green living tips
Net zero high rise is a self-contained sustainable community.
I first ran into the Green Building Initiative last March at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference in Boston.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
Green America offers savvy shoppers daily discounts--and reassurance that they're buying green--through GreenDeals.
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer--here's how.
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
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.
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.
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.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
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.
"Green" cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
TerraChoice’s annual Sins of Greenwashing study finds that 95 percent of the products claiming to be green have used vague language, unproven claims and false certification labels.
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.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
See green building in action! The third and final season of the Greensburg TV series is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2010.
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.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
Learn three simple tips for making the most of small gardening spaces, including hanging plants and advice for selecting seed varieties.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
It is not difficult to set up a backyard hoop house to extend your growing season. The result is abundant, delicious greens and extra months with your hands in the soil. Share information here on backyard hoop house gardening and cuisine.
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.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
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.
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.
In the Spring of 2010, I quit my job as a high school theology teacher, because I wanted to be a farmer. I am now entering my fourth year of full-time farming, even though I had almost no experience farming. Here’s how I did it, and some tips to help you on your way.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
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.
Recently, I had an epiphany in a building supply center. Even though I’ve been in the building trades for over 35 years and made countless trips to purchase building supplies, this trip was different.
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.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
Find out what’s in your paper products with Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
More tips, ideas, and considerations for choosing green gifts. A sequel/supplement to last year's article!
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
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.
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.
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.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
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.
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.
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.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
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.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
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?
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
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
Our power system begins to take shape.
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
Why and how to grow a variety of cold weather greens in most climates.
This spring, try more interesting salads with spicy, crunchy, and colorful greens.
Readers share information and recipes about their favorite eating and cooking greens.
Try to grow some sorrel in your garden this season. It has a unique, zesty flavor that adds a zip to many dishes — and it has a long growing season.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
An abundance of greens but a shortage of inspiration? Here are some ideas beyond just adding them to salads.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Baby greenhouse plants are spring babies too, just like the birth of baby animals. Here’s a way to keep them warm in the hoophouse.
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.
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.
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence offers up some home decluttering tips.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s “Best Green Homes of 2010” list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
The right recipe can convert people who think they don't like cooked greens, or energize cooks in need of fresh ideas. Here we offer a roundup of recipe ideas for garden-fresh greens from arugula to turnips.
I am especially concerned with the electricity hogs that keep us burning coal.
NXP's wifi light bulb would allow homeowners to turn LED and compact fluorescent lights on and off from anywhere, using any Internet-enabled device. Some say it's the first step toward building "smart" computer-controlled homes. Do we need this?
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel shares how she built a cheap greenhouse out of mostly scavenged materials - and how you can, too.
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.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
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.
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
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.
5W-30? 10W-30? Be sure you get the right motor oil grade.
You can boost your mpg by losing the cargo in your trunk. Then help reduce global warming emissions by sweating off a few pounds.
Make new friends, save big bucks on gas, reduce pollution!
Slow down and enjoy the scenery — you'll also enjoy a significant boost in your mpg.
Here's how to change your car's air filter — do it yourself to save big bucks and boost your gas mileage by 10 percent.
15 tips to help you get rid of clutter once and for all and create a clean, serene home.
Give thanks and give back to the earth this Thanksgiving by greening your celebration. Here are eight tips to get you started.
How long has it been since you checked your tire pressure?
Green means go, but don't go too quickly.
Here's another gas mileage myth busted: it's better to turn off your engine than to leave it idling.
Sometimes the most direct route to your destination may not be the most fuel-efficient.
Forget what your grandpa told you — there's no need to warm up your car every cold winter morning.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Discovering an outsized pickling tub in our shed inspired me to try this tasty local recipe for greens preserved in soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
The Ogden Community Garden winds down, and one gardener marvels at the late October harvest, and on how much the garden has meant to everyone who has helped tend it.
Get an early spinach crop with this easy gardening tip.
If you love salads, lettuce and greens are a great vegetable to grow. They do great in pots or in garden beds. With a few pointers, you can grow salad ingredients for the entire season.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
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?
