The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.
If you need a new car — and want one that employs green vehicle technology or hybrid vehicle technology to save gas — there’s no major reason to wait.
The Army gets greener by switching 4,000 gas engine vehicles to electic vehicles starting Monday.
As more manufacturers introduce new electric vehicles to the market, prices go down and electric car sales go way, way up.
Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.
One of the top automotive journalists around agrees that the future is bright for plug-in hybrids, even more so than fuel-cell vehicles.
What's the plural of Prius? Whatever it is, there are lots of them out there.
The sales history of the Toyota Prius illustrates an exciting phenomenon: When a new idea or a piece of technology ignites the human imagination, it can spread very rapidly.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
New EPA regulations require 35 percent reduced emissions from lawn-care equipment by 2011.
I hate to say it — because electric cars may be the salvation of transportation someday — but much of the current hype around electric cars is smoke and mirrors.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
With the Smart ForTwo electric drive, Smart is underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas.
The electric Tesla Model S was put to the test in a recent highway collision. Tesla's CEO offers his assessment of the resulting fire and the overall safety of his company's vehicle.
Celebrate the third annual National Plug In day on Sept. 29, 2013, and see what electric cars are all about.
Two electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, will be released this year. Which would you buy?
Try these tips for cleaning a carburetor.
Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.
Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.
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.
A new bill will give drivers money to buy newer, more fuel-efficient cars when they scrap their older, less fuel-efficient ones.
Electric car batteries are at risk of warming up too quickly in high temperatures. Here’s how to help EV batteries beat the heat.
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
Wish your friends and family happy holidays with our free, fun and animated e-card.
Al Gore is calling on Americans to support a rapid transition to renewable energy. Tell us what you think.
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
Nissan LEAFs Will Be Available in Select Markets Next Year – Extending Enterprise’s Commitment to Support Clean, New Technologies
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
Repairing or replacing trim around a door is easy, and you need only a few simple tools.
Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.
Car sharing is becoming more popular in the United States, and is a greener method of transportation.
These new vehicles may help the environment, but their soundless engines are a threat to the visually impaired, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
There's been a "shocking" increase in the number of EV charging stations across the United States, and in a remarkably short period of time.
Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states are now taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car.
Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.
Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to U.S. consumers for the 2012 model year, with upgrades based on feedback thousands of Leaf owners.
Getting your very first chicks is an exciting experience and a very big step for most first-time homesteaders. Here is some advice for enjoying your new additions and avoiding any potential problems.
Overcoming my personal fears and welcoming the newest addition to our homestead - honeybees
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
Electric car charging infrastructure will be launched in major urban areas nationwide. This is in part due to $15 million in stimulus money being set aside for the charging stations. Now we need to get the remaining $22 million in co-funding.
Dan Chiras asks why GM hasn't brought the EV1 back yet.
Spending the time to get to your goats is more important than you may think
Six rug and carpet companies have joined the GoodWeave certification program, which works to end illegal child labor in the South Asian carpet industry.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.
Concerned about pesticides in your food? The Pesticide Action Network’s online database helps you understand which carcinogens and pesticides are present in 89 common foods.
Join Carrotmob in the movement to help local businesses become more green.
Build a bicycle cargo trailer and haul almost anything—furniture, boxes, even a barbecue grill—using pedal power.
We just received this letter from Mary Jackson in Lincoln, Nebraska, and our editorial assistant, Karen Brock, said, 'Hey, aren’t you facing this same dilemma?' Well . . . as a matter of fact, I am. I’ve been noodling (loudly) about whether to renew the lease or purchase my Honda Civic Hybrid.
This machine adds creativity and detail to woodworking projects
Details on a cool new carbon offset program from Volkswagen.
We have a saying around our house: When the pest control truck is at the neighbor’s house, all the spiders come over to our place because they know it is safe. Biodiversity is a top priority in my Northern California rural/suburban garden, and I work hard to have many plants, animals, insects, and, yes, arachnids represented.
After decades of gardening I’ve come to rely on a few essential gardening tools.
Chicken tractors are not for me — here's why.
Growing garlic is easy if you just know the right time to plant it: in fall, not spring or summer!
The Rainforest Alliance is pleased to announce that Caribou Coffee is the first major coffee company in the US to source 100 percent of its coffee and espresso beans from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
One reader submits a photo of an oversized egg. Remember to submit your photos every week at our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your shots will be the next Photo of the Week!
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
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.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
For Bryan Welch, a prototype of Toyota's 2013 Prius Plug-In is a real life example of how gasoline electric hybrids have made major gains in efficiency over other conventional cars.
Ford focus electric offers eco-friendly features throughout the vehicle.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, outlines some suggestions on how to become an expert carpenter who can work with wood anywhere.
Carrotmob, a project of Virgance, a company that organizes activism campaigns, works to create social change by rewarding green businesses through consumer buying. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about this innovative activism group.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
Choosing natural, environmentally friendly flooring is an easy way to keep your home healthy. Choose natural linoleum, cork, sustainable wood, natural wool carpet or tile.
Visitors enjoyed hundreds of test drives of Ford hybrid and electric cars at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!
