From the boxy ranch house to the superfluous McMansion, suburban housing has never been particularly inspired. These three homes show what you can do with that raw material, with a little ingenuity and a willingness to work with what's there.
Net zero high rise is a self-contained sustainable community.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
I first ran into the Green Building Initiative last March at the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association’s Building Energy conference in Boston.
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!
This Friday, Beijing will show off its green improvements when the Olympics begin.
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.
Readers share their winter gardening stories.
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.
Vantem Outdoor Living partners with Lowe’s Home Improvement to deliver next generation shed and workspace structures.
Trying to tend to kids AND a garden.
Non-gardeners and gardeners are very, very different creatures.
To make the best use of potato-growing season, use the technique of greensprouting.
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.
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.
A recipe for sourdough starter.
A gardening expert discusses what you should do with your seedlings after they sprout in their indoor greenhouse containers.
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.
As winter descends a three-season hoop house is weeded, compost spread, and a straw mulch applied. Next spring will be here soon.
Quick pickles--which don't require turning your kitchen into a sauna--are a fast, fun way to preserve abundant cucumbers (or even green beans). Simply soak vegetables in saltwater and vinegar solutions and let the flavors develop in the fridge.
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!
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
As the economy improves, the trend toward smaller homes is reversing.
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?
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.
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
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.
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.
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.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza! Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
Starting flats of seedlings begins this year's growing season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get the most out of spring's cheap-but-healthy greens with this easy, nutrient-dense smoothie.
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.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Forget the time and money that goes into conventional giftwrap. Use these inspirational ideas to wrap lovely gifts with materials otherwise bound for the recycling bin.
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.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
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.
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.
A sustainable agriculture professor explain the organic certification process.
The handy free How to Can app has been updated, and is now available inside the free MOTHER EARTH NEWS Library app. Now you can take yield, processing times and more with you on your Apple or Android device!
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.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
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.
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.
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.
EZ Tomato Cages are the brainstorm of two friends, both fed up with purchasing tomato cages that were cheaply fabricated, weak and difficult to store.
Here's a tip on how to grow sprouts in your kitchen garden for fun and nutritious eating.
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.
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.
Beekeeping yields honey, but it can also make our lives complete.
Get prepared for the season with useful tips for seed saving with Art Davidson, expert from Baker Creek Heirloom Seed.
With a new program promising to reduce the price of fresh fruits and vegetables and reduce the levels of not-so-good-for-you ingredients in their house brand products, Wal-Mart aims to make a positive change in the diet of the average American.
Done with flimsy, store-bought tomato cages that fall over when the wind blows? Build long-lasting, heavy-duty tomato cages to fit your garden with one of our four plans.
How-to online videos are a valuable resource for any do-it-yourselfer. But there are a lot of videos out there, so we’ve picked noteworthy ones and provided a few links to help you find more in the future. From building a workbench to changing your car’s oil, these engaging and instructive videos will inspire you to start a fun, new DIY project.
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.
A look at how many hives to start with when beginning beekeeping.
A "how to" for building a hoop-style greenhouse using PVC pipe and plastic sheeting.
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 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.
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.
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.
Give your bathroom a little flair--and have fun doing it--by creating a backsplash from pebbles, pennies or whatever's rattling around in the bottom of the toolbox. This fun, simple project is perfect for everyone--whether you're a DIYer or not.
A long-time gardener describes the seed-saving technique for cucumbers.
Follow these easy instructions explaining how to make a fruit picker, and you'll never be tormented by out-of-reach fruit again.
Learn how to assemble a humane animal trap out of recycled material. It’s easy and effective!
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
To be a successful beekeeper we must overcome our initial fears.
How to install a package of bees
Iain continues to battle with the frustration of starting up a candle making business hitting trouble at every corner. Here he talks about his plans moving forward and how he still plans to succeed in his socially responsible candle making business
Ben Davis, of Ben Does Life, has a truly inspirng weight loss story, but it's how message about how to be happy that is most motivational.
Watch this video tutorial on how to make tofu.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS has entered the world of mobile media, and we’d like to have your input as we plan and design future apps. Join our advisory group to help us design the best apps for you and our readers.
Simply by covering your potatoes with ample mulch, storing potatoes in the ground is not only possible but incredibly easy and successful. Learn how to store potatoes in your garden and enjoy crisp, homegrown spuds through winter and into spring.