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.
Is it too hot to grow spinach where you live? Try these fabulous alternatives.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
We’ve been growing in unheated hoophouses for a decade now, and we can’t recommend them highly enough for commercial growers. If you have any dreams of market farming, the first thing you should buy is a hoophouse.
Give your pots the protection they need when freezing temperatures arrive with a portable greenhouse. You can also bring in pepper plants for the winter and have fresh peppers indoors.
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
From switching out light bulbs to bundling up your water heater, environmental journalist, Simran Sethi, shares some simple and stress-free tips on how to save energy in your home.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
On the brink of settling into her new home, environmental journalist Simran Sethi shares some tidbits of eco-information, such as how to box and save for the move, and how a few simple changes can make your home cozier and more energy-efficient.
Don’t let this tricky pipe slow down your projects — these CPVC basics will help you ease into those plumbing repairs.
Readers share their best tips for keeping food fresh longer. Learn how to extend the life of all kinds of food, and prevent spoilage.
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.
Wood stove considerations that should be considered before you purchase a stove.
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
Considerations of sustainability factor into countless supplies, tools and methods present in your garden. What do you do in your own garden to be a sustainable gardener?
Clearing out life's detritus is an important first step when spring cleaning. Follow these tips to make clutter-free, organized living possible.
Many gardeners take lettuce off of their summer planting lists, but shade covers can put garden-grown lettuce on your table more than a month sooner this fall.
Before space beneath your grow light is needed for onions and other early seedlings, fill it with baby lettuce grown in translucent clamshell salad containers.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Sow leafy greens in late summer to reap abundant crops in the fall.
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.
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.
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.
Want more gas for your money?
Don't rip yourself off at the gas pump — stop topping off!
Sue Parker shares her grandmother's secrets to a strong tomato crop.
A contribution for wildfire mitigation.
Car tips for prepping and survival for driving in extreme winter weather.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence suggests some tasty, eco-conscious recipes and tips for your Earth Day celebration.
Feeling blue? Try these simple happiness exercises including bouncing on an exercise ball and smiling while holding a pen or pencil in your mouth.
Readers share tips and ideas for saving time in the kitchen.
Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.
Catch the gardening bug, and start to grow your own food! Once you start, you’ll love it. Here are some basic pieces of advice for the budding gardener.
Keep your garden safe by testing your organic materials for herbicide residue. A few simple tests can help you avoid harming your plants.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
A new study finds that warming temperatures will cause up to two-thirds of the earth's permafrost to disappear by 2200, unleashing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
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.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
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.
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean--without chemicals.
Katie and Martin Clemons share how they make super-efficient use of every inch in their 36-square-foot kitchen. How much appliance do you really need?
Gathering weeds from your garden or yard can make a quick, healthy spring meal.
Using cold frames for fall salad greens can extend your season of fresh eating.
Far from being weeds, spring's earliest greens are packed with nutrition and help detox the body.
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
The mild winter has led to an earlier than usual spring growing season and plenty of surprises in the way of plants making it through the winter that normally would never survive the cold season. Here's a peek at what's growing in my spring garden.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
Host a community seed swap in honor of "National Seed Swap Day," plan to save your own seeds from the garden this year, and get inspired to cook creatively with winter vegetables.
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
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.
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.
How a single purchase of a magazine in newsprint in 1970 changed my life.
If you still want to do everything you can to make your home healthy—for your family and the planet—take a look at how you clean. Like it or not, we have to clean our homes on a regular basis. Natural Home offers lots of great ideas for making your own healthy, natural cleaning solutions—or look to some of the great green solutions now available at your grocery store.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
When you get home today, do this simple test: Close your fridge door on a dollar bill or piece of paper; if you can pull the bill out easily or worse, if it falls, then it is time to replace the seal.
Did you know that heat transfer through windows can account for up to 25 percent of your energy bill by allowing heat out during the winter, and makes your air conditioner work overtime to combat the sun’s warming? Drafts and leaks can be the biggest culprit of energy waste but can also be fixed with relatively little effort.