Steve shares his time touring a plant that makes the kind of blades homesteaders use every day,
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
The Environmental Protection Agency is trying to cancel the use of carbofuran, but FMC Corporation stands in their way.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
Growing peach pits doesn't get much easier than this.
At Green Roof Growers in Chicago, Little Green Girl takes a field trip to the new chicken coop. Holding chickens, meeting the puppy Carl, and visiting the chickens' new home are all part of the fun.
See what the water reflects in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Harrisons’ Pet Products Recover: A Complete Nutritional Formula is for sick or injured animals.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
As gas prices continue to rise, so does car sharing. Walk Score lists the top 10 car share cities in North America.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Make these tasty and chewy caramels. They are a festive treat that takes on a homespun flavor with the addition of Sorghum.
Turn a collection of carpet-sample pieces into an eclectic rug for your kitchen or bathroom! This resourceful DIY project can be made with just four materials - some of which may already be in your home.
The outdoor rugs that line my garage and mud room get filthy and need a good cleaning every now and again, a cleaning that usually goes beyond just vacuuming. But this cleaning can be done in an eco-friendly way, without the use of harsh chemicals.
If you are challenged by growing carrots, you might consider transplanting them and growing some dancing carrots.
Award winners highlight the next generation of leaders in the bike/ped movement
Spoon carving is good practice for hatchet and knife skills, and a spoon is a beautiful sculpture that feeds more than one hunger!
Carbide saw blades last a long time and typically perform very well. Learn about two ways to keep them sharp and effective.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
Comparing different home made do it yourself chicken carriers for the Tractor Supply animal swap this past Saturday. Reporting on edible mushroom cultivation harvest and what it takes to pick the right disease resistant apple variety.
One of STIHL’s many battery powered tools could make a perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day.
Scotts Miracle-Gro now phosphorous-free in market leading Turf Builder product.
Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
Carrots come in many colors and sizes. By picking the right ones, you can grow carrots year-round in the ground or in containers.
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home and Garden Magazine, shares three pregnancy skin care products that will help prevent stretch marks and keep your baby belly soft and smooth.
From log to the mill to the project in no time at all.
One way that I work through problems is by baking bread. It is my therapy, and it works for me. Getting lost in the recipe and wondering how you might make some changes to make it better is always good for the mind.
Spending time baking with others will be time well spent. Make some memories that you will never forget.
Love of family, love of tradition, love of pumpernickel bread — need I say more?
Using crescent rolls as buns to avoid azodicarbonamide.
Many of us love bread and love to use local ingredients.
Baking and sharing cinnamon rolls can create happiness. Cinnamon and honey will make your baked goods irresistible.
The author figures out a way to outsmart tree-damaging rodents.
Fun graphics of great quotations! Quotations by Buckminster Fuller, Mary Oliver, Martin Luther King Jr., and others, available as free graphics that can be shared like e-cards.
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
Preventing allergy causes as opposed to treating the symptoms.
But maybe, at the end of the day, I am just a person with weak nerves doing something that depends on so many unknown factors – the weather, the bug population, the quality of seeds and some plain ol' luck.
In many communal kitchens, may it be a hostel or a student dorm, postings are usually to be found; “Leave it nicer than when you came”, they read. That can be said to humans on earth too, to leave it better than it was. By living and working in nature, with nature, I believe that our surroundings here at the homestead are ecologically healthier, more diverse and vibrant than should we as humans not have been here.
How does the amount of electricity you use each month compare to the average American household?
How big is that wind turbine exactly? For a frame of reference on the different sizes, check out these photos and links.
Ever wondered which countries around the world are installing the most wind power?
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.
This week I’m in Chicago, my old home. (I tried to live here twice, but the winters were just too cold.) It’s not cold here this week, though, and the green scene is totally hot.
A crazy idea to make a car battery last forever is quite crazy indeed.
Upcycle abandoned shopping carts into funky shopping cart furniture that is both fun and functional. This DIY shopping cart project takes some elbow grease, but is well worth the results.
Crossing a creek using cinder block stepping stones one year after installation and using cinder blocks to repair driveway ruts. Shoveling mulch from a Club Car golf cart and a nice image of turkey tail mushrooms popping up from a log of walnut.
Steve explains what he's learned over 20 years of using generators and monitoring advances in design.
A short simple explanation of how to project your electrical needs in order to size your electrical off grid system.
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.
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
Check out Annie B. Bond's list of 11 easy tips for making your kitchen more healthy and safe, from Care2.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
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.
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
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.
This year is the first season I had the whole garden dug and ready and boy, it's easy to plant a garden when the garden is already there.
Having a hostel of your own, gives you the best of both worlds; the comfort of home with the vibration of travelers.
Our August at the Hostel has best been described visually; a flat palm held about an inch from our face.
Growing an organic garden with compost I made using natural material from our surroundings is to comply with nature's way of taking care of itself – it's to remain humble for a true and tried life cycle and acknowledge our inevitable part in and connection to life on earth.
