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7/2/2015
Hydropower is the world’s leading form of renewable energy, accounting for more than 16 percent of global electricity generation. But dam enthusiasts who tout hydro’s climate credentials may not like the news about its emissions numbers.
6/19/2015
Planning a custom kitchen design that incorporates sustainable materials and supports a self-reliant lifestyle can be done. Read one couple’s experience and thought process as they do just that. The graphic shown here is a computer-generated draft modeling of the cabinet design for their future kitchen, but note that the colors and materials do not reflect what will be the final look.
6/12/2015
A home-construction timeline is often a moving target: Rain, subcontractor schedules and various other conflicts can cause frustrating delays. One couple finds ways to cope with record rainfall that halted progress on their home-building process by working ahead on other decisions they’ll eventually need to make.
5/29/2015
My love for birds and the gift of time inspired my birdhouse project.
5/20/2015
While building their own home and farm, one couple decides to learn from other talented and experienced market farmers about how to set up year-round gardening production. Here are some tips and photos from a trip to Four Season Farm, home of Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch, in Maine.
5/5/2015
Too many boards are thrown away on remodeling projects. Find out what it took to build a stairway railing system using 100-plus-year-old oak boards that were saved from the very house that the railing was to be built in!
3/25/2015
Using garden space to the maximum.
3/23/2015
These two structures for creating a sustainable homestead are not often associated, but with the right planning they can be integrated into a single multi-use structure that enhances both environments. A greenhouse/chicken coop becomes a year-round food-producing machine, giving you a bounty of fruits, vegetables and protein all in one.
3/18/2015
If you want to build a passive solar house, you’ll need to spend time upfront carefully considering your house plans. Here’s how one couple worked with a contractor and a designer to draw up and then finalize their small home plans with energy efficiency and lifestyle in mind.
3/6/2015
Before beginning construction on their new home, this couple is taking steps to prepare their land for their impending move-in by planting perennial natives, building some walking trails, cutting firewood to dry, and more. They’re having a blast!
3/5/2015
You can digest food waste to produce a burnable gas (biogas), to produce high quality fertilizer, and to fight climate change. Learn how.
3/2/2015
Bank loans, especially new home construction loans, require some legwork on the part of the future homeowner. One couple explains how they got a loan to build their new house.
2/11/2015
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
2/11/2015
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
2/6/2015
After finding some basic online building plans, the next step to getting a future home built is to find a designer to draw the house plans.
1/30/2015
When it comes to building their home, one couple decides to hire a contractor to handle the process, but still plans to design their own home and provide labor and materials as much as possible.
1/16/2015
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
1/14/2015
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
12/28/2014
Whether you are buying a house, purchasing land, or getting ready to build your own home, we recommend starting by setting your priorities and then matching a house design to your needs.
12/1/2014
The methods of landrace gardening can provide food, even when social or family troubles take us away from the garden.
11/29/2014
In order to access our land and put in a driveway, we need to secure an entrance permit. If you're planning to buy land and build a home, check what your entrance permit requirements are before you purchase the property.
11/21/2014
Grow food year round with no operating costs and no waste by using integrated closed loop production in a heat retaining enclosure.
11/14/2014
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
11/13/2014
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
10/30/2014
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
10/22/2014
A homemade smokehouse can be built to give you a new way to preserve and flavor your meat and cheese. By building the firebox at a distance from the smokehouse, you will have a cold smoker that can preserve meat and flavor cheese.
10/6/2014
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
9/19/2014
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
9/5/2014
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
9/4/2014
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
7/8/2014
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
6/26/2014
The greenhouse takes shape with the help of family.
6/12/2014
Building a greenhouse out of an old carport destined for the dump.
5/13/2014
The hoophouse on our farm is filled with greens all winter long. It’s almost hard to switch gears for summer tomatoes.
5/12/2014
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.
5/1/2014
"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.
4/15/2014
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
4/3/2014
Egyptian walking onions are one of my favorite crops because they produce food for my family from early spring until late fall.
4/2/2014
Learn about Bisphenol A (BPA) and its prevalence in plastic manufacturing, and get tips on how to limit your exposure to BPA, phthalates, and other unsafe chemicals in plastic.
3/19/2014
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
3/11/2014
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.
3/11/2014
Suggestions for what to have on hand - and handy - when you hear a storm is heading your way.
2/24/2014
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.
2/12/2014
A pragmatic approach to eliminating male sterility from a home garden. Includes a diagram and photos about what to look for.
2/5/2014
Cell Fusion genetic engineering is emerging as a hot topic in the Certified Organic seed and food industry. We can expect the resolution of this issue to impact both small-scale and large-scale growers.