Attics can be a huge energy drain if they are not insulated sufficiently. We’ll leave the
heavy lifting for next weekend, but for now look for uneven insulation, base sports, water damage, and anything else that looks out of place.
It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your fridge in top working order.
Calculating your fuel economy is easy and can help you save big bucks at the pump.
Here are two helpful tips that will help you have a successful tomato plant.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Use our popular When to Plant app to know when to plant each crop in your area.
The vegetables and herbs that are still available in our Southeast garden make for delicious, festive and surprisingly varied holiday fare.
Learn how to rotate crops with this helpful crop rotation video.
Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS contributing editor and compost expert Barbara Pleasant provides some great homestead compost tips in celebration of Compost Awareness Week.
Send us your garden tips and you could win a free deluxe, ergonomic garden trowel.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
Living luxuriously doesn’t necessarily mean living large — at least not in these homes — and reducing a little waste doesn’t hurt, either.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
Noting the “firsts” and “lasts” occurring on the homestead at early summer.
Choosing homesteading as a way of life and what it takes.
Wherever you live, you can practice sustainability and share your successes with your neighbors.
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.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
When the dining table is laden down with mail, laptops and other clutter, the entire house feels messy. Follow these seven steps to keep your dining table free of detritus. (Set it for dinner right after breakfast, if you have to.)
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS' green homes editor offers remodeling advice for home owners interested in reducing their environmental footprint.
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
Do you support or work for a nonprofit that helps protect the environment or promotes sustainability? Whether it’s a small local group or a national one, this month you have the opportunity to help it get recognized in GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Green Awards. Here’s how.
In 45 years, Deltec Homes have never lost a house to high winds.
Vespa USA highlights five decades of smart metro mobility, freedom and fun.
The green movement is showing up in some unexpected places.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
A new study shows that people who buy green products are more likely to cheat and steal than people who buy conventional products.
Conventional household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. Learn how to mix up your own homemade cleaners with these suggestions from Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence.
Robyn finds enthusiasm for and interest in green building during a recent trip to the Carolinas.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
The Giving Tree Band has done it again with their latest folk album, "Great Possessions." Read how they created what has been dubbed "the greenest of albums."
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares what she's learned about the challenges of mass producing eco-friendly products that meet our own tough criteria.
A Christmas present leads editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence to ponder the benefits of green-building initiatives in Arizona.
Editor-in-Chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence gets a great dose of green--and cheeseburgers--in Austin, Texas.
The economic stimulus package that President Obama signed last month provides $20 billion for investment in a greener economy.
Global Greens Farm in West Des Moines, Iowa, helps refugees transition from growing food for their families to operating small businesses that sell produce at farmers markets, local grocery stores and to area restaurants.
Come rejoice in the bounty of heirloom tomatoes - experience the flavors and choose your favorites at tomato tastings throughout the Southeast. Plus, it's time to plant fall alliums - garlic and perennial onions - and fall crops for winter storage!
It may be sweltering hot outside, but we're still busily sowing seeds at the Southern Exposure farms! Learn how to plant your bountiful fall and winter garden, with abundant harvests through Thanksgiving and beyond.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
Our typical day living in the mountains in the winter.
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.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
Be aware: Living sustainably can be hindered by homeowner association rules.
The daily realities of living in the mountains.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
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.
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.
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.
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?
A rural home in La Porte, Iowa thrives on all the elements of nature including bird feeders, a veggie garden and table scraps.
Calculating the amount of mountain snow to actual moisture.
Barebones strives to make the experience of outdoor recreation and hobbies a priority.
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.
Food preservation expert Sherri Brooks Vinton makes food preservation look easy and shares helpful hints about equipment and technique during a standing-room-only workshop at the Fair.
Air conditioning accounts for as much as 20 percent of the average homeowner's utility bill. These simple tips can help you reduce your mechanical cooling needs, meaning more money for you and better-quality air for the world.
The Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce is the only statewide green chamber of commerce in the country, and they're opening their first local chapter in Phoenix next week.
Things to consider when purchasing a new or used tractor.