Read about our mycological journey, starting with our process of inoculating several shiitake mushroom logs. The process is easy enough for most anyone intersted in producing their own shiitake mushrooms at home — plus, it's fun and a big money-saver!
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.
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.
Bake those tart cherries dangling from your backyard tree into sweet and tasty fruit pies. Here's how to make fresh cherry pie without stressing about the perfect pie crust.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
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.
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.
When our chicks arrived, we had no idea how much we had to learn about how to raise baby chicks. Nor did we know how much the books couldn't tell us.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
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.
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.
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
Examining an community for your homestead.
How potentially dangerous chemicals are tested and are they really that safe for humans or not.
James discusses exactly how to paint a beehive. Sometimes it can be a fiddly job but using an array of stepladders and poles it can be pretty simple
A brief story of how a creek was damaged and how it was reported to the authorities properly.
How prepared ahead of time for remote living and what was required.
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.
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof--but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap--and surprisingly elegant.
Put those big pieces of cardboard to work by turning them into furniture. This entertaining tutorial shows you how.
Gardening can make a difference! Across the country, people are building rain gardens to filter contaminants and ease overburdened stormwater systems. Here's how to build a rain garden in 10 easy steps.
Use an old aluminum can and branch trimmings to make a rustic and beautiful vase. This simple project using humble materials costs nearly nothing and looks like a million bucks.
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.
Using an old-world technique, Russians are growing their own organic crops -- and it's working.
Reconnecting with family photos and important papers may seem like small change in the wake of the tornadoes' massive devastation in the Southeast last week. But what if it were the last surviving photo of your mother?
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
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.
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
Meals become a snap when you add pressure cooking to your repertoire. Pressure cookers are great kitchen companions that bolster the flavor of even simple dishes, plus they save you time and money.
Curing your own bacon is so simple that anyone can do it. Here's how to do so, complete with recipe and step-by-step.
Want to find a new garden plot for next year? Look into community gardens in your area, or start your own!
Ditch unhealthy school lunches with a fresh lunch idea for kids: school gardens. Beyond putting fresh, healthy food in schools, cafeteria gardens are a great classroom tool and a big step towards more sustainable schools.
Among a slew of other awards for her outstanding writing, Barbara Pleasant has received the 2013 Silver Award of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association for her Gardening Know-How column.
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.
Enjoy visiting green living fairs, shows and workshops from Maine to Texas in every season of the year.
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.
Restoring a heritage log cabin is not something to embark on on a whim, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
Over the last 2 decades BeeWeaver has seen change in who keeps bees, and why they keep bees. The journey of the last 20 years has not been easy for the bees but the efforts of these New Beekeepers will keep the amazing honeybee a part of our word.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
Floods are our nation's most common natural disaster, and they're threatening many areas right now. Take these prudent steps now to make sure you don't get caught off guard if floods threaten your home.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Katie and Martin Clemons are resetting their priorities as they settle happily into a 480-square-foot apartment in Berlin. “Living smaller has taught us to live more simply,” Katie says. They bike more, shower less and enjoy their good life.
What’s with glycerin? It’s a soap-making byproduct with antibacterial properties, but it’s often made with animal fat derivatives, which isn’t really our thing. So, we figured out how to make our own veggie version with coconut oil, opening up a whole world of kitchen pantry beauty concoctions.
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive "punch" that packs a punch.
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.
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
Worrying about what others think about you can drin you of energy and make you do some pretty stupid things. What if you could rid yourself of that penchant? What kind of life would you lead?
Our minds are powerful things. The beliefs we hold and our perceptions can be dead wrong. Our minds can even create pain that doesn't exist. Questioning what we perceive and believe can help you live a more conscious, honest and successful life.
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.
Check out these tips and share your ideas for welcoming 2010 with a green New Year’s Eve party.
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.
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.
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.
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 unintended death of a charming little creature raises the realities of life on a farm homestead.
The roundwood truss system described here enables DIYers to build their own trusses at very low cost. You can gather truckloads of poles from national forests, enough for several small houses, for the cost of one $25 firewood permit.
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.
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.
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.
Slower growth in crop yields, high oil prices and use of food crops to make biofuels could push food prices higher for the next year and beyond.
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
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.
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.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
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.
Use spirulina or wheat grass instead of iffy chemical dyes to turn your beer green this St. Patrick's Day.