A homestead is about so much more than just mindful ways of producing one's needs; the health of the land and landscape is nothing if the health of the homesteader isn't there. The most sustainable homestead is one where the homesteaders like what they're doing and therefore will keep doing it. The self-fulfilling prophecy that we're all too busy is a highly unsustainable way to attempt sustainability, whether it's for a homestead or a summer business.
Few other vegetables represent summer as a sun-ripe, homegrown tomato does.This is how we raise and plant tomatoes at the Deer Isle Hostel and Homestead.
Onions are daylight sensitive and need to have plenty of time to put on top growth before the days start to get shorter and the plant pulls its energy into the bulb. If you like to start onions from seed, don’t wait! The best time is already closing in.
Not being a fan of frozen or canned carrots, I began to wonder how to store carrots under straw for winter to enjoy organic carrots throughout the winter. Living in Central Oregon where beach sand is not at the hand, I gathered garden straw from a local farmer. It is important that you know that straw for the garden has not come from crops treated with herbicides to control broad-leafed weeds.
I made body cream for Mother’s Day presents for my family.
It’s time for lawn and garden work. In your opinion, which is the best garden tractor? Which tractor will you be using this year?
Help keep cages and water sources clean with Solway Feeder's horizontal watering nipples.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
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.
Talking about the back up generator failure along with recent golf cart modifications.
Porch building tips along with deer pressure notes and golf cart pickup bed instructions.Throw in a 5 foot high chicken wire fence and a rare appearance from a normally camera shy cat named Strider and you've got an idea of what we've been up to.
The Apollo Alliance want you to tell the new Obama Energy Czar, Carol Browner that you support renewable energy policy.
Why do we believe that math must be done one workbook page at a time, at the kitchen table? Anyone who’s ever kept chickens can tell you all the math that can be found in the hen house.
Walk this way, to support the revitalization of a pedestrian-friendly America.
Honda cars are famously reliable, and now there's an online community for owners of 100,000+ mileage cars to share their stories.
Today Ford announced a long overdue shift in its business emphasis: away from trucks and SUVs and toward small cars. Before setting this new direction, there has been plenty of struggle between old think and new think.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras talks about the future of fuel-efficient, diesel hybrid cars.
Odyssey Day embarked from Washington D.C. a few weeks ago as a nationwide effort to encourage and promote the use of petroleum-free fuel. The day is sponsored by the Department of Energy's Clean Cities, which has helped reduce petroleum use by almost more than 2 billion gallons so far.
A recent study by German carpet company suggests that its Cradle-to-Cradle-certified carpet might actually improve indoor air quality.
Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for high levels of carbon emissions. Simply by changing habits and adopting more eco-friendly methods of getting from A to B will help both the environment and overall health.
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.
Not all beehives are created equal. This post examines Langstroth beehives, Top-Bar beehives, and Warre beehives in order to help a new beekeeper determine which system is the best for her bees.
North Carolinian Master Beekeeper, Tia Douglass, offers an introduction to chemical-free, natural beekeeping, bees and approach to raising pollinators.
Modifications I’m making and things to consider before building your own top bar hive.
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.
Potlucks make sharing a meal about as easy as can be. With just a few changes from the usual all-disposable approach, potlucks can be green, thrifty, and more enjoyable too.
When you start measuring electricity use, you may be surprised by which appliances and electronics use the most energy.
Here are the basic options for buying your electricity from sustainable sources.
Almost everyone uses a computer these days. But not everyone knows how much energy is consumed by that one device.Most appliances or electronics tell you the number of watts they use. An average CPU uses 120 watts, while the monitor uses 150 watts. That's 270 watts of power while in use, but there are several easy ways to reduce that amount.
In the United States, renewable energy is growing, but we still don't get very much of our electricity from renewable sources. How can we speed things up?
Information and advice from the Small Wind Certification Council on creating wind power in your own backyard.
This week, I've been using a Kill-a-Watt at home. It's a small meter that costs about $25, and you can use it to measure the electricity consumption of your appliances and home electronics.
This handy online tool helps calculate your solar energy potential based on your location.
Texas is already the U.S. leader in wind power, and that lead is about to get even bigger.
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
To meet its goal of making all new buildings carbon-neutral by 2030, the American Institute of Architects introduces an online tool that help designers predict how much energy their buildings will use.
Carbon offsets had a few holes when the Christian Science Monitor investigated the carbon credit market. Without an overarching voluntary carbon standard, carbon offset programs could be bogus.
A Carnegie Mellon study finds fault with carbon footprint calculations. Thankfully, we have other ways of determining environmental impact.
Calculate your personal carbon footprint and compare your total to both the average per capita footprint worldwide and the average footprint in the United States.
Across the pond, engineer Martin Bacon and a team of volunteers have created a coffee-powered car that averaged 66.5 mph over two speed runs.
Not feeling so hot? Time magazine offers 10 things to consider before your next visit to the doctor.
The Grasshopper company has introduced the new Model 8HT PowerVac vacuum collector.
Make you own inexpensive, pampering - and edible - homemade face mask with this simple recipe. Enjoy!
Exmark’s “Transitioning Mower Fleets to Propane” provides a road map for landscape professionals.
Husqvarna adds 3 all-wheel drive walk mower models to offer high quality options for any budget.