Creating your own start-up is full of obstacles, but rewarding. MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Jessica Vaughan shares advice from her experience as a first-time small business owner who teaches clients how to grow organic produce.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Researchers have found that inhaling a bitter substance calms and dilates the airways. Can sniffing horseradish also calm and soothe the mind? Sniffing horseradish works for Ellen Sandbeck; can it work for you?
A chainmail fillet glove revolutionizes a cook's potato-peeling technique. Plus, get recipes for potato and pumpkin curry soup and toasted pumpkin seeds.
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
In my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, kids are leaving town and dumping a lot of really good, useable stuff. If you have a college in your town, it's a great weekend to go Dumpster diving near campus.
Flea market shopping takes dedication and agility--and it's a ton of fun if you're well prepared.
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.
An experiment in urban gardening produces a melon miracle.
Tips for starting seeds indoors and a calendar for when to start your seeds indoors for a Zone 6 garden.
Discover Green Jobs Now: National Day of Action to Build the New Economy and learn how you can get in on the action by finding or even organizing events in your area.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
Join the green collar economy by going through a green job training program. Learn the ins and outs of solar photovoltaics, wind power or biomass and save the planet while furthering your career.
Fall may be turning to winter, but there’s still time to enjoy those last sunny days before the harsh chill settles in.
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.
What skills are you learning in hopes of saving money?
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
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.
New wood stove, another unexpected advantage of downsizing, and Murphy's Law.
Finding friends out in the country can be challenging.
We look for materials bargains while devising a way to pay for it all.
We finally build somthing!
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.
A typical day of activity on a modern homestead and off grid.
Things that occur when switching from summer to winter mode. Fall is almost non existent.
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?
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.
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.
Sharing our first experience with an indoor/outdoor vertical hydroponic garden.
Now is a great time to sow a cover crop or two that will enrich your garden soil over the winter.
Save time and avoid blisters and burnout by following these common-sense guidelines this leaf season.
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.
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.
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.
Celebrate meals with homegrown or local food. Tips for making your celebration gatherings zero-waste events.
The cost to install and operate our solar electrical system.
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.
Taking time to reflect on the past brings renewed appreciation to the present.
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
Other than the four regular seasons there is a fifth season in the mountains called mud season.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
How to cope mentally with living in a remote location.
Immigrating to Canada can be a daunting process, but the Canadian government provides resources to help.
Here are some tips for making a new garage more environmentally friendly.
Don't choose vinyl: There is a greener option.
Learn what it means to have LEED-certified home and about the LEED for Homes program that started in 2008.
The reasons for the inequitable distribution of human nourishment, worldwide, are complex and hotly debated.
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.
Mayors from across the country have created an alliance to facilitate green buildings for K-12 schools.
Using low-cost — but durable — earthbag construction, you can create a beautiful green roof.
Share your thoughts. What homemade and natural cleaning products do you find work best in your home?
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.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
Midwest Living designers give the Smart Home at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry a green makeover that features zero-VOC paint, furniture made from recycled steel and reclaimed wood, and other planet-friendly home decor.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
As economic turmoil peaks and a staggering number of Americans file for unemployment, Ogden Publications, publisher of Natural Home magazine, is connecting job seekers and green employers through its website Great Green Careers.
Homeowners beware. Your drywall could be poisoning your home. Officials believe that since 2001, drywall imported from China has contained high levels of sulfur that could be leaking into homes and other buildings.
Energy-monitoring devices won big at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City.
Remember to look for these key words when buying good, green gifts.
Natural Home editor in chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence discusses the pros and cons of green consumerism.
The past couple of weeks have been heartening for me. First of all, I’m always ridiculously happy to see the month of March end. No matter what’s going on in my life, the onset of April’s longer days and the sudden burst of plum blossoms in my back yard causes a tectonic shift in my mood. I can’t help it. I’m just completely in love with spring.
In response to last week’s post, we received a letter asking why the forest products industry would be considered a “foe” to green buildings. “I can understand why plastics and vinyl doesn’t make sense, but aren’t wood products exactly the kind of material that qualifies as green?” this reader asked.