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
If you need a new car — and want one that employs green vehicle technology or hybrid vehicle technology to save gas — there’s no major reason to wait.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
A vast range of eco-hostels are available to book through Hostelbookers, helping you plan a greener trip
The success of Urban Gardens is a story about an expansion of one’s reach outside of one given discipline.
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
The 10 People's Choice finalists are great examples of the socially and environmentally responsible business leaders that meet the standards of Green America’s Seal of Approval.
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
Dynamic Recycling is a La Crosse, Wisconsin-based computer and electronics recycler, IT asset management and electronic scrap purchasing company. Since the company’s January 1, 2007 inception, Dynamic Recycling has been providing exceptional customer service to the Mid-West and beyond in regards to accountability to the various needs of corporations, scrap yards, municipalities, educational institutions and manufacturers to whom they work with.
I think testing your home for radon is a good idea, and these dogs agree with me!
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
The stylish new Sanyo eneloop bike features a partially-self-charging electric motor and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.
Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.
Integrating cycling and public transit is an inexpensive and efficient way to travel longer distances.
How does your city rate for bikeability? Check the Bike Score website.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
When my father's health was failing, he requested to be buried on our property. The purpose of this story is to take you through our walk with an ailing parent and to encourage and inform those who may be considering an at home burial.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change. It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to its environmental marketing guidelines would make it more difficult for marketers to make false green claims for their products.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
PriscillaWoolworth.com makes conscious shopping easier by selling a variety of green household products and fair trade items from around the world.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
Carrotmob, a project of Virgance, a company that organizes activism campaigns, works to create social change by rewarding green businesses through consumer buying. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about this innovative activism group.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence finds another great reason to indulge herself in Aveda products: Aveda is the world’s first beauty company to receive Gold Cradle to Cradle accolades.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
February’s stimulus plan offers tax credits for eco-friendly home improvements, which could keep your money in your wallet this tax season.
Canada is helping define "green" products for its advertising industry.
Pizza Fusion is one of the 10 finalists in Co-op America's People's Choice Award for green business of the year. The company uses only organic ingredients and delivers its pizza with hybrids.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
To what extent are manufacturers able to take advantage of the enigmatic nature of the term ‘sustainability’ to effectively green wash their products?
The Environmental Protection Agency has compiled a list of more than 100 green apps.
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Try to get clean water and wanting simple bottling options with the purity. Most of the experts in water say you need a countertop water filtration system. Which one is the way to go? This story shows you one option but seems to be kicking it up.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
In our modern society, we are starting to realize how important the environment is and how fragile it really is. Our resources are limited, and if we aren't kept in check, we will ruin any hope we have of preserving it. Using the technology we have available to help us is something everybody can do.
We offer you some helpful tips on how to have a green holiday this year.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
JWTIntelligence predicts big green changes in the coming year (including tube-free toilet paper).
A Beautiful Green Backyard Burial: This story is written to help inform anyone that may be considering being buried, or burying a loved one, on their own property. It shares some of what one may go through at the end of a life's journey.
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
For decades, corporations have been able to skirt past being held accountable for any environmental irresponsibility, and that has helped propel us into a time where pollution is out of control, and our natural resources are at a constant decline. Raising the standards for these faceless corporations is becoming evermore necessary.
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco-friendly wedding decorations.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding venues.
When shopping for the holidays, consider these seven strategies for giving greener gifts.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
How to roast green tomatoes to be eaten alone or to boost the flavor of other recipes.
How to make canned green tomato relish.
Learn how to make fried green tomatoes with a cheesy crust with this twist on a classic Southern recipe.
How to make Thai-inspired fried green tomatoes.
Readers share tips and tricks for storing green tomatoes and keeping them longer.
Real estate and land use demands have many people left on a waiting list by their local community gardens. Never fear: There's still plenty of options to get growing!
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz recently discussed the price of the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt. What do you think?
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
In Simran Sethi's final post, she describes her philosophy on sustainability.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway. On Tuesday, March 2, the excavator dug trench footings in at the site.
Michael Morley's SIPs home project is underway, and despite an unexpected snowstorm, progress has been made on the concrete slab and the risers.
Recycling building materials from other sources is a great way to cut the cost and reduce the environmental impact of your DIY projects. We want to know where readers go to find reclaimed or used building materials, and how they use these materials in home projects.
Michael Morley has an exciting update on the house he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The dome is starting to go up!
Michael Morley is making progress on the SIPs home he's building in Lawrence, Kan. The roof is in place and the shell is essentially done.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.
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.