1/22/2014
Creating a landrace of promiscuously pollinated tomatoes. Details about my major plant breeding project for the next few seasons and a plea for help.
1/15/2014
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
1/3/2014
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part 3: Storing the seeds. With careful forethought, it is possible to store seeds in a manner that will allow them to avoid or survive common seed destroying events.
12/19/2013
A landrace market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks. Part Two – Suggestions about the types and quantities of seeds to include in an emergency seed bank.
12/18/2013
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
12/16/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
12/10/2013
A market farmer’s perspective on survival seed banks, evaluating current offerings.
12/6/2013
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
11/26/2013
Ilene Freedman and her family reshaped their Chanukah tradition to feature family activities instead of presents.
11/26/2013
Grow enough seed for yourself and a little extra for seed swaps and you may never have to pay for seeds again.
11/19/2013
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.
11/14/2013
The principles of landrace gardening can be applied at any scale from small annual gardens to multi-generational community wide tree farms.
11/6/2013
Sunroots are a typically-cloned crop with great potential as a locally-adapted survival-of-the-fittest landrace
11/4/2013
Exploring my hopes and dreams for the landrace seed movement with suggestions about how farmers, merchants, and gardeners could cooperate to create a more robust, secure, and locally adapted food system.
10/23/2013
A photo essay documenting imported landraces that I started incorporating into my existing landraces during the current growing season.
10/11/2013
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace squash.
9/19/2013
A photo essay showing off the beauty of landrace crops.
9/13/2013
How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.
8/30/2013
How to adjust the moisture of homegrown popcorn so that it pops well.
8/23/2013
Joseph Lofthouse shares tips for growing landrace popcorn.
8/14/2013
Landrace gardening allows us to minimize fertilization by selecting for plants that thrive in the pre-existing soil.
8/7/2013
Joseph Lofthouse shares how to maintain thriving populations of landrace vegetables in the garden.
7/31/2013
Seed saving is an integral part of landrace gardening.
7/24/2013
By growing potatoes from pollinated seeds we can develop locally adapted plants that thrive in our gardens.
7/23/2013
The "Household Discoveries" book from 1909 instructs how to build an outhouse, with plans simple enough for any average 14-year-old schoolboy to follow.
7/17/2013
Landrace gardening enhances food security by growing genetically diverse crops that are not as prone to crop failure as monoculture fields of near clones.
7/15/2013
Learn how to pinch back basil tops for a particularly bushy plant, then make delicious pesto with your harvest.
7/10/2013
By applying the principles of landrace gardening, you can help your plants win the race against weeds.
7/5/2013
Using landrace gardening and promiscuous pollination to get what you want from your garden.
7/1/2013
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
6/25/2013
Landrace gardening promotes hybrid vigor and avoids inbreeding depression by encouraging promiscuous pollination.
6/18/2013
Landrace gardening requires different plant naming conventions than those followed by industrialized agriculture.
6/12/2013
A photo essay showing off the stunning success of landrace gardening on my farm. This success was achieved because I changed my growing methods to embrace one of the key elements of landrace growing; “survival of the fittest."
6/10/2013
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
6/7/2013
If you're searching for kids' playhouse plans, look no further — this whimsical cob building provides an inexpensive child's oasis with a natural cooling system.
6/4/2013
Joseph Lofthouse, seedsman from Paradise Utah, is now blogging about “Landrace Gardening” on Mother Earth News. The blog is a practical hands-on manual about how to improve crop production by localizing your plants to your unique garden.
5/29/2013
The joy and sustainability of a greenhouse made of salvaged everything (well, almost).
5/16/2013
A first look at the newest vegetable crops in the garden before the CSA harvests begin.
4/25/2013
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
4/24/2013
How to build a greenhouse of used sliding-glass patio doors that is warmer and less expensive than plastic, and keeps out burrowing animals.
4/2/2013
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.
3/12/2013
I cure my spring fever by planting in a hoop house.
3/1/2013
Get a materials list and step-by-step insructions for low tunnel construction for your backyard garden.
2/28/2013
Hand-E-Glove, the amazing protective barrier hand lotion, is now the auto mechanic’s best tool. It is applied like ordinary hand lotion but does so much more.
2/17/2013
Cooking meals on a vacation can be easy. Bring some essential items with you and enjoy homecooking, on vacation.
1/29/2013
A travel log of our family's mission to find local food sources on our trip to Puerto Rico.
1/11/2013
How to make candles you can really light from the peel of Clementine oranges. A wintertime craft...just oil and an orange peel!
1/7/2013
We dipped candles from our hive's beeswax to celebrate winter. Candlemaking is a nice seasonal craft. Here’s how we did it, plus some tips to get you started.
