One couple set out to build a green home that incorporated sustainable materials and relied on the expertise of local businesses. This post highlights photos of a few of those features as the house-building process comes to a close.
Climate change underlies the refugee crisis, and more change and more refugees are forecast. CSA farms and other local agrarian initiatives are critical to our food security going forward.
We recently attended a concert for Climate Change at the Uptown Arts Bar in Kansas City organized by Craig Wolfe and Randy Deutch of the band Soular. The concert premiered a song by Winston Apple that brought tears to some eyes in the audience. There is no way to know for sure if we’re past the point of no return.
We must reckon swiftly with the intensifying impact of climate change on our farms and food. The new book Resilient Agriculture by Laura Lengnick offers a a range of pathways leading forward.
Community farming (CSA) is about the essential renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human community that depends on farming for survival. CSA is also about the necessary stewardship of soil, plants, and animals: the essential capital of all human cultures.
Making your home garden productive is an in-depth and gradual process. Though you can work with a design professional to hash out a use plan and plant list early on, it still takes several phases and periods of acclimation for a garden to begin to really thrive. Start utilizing the margins in your garden and beginning yielding more for your community.
These three major developments in green-building materials are bound to change lives and climates all over the world.
Hydropower is the world’s leading form of renewable energy, accounting for more than 16 percent of global electricity generation. But dam enthusiasts who tout hydro’s climate credentials may not like the news about its emissions numbers.
Recent studies show that the jet-stream patterns have changed significantly during the last decade. The oscillations that bring the jet stream down to lower latitudes have increased in frequency and amplitude.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce addresses his attempt to balance his climate change concerns with the everyday challenges of an agricultural lifestyle.
Not all green building materials are fancy, engineered products. One couple explores the saved-from-the-landfill options at local Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Hard to beat preventing waste, supporting Habitat for Humanity’s mission, and finding great deals on materials for a new-home construction in one fell swoop.
A bombilla is a Latin American tea straw used to drink yerba mate. Why not use it to enjoy all kinds of loose herbal teas? Ilene White Freedman shares a story, a tea recipe and links to others recipes.
What do holidays, indoor air quality and global warming have in common?
Up against China, the tar sand extraction, dysfunctional global summits and the endless cry for economic growth, any individual's actions to halt global warming might seem insignificant. But conscious decisions that bring us closer to nature can make a difference and might be the best we can do.
A simple technique for using salvaged tiles to make beautiful floors.
International non-profit biogas professionals and their projects.
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
Climate change is a sign of the end of the industrial age. If humans are going to survive the end of the industrial age it will be because individuals and groups of neighbors take these matters into their own hands. It cannot happen any other way.
Modern, industrial agriculture as we know it today is running out of time, and it's much later than we think.
Moving to a different climate and gardening zone can be a challenge, especially in the high desert. The best approach is to start small and add plenty of organic material.
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
Criminal racketeering by the fossil fuel industry is destroying our environment.
Homes in the United States a responsible for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Simply taking steps to reduce these on a domestic level will help positively impact carbon outputs, decreasing environmental damage.
At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from cars and electricity generation around the world are at an all-time high, Heifer International in Cameroon is leading initiatives and programming to help reduce such emissions from livestock production there.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
The USDA first published a plant hardiness zone map based on temperature in 1960. Hardiness zones are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature. What's your zone?
Two homesteaders discuss their experience with the weather applicable to their mountain homesteads in Washington and Colorado.
How fast climate change will require you and your descendants to move north in order to keep farming and gardening a serious question you should be asking yourself.
Creating a micro-climate is an essential tool for your survival and homesteading skills. Making the right micro-climate for your plants specific needs will not only help them survive, but thrive as well.
Everywhere is full of micro-climates. Discover the places in your garden where the soil warms first, or last, by watching the snow melt and taking pictures.
Glimpse a view into the world of cordwood construction. This old-fashioned, natural building technique can inspire you to build an energy-efficient, mortgage-free house of your own.
Mankind’s use of fossil fuels during the last 200 years has dumped millions of years of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 315 gigatons of carbon have been added to the atmosphere, leaving the carbon cycle 315 gigatons out of balance.
Step-by-step building instructions for a passive solar greenhouse.
Chickens rock. One way to make the chicken experience even more rewarding is to build your own coop. Here's a description of one coop and some ideas for you.
Solar lights replacing kerosene lamps in developing countries do more than solve energy poverty, they are also helping curb climate change by reducing black carbon emissions.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
From IBM to Sprint to Dell, companies are going green and even realizing they can save green too.
At the Mother Earth News Fair, I always enjoy speaking with fellow farmers and gardeners about inputs, organic standards and sound practices in the field. At the OMRI booth, we always provide free OMRI Products Lists of approved input materials, to help you find the right fertilizer or livestock feed additive and keep your farm or garden truly organic .
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
Taking personal responsibility for private-property protection in light of ongoing climate change and the hazards associated with same.