Skin care and keeping it simple.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
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.
If you have a bike, your freedom of moving around is endless. Cycling is swift and bikes are easy to navigate where cars sometimes can't go.
There are many benefits with raising pigs for meat, and also some common sense ways of doing so in a sustainable way.
One thing that gardening has done to me, as to so many others probably, is that I've started to pay attention to where the food on my plate comes from, and usually the answer is “from our garden."
Stay warm, find a hobby and cull the livestock; here are some of the things we do to prepare for winter!
Where is our economic security?
A homesteader's year is over for this time. Nothing cleans the yard up as a foot of snow, and I think it's here to stay. winter on Deer Isle is great, so great I consider it something we deserve after getting through the summer, both for us as homesteaders and for us as a part of this community.
Making our own compost is not only a way to meet our need of fertilizer, it's also a way to redirect the garden scraps, chicken manure, leaves and grass cuttings from the waste stream to the resource river. Another area where this applies around our homestead, is our use of a composting toilet. For us, the difference between what goes down a flushing toilet and what accumulates in the buckets in the outhouse is the difference between waste and resource.
I know how popular and much hyped season-extending materials are in the world of organic gardening, but is it a necessity to eat fresh lettuce year round?
As homesteaders, all the homesteading rewards are directly ours to keep and our work provides most of our necessities but the multiple returns we get from our homestead also give us what money couldn't buy, such as the self reliance, sense of security, dignity, the beautiful place where we spend our days and the choice to set our own schedule.
The short period of time each year where homesteaders and summer-business owners like us get to freely bask in open-ended unscheduled time is as short as it is sweet, and it reaches its peak right now in January.
That something is easy doesn't always mean it's simple – many of the modern conveniences so much of the western world relies on, the thermostat in most conventional houses, for example, is but the end of a long and complex chain reaction with consequences far beyond our reach. Homesteading simplicity can be described as a way to limit those chain reactions, to be more in control over the effect of our actions and, to alter those effects to have a positive impact.
What if I find land where I can homestead but it's at a location where no one does the same thing? The lack of a homesteading community can be a discouraging factor when looking for land, but over time, if one is patient, it is very likely you'll find others that are drawn to the basic, sustaining, diverse and positive actions of homesteading.
With new breakthroughs in solar electricity coming out every year, should you wait before investing in a solar electric system? Energy expert Dan Chiras discusses cost of PV modules in terms of cost per watt of installed capacity.
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.
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.
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.
A people-powered revolution is afoot.
Musician Ben Sollee has defined the pace and purpose of touring, ditching the van and taking the 2 Mile Challenge.
Thanks to local advocates, Santa came early for cyclists in the Steel City.
Yep, that's my boss with Lance Armstrong — and a half-million bike/ped friends — on the open streets of Los Angeles.
As state transportation officials send billions back to Washington, advocates hope bicyclists and pedestrians aren't left holding the empty bag.
The stylish new Sanyo eneloop bike features a partially-self-charging electric motor and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.
Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
When you're ready to price or purchase a new solar system, findsolar.com has everything you need.
Here’s advice from a renewable energy expert about what you can expect to pay for a solar-electric system to power your home.
Have you found helpful ways to cut your energy use at home? Whether it's turning down the thermostat or installing new light bulbs, tell us what you've done to conserve energy and how well it's worked.
How much electricity is your computer using right now? You might be surprised how easy it is to find out.
Eat carrots from your garden all winter! A little planning goes a long way toward more food with less work. Learn how to start with a winter cover crop of rye, with carrots following next in the rotation, maturing by the time the first frost.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Lack of interest threatens ClimateSmart, a program that helps PG&E customers in California offset their carbon emissions, is about to be cut.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
Over the past year, I have made countless mistakes on my garden. In this post, I share four of my most frustrating gardening mistakes and how to avoid them.
How my dad defended himself from overly generous gardeners.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!
A less meddlesome approach to beekeeping.
Anticipation of warm weather, bees, flowers, and HONEY!
What needs doin' in the beeyard?
Raw honey isn’t just delicious — read on to learn some of the medicinal uses for it.
Keeping bees with neighbors in the city or the burbs.
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.
Introducing a revolutionary new book about the "drinkable landscape" and how you can use organic gardening to produce a huge array of beverages.
When it comes to that most essential of all modern appliances, the best way to be eco-friendly is to stick with the tried and true three R's: reduce, reuse or recycle.
The no-waste way to render beeswax.
Awesome facts about the amazing honeybee.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
Even store-bought mushrooms create vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Use this nifty trick and my tasty recipe to keep up your supply of this essential vitamin.
Pallets can have many uses. And they can be re-purposed into just about anything. This article shows how to re-purpose a wood pallet into a wine rack.
This posting will discuss the role of volcanic and anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It will also discuss they play in global warming and ocean acidification.
Have you ever had leftover bread, but you don't want to throw it away or give it to the birds? Here's what you do: Panzanella. This Italian salad will throw your taste buds for a loop, and it all starts with leftover, stale bread.
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.
Although you might think warming up your car is best on a cold morning, doing so is a bad idea — and not just because it wastes gas.