12/28/2012
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
12/28/2012
This story recounts one father's hard work to help his family survive by raising chickens and farming during the Great Depression. The author also describes his family-owned homemade brooder house, which helped shelter the chickens that provided meat and eggs during hard times.
12/20/2012
Learn details regarding winter chicken care including ventilation for a cozy chicken house, heat for baby and grown chicks, and recommended poultry books.
11/20/2012
If you just happen to need white dinner rolls for a crowd at Thanksgiving, here's the recipe. Also, check out some really cool contests and special offers from King Arthur Flour.
11/14/2012
A story of life, death and rebirth of a hoop house.
11/13/2012
A Nov. 5, 2012, press release from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP warns current CO2 reductions put us on target for 6 degree average global temperature increase.
10/11/2012
Andre Armantrout sent us this wonderful update from a Homesteading Education Month event featuring aquaculture at Snowy Pine Ridge, outside Spokane, Wash.
9/26/2012
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
8/15/2012
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.
7/31/2012
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
7/26/2012
We’ve been living in the little house for nine months and one of the things I’ve noticed is this: If I don’t pick up my stuff the house looks like a bomb went off. I don’t have a lot of stuff, but it’s still easy to create clutter piles with my limit
7/10/2012
A key choice was what type of house to build. We aren't in Texas more than a few weeks a year until we make our final move back. We wanted a structure we could enclose to protect the interior from the elements and yet build in stages as time and money allow.
6/22/2012
How do you find the best chicken coop design for your new flock? We'll help you walk through the evaluation process AND get a free analysis spreadsheet to help you decide.
6/18/2012
This blog post tells about Barbara Lee's memories of her grandpa who built a two-holer outhouse for his family and surrounded it with peonies so that there would not be an unpleasant odor.
6/12/2012
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
6/6/2012
It was a cold, windy New Years evening. Logan and I were wrapped up in the covers; he was surfing the internet and I was reading a book. It was a perfect and cozy night to be at home.
5/17/2012
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
5/17/2012
A beautiful old, old, rambling rose bush that grows on my moms corner fence post greets us with pink blooms each spring.
5/16/2012
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
3/19/2012
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.
3/17/2012
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
3/8/2012
Spring is here and those tomato plants that were started in January are settled into their new hoophouse home. I have hopes for early tomatoes; will a late freeze stifle this goal?
3/5/2012
The unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
2/20/2012
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
2/16/2012
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
2/14/2012
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
2/3/2012
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
1/21/2012
Our selection of a house, downsizing and getting the home built.
1/20/2012
Rainwater Warehouse introduces a complete line of rainwater harvesting systems and products available for purchase on their new website.
1/19/2012
This part of the series deals with window size and location, ceiling heights, eave length, and other design and passive design choices you can make for your new home. These choices apply whether you are on or off the grid.
1/16/2012
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
1/10/2012
Sharing can become a network of trading and bartering within your community.
1/7/2012
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.
1/2/2012
Having early tomatoes is a new goal of mine going into the first spring with my hoophouse. Join me and follow my blog to see if my strategies work.
12/12/2011
Potted greens are a good complement to greens in the hoop house soil.
12/8/2011
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
12/6/2011
A historic ice house on the LeDuc-Simmons Estate and a local ice harvest at Lake Rebecca demonstrate how ice and other perishables were kept cold in the hot summer months during the 19th century.
12/1/2011
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
12/1/2011
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
11/10/2011
Robert Zwald talks about his days in a one room school house, learning with all eight grades at once. This is part four of eight in Robert Zwald's stories, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.
11/9/2011
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.
11/3/2011
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
11/2/2011
How do you keep backyard chickens safe from poultry predators? With a bit of elbow grease and a few tips, your girls will be safe from sharp teeth.
9/29/2011
The summer garden is coming to an end. I think most of us can agree it has been a challenging year for our gardens. It is time to regroup and learn from our experiences.
9/26/2011
Holy cow, I just wrote a blog about cleaning. I really am turning into my mother.
9/22/2011
Gardening for the first time ever in a hoophouse is a lot like gardening elsewhere. But, it is gardening in a whole different climate!
9/21/2011
How-To Build a Hoop House; a collection of resources for growers.
9/6/2011
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
9/2/2011
The 651 Project has been established to assist students Nationwide in their pursuit of agricultural skills and knowledge.
8/23/2011
With its newest offering, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company gives homebuyers the flexibility of a kit house with the fine craftsmanship they expect from the flagship small home builder.