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.
New, efficient technology is replacing the old, and it is transforming the way in which we live, and more importantly, our impact on the environment.
Safely eliminate mice in your home with these house mouse control tips.
Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.
There's honey in the hive, peaches on the trees, and food on the table, but it's still a long way from self-sufficiency.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
Groovy Globe will donate 10 percent of its sales from each product sold to non-profit environmental organizations.
The American College of Healthcare Sciences and Apothecary Shoppe have been re-certified as Green America Gold-Certified businesses.
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
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 Mother Earth News Fair staff and volunteers work on green initiatives to divert Fair waste from landfills, recycling and composting as much as possible.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
When he renovated his 816-square-foot condo in Boulder, Colorado, Greg Miller borrowed space-saving and efficiency solutions from his years of living on the road. Check out this video of his van, prepped for adventure.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
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.
The Joy of Green Cleaning is a fantastic resource with recipes to clean everything from grout to sheepskins.
Bill McKibben is doing a national tour to raise awareness about climate change and to build a movement around changing the way we use energy.
The perfect Kale shake
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
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.
Made from natural minerals, sea salt, water, sand, recycled coal byproducts and natural fibers, CompoClay is a promising alternative to gypsum, engineered wood and resins.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues that are both easy and fun to remedy.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding gifts and eco-friendly wedding favors.
Green home improvement and retrofit projects that only require a minimal investment and that have a sure (and often speedy) payback. These relatively low-cost improvements can reap real savings. Plus, a link to info on tax credits and rebates.
The Union of Concerned Scientists created a new Web feature to show the success of green-collar jobs.
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Skip the steaks if you're firing up the barbecue tonight. Marinated and grilled veggies and tofu, served up with wasabi mayo on grilled bread, is a hearty, delicious way to celebrate Meatless Monday.
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean--and safeguard your family's health.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can learn to simply observe.
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term "certified home" includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
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.
We need a new "green revolution" to ensure a healthy habitat for humanity's future.
The good news: We can grow a lot more food than we could in the old days. The bad news: We can't grow enough
The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.
Organic, sustainable, recycled, fair-trade, and naturally dyed yarns are our focus.
Rishi Tea has handcrafted 12 new loose leaf tea blends, including 6 innovative botanical blends, 3 delicious chai teas, 2 energizing green teas and an aromatic oolong – perfect for fall and the holidays.
Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to U.S. consumers for the 2012 model year, with upgrades based on feedback thousands of Leaf owners.
Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.
Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states are now taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car.
Re-Pac reusable bags replace plastic bags and sell like hotcakes
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
A strong partnership between Cascades and Office Depot to deliver on customer need for softness and strength while significantly reducing total environmental impact.
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
If you missed it, be sure to check out this great informative interview with John Burke of MSi Green Lighting LED Company. They are lighting it green in Macy’s and saving them millions!! They use Cree LED diodes in their bulbs and proprietary tech.
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
With the Smart ForTwo electric drive, Smart is underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas.
Schools and cities all around the U.S. are using abandoned rail corridors to encourage foot and bike transportation in their communities.
Check out the 2012 Bicycle Travel Award winners selected by Adventure Cycling Association.
Car sharing is becoming more popular in the United States, and is a greener method of transportation.
Bike-share programs are now operated in more than 500 cities in 49 countries. Most cities are finding that bike sharing leads to better mobility and safer streets.
Good news for businesses! An Oregon report shows cyclists and walkers spend more than motorists.
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.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
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.
Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design and some assistants demonstrate her method of constructing strawbale walls with clay at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pa.
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated--and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simple tips to get disposable paper towels out of your house. You'll never miss them.
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
Join Carrotmob in the movement to help local businesses become more green.
Tips on how green roofs can benefit your wallet and the environment!
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
At Green Roof Growers in Chicago, Little Green Girl takes a field trip to the new chicken coop. Holding chickens, meeting the puppy Carl, and visiting the chickens' new home are all part of the fun.
Check out the installation process of an urban beehive.
With resources from Mother Nature, you can make natural and beautiful homegrown holiday gifts.
Here is an easier way to blanche vegetables, such as green beans, before freezing them.
Have you ever wondered why our food has become so industrialized? Where some of those chemicals that are in almost everything, came from?
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
We’d like to hear more about your experiences with green power. Is it available where you live? How does the price compare to what you would otherwise pay for electricity? Why have you — or haven’t you — chosen this option?