Keeping the project going is my goal.
Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Equivalent of 256 mpg. 220 mile range. Costs less than 2 cents per mile to drive. I'm in love. And you will be, too, after watching this video.
AC solar panels are an intriguing new idea on the PV market. The panels themselves still produce DC, but each panel would come with its own attached micro-inverter, which converts the DC to AC.
Here's a 12-step process to green transportation bliss.
Life with an EV 12,000 miles later.
When you need tools for low-impact living, where do you go to find them?
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
My experiences with a reel lawn mower in a small urban neighborhood.
Over the years, we’ve had many experiences with injured and sick chickens. Sometimes the birds have pulled through, sometimes they have not.Such is truly the way of life.
Coconut oil uses range from cooking to skin care, so read on to take advantage of what this oil has to offer.
Tips on how to compost, what is composting and reasons why you should compost.
KIOTI tractor company realizes significant growth in North American markets.
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.
For those looking environmentally friendly car parts, Jamak offers a fully recyclable windshield wiper that’s made from non-petroleum-based silicon.
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.
Here are some ways we use natural materials to improve our garden and orchards.
Renewable energy is often seen as a way to have it all and still feel “green” and it is indeed at a glance more environment friendly than conventional power, but no power has as low footprint as the power not used.
There used to be, from Maine to Georgia and west to the Mississippi river, 20.000 grafted apple varieties. Today, when commercialism is king and the most known apple varieties are the 5 kinds offered in the supermarket those old varieties are worth paying attention to. As with all things around us, diversity is interesting and sustainable.
For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're eating garlic, onions, squash, carrots and beets in June.
To grow, keep and eat your own food keeps you away from the food industry, the fossil fuel based agriculture, food stores and logistics.
Even as far north as Maine I can harvest produce from March to December with parsnips to dig from under the frost in February without the use of row covers or a greenhouse. In some beds I do two or more succession plantings that together with the root cellar keeps me with fresh produce all year.
A well-thought-out garden design will make your work enjoyable and manageable and will encourage the gardener's presence and attention.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
A good gardening tool is lightweight, ergonomically correct and has a positive impact on the soil. We only use hand tools (non-powered) in our gardens since we find that we can get the job done easier and more efficiently with a more correct impact on the soil and less impact on our bodies than we would with any machines.
Our work in the woods starts long before we get the chainsaw and axe out; by being in the woods, observing and contemplating. We're looking for healthy trees that we can help to thrive and that will be of benefit in the future.
To turn a woodlot into a park with no “litter” on the ground might look tidy, but is not very healthy or functional. Next time you look at a dead tree or a log rotting on the ground; look at it as something full of life.
It wasn't many months ago the seed catalog for this year showed up, but at that point I had just, just, managed to finish off the garden season, slightly traumatized from all the work. To receive a catalog then seemed mostly like an ill-conceived joke, a way to rub it in; don't think you can relax too much.
To say the sawmill is just a piece in the homestead puzzle might be a slight understatement. In some ways, it's a key factor.
The actual footprint of a garden is only one of many factors for how much food that can be produced there. With succession planting, good soil and some planning the same garden area can produce substantially more food.
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
Up against China, the tar sand extraction, dysfunctional global summits and the endless cry for economic growth, any individual's actions to halt global warming might seem insignificant. But conscious decisions that bring us closer to nature can make a difference and might be the best we can do.
Even with the daylight hours lately, we still have quite a bit of winter left. Good health – both physically and mentally – might require a little bit more effort than in the summer but can still be achieved and maintained though this homestretch before spring.
February can be a hit or miss for us here at Deer Isle Hostel - snow and cold demands more creativity to stay busy, but also provides a great chance not to do much. Planting onions from seed, shoveling snow and planning for the Hostel season 2015 are some things I do to keep the cabin fever under control.
One of my best pieces of advice to those wishing to establish a homestead is to reach out to the community. Happy neighbors are a big part of a happy homestead and for us it was not only a way to drum up support and engagement for our project, but it was also transformative for our experience and for our business.
Any other year in March, the homesteading chores are back in full swing after the winter break. This year, winter lasted longer than ever and it wasn't until the end I could even conceive of getting any of the usual stuff done. Here's the list of what I normally do.
Homesteading is to me to live in self-reliance, simplicity and mindfulness. To be able to do that in a way that feels true to what we believe in, I've found that it demands a narrow definition of what I put in the word enough.
Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.
For two weeks, I tested a hybrid vehicle. My family liked the car, I liked the car and without a doubt, the Ford C-MAX Energi is an amazing ride.
Pizza Fusion is one of the 10 finalists in Co-op America's People's Choice Award for green business of the year. The company uses only organic ingredients and delivers its pizza with hybrids.
Share the pain of rising gas prices together and join the discussion about what will finally motivate us to dramatically change our driving habits.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
JWTIntelligence predicts big green changes in the coming year (including tube-free toilet paper).
How to recycle a junked refrigerator into a refrigerator root cellar that works at keeping produce chilled but not frozen during winter months.
Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.
Show your thanks for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders by nominating someone you know for a national Advocacy Award.