8/17/2011
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
7/29/2011
From a home built into a cliff to a home built out from laundry soap boxes, these homes prove how fun and satisfying it is to push the conventional edge. It's your house. Create whatever you want.
7/29/2011
“For anyone considering downsizing, or considering a small starter home, we say just do it!” Linda Bolton says. “We promise you won’t miss a thing living in a thousand square feet or less. You’ll just have smaller headaches.”
7/28/2011
Building a new house with SIPS
7/25/2011
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
7/19/2011
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening.
7/15/2011
One small brown bat can eat several thousand insects each night. Install a bat house and invite them to feast in your yard.
7/14/2011
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating--and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
7/11/2011
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.
7/6/2011
Wabi-sabi is sinewy, flecked browns and yellowed greens, the myriad stone and moss shades, a slate-gray cloud’s washed violet underside. Like nature, wabi-sabi paints in multidimensional swatches that are never what they appear to be.
6/29/2011
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
6/28/2011
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.
6/22/2011
A summary of the entire process of installing a 30' x 72' hoophouse from putting up the hoops to pulling the plastic over the entire structure.
6/21/2011
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
6/17/2011
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
6/16/2011
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.
6/10/2011
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized--to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. "I've got everything I need," Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
6/8/2011
My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
6/5/2011
Take a visual tour of the events at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
6/5/2011
The beekeeping presentation in the kids' booth at the Tree House Club was filled with enthusiastic kids. Check out what one kid had to say about his time spent with the bees.
5/31/2011
With no building experiment and only the information they found online as their guide, Kyle and Jeannie built a sweet little home on wheels. In this video, they share what they learned in the process and invite you inside.
5/27/2011
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
5/26/2011
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's "front porch" culture.
5/25/2011
Learn to let go of associations with price, value, age and prestige and just appreciate beauty without judgment. Nature is the best muse for cultivating wabi-sabi.
5/23/2011
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
5/20/2011
The Burning House website asks people to post lists and photos of everything they would take if their house were on fire. It's an interesting glimpse into what really matters--and a bittersweet reminder to love what we have.
5/18/2011
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a "new, rich architectural typology." Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
5/17/2011
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
5/17/2011
Time to pick out the right hoophouse for my growing needs and install it! It will be a lot of work, but will offer a new farming experience that will expand my harvesting season.
5/11/2011
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
5/9/2011
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.
5/4/2011
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
5/4/2011
Mother readers weigh in on the wabi-sabi objects that give them joy and solace--from old books to heirloom quilts (and a few surprises). This community of kindred spirits embodies the art of appreciation. Enjoy!
4/28/2011
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
4/28/2011
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
4/21/2011
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
4/21/2011
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
4/20/2011
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
4/18/2011
This tiny kit home--less than 90 square feet--is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
4/13/2011
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
4/8/2011
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
4/8/2011
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
3/31/2011
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.
3/31/2011
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
3/28/2011
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
3/23/2011
Wabi-sabi teaches us appreciation for the good energy and soul that handmade items bring to our homes. Etsy, the premiere source for handcrafted home goods, offers an extensive list of items whose sale will benefit Japanese relief efforts.
3/22/2011
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
3/14/2011
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
3/7/2011
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
3/4/2011
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
2/24/2011
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
2/16/2011
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.
2/15/2011
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
2/11/2011
The L41 is a mass-produced, superefficient home designed to provide affordable shelter for everyone.
2/8/2011
Part three: Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue the saga of their circular stone house construction, on the outskirts of Bisbee, Ariz.
2/8/2011
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
2/8/2011
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
2/7/2011
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
2/4/2011
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.
1/31/2011
Take a photographic tour of Finca Bella Vista, a sustainable treehouse community in Costa Rica.
1/26/2011
Karen Snyder and her partner, Sheryl Records, continue to saga of the circular stone house construction, outside of Bisbee, Ariz.
1/23/2011
Getting ready for the new garden season is full of anticipation and ideas!
1/23/2011
Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, a community of sustainable treehouses in the jungle canopy, connected by zip lines and suspension bridges, is an Ewok Village come to life.
1/21/2011
A beautiful round stone home, hand built and located outside of Bisbee, Ariz., is for sale to the right person who appreciates handcrafted artisan work and self-sufficient living.
1/16/2011
One of the greatest needs in the world is disaster resistant housing – houses that can hold up against hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Properly designed structures can save millions of lives and millions of structures every year.
1/14/2011
Small-scale local meat producers are teaming up with mobile slaughterhouses to make local meat more sustainable, accessible and affordable
1/13/2011
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
1/12/2011
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
1/10/2011
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
1/10/2011
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
1/10/2011
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.
1/9/2011
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.
