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.
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
This certification confirms that the company’s import, warehousing, and sales processes meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program.
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.
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?
Who would have ever thought that worms could invade a forest and wreak havoc?
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
ECO360 Trust produces sustainable T-shirts made from 100% recycled PET plastic water bottles. ECO360 Trust is a campaign of the non-profit Institute for Sustainable Communication.
We are inundated with green messages that can sometimes be confusing or misleading. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to the paint industry. There is much talk about No-VOC and Low-VOC paints, but what is the truth behind it?
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
Ford focus electric offers eco-friendly features throughout the vehicle.
Simran Sethi takes a moment to give thanks.
Stuck inside on a rainy day? These environmentally-focused shows can help you pass the time.
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
A question about our future.
Energy goals for America
ECOvention, LLC announced today that as of August 2010, more than 30 Whole Foods Market locations in the Rocky Mountain region will use the multi-functional, eco-friendly GreenBox to serve take-away customers at their brick-oven pizza counters.
Plant a patio garden, get a more efficient TV and change your light bulbs, suggests eco-designer Sabrina Soto.
The surprising connection between the drug trade and the environment.
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.
Part one of a three part series on greed, consumption and economic oppression. Exploring how we may have gotten here and what we can do about improving our lives and the lives of others.
With more than 1,700 islands that encompass the Florida Keys, they provide refuge to hundreds of bird species, a spectacular diversity of tropical plants and abundant sea life. In other words, it’s the ultimate place for tropical eco-adventure without leaving the continental US. No passport needed.
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
A surprising number of amenities found in a small town complete with western hospitality.
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.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Simran Sethi discusses how to green your bathroom in easy ways: through your choice of toilet paper, shower curtain, and towels.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Where is our economic security?
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
An organic cotton and wool body pillow goes a long way to help relieve pregnancy back pain.
Backcasting into the future: a powerful tool for developing creative pathways towards a sustainable world and a bright, positive future for Planet Earth!
Permaculture has become the new buzzword in certain circles. What is it? Do we need it?
Ecology Action sponsored a two-week Farmers Course in early 2014, and videos of some of the lectures are now available for you to learn from.
Using these techniques you can spend an afternoon building a deep mulch garden and stop tilling and composting for up to 30 years.
For me, homesteading means to not have a great need for money in the first place. It also means that the money one does need is being made by utilizing the land, as in our case, running the Hostel.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Pennsylvania homesteading mama Michelle takes a young woman under her wing for a first lesson in homemaking.
Ideas on making a list for yourself before consuming or investing.
In a post-carbon agriculture, much of the work of growing food will be done through physical labor and one in six of us will need to have our hands in the dirt. How do we foster a new generation of 50 million fit farmers?
While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
EcoSet consulting company helps Target and other corporations cut down on garbage and carbon during commercial production.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
EcoSmart's new line of natural bed bug repellents can prevent the pests from hitching a ride home with you.
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
You can be harvesting from your garden all year long, including through the winter months! It's time to plant the fall garden.
Turning liabilities into assests.
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.
Some people just do not want help! The frustrations of starting a business and attempting to offer professional help to community organizations.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.
Simran Sethi explores resolutions for healthy eating and offers a resource, The Cleaner Plate Club.
Our striving to live frugally, monetary so, affects our everyday life choices. We choose to live without a lot of things that cost money. We make most of the cash we do need by running the Hostel in the summer months.
Our habitat won’t allow the human population to expand forever. But if the global population stabilizes, we face an unprecedented economic problem. Prosperity depends on an expanding human population to support our expanding global economy.
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
The rich and diverse marine life of the Florida Keys can be experienced without ever getting wet: in a kayak, on a sailboat or at one of the many animal rescue or rehabilitation centers scattered along the Keys.
The adventure in the water, on the water or on dry land does stop with the ecotravel activities in the Florida Keys, many of which help preserve and conserve the very things we came to see. Some of the lodging options – and restaurants or food options – are an adventure in and of themselves.