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
As the costs and consequences of climatological and ecological instability become impossible to ignore, people are recognizing the need to be more prepared for the challenges we could face in the short-term and the long-term. A variety of initiatives are arising to share ways of becoming more resilient—i.e., able to survive and thrive in the face of dangers and even disasters.
The federal government spent more taxpayer money on 2012 severe weather cleanup than on schools or roads, reports the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
Global surface temperatures may be flat, but we’ll pay for this “respite” eventually.
Earth warming is causing rapid glacier melt all over the world raising the average sea level at an alarming rate.
An overview of the permafrost meling tipping point.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
350.org founder, Bill McKibben, asks college students across the nation to “Do The Math” on why climate change matters and urges them to demand divestment from fossil fuels on campus.
Describes hopeful developments toward healthful soil and a safer climate.
A new report from the World Bank warns of what a 4-degree global warming world will look like.
A Nov. 5, 2012, press release from consulting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers
LLP warns current CO2 reductions put us on target for 6 degree average global
Many media outlets are pulling no punches when it comes to global climate change as a major factor in Hurricane Sandy's catastrophic destruction.
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.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
A brief summary of the vast amount of data we've compiled over the last few years on experimenting with rotational chicken pastures on our homestead.
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
This is an announcement inviting you to participate in a global web cast discussion on climate crisis on November 14, 2012. This is hosted by the Climate Reality Project and Al Gore.
In this posting we will ask the question if the climate is reaching a tipping point. We will define climate tipping points and use the paat to determine if we are reaching tipping points. We will also discuss climate feedback amplification.
The final result of a reporting a water violation and having a creek restored.
After months of waiting, worrying and hoping, the clouds finally arrived here at Yellabird Farm last week and brought us the long-sought gift of good rain. It was a great two days of slow and soaking moisture that the cracked soil guzzled up...
Research shows a direct connection between global warming and our extreme weather.
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.
An explanation of why one degree Celsius makes such a big difference in our climate.
All of us farmers,large and small, are a big part of the engine that drives the economy
of rural communities, rural counties and rural states.This year, we are learning a lot about what happens when that engine sputters.
Environmentalist and journalist Bill McKibben clarifies the equations behind global warming, and points to the movement that could be spurred by the math.
Worrying about keeping up with Justin's chores while trying to maintain my 8-5 day job was a losing battle.
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Drought is hard on us out here in Farm Country. But drought in the midst of boiling hot summer is amongst the worst conditions I can imagine.
Broadening your understanding of mold and mildew in the house will help you to eliminate this hazard to health and home value.
Climate change is here to stay, with violent and unpredictable weather. This presents challenges to home gardeners, so is there a way to storm proof our gardens?
We wanted to write up a post about asparagus to explain how farmers look at the crop, but also as a sort of apology to our customers. We have spent many hours in the field and on the phone seeking farmers with an existing asparagus supply. We had man
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
The Organic Materials Review Institute was formed by organic certifiers back in 1997 to focus exclusively on the products and materials used by farmers.
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
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.
Every fall Cam is tired of gardening and vows to make his vegetable garden smaller. Every spring he is excited about getting back in the garden and ends up making it bigger!
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
A recent Gallop poll concludes there is a big significance difference betwen what scientists and the general public know about climate change. This posting discusses two basic facts about climate change that can't be refuted.
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.
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.
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
This posting will discuss the role of volcanic and anthropogenic release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It will also discuss they play in global warming and ocean acidification.
This posting will discuss the relationship of weather and climate and how global warming affects this relationship to trigger climate change
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
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.
A bark beetle outbreak is causing widespread damage in Western forests, but we have every reason to believe the forest will recover.
Extolling the virtues of salvaging and reusing building materials
Animated DVD empowers kids on climate change.
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
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.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
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.
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.
Farms which have earned Rainforest Alliance certification go beyond conserving the environment and improving the lives and livelihoods of farm workers; they also help to curb climate change.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
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.
Gather your friends to host a party or just enjoy the quiet as you turn off the lights for one hour to show your love for the planet.
We know that heating, cooling and operating our buildings is responsible for 40 percent of total energy expenditures in this country. That’s a huge percentage. But we also know how to test, evaluate and improve buildings so that energy use can be cut dramatically.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
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 posting discusses the role of the Milankovitch Cycles in initating glaical/interglacial periods. It also discusses the role of sunspots in short term climate change.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Greg Franta’s work on climate change and the built environment, as reflected in his book Cooling the Warming, is at the core of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire initiative.
This posting will discuss how clouds, volcanoes and water vapor effect the climate.
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.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
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.
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.
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
Every year, Americans use enough plastic wrap to cover the entire state of Texas (EPA). Plastic wrap and other food covers are almost impossible to recycle and contain harmful chemicals that can seep into our food. CoverMate™ Food Covers provide a simple, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution.
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.
Four proposed climate bills on the Senate's table for July, and they will probably form one combined bill. Learn about the proposed laws that could affect you and your children for years to come, and voice your concerns to your Senators.
A team of mountaineers have set out for Mount Everest's "death zone" to pick up trash which has resurfaced as an effect of climate change.
