How to safely dispose of or make use of human waste is becoming a hot topic.
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
Making our own compost is not only a way to meet our need of fertilizer, it's also a way to redirect the garden scraps, chicken manure, leaves and grass cuttings from the waste stream to the resource river. Another area where this applies around our homestead, is our use of a composting toilet. For us, the difference between what goes down a flushing toilet and what accumulates in the buckets in the outhouse is the difference between waste and resource.
This week is the 12th annual National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week.
If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.
Donna Pellegrin shares her mother's stories of growing up on a fertile, bountiful farm during the Great Depression, and of the homesteading skills that kept them well fed.
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
Green-building company PM Architecture recently put out a slide show about the negative aspects of buying bottled water.
It turns out that there are a few bright spots amidst the recession — and it looks like less waste might be one of them.
Dan Chiras questions the idea that disposable items are worth the tremendous waste they create.
Electronic Waste in Africa is on the rise. Computer recycling and waste management services offered by organizations around the world help control the hazardous waste. While waste disposal programs are starting up, organizations such as Computers for Africa send refurbished computers to rural Africa to aid with business and education.
Human hair contains significant amounts of nitrogen and makes a great replacement for traditional fertilizers.
TrikE, an electric-assisted human powered vehicle (HVP), provides weather protection and storage while maintaining all the benefits of a bicycle.
Humanure management for maximum nutrient secuestration and minimum resource loss.
The United States stands virtually alone in the world in not ratifying treaty on electronic waste. The dumping of electronic waste is a huge hazardous waste problem in the developing world, contaminating water supplies and land with toxic heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and acids, and putting some of the world’s poorest populations at great risk.
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
With over 2 million devices recycled, plus it's hitting the USA by storm, ecoATM is poised to make an environmental difference with market driven economics.
How can we clean up our rural spaces best. Is it up to individuals or governments?
The third and last of a three part blog on chemical herbicides.
The role of natural cycles and anthropogenic forces on the climate are explained. We also demonstrate that the current global warming trend is happening at a faster rate than earlier periods and humans are responsible for the current warming trend.
While conservation is neccessary for providing for an ever-growing human population, it alone cannot solve our problems. In fact, it may distract us from the real issue at hand.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
Absolute Bird Control offers a few easy to implement tips for deterring swallows from nesting on, or near, your home.
But it’s not our nature to sit around complacently waiting for the asteroid, not while we have this miraculous opportunity to preserve and enhance our planet. Just as we once visualized the first irrigated field, invented the first wheel and dreamed of machines that fly, we can visualize the earth as a beautiful and productive garden where millions of species thrive. Then we can build it.
Your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to find inexpensive building supplies and appliances, and you can even donate your leftover supplies when your project is complete. Proceeds from your purchases support Habitat for Humanity and future housing projects.
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.
Environmentalists are better leaders when we can better love human ingenuity. We will need to form partnerships with the natural world, to ingeniously utilize its resources in ways that preserve its natural productivity.
Many farms of the 21st Century are, comparatively speaking, biological wastelands. Plowed, fertilized and cultivated from property-line to property-line, much of the world’s most productive land has been stripped of its wildlife.
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
Environmentalists should strive to understand the joy experienced by the race fan, the motorcyclist and the snowmobiler, and we should use that understanding to stimulate the human imagination in ways that benefit the planet.
Human history gives us plenty of evidence to support a pessimistic outlook, but history also gives us plenty of reason for optimism. On the humble foundation of skin clothing and bone jewelry we have built a wondrous technological superstructure.
An alien biologist visiting from a distant planet might look at the remarkable similarities in our physiology and conclude that chimps would live pretty much as humans do, only more simply. But there’s something definitively, well, human about us.
These tips will help you keep your kitchen compost free of rotten smells and fruit flies.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
Boulder Food Rescue is a non-profit what is helping to redefine food waste in America.
We are unique and brilliant creatures. Humanity has expanded into every corner of the planet. With our extraordinary tools, we are stronger and faster than any other species. And we are improving.
Humanity has the technological and intellectual capacities to preserve for our great-grandchildren a world teeming with life and human prosperity. Why would we plan for anything less?
Food is the most universal symbol of America’s age of excess. The average American’s dinner comes from five different countries, with a combined airfreight and ocean freight mileage tab that often exceeds 10,000 miles. At least three-fourths of that meal is processed and packaged, its nutrients stripped away and replaced by texturizers, sweeteners, and flavor “enhancers.”
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has started a global campaign to help reduce food waste worldwide.
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.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
We don’t have a positive vision for our future, but we can picture a lot of different ways in which things may go badly for us. This lack of a positive vision seems dangerous to me because we so often realize what what we visualize.
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.
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.
Simran Sethi balances her love of nature with her fear of mice in her home.
Simran Sethi comes to terms with getting rid of the mouse in her home.
Your deck or other outdoor structures may be made of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Learn more about CCA-treated wood and how to dispose of it.
In this video, learn how the production and consumption of stuff affects the environment and community health.
We can create eco-friendly clothing without producing waste. Find out more about zero-waste design and its effect on the fashion industry.
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
Renewable energy's ugly duckling comes of age.
A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!
The United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, leading to poor cardiovascular health and other diseases.
A look back at how we’ve become addicted to electricity and its conveniences since the Great Depression.
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
The Center to Expose and Close Animal Factories employs a strong legal background to take on industrial agriculture. Learn about their plan to clean up the business for good.
Human-powered generators cleverly derive electricity from something we already use in abundance — human movement — offering an easy way to tap renewable energy for anyone interested in a low-impact lifestyle. Two creative generators caught our attention: a merry-go-round that supplies light for poor Ghanaian schools and a revolving door that lights up a train station.
With the inventiveness of visionaries like Elon Musk, technological advances can help create a better world, while remaining useful and cool.
Docking of dairy cows serves no purpose and causes pain and discomfort for the
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?
Thoughts on managing an event with lots of people and having minimal or no trash.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
EcoSet consulting company helps Target and other corporations cut down on garbage and carbon during commercial production.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
A single, volunteer potato produces 10 pounds of potatoes in a hot bed. A recipe for addictive, oven-fried potatoes.
People are increasingly looking to get back to nature, rejecting the modern world and living off the Earth.
Kids Konserve provides solutions for packing waste-free lunches.
Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
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.
“Do you sometimes feel like your life is a microfield for everything that’s going on today?” scholar, philosopher and researcher Dr. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and a founder of the Human Potential Movement, asked the crowd gathered this morning for the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado. That got my attention, especially when she went on to say that humans now face “the most profound task in human history—choosing whether we grow or whether we die.”
At this moment, Houston says, many of us are “encapsulated bags of skin carrying around dreary little egos,” caught up in “lives of serial monotony.” Still, she has hope. Humans, she said, have an opportunity to play a role in “the greatest transition the world has ever seen, the most far-reaching and rapid change in our history.”
“We are coded with potentials, few of which we ever learn to use,” Houston said. “We can no longer be half-life versions of ourselves, and something huge is beginning to happen as the world’s mind is discovering itself.”
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
Inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk leaves little doubt about how far vision and imagination can take us in addressing ecological challenges.
Humanity needs a new spiritual vision to cope with its shrinking habitat.
We have three big challenges confronting us: preserving our habitat, controlling our population and reforming our economic systems.
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Ellen Sandbeck, who has nearly a quarter century of experience as the Head Worm Wrangler of Laverme's Worms, writes about how to make and run a homemade vermicomposting bin.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
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.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.