Day 2 in Asheville, North Caroline, is about the eco-high adventures to be had, both in the trees on a zipline and when hiking to the Catawba Waterfalls.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
This posting discusses how global warming alters the ocean ecosystem to create ocean deserts. We use tropical oceans as an example of such deserts. Another example discussed is the creation of ocean dead zones by the over use of fertilizers.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
At Luna Lodge, a quiet resort and spa on the Osa Peninsula, pampers and educates guests about living sustainably.
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.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
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.
Our economic dependence on population growth bears a disturbing similarity to a global Ponzi scheme - a scam in which an unethical entrepreneur promises investors big returns, which he fraudulently generates from the contributions of later investors.
So far, technology has accommodated and augmented population growth. We’ve seen our “green revolution” spread across the globe and feed the multitudes. The globe remains, however, a finite resource.
We have no examples of economic growth occurring in the absence of human population growth. Population growth is a Ponzi scheme and we’re setting up future generations as its victims. We are paying into the base of the pyramid with natural resources.
Catching and storing rainwater is one of the most important tasks on the suburban frontier for "green preparedness." It's a great way to build "home economics" and connect more closely with taking care of basic needs.
Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
One of the best—albeit not the warmest—times to bicycle in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is during the month of April.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
This article explores the nature of the staycation, if it is indeed a greener option and ways to vacation in a more eco-friendly manner.
We have three big challenges confronting us: preserving our habitat, controlling our population and reforming our economic systems.
Friends and I travel to the Open Source Ecology project in rural Missouri to take a tour and help out laying up earth bricks.
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses the pros and cons of green consumerism.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi discusses the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill with Oceana’s Senior Campaign Director Jackie Savitz.
It took a long time to get into this mess. It will take a while to get out of it.
Are we spending too many resources to restore an economic system that was broken anyway? It's time for a new economy.
It turns out that there are a few bright spots amidst the recession — and it looks like less waste might be one of them.
If you’re interested in a green career, here’s some helpful advice.
Do we have a national goal in America? Would this be a good one?
The new economy promises an abundance of green jobs. Are you ready?
The low gas prices are something to celebrate in the short-run, but the cause is something that deserves a second, less optimistic outlook.
American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?
Bryan Welch's book, Beautiful and Abundant, provides a framework for understanding and evaluating ecotourism's impact on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula.
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.
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.
Finca Exotica is ideal for travelers who want to immerse themselves in the Osa Peninsula's bounty and learn about permaculture and sustainable building.
Come early or spend a few days after the three days of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania this September 12 – 14, 2014. Less than 30 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there’s an ecotourism adventure to be had.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
The T7 Series fuel economy is attributed to the design of the engine. With the SCR technology, the engine “breathes” clean air, instead of re-circulated exhaust gases, allowing the engine to simply do what it’s designed to do: produce maximum power.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
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.
Why do certain individuals care about the environment while others do not? Is it an intrinsic moral obligation? Are we born with an innate instinct to want to protect the earth and its natural resources?
A vast range of eco-hostels are available to book through Hostelbookers, helping you plan a greener trip
Community food events are an outstanding way to share the abundance of our harvest and strengthen local community ties.
At Finca Luna Nueva in Costa Rica's southern Arenal district, guests get a true farm-to-table culinary and educational experience.
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
I’m sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
Mindy Pennybacker’s new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices, and her website, GreenerPenny.com, offer easy tips for daily green living.
Share your simple living ideas to help those in need.
By making good plans and imagining the future with a positive outcome, you can be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
2011 Fuel Economy Contests in several locations in the U.S.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
Learn more about commons-based economy on May 7th, 2012, in London, sponsored by the School of Commoning.
Choosing to purchase goods and services from local vendors impacts your local economy twice as much as purchasing from corporate suppliers. Here are seven local services you can remember to purchase from more often.