1/4/2011
Turn low value plastic trash into valuable building blocks with a $300 homemade press. Free plans for a hand operated press are available. A mechanized version could be made by converting a log splitter.
1/3/2011
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
12/28/2010
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
12/27/2010
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
12/15/2010
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
12/12/2010
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
12/5/2010
Precision Engineering www.structure1.com has generously provided drawings and specifications for building earthbag structures in seismic areas to meet code. The documents have been combined into one 6-page PDF and are now available online.
11/27/2010
I had heard there are thousands of new earthen houses in Thailand. That really amazed me, so I set out to learn the details about the modern earth building movement in Thailand.
11/16/2010
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.
11/10/2010
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.
10/21/2010
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.
10/10/2010
Earthbag building has just received engineering approval. This is probably the greatest news ever for earthbag building. With engineer-approved plans, we see unlimited potential for earthbag building for homes, shops, schools, you name it.
10/6/2010
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
10/2/2010
The earthbag/geotextile basement wall system described here has excellent potential to save on initial construction costs and long-term energy costs. No concrete is used. The same principles have been used to build retaining walls for decades.
10/1/2010
A playhouse can be a physical structure or a place to escape to in your imagination. Tell us about your favorite playhouse.
9/26/2010
Quick report from the Treehouse club at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
9/25/2010
Kids enjoy scoops of fresh-made ice cream in the Treehouse Club at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR
9/23/2010
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
9/2/2010
Auburn University students build a home using bales of non-recyclable corrugated cardboard.
7/28/2010
Sometimes less is more as parents will appreciate with Crafty Kids Playhouses™ two new a-durable cardboard craft models – a pint-sized space shuttle and cozy cottage. Award-winning Crafty Kids has scaled down its playhouses to about 1/3 their original sizes and about 2/3 their price tag!
7/26/2010
Simran Sethi discusses what it takes for a home to be truly clean by avoiding harsh chemicals and using natural cleaning products.
7/23/2010
The Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act establishes tough formaldehyde emission standards for household products made from composite wood.
7/7/2010
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
6/13/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi spends her first night in her new home and reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the journey thus far.
6/6/2010
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.
5/30/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi investigates the greenest way to move to a new house.
5/27/2010
This bathhouse from CU user "Solar Lady from Norwood" proudly uses the sun to power it through the day. Making good use of alternative energy, the bathhouse surrounded by lush grass looks like a great little escape. Adorned with a sign and additional artwork, this
5/23/2010
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.
5/15/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi stays thankful for what’s important in the midst of a big move.
5/8/2010
So many paint colors to choose from for Simran Sethi’s home, but one standard must be met: no VOCs or harmful chemicals.
5/3/2010
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.
4/21/2010
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi talks about buying her first home and discusses what eco-friendly goals she has for her new abode.
2/10/2010
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
1/25/2010
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
1/22/2010
A California Environmental Protection Agency’s Resources Board study finds that airtight homes lead to pollutant buildup; poor indoor air quality can damage health
12/30/2009
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
12/15/2009
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
11/25/2009
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
10/15/2009
Rice University's ZEROW HOUSE takes first place for hot water and second for architecture and market viability at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in D.C.
10/2/2009
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
9/15/2009
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
7/7/2009
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.
6/19/2009
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
5/26/2009
Here are some resources to help you get started learning about straw bale building.
4/13/2009
Recycling a steel grain bin makes great use of an existing structure. You can probably find an inexpensive used grain bin and use it for a home, office, shop or storage.
4/1/2009
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
3/18/2009
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
3/9/2009
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.
1/29/2009
Yes, it's possible to harvest trees from your own property to build a timber-frame structure. But here are a few things to consider before you decide to go ahead.
1/23/2009
Could you heat your house with a hair dryer? Super-efficient Passive Houses use very little energy.
12/1/2008
Old strains of holiday cactus are easy to grow, but updated varieties rebloom more often and produce bigger, showier blossoms.
11/28/2008
You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!
11/25/2008
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
10/28/2008
Enjoy viewing these unique treehouses in this colorful 16-month calendar, based on Peter Nelson's book, Treehouses of the World.
10/28/2008
Help grow an organic food garden on the White House lawn. Here are some easy ways you can participate.
9/10/2008
Is having too many gardens a detriment to selling a suburban home?
8/20/2008
Here is a plan for how to build your own floating cabin, "The Live Aboard Houseboat."
8/5/2008
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
7/1/2008
A thank-you letter from a reader for advice to assist Amish families who are being challenged by the state of Pennsylvania to cease and desist from using outhouses.
5/14/2008
Expert advice on adding single nutrients, such as Epsom salts, to your garden and house plants.


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