The bike-ped movement is growing; meet one of the newest leaders advocating for pedestrians.
Leaders from America Bikes impress top transportation official with compelling new data on job creation and popular demand for active street design.
(Video) The U.S. Secretary of Transportation bikes to work at the behest of his bicycle commuting employees.
A Colombian concept that reclaims the streets has found a home in dozens of cities across the U.S.
Join a free webinar about women and cycling this Wednesday!
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
Earlier this month a plan was drafted to remove all plasma screen televisions from California retail shelves.
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
Start cutting your electricity use today, and it will save you a bundle of cash on a renewable energy system when you're ready to buy one.
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
The United Kingdom is testing the power of green transportation with a fleet of all-electric buses running the same rigorous schedule as their diesel counterparts.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
With carbon emissions in the US higher than most other countries in the world, more should be done to minimize unnecessary carbon waste. Around one third of the overall carbon consumed by the average US citizen comes from the home, if every home took a few simple steps to reduce waste, the world could a greener place.
Filtering tap water instead of buying plastic bottles helps my family’s carbon footprint—and bottom line.
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
This year, why not resolve to go on an energy diet? The idea is to set a few measurable goals to make your home more energy efficient and then keep track of your progress.
We all know that carbon dioxide emissions are a major cause of global warming. Now, we can pinpoint exactly where the problem is concentrated.
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
The automaker plans to add new DC quick-charging stations, capable of recharging to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, to dealerships across the country.
I've never been more excited for 2010.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has launched a new tool to help communities assess their readiness for plug-in electric vehicles.
Swiss manufacturer Stromer has announced a sweepstakes to give away a new electric bicycle in the U.S.
I learned an important gardening lesson from fighting tomato blight.
A brief overview of keeping bees in a top bar hive from setup to overwintering.
With just about every breed of standard bred, heritage poultry, we have work to do. They are not producing like they once were.
Colony Collapse Disorder is threatening the future of bee pollination. Here's what we can do about it.
When and how to feed your honeybees.
Learn about the benefits of baking with this ancient grain.
A recipe for a grease patty that doesn't use hydrogenated oils.
Gardeners don't have to live in a semi-tropical zone to grow organic lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus fruits. Proper technique with potted plants can yield a bounty of delicately flavored, vitamin-rich citrus.
One woman's vision of a family farm comes to life in her back yard thanks to one friendly goat.
Have some fun in your garden this year and grow something giant!
Considering induction cooking as an eco-friendly alternative to cooking with electricity? Can’t begin to contemplate spending $3,000 on a stove? This article will run down how you can integrate the hottest new tech in cooking into your kitchen without winning the lottery.
A sepia photo of a North Carolina family in front of their farmhouse reveals food heritage.
Goldenrod is starting to bloom in the beeyard now that the cooler weather is on its way.
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
What's going on with the hives, new developments in the Down-East Bee Lady's life, latest bee school news, etc.
The first of 12 posts, seed saving begins with an introduction to the stories behind seeds and why they are so important. From preserving our shared botanical heritage to protecting a diverse and decentralized food supply, the story of seed is as varied as the people who plant them.
Gather your extended family around the table to share home-cooked, healthy meals on a regular basis. Reap the rewards of laughter, pleasure, and deepening relationships for very little money. Get started with my recipe for Beans with Caramelized Onions and Carrots. Ten servings cost about ten dollars using organic, heirloom beans and about seven dollars using pinto beans.
A forty-something woman stumbles into a booth at a farmer's market, looks up, and sees a handsome farmer. You may know that the blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey also begins with a tumble and winds up with love. It's no coincidence: my book Fifty Weeks of Green is a comic response to Fifty Shades that celebrates sustainable living.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
A good vegetable garden doesn't have to be expensive. Here is a step-by-step description of how one family was able to build a paved, raised vegetable garden for under $200.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
Get more intense flavor and more nutrients by slicing olives into a simple spinach and chickpea salad. This thrifty recipe also shows a streamlined salad-making process.
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?
Take a seat on this comfy sofa you made yourself using recycled car seats.
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.
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.
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
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.
People are traveling fewer miles in vehicles, suggesting more compact communities whose residents choose walking over driving.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
MAX isn't just streamlined - MAX has its rolling resistance down to a minimum too, thanks to low-drag tires and lubricants. Here's a video to show how much it matters.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Store-bought deoderants contain aluminum and other harmful substances that find their way into your bloodstream. Try this recipe for natural homemade deodorant that uses baking soda with coconut oil and essential oil to create a effective and safe alternative.
Fleas and ticks can bring severe itching, allergic reactions, discomfort, and even serious diseases (such as lyme disease) to your pets, so it’s important to protect your pets from them. However, studies have found that many common flea and tick control/treatment products aren’t just toxic to those bugs; they can actually poison your pets, as well. Find out which ingredients and products to avoid, and some safer alternatives to use.
July is UV Safety Month. Don’t forget to protect your skin and eyes from the sun while enjoying long summer days.
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
How to use herbs on goats, blends, suggestions, and tips.
Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals, but figuring out which are the worst can be difficult. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence clues you in to the top five chemical ingredients to avoid when buying summer skin care products, and helps you learn about a few natural alternatives.
A little pampering can go a long way in making you feel rested, cared for and treated — and it doesn’t have to be expensive or involve complex chemistry. Check out this recipe for homemade bubble bath, and share your tips for creating a do-it-yourself home spa experience.
Wise sprinkler usage will conserve water while maintaining your attractive lawn.
Kick toxic chemicals to the curb and make your own natural lotion using just a few ingredients. Making homemade lotion is an easy, fun and creative process.
How to make your own homemade deodorant that really works!
Unlike most poultry and chicken electrolyte products on the market today that treat hundreds of birds, Sav-A-Chick™ is ideal for casual poultry raisers with 1 – 10 birds.
Making your own homemade toothpaste from coconut oil is easy, fun and can be healthier and less expensive than store-bought versions.
USDA-organic personal care line now styled after Dr. Bronner’s iconic castile soap label.
Earth Days, a poignant, 2009 Sundance Film Fesitval success, will premier on Facebook April 11, and on the PBS Network April 19.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
YIKES! What to do when you've planted too many veggies? Is your garden producing more than one family can eat? Sure, you can give it away. But wait! Try pickling those garden gems. This way, you'll be able to enjoy them through the winter and beyond!
Roasting is the best way to cook winter root vegetables, because dry heat coaxes out and concentrates flavors. Use this simple method and fool-proof tips to bring out the best in parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and other root vegetables.
The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.
New federal standards will dramatically increase fuel efficiency in cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.
Whether you’re looking for a sporty two-seater, a large family vehicle, or a heavy-duty farm or work truck, here's how to find the best options for vehicles that use less fuel and save you money.
What kind of car would you get with the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gives consumers up to $4,500 to trade in old, inefficient vehicles?
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.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
The New York Times reports our carbon emissions in 2011 were the highest on record. Reduce your family's carbon footprint by choosing vegetarian recipes such as Fennel and Leek Soup and Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs.
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
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.
Why the cost of utilities won’t be drastically affected by renewable energy sources.
Been on the hunt for an electric or hybrid minivan? The options are currently limited in the United States, but a wider selection of green minivan options should be on the market soon.
How I traveled 500 miles in 24 miles (twice) in an electric vehicle.
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
We use some old and tried techniques for how to process the meat, like curing and smoking the big cuts so they'll keep without being put in a freezer. We're constantly striving to learn new, mostly old ways of utilizing and preserving more of the pigs for our own consumption, by making headcheese, confit and lard.
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.
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.
Many aspects of my homesteading life lie close to what we as humans have evolved for: the outdoors, physical activity, whole food and days and years that follows the rhythm of the seasons and the sun. But there are other, less obvious biological aspects for why I believe homesteading can improve health and well being.
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
Robert Zwald grew up in the 1900s, farming in Minnesota. This is part two of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
We’d like to hear more about your experiences with green power. Is it available where you live? How does the price compare to what you would otherwise pay for electricity? Why have you — or haven’t you — chosen this option?
Should we be building more garbage incinerators in the United States? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
Find out what different states are doing to promote power from renewable sources, including solar and wind energy.
There are a growing number of small, solar-powered gadgets for sale including solar flashlights, radios, cell phone chargers, outdoor motion lights and more. Are you using any of these small solar products? Do you find them useful? Tell us what you think!
Human-powered generators cleverly derive electricity from something we already use in abundance — human movement — offering an easy way to tap renewable energy for anyone interested in a low-impact lifestyle. Two creative generators caught our attention: a merry-go-round that supplies light for poor Ghanaian schools and a revolving door that lights up a train station.
Henry Red Cloud has a lot to do with the wind energy education happening in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. Along with these tribes, the interest in wind energy is spreading across the nation, especially to Arizona, and outside organizations are lending a hand.
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
In this blog series, we look at how a small wind turbine works, while exploring the concept of the smart home microgrid.
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
Learn about riding the rails with Amtrak on National Train Day this May.
Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben clarifies the equations behind global warming, and points to the movement that could be spurred by the math.
Using climate history we discuss how tipping points are triggered and the consequences to the planet after a tipping point has occurred. We also look at evidence to determine whether the current global warming trend will lead to a tipping point
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
This posting will discuss the relationship of weather and climate and how global warming affects this relationship to trigger climate change
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
A shocking first hand experience with the noisy demise of an ancient carbon monoxide detector.
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.
K.C. Compton takes a glance at more than two dozen trends that are shaping our future, which are documented in the Worldwatch Institute’s latest publication, "Vital Signs, Volume 21."
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
Emmy-award winner, Dayton Duncan, likened trail advocates to John Muir at the American Trails National Symposium
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
Ian Klepetar has been living out of a tent — and building a business empire that benefits bicyclists.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
So, what makes a flock of poultry sustainable? What is standard-bred poultry? If you purchase chicks from a hatchery, are they true to the breed? Why does every hatchery sell Rhode Island Reds and they all look different? Why do the Cornish Cross meat chickens have so many problems? Raising standard poultry is the only true way to improve the sustainability of quality local food while preserving the strength of Heritage poultry.