D Acres offers alternative economics. We are the 99&: join us.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
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.
China’s largest green burial ceremony is part of the growing trend of eco-funerals in a country that is trying to conserve land.
Action For Nature encourages youth 8-16 to apply for the Young Eco-Hero Awards program.
Follow along as we journey to Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, where sustainable development, organic agriculture and ecotourism are thriving.
How a single purchase of a magazine in newsprint in 1970 changed my life.
Ed and Bruce share their experiences with homesteading and self-sufficiency in a rural setting. This segment is on using natural resources around the homestead.
Welcome to by blog “City to Country, One Step at a Time.” Here’s how I ended up as a modern homesteader on a little acreage in the Canadian West Coast bush.
If you are growing vegetables, making a few homemade wares here and there ... you are practicing good, old-fashioned homesteading techniques.
Many decisions go into remote living to decide if it is right for you.
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
Comparing today’s cars that get 40 mpg or better to the high-mpg cars of a few decades ago is neither an accurate nor fair comparison.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
Peckham’s Village Bicycle Project donates used bicycles and parts to poor families in Africa, and the effects have been life-changing.
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
How will we live with no gas at the pump and no power in the grid?
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
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.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
Noting the “firsts” and “lasts” occurring on the homestead at early summer.
Choosing homesteading as a way of life and what it takes.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
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.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
Luke Dinan, a young man from Toronto, Ontario, is forging his way towards sustainable living and a self-reliant lifestyle; a path we can appreciate, strive for and maybe contribute to.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
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.
Try this tasty vegetarian (and vegan) alfredo for a healthy weeknight dinner.
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.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
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.
Reasons why we like to shop at our local grocery.
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.
Give your hangers a little pizzazz--and protect your clothing--with this simple project that makes use of worn-out shirts.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
Describes two internet radio stations that provide environmental music.
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.
If you’re the first of your friends to move to the country, get some chickens and plant an organic garden there will be some inevitable social fallout.
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.
Exploring our misconceptions of who we are when we are defined by our online presence.
What does well read mean to you? Does the material you read and your personality traits determine how you view the world? This blog explores what well read means to me.
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
An article about when the best time is to start a new homestead.
Spring time is a time to experience the newness of life and living in the Sangre de Cristo mountains amid the wildflowers, birds, green woods and new birth.
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
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.
The daily realities of living in the mountains.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
You can't just hit the ground running when you make the transistion from rat race to homestead. There are lots of lessons to be learned. What wisdom can you share with the homestead hopefuls?
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
An interview with the founder of a small organic gardening business that focuses on education and helping gardeners go organic. Learn more about this company and vote for it to win funding from a small business competition.
Why I use the #Blessedlife.
Often times, whenever someone wants to start living a more natural lifestyle, they never know where to begin. Here are five quick and easy things you can change in your home to help promote a more natural lifestyle.
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.
MAX is getting a garage mate. We're building a high-mileage pickup truck for those jobs that a sports car can't do, and this post outlines what we're starting with.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.
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.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
At the Vetter Fuel Challenge in Ohio, vehicles powered by electricity, diesel and gasoline competed to see who would consume the least fuel in dollars and cents.
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
Learn more about the upcoming Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
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.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
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.
Sheepskin rug keeps a childhood story alive.
Riches sometimes come from natural resources - not always connected with dollar signs.
Tree rings tell the tale. It is nice and green here now but our plants and weeds are acclimated to semi arid and have deep roots.
Who knew that a flock of chickens would be able to teach us so much about living with our children?
Instead of throwing out that empty feedbag, get creative and turn it into something new! Homesteader Ed Essex shares ideas for finding new uses for old objects.
If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.
Your mind can often trip us up, make things worse than they are, even lead us into disaster. You can control your own mind and change negative messages to positive ones, creating a much more productive,calmer. and fullfilling life.