Enter to to win MOTHER’s garden prize package that is valued at $10,000 and includes 13 items that will complete your garden.
The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.
The fourth annual Earth Hour is Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Turn off the lights and take a stand against climate change!
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.
The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved back the minute hand on the symbolic Doomsday Clock by one minute, in part because of what they see as hope for mitigating catastrophic climate change. Tell us what you think about their decision.
Learn why “Climategate” got so much attention, what scientists and skeptics are saying about it, and whether the scandal is mostly hype or if it warrants concern.
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!
For the third year in a row, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is participating in Blog Action Day, and suggesting some helpful articles on climate change.
The G-20 met in Pittsburgh this week to discuss global economic issues and agreed to eliminate fossil fuel subsides to combat gloabl climate change.
Check out this compelling roundtable discussion of four expert climate change scientists.
The U.S. Congress has retuned from summer recess, but conflict might keep the Senate from drafting climate and energy legislation quickly.
The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Policy empowers everyday citizens with the knowledge to go up against industry lobbyists and fight for strong climate change legislation.
From books and blogs to television news and online media, there are dozens of sources for learning about global warming. We want to know: Where do you go for reliable information about global warming?
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
This week the G-8 met and talked about climate change but did not accomplish most of their goals because of a lack of cooperation from developing countries.
The House votes on the Climate Energy Bill Friday and President Barack Obama encouraged the passage of the bill.
The new White Houe report on climate change effects on the U.S. comes at a key time for major environmental policy.
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
A new report issued by The Lancet, an international medical journal, says global warming and climate change will create health risks for billions of people worldwide.
Hold onto your hats, Congress is debating climate change. Right now the U.S. House is considering the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Here's where you can find more information about what is, and isn't, in the bill.
This easy-to-read graph shows the effects of slight climate change on crops, sea levels and weather.
Believe it or not, the global warming debate still exists. The Inhofe EPW Press Blog now has 650 scientists that speak out against the fact that global warming is real and manmade. But are these sources credible?
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
The word is that nitrogen trifluoride is more of a problem than previously thought, and it's used to manufacture all kinds of high-tech equipment, including thin-film solar panels.
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.
Meet the new green team! Here are the people Obama picked for key environmental posts in the new administration.
Round two of three international conferences to determine new emissions standards for the next Kyoto Protocol meets this week and next week in Poznan, Poland.
What should we do about climate and energy issues? These three articles raise interesting questions.
The Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until Nov. 28 on how it should rule on global warming pollutants.
President-elect Barack Obama addressed a new chapter in climate change in a video shown at the Global Climate Summit. Check it out here!
The Union of Concerned Scientists is ready for Obama to take over and find a solution to our energy, environmental and economic problems through a clean energy economy.
New studies show that Antarctica is, in fact, becoming warmer, despite what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says.
Climate change researchers have found that Thoreau's observations in the mid-1800s help measure changes in climate.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
Climate change is only a symptom of human overpopulation.
Put your thoughts to paper (or take a compelling photograph) for a chance to be published!
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
We need a new "green revolution" to ensure a healthy habitat for humanity's future.
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.
Are your granite countertops safe? Have you noticed a strange glow about them? Could they power a nuclear energy plant? Some granite has been found to be radioactive.
Couldn’t we create a sustainable healthy planet just because we decided to?
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.
Al Gore is calling on Americans to support a rapid transition to renewable energy. Tell us what you think.
Mankind has a historic opportunity to visualize its own future, and the future of the planet
This ancient beverage has provided a nutritious, naturally-caffeinated boost for centuries and a new carbon-subtracting brand benefits the earth and consumers alike.
We are focusing our attentions in the wrong place. Motorcyclists, mountain-bikers, skiers and steeplechasers all learn the same lesson: When you have a lot of forward momentum you have to train your attention beyond the short-term challenges. You need to be thinking ahead. You need to form a picture of yourself successfully negotiating the coming obstacles. You have to visualize the successful outcome. Your reflexes and, hopefully, some previous visualization are taking care of the ruts under the tires of your bicycle. Your attention should be trained on the area where you will arrive in the next few seconds. Your mind visualizes the best route and your body begins making adjustments in your approach.
If you focus on the intermediate obstacle, you’re likely to hit that obstacle.
It’s recently occurred to me that I don’t hear anyone describing the world in which we want to live 20 years from now. Almost no one, it seems, is visualizing the successful outcome. We’re too busy arguing about where to drill for oil.
It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.
With the right constuction techniques, the straw bales in a straw bale home will last as long as the building does. Check out this expert advice on how to build durable straw bale houses.
This year, why not resolve to go on an energy diet? The idea is to set a few measurable goals to make your home more energy efficient and then keep track of your progress.
My inbox is stuffed this week with emails from bloggers and pundits heralding the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report confirming for the world that global warming is real and that we have, indeed, done our share to cause it.
A couple years ago I signed up to receive “word of the day” emails from Wordsmith.org (like I needed one more thing every day in my in box, but I couldn’t help myself…I’m a word nerd).