How new technologies, such as home automation are making Earth more eco-friendly.
Green living is similar to taking yoga. It is a ‘practice’ – the more you get into, the more there is to learn. It really comes down to three simple things. Are you ready, willing and able to start living green?
Seth Leitman explains toxicity in our products and how green living is about recovering from these products.
Seth Leitman explains why social media, websites and crowd funding are essential tools for green businesses to survive today.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Andrew Rumbold of Bucks County Freedom Fuel will present a workshop on making biodiesel at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Dan Adams of Earthineer will present a workshop on building an electric car at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning will present two workshops on green energy and building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Aaron Gould, green builder, will present a workshop on the economics of ecobuilding at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Molly McCabe, green remodeler, will present a workshop about sustainable remodeling for kitchens and baths at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Sukita Reay Crimmel of Claylin and From These Hands, and publisher of Mother Earth News Bryan Welch will present workshops on building earthen floors and how to build a sustainable future at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, WA.
Kathy Bennett and Scott Bergford will present workshops on raising sheep and keeping your green home safe at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
James Zitting of Bee Landing and Terry Phelan of Living Shelter Design Architects will present workshops on beekeeping and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Doug Kennedy of TM4 Group will present a workshop on home owner operation and maintenance at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Reginald Beck, gluten-free baker and Bruce Glenn, straw bale builder will present workshops on gluten-free baking and straw bale building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Settling on a flooring option for the tipi was pretty simple after coming across an awesome company that was right under my nose the whole time.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about environmentally-friendly wedding food ideas.
China’s largest green burial ceremony is part of the growing trend of eco-funerals in a country that is trying to conserve land.
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?
Managing editor John Rockhold gets a Honda CR-Z hybrid on loan and has a hard time returning to his desk.
World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
There are many ways we can conserve energy, and be more eco-friendly, especially with the advancements that technology is making every day.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.
Learn more about the life and work of Malcolm Wells, the "Father of Earth Sheltered Design."
We'd like to hear about projects you have planned that will help you save energy, save water or otherwise make your home greener.
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
Technology similar to that used for tracking street use may be used to track pedestrians and keep them safe.
We’re interested in how our readers have lessened their environmental footprint.
Highlights from the "Make Your Own Green Cleaners--for Pennies" workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
Simplify the Christmas season with these 12 tips for gifts, gift wrapping and decor—as well as steps you can take to make your celebration light on the planet.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
Ordering bees in January doesn't seem to make sense, until you understand that April is the cruelest month. Plus, if you order bees in January, and then you don't need them - that's just a reason to celebrate! Order early!
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
Simran Sethi interviews Tom Kostigen about water waste and conservation.
Simran Sethi explains how the green faith movement can provide common ground among different groups.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
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.
I had such a great time talking with attendees at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington, this past weekend about how to make green cleaners. As always, I learned a new trick or two, and I promised everyone I’d recap our conversation here for easy access. Today let’s talk about some of the unexpected food items—most of which you already have in your kitchen cupboards—that can be used to clean your home.
Use tea to remove old furniture polish and prepare wooden furniture for polishing. Simply soak a rag in room-temperature tea, then run it over the wood. The tea’s tannic acid makes your wood shine while removing all the dirt. Once that’s done, you can use mayonnaise to make the piece shine. Just rub the mayo into the wood, then follow with a damp rag and a few drops of vinegar to remove any residue. Olive oil is also a great natural furniture
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
We're probably on our way to a population-related catastrophe, after all.
Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.
Here's a chance to transform your home into the greenest one on the block and then pay it forward to your neighbors to help paint your whole town "green."
Ford focus electric offers eco-friendly features throughout the vehicle.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.
Custom Curve is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
Green Earth Technologies is a “totally green” clean tech company that combines sustainable, American sourced, bio-based ingredients with proprietary technologies shaped around the four ideologies of being GREEN: biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe.
Bird-X, Inc., a leader in producing humane pest and bird repellent products since 1964, is raising the bar even higher for the pest control industry, offering ‘green’ solutions for every pest and bird problem.
Congratulations to Pat Stone creator and editor of Green Prints Magazine and, now, a recognized Asset to the Planet!
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
Multiplaz North America announced it continues to woo potential resellers, as it is overwhelmingly winning consumers with its green technology, gasless, based Super New Plasma Welding and Cutting Machine, the Multiplaz 3500.
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.