Check out this green gingerbread house built by MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff: It includes cookie and candy versions of SIPs construction, a living roof, and a solar electric system.
Each year we learn more and more about living off grid and homesteading. These are just a few of the third-year experiences we wanted to share.
Regular tasks that keep our cabin comfortable and welcoming.
Even when the chicks have left the nest, they never really leave.
Learning to appreciate seasonal differences.
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.
There is hard work homesteading in the mountains and the weather dictates much of those challenges.
It takes commitment and determination to live remotely in the mountains.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
Taking time to reflect on the past brings renewed appreciation to the present.
Other than the four regular seasons there is a fifth season in the mountains called mud season.
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Ag Branch encourages purchasing tractors with a Rollover Protection Structure. Programs exist that will help offset the cost of the ROPS to add to older tractors. Tractor rollovers are common accidents that will lead to severe injury or death, but an ROPS will keep the driver safe.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
What exactly is ‘modern homesteading"? There are as many definitions as there are people doing it. What does the term ‘modern homesteading’ mean to you?
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
Here are four things you need to know about gum chewing to decide whether chewing gum is bad for you.
Living in a 500-square-foot house (or smaller) affects our consumption and relationships.
Expense checklist for anyone wanting to plan a new homestead.
In 'Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation,' author Tradd Cotter offers readers an in-depth exploration of best organic mushroom cultivation practices, shares the results of his groundbreaking research, and offers creative ways to apply cultivation skills—whether the goal is to help a community clean up industrial pollution or simply to settle down at the end of the day with a cold Reishi-infused homebrew ale.
Leaving a job with benefits and security to live a simple, country life, also known as un-jobbing, can be scary, but as we learned, so very worth it.
Sharing my practices of gratitude and thanksgiving.
All-natural pork from wild hogs is safe to eat, has wonderful flavor and could feed the world. Here's how to trap them in the wild.
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
We finally build somthing!
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
This entry continues our lightening-speed survey of key financial considerations for people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle based on our family's ongoing transition. In this installment, we discuss children's self-run businesses and other kid-related costs.
In this post, I introduce a new series capturing the details of my family's move from a
conventional suburban life to homesteading and homeschooling. This post introduces the first
of several financial considerations that my family researched and has undertaken as part of our
radical lifestyle change.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
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.
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.
If know you're destined to live in the country, or just more self-reliantly, but are overwhelmed by all the choices, here's a place to start.
It is a regular occurrence, a question we're asked:
Why do we do all this work?
How did Victoria Redhed Miller and husband David end up living on an off-grid homestead in the foothills of Washington State's Olympic mountains? Grid? What grid? Electricity was something one took for granted; it came from those outlets on the walls. I was hardly aware of it except during one of the infrequent power outages.
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
How feeding the hungry amounts to action on behalf of a planet on fire with a toxic yang imbalance.
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
Who would think it’s possible to discover the artist in me, incubate a business, plus milk goats, grow a garden...all in one unforgettable summer. I'm a rich woman by any standard.
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
A pressure canner greatly expands the range of foods that can be safely canned at home.
As everyone gathers around this campfire this fall, unite this variety of flavors into one savory skillet that will be enjoyed by all.
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
Things to look for in your soil before you break ground on your new home or cabin.
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
The generators we use for living off the grid and a multitude of other tasks.
Day 2 has a haphazard start with no hot water for a proper cup of tea, and people are arriving early for a day of consulting. What's the solution to keeping water hot overnight on top of a wood stove so there's plenty for hot tea, doing dishes and a shower?
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
Ed and Bruce compare the weather and its impact on their mountain homesteads at different elevations and mountain ranges.
Bruce McElmurray and Ed Essex collaborate on how the weather dictates to their mountain homesteading.
Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.
Taking a bath in the winter takes a little more planning at our off-grid, no-plumbing home.
Each year we try to challenge ourselves with an entire month where we spend no money, and avoid using energy.
