simple solutions made difficult
Dealing with a government agency to save a creek.
Most people want to contribute to a positive future. But their intention is often obstructed by the things they perceive that they cannot do. In frustration, they stop thinking about it. When we stop thinking about it, we feel a sense of relief. That sense of relief is, perhaps, the biggest threat to the world’s natural environment today.
By making good plans and imagining the future with a positive outcome, you can be ready to take advantage of opportunities when they come your way.
This 19th-century Creole cottage was disassembled, moved and meticulously reassembled and restored on a new site in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Built for its climate, the welcoming home is an excellent example of passive cooling and material reuse.
EZ Tomato Cages are collapsible and sturdy unlike many currently on the market.
The final result of a reporting a water violation and having a creek restored.
Cheap imported goods do not stand the test of time compared to locally crafted goods.
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.
Mankind has a historic opportunity to visualize its own future, and the future of the planet
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
The new metal roof was nailed down just hours before the storm hit.
A mother's love is shown for her daughter by patiently crafting dress patterns from frugally saved fabric while the rest of the house is fast asleep.
Looking for natural ways to ward off that 3 o'clock slump? Real Simple magazine offers nine natural tips for increasing your energy — no pills, caffeine or other stimulants required.
An introduction to me, a home-schooled 11 year old.
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.
Finding a company from an advertisement in Mother Earth News and how it benefited us. .
Who knew that a flock of chickens would be able to teach us so much about living with our children?
If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.
Where is the strange and wonderful place this homesteader describes? And how do you get there?
Living in a 500-square-foot house (or smaller) affects our consumption and relationships.
Leaving a job with benefits and security to live a simple, country life, also known as un-jobbing, can be scary, but as we learned, so very worth it.
In this post, I introduce a new series capturing the details of my family's move from a
conventional suburban life to homesteading and homeschooling. This post introduces the first
of several financial considerations that my family researched and has undertaken as part of our
radical lifestyle change.
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.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
The American Garden Tool Company is an online source for American-made garden tools, products and accessories.
A Berkeley, California, artist has outfitted a dumpster with all the amenities--including granite countertops and hardwood floors--in his mission to "break down what a house should be."
Fracking, buying American, GMOs and unplugging topped the green news this week.
A quality product made in the USA
Explore how you can make your own home grown organic fuel to power your own transportation or electricity.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
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.
Gary Chang's brilliant solution to making a 330-square-foot apartment work for his family was to create a sliding wall system that can be configured into 24 different rooms. You have to see this one to believe it.
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.
How we have taken measures to mitigate and reduce our wildfire exposure.
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.
Day 2 has a haphazard start with no hot water for a proper cup of tea, and people are arriving early for a day of consulting. What's the solution to keeping water hot overnight on top of a wood stove so there's plenty for hot tea, doing dishes and a shower?
Inspired by the recent Mother Earth News article, "65 Money Saving Tips", this piece shares how we at the Be the Change Product spend little and live better.
Each year we try to challenge ourselves with an entire month where we spend no money, and avoid using energy.
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.
Congress is about to pass legislation to ease the worry of homeowner debt, but it's also possible to build your dream home without a mortgage.
Can we start a Slow Time Movement? One that would be like the Slow Food Movement.
Exploring our misconceptions of who we are when we are defined by our online presence.
What does well read mean to you? Does the material you read and your personality traits determine how you view the world? This blog explores what well read means to me.
Simple living expert Wanda Urbanska at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
We have slowly replaced out dated fixtures and the Rialto toilet was the final step in getting more environmentally compliant.
This book club of the book, Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology, follows a couple who decides to live technology free for 18 months among a strict Amish-like community, growing all their own food and relying on their neighbors to survive.
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.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
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!
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
Make homegrown tomatoes the star of tonight’s dinner by whipping up Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet, rich sauce is a classic.
Earth floors are a durable, versatile and attractive option for new homes and renovations alike.
I envision this chandelier—made entirely of items recovered from the recycling bin—hanging over a dining table on the patio. Making it is a pretty big project, though, and I would have to call in a friend with a jigsaw to help. (I don’t have the tools—or skills—that former Natural Home & Garden art director Susan Wasinger, who dreamed up this project, does.) Aside from the saw, the materials for this one are simple: used baby-food jars, a few yards of twisted wire, a couple repurposed barrel hoops and a length of rusty chain. And happily, I can make the “lite” version–pretty votive holders—which lets me stop before power tools are needed.
Simran Sethi looks into the furniture and logging industries.
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
Let the ancient Japanese art of wabi-sabi help you purge unwanted items and get organized for the new year.
Sales for Simple Pump, a hand-operated well pump, have tripled compared to the same time last year, as word about its versatility, reliability and durability have spread.
A San Francisco architect brings wabi-sabi to his work through craftsmanship, employing natural materials to create a holistic environment that’s not cookie-cutter or slick, and eschewing ornamentation for what is needed and meaningful.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
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.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
Former editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares the lessons of holiday simplicity she learned as a young, busy, working mom.
How a non writer can with effort contribute in a small way. To read more on our life style go to www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com
Looking for a easy sewing project? Follow this quick tutorial from Design Fixation to make a dress in just 20 minutes.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Connect together inexpensive mending plates to make these top-shelf candleholders--perfect for patio and porch dining. This simple project takes minutes and costs next to nothing.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Wood is our source of heat for the winter, as are sweaters and hats!
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
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.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
Julia Butterfly Hill understands the need for extreme measures when it comes to environmental activism. In the late 1990s, she spent 738 days living in a redwood tree named Luna, to bring attention to the plight of the world’s ancient forests. Through her vigil, she negotiated to permanently protect the 1,000 year-old tree and a nearly three- acre buffer zone. She says that our forks are also powerful change agents.
“I love food!” Hill told Natural Home & Garden. “I love preparing meals that are both decadently delicious and happily healthy. I’m a joyous vegan, and I celebrate how fabulous this lifestyle is for my body, my world, my planet, and for the animals as well.”
Hill eats animal-free food that’s organic, local, in season, and free of added junk—food that she calls “a celebration of life.” Her recipe for delicious vegan lasagna takes about a half hour to prepare and provides plenty of opportunity for interpretation. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, substitute 1 teaspoon each of the dried herbs or 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
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.
Making the most of a winter walk to home.