Thoughts, experiences, and tips after a season of mowing with the propane-powered lawnmower.
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
Some large electronics can use as much energy as a light bulb while in "stanby" mode, meaning you should unplug them when you leave the house or know you won’t use them for awhile. Having a large electronic setup plugged into a power strip makes it much easier to completely power it down, especially if it has a lot of plugs like a home theater system or computer.
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.
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
American Airlines is the greenest U.S. airline for the third consecutive year in Newsweek's Green Rankings List, an annual environmental ranking of the country's 500 largest publicly traded companies.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities -- the go-to bicycle infrastructure guide for planners, engineers and contractors.
Recent studies and stories from around the world indicate that bicycle travel of all kinds has increased in popularity. The Adventure Cycling Association lists nine new indicators that bike travel and tourism are booming.
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
Bike-share systems are popping up in cities across the Midwest as bike sharing becomes a more popular transportation option.
Elizabeth Van Deventer has been on a quest to find the answer to sustainable farming and an ethical diet most of her life. Follow along as she discovers the impacts of producing tea, palm oil and fruit, and how she eventually settles on a lifestyle that is in tune with the earth and all of its creatures.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Builders and designers believe that low-e windows, engineered wood products and eat-in kitchens will be key characteristics of new homes in the future.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Most Americans believe that cleaning products are required to list ingredients on labels. They're not. But Whole Foods is taking matters into its own hands with a color-coded rating system that holds manufacturers accountable for green claims.
Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute held a teleconference on Dec. 11 to discuss the advantages of a green economy, for the environment and the U.S. work force.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program launched its 2011 Change the World, Start with Energy Star Campaign. This campaign encourages and inspires Americans to commit to energy efficiency by highlighting grassroots efforts of individuals all over the United States.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
Edamame soybeans are tough,fast-maturing plants that can withstand extreme garden conditions. They have few problems with disease or insect pests. The green pods are delicious and high in protein, and make a good addition to an edible landscape.
A very lively potato salad recipe that is always a hit at potlucks.
Once reserved for the pizzeria, the calzone is possible to make in your own home.
More and more people are looking for jobs in the renewable energy field. If you're interested in this type of career, here's how you can get started.
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Because it could cause eye and skin irritation and harm reproductive systems, the Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding it. Baking soda is a solid, safe alternative.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
This is part two of my visit to King Arthur Flour, the concluding blog of the four-day event.
Save money and gas this Earth Day — and every day! — by using these five green driving tips from the Car Care Council.
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
For Bryan Welch, a prototype of Toyota's 2013 Prius Plug-In is a real life example of how gasoline electric hybrids have made major gains in efficiency over other conventional cars.
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
Simran Sethi writes about the importance of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.
Michael Morley is posting regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here he talks about HVAC work and installing windows.
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
Dan Chiras asks why GM hasn't brought the EV1 back yet.
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.
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.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!
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?
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Tips for learning to grow and spin cotton.
Tell America's largest chocolate company that slave labor and Valentine's Day chocolate don't mix.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
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.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
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.
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.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
How many people wonder (pun intended) about industrial white bread? A new book out by Aaron Bobrow-Strain shows that he has. It is a fascinating description of how white bread got to be where it is today politically, economically, and culturally.
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
If you have access to small diameter trees and wood pallets, and live in an area not restricted by building codes, then this truss design is one good low cost roof option. If you do all the work yourself, these trusses are virtually free.
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.
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor "rooms" that extend her living space.
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.
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.
An organic cotton and wool body pillow goes a long way to help relieve pregnancy back pain.
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.
This blog describes some of the details involved in building with insulating concrete forms, notably window and door buck details that you need to take into account
Once the ICFs are in place and the walls are very well reinforced, it is time to pour concrete. This blog illustrates the process in words and photos.
To ensure an airtight design, be sure to level and finish the top of the concrete wall and use sill seal below your bottom plates.
The devil is in the details in a net zero energy home. Every single step in the design and construction of a home requires efforts to ensure airtightness. The top of the foundation is one detail that deserves special attention.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Simran Sethi explores resolutions for healthy eating and offers a resource, The Cleaner Plate Club.
Simran Sethi writes about choosing eco-friendly paints, tiles, and other aspects of her renovated bathroom.
Simran Sethi discusses how to green your bathroom in easy ways: through your choice of toilet paper, shower curtain, and towels.
Simran Sethi looks back at her New Year's resolution: to nourish herself.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?