Mountain homesteading in a remote area.
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
Tips to help you get started planning your very own homestead. With proper planning you don't have to be experienced to do it right.
How our "thanks for nothing" month came to be.
Tips that we have learned gardening at a high elevation.
Which fire starting tool works best - or at all?
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
The beauty and refreshment of our swimming hole are a swell compliment to work and sun of our homestead.
Gene GeRue relates the lessons he learned from a childhood of frugal living.
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
Our experiences in learning to pressure can and use reusable canning lids.
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
How both we and the chickens have gotten better at surviving the cold winters where we live.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
Living a ranch life in northern New Mexico in the 1960s consisted of hard work and knowledge. It was not the romantic life that many people imagine it to have been.
It may not be in the Kangaroo Valley tourist brochures, and you might think it odd to visit a rural supply store just for a look, but I would encourage any visitor to Australia's Kangaroo Valley to make a trip to the Red Shed.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
A brief description of how we grow fresh vegetables in our long cold winters.
Realize that DIY inspiration is just a click away by checking out these great home remodeling blogs.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
In this blog post, parenting mentor Shawn Hosford introduces herself, along with some of her background and beliefs. Her hope is that this post provides the necessary foundation for continued conversations about intentional parenting.
Can we start a Slow Time Movement? One that would be like the Slow Food Movement.
The benefits of adopting a pet. And the sadness that occurs when they die.
Living in the mountains or remotely requires physical endurance as well as being fit.
In Farming the Woods, authors Ken Mudge and Steve Gabriel teach readers how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicinal, and other non timber products. Forest farming is an invaluable practice to integrate into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.
Almost 30 years ago I made one of the best decisions ever when I began my homesteading adventure. It's no "Little House on the Prarie" but you can see it from there.
Learn about the different types of earth-sheltered homes and why you should consider digging in the ground to find your next residence.
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.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
A description about something unique - a wood burning masonry kitchen stove.
How we deal with unexpected incidents.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
Success at growing food at the 4200' elevation and some of the challenges.
A description and pictures of a tornado force winds in Washington State in 2012.
Reflections on 15 years of mountain living.
A comparison of costs between on grid and off grid utilities for our circumstances.
What it is like to live higher up.
Our power system begins to take shape.
Fun facts about our first year of blogging for Mother Earth News.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
Some of the downside of free ranging your chickens.
When we moved into the country, we had no idea that small critters would be such a nuisance.
How we have adapted from salt water fishing to freshwater and what we do with our catch.
Design features we incorporated into our new off grid home.
How we live in the mountains during the winter.
Gardening challenges at high elevation.
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
This blog is about all of the choices we have for the type of home we want for off grid living and some of the construction materials involved. It turns out there are a multitude of options we have to choose from.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
How we avoid cabin fever by doing volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
A short history of my own horse riding adventures.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
If you've been on this rural living or modern homesteading journey for decades, or just starting out, how do you know when you've arrived?
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Robert Maxwell discusses the benefits of a rural lifestyle.
Jeff and wife Kathy have lived off-grid since 2002. They strive to inform the public about ways to live inexpensively, and to further the principle of sustainability. Visit their website to learn more: www.naturalpower.weebly.com
At last, we construct the foundation.
I love rural life and modern homesteading, but there are days when the comfort of a city condo would be welcome indeed. And honestly? A relief.
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
This blog is an introduction to how we went from a condominium lifestyle to off grid modern homesteading in the mountains. It also includes an explanation of the meaning of "off grid".
The political system is not broken.
This entry departs from our treatise on purely financial considerations of people who decide to move toward a full-time homesteading or farming lifestyle to explore issues that can be leveraged to reduce other "costs," such as time, labor and maintenance requirements. Up for discussion this installment are homestead location and layout, equipment, and free natural raw materials.