President Barack Obama's second wave of stimulus money creates new green jobs.
Don't miss Blue August, a month-long event with special programming from Planet Green that will motivate you to become more aware of the world's oceans.
The Seed Savers Exchange is looking for a new executive director. Just six months after he succeeded George DeVault, Aaron Whaley has resigned.
Readers share resources and information about their food-related jobs.
A new job-finding website, Good Food Jobs, can help you find meaningful work in the food industry.
Natural Home is ahead of the most recent trends, highlighted in the National Association of Remodeling Industry’s builder poll.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence introduces her new blog, Natural Home Living, and shares everything you need to know about going green. Natural Home Living focuses on answering your green home questions, following green building news and showing you how to save money by going green.
A recent American Institute of Architects (AIA) Home Design Trends Survey found that demand for luxury products is waning. In contrast, manufacturers are seeing an increased emphasis on both accessibility/universal design and renewable materials. Essentially, homeowners are shying away from expensive (and usually unnecessary) products that add little actual value to their home, concentrating instead on features that promote energy efficiency and sustainability.
Enjoy this alternative "green" building strawbale gingerbread-style house made with graham crackers, mini-wheats and pretzels.
Come one, come all to The National Heirloom Exposition, the gardening event people are hailing as “The World’s Pure Food Fair!” This exhibition will be held in Santa Rosa, California and will host a variety of natural food events, including the largest showcase of heirloom fruits and heirloom vegetables in history.
Find out more about your best options for a greener roof.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
Use these green tomato recipes when garden season leaves you with an abundance of green tomatoes on your vines.
Let's stop for a minute and think about what we are doing!
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.
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.
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.
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
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.
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
Heritage breed chickens are more nutritious and flavorful than store-bought chicken, but require different cooking techniques. Learn different methods of cooking different age and different breeds of chickens.
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
In a wabi-sabi house, space and light are the most desirable ornaments. Follow these steps to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
Wireless temperature control mattresses and pads offer a dream come true for
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
Using an MPG app may help reduce your consumption of gas, and make your commute and road trips more economical and green.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
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.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
Believe it: With patience and pecking around, you can find low-voc paint for little more (maybe even less!) than you'd pay for conventional paint. What's your experience?
Dan Chiras discusses the long-term benefits of building a green home.
Mother Earth News' green homes editor discusses eco-friendly insulation options, and explains why some are greener than others.
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
Learn more about this building project, which utilizes SIP technology combined with an unusual geometry.
Information about energy-efficient washing machines and cellular window shades. These energy-efficient appliances and window shades will please environmentally conscious consumers.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
‘Tis the season to shop for green gifts—here’s how.
Target Red Shop offers Lulan Artisans’ fair trade clutch bags to help build better lives for weavers in southeast Asia and end human trafficking.
A company called From War to Peace makes “peace bronze” out of disarmed nuclear missile systems. The bronze is then transformed into cool items such as jewelry and bottle openers.
If you crave great music with an eco-conscious cause, attend Rock the Green, Milwaukee’s first green music festival.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
More than 30 years ago, Michael Reynolds followed his vision of sustainable, energy-efficient homes that would work with nature. Today, his Earthships inspire green designers and architects.
A cordwood building consists of short, round pieces of wood (think firewood) held together with mortar, and there are many advantages to choosing this type of construction.
Even progressive cities have work to do, and sometimes the biggest changes come from good people asking the right questions.
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
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.
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.
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
This index links to some recent and popular posts related to green building, design, remodeling, and home improvement. The posts cover a broad range of topics, from green products to projects to practices, as well as sustainable communities.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
The Living Seed Company is creating a platform to inspire gardeners and gardeners to be.
Energy goals for America
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.
Gardening challenges at high elevation.
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
The political system is not broken.
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.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
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".
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
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.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Things you can do to prevent fire damage to your home from an external source.
How we had to adjust to a smaller home, the isolation and quiet.
How we avoid cabin fever by doing volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
A quick look at different ways to be sustainable whether you are off grid or not.
Two easy steps to reduce your electrical use whether you live off grid or not.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.