The little used herb lovage makes an attractive addition to the edible landscape and provides a smoky flavor to soups and stews.
Beehive happenings since my last blog post.
Discover how to grow various members of the onion family: bulb onions and scallions, leeks, garlic, ramps, shallots, and chives. Each one has different requirements and habits, yet all are rewarding for organic gardeners.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
The only recipe you’ll ever need for wonderful homemade broths plus deliciously versatile chicken and veggie soup.
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.
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
In the hollows of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this true Christmas celebration was simple, inexpensive and rich with tradition.
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.
Steve offers a few thoughts on line trimmers and brush cutters.
According to the Natural Products Association, the NPA Natural Standard is based on natural ingredients, safety, responsibility and sustainability.
A new federal tax on soda and other sugary beverages has been suggested as a way to pay for part of the major overhaul of the U.S. health-care system proposed by the Obama administration. What do you think of the proposed soda tax?
It's not always easy to use natural remedies on your chickens. Here's a trick to keep up your sleeve that will have them begging for their medicine.
Timidity nearly doomed Johnny to a life sentence in the rescue kennel until one determined family saw through his issues to the dog he was meant to be.
Adult dogs need a little help to compete with pups in the adoption game. A spa date with a groomer or in your own back yard can give that older shelter dog more than a shiny coat. It can open the door to a new life.
Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!
Clearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs. I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Conversion kit install to convert a hybrid vehicle into a plug-in electric and improve your gas mileage by 25%.
Personal users can now buy welding and cutting products and accessories online from the comfort of their home.
American carmaker Fisker Automotive has received a coveted Stevie Award for business innovation from The 2010 American Business Awards program.
A mapping and assessment by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources could provide 3 percent of the nation’s annual electricity use.
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
Michael Paul Holmes of Paul and Sabrina's EV Stuff will present a workshop on electric vehicles at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Share your opinion: Are you contemplating installing a solar-electric panel for your home?
You don't have to pay $50 a pound for fresh morel mushrooms. Watch this video and find out how to forage for morels yourself.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
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.
Detroit automakers ask Congress for $25 billion, but that money could come with some energy efficiency strings.
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.
As the world's demand for electricity continues to climb so will the need for new power plants. We need to decide what will be the fuel of the future for these plants. The choice boils down to conventional versus renewable sources.
SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO) announces the availability of its most advanced HIT Power® solar module, the HIT Power 220A, offering improved efficiency and energy output -- and designed to energize integrators and installers with more power per square foot than ever before.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.
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.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!
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?
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
Homes in the United States a responsible for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Simply taking steps to reduce these on a domestic level will help positively impact carbon outputs, decreasing environmental damage.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
This posting will discuss how the buring of fossil fuels is putting strain on the ecosystem of the ocean.
This posting discusses the role of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuel in ocean acidification. We also discuss the potential effect ocean acidification will have on marine inhabitants.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
American Airlines is the greenest U.S. airline for the third consecutive year in Newsweek's Green Rankings List, an annual environmental ranking of the country's 500 largest publicly traded companies.
In this posting we discuss how rock weathering controls the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We also discuss why rock weathering can't remove the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was generated by our use of fossil fuels.
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
Fostering can help overcome an unexpected side effect of life in a rescue kennel---obesity.
Many readers can't say no to spouses, children, bosses, and so on. To please and care for others, we often sacrifice ourselves, working long hours, exhausting our energy. There is a cure. It's a two-letter word that starts with n. Try it.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
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.
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.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100 percent of the electric generating capacity added in January was renewable.
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
We will discuss how the Earth overcomes the increasing solar radiation from the Sun to maintain a stable temperature for life (Gaia Hypothesis). The role anthropogenic forces will also be discussed.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
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.
A year-long study in Oklahoma found that consumers who used energy-tracking technology and pricing plans that let them analyze their usage can cut their consumption in half.
Setting weld parameters is now easier than ever with the Miller Auto-Set elite feature.
Chicago has decided to convert its entire garbage truck fleet to electric trucks from Motiv Power Systems, making it the first city in the U.S. to have a zero-emission fleet.
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?
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
If you've been considering an electric pressure cooker, consider the Instant Pot. It’s well-made, durable and has many functions.
Alisa Shorey will present a workshop on beekeeping and Jack McCornack will present a workshop on 100-mpg cars at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Can party technology teach you about energy savings and even the theory behind electric cars? It sure can if you follow this simple video tutorial on pulse width modulation.
A beginning farmer makes the most practical fencing choice available to her: electric nets. And gets tangled up, occasionally.
Are EV's actually being marketed, or a ruse by traditional manufacturers?
Leaves are a valuable source of mulch and fertility within the permaculture garden.
Simran Sethi explains how the green faith movement can provide common ground among different groups.
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.
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home & Garden, is beginning research on electric in-floor radiant floor heating products as an efficient method of heating the new nursery.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Eggs aren't the only things that come from the business end of a chicken. But with a little time and materials, and even less ingenuity, the rest can set you up with a free and steady supply of valuable organic fertilizer.