Much to our chagrin, many things we believe are true are dead wrong. Things we believe about other people, health, medicine, renewable energy, and the environment are wrong. Start digging and you'll see and you will start living a smarter life.
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.
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.
Life really is good when you live on a dirt road.
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.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
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.
“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.”
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.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Rural Living Today founder and advocate, Marie James, told us about a Homesteading Education Month event she and her family hosted in Northeast Washington to teach gardeners how to grow vegetables in cold weather.
Many of us hold convictions about others and the world around us that are so wrong that they seriously misguide us, even rob us of happiness and contentment. Don't believe everything you think. Question your beliefs and discover the truth.
One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my life is the power of love to create happiness and harmony. Let your life and your interactions with others be goverened by your love for others. Make preserving and fostering love a goal.
Looking for the perfect sourdough hamburger bun.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
In the third in a series on potential toxins and chemicals to avoid during pregnancy, Natural Home & Garden Editor Jessica Kellner discusses the dangers associated with use of retinol in skin care products.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
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.
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 Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
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.
Options for phone service if you live in a remote location that doesn't have cell service or landlines available to you.
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.
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?
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.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
Aside from the great stage presentations, the exhibitor booths have a lot to offer FAIR attendees.
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.
How we avoid most clutter but manage to keep good leftover products for future use.
In this blog we share someone else's story about old fashioned home made ingenuity concerning deep well pumps that operate without electricity.
How we stay busy in the winter even though we live at 4200', three miles off the road, and somewhat isolated.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
How and why we chose to have a livestock guardian dog and what they are like.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
How to make insulated shades at home.
Our first experience as a vendor or spectator at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, WA
How to make your OWN insulated window coverings.
A snapshot of winter life living remote and off grid.
Costs associated with providing your own water.
A short description of why we prefer small city living over large city living.
Things we have done to earn an income from home in a down economy.
Our experience in living with bears.
Things we did to make our new home more sustainable.
These are the first steps we took to make the change from city living to off grid living. It describes the questions you should ask before you buy property and the research required to make sure you can do want you want with your property.
The final in a 6 part series on Ft. Garland, Colorado
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
What we have found as an advantage of having a rural hardware store close by.
Short stories about our chicken experiences
After the snow leaves to do list for us.
Our take on the positive and negative points of insulated concrete forms.
If you want to live independently, it's always good to have backup because no one else is coming to the rescue. This is how we did it.
An article about how we learned to double our growing season and have home grown fresh veggies almost all year long.
Tips for snow removal around your house and down the road.
Where we have chosen to draw the line between convenience and sustainability - for now.
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
Honey bees, the Boston tragedy, and our power to create the world we’ve been waiting for.
Many people believe that their values define who they are. Unfortunately, many of our values don't translate into action. To live a fruitful, peaceful, and productive life, meld your values and actions. You'll be happier and content -- whole.
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
In this political season, politicians often define people by their differences, creating strife and even outright contempt among people with opposing political views. Truth is, we have a great deal in common; it is our commonalities that bind us.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
A stack of cast-iron pans and a chainsaw helmet sum up why these homesteaders do what they do.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
What’s your idea of a delicious and wholesome breakfast? A fluffy, organic egg omelet made with fresh vegetables? Perhaps scrambled eggs and roasted garden veggies? No matter what your preference, it may surprise you to learn the link between the
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.
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?
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
Learn about the advantages of urban farming from those who are leading the way. The benefits include improved food production, increased revenue sources and reduced energy use.
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.
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.
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
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.
Jenna Woginrich writes about the beauty of Cold Antler Farm, a small homestead that she shares with Pig, her rabbits Benjamin and Doe and several chickens. Taking care of her animals on cold winter nights is a challenge for Woginrich, but one she gladly accepts armed with a water bottle and affection. Woginrich's modest barn provides shelter for her animals and a useful space to feel at home.
Using newspaper, learn how to craft easy, biodegradable pots to start seeds.