solar water heater
Cleaning up an old water heater just requires two simple tools.
You can use the power of the sun to heat water for your home using manufactured solar hot water systems or one you build yourself.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
Heating water with the sun is no longer an option on the Hawaiian islands. A bill was passed in Hawaii that requires all new homes to install a solar water heater in order to receive a building permit.
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
Adjusting the timing of your water heater could help you increase energy savings.
One reader learns how to grow seedless watermelons: A successful venture in growing juicy fruit that led her to question how much control we want over nature.
Weatherization Program Nearly Doubles Payback in One Easy Step with GE's new GeoSpring™ Hybrid Water Heater
The GeoSpring hybrid water heater from GE continues its impressive run of firsts.
You can use a solar hot-air collector to heat your home with renewable energy. Here’s more about how they work.
One of the easiest ways to bask and rejoice in the gifts of nature is to make and use a solar wall heater.
The tankless water heater new design adheres to our corporate philosophy of practicing the Three Rs; of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
Learn how to waterproof fabric with these simple instructions for making tin cloth.
This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available.
CU user Shelby captures the beauty of the water falling on the rocks in this week's Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your photos every week at our CU photo-sharing website, and you could be the next Photo of the Week.
Hundreds of gallons of water can slip down the pipes if you own a leaky toilet. You can save water by checking for toilet leaks using simple tricks or by replacing your old model with a water saving-toilet.
Home urinals are catching on. First found in high-end homes, many people are installing them when building or retrofitting all types of homes.
Keep chicken water clean with this innovative watering design.
Get tips on growing watermelons from the expert growers at Willhite Seed company, which offers dozens of unique watermelon varieties.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
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.
From our last post learning about the difference between large and small ponds let’s jump into the large (below ground) ponds to discover what happens to them and what makes each pond unique. We’ll see that the watershed has a great effect on the pond water quality and the pond inhabitants have an effect on each pond even the wildlife that visits our ponds pose some challenges.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Do you have trouble picking the perfect watermelon? It's not foolproof, but here are my tips to make choosing a good melon a little easier.
Save water from March 12-18, 2012 during Fix a Leak Week!
Use a colorful radish variety and make great pickles.
Publisher Bryan Welch doesn't make his living on the farm, which he says is a good thing. He writes about his steps and missteps in his first year using an automatic waterer for his cattle, and the first winter test.
Readers share their favorite garden irrigation methods.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
A mapping and assessment by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources could provide 3 percent of the nation’s annual electricity use.
Water conservation can help you save big on money and energy. Here are a few ways to help you conserve water at home by simply using water-efficient appliances.
More than 15 tips for saving water inside your home and outside in your yard and garden. Reducing your water use will not only lower your water bills and help prevent water shortages during drought periods in your area. It also...
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Talking about the new Chocolate Turkeys we saw on Saturday and how to properly plant into a kill mulch without doing much damage to the killing.
Simran Sethi explains her bathroom-remodel goals to conserve water.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
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.
Fragrant and round with a tart lemony bite, this Lemonade Watermelon Sorbet Recipe has the flavor and texture of ripe watermelon.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Many of us are seeking to discover a lifestyle in which not all of our needs are provided through the medium of monetary exchange. Don’t let misconceptions about what is necessary to a family-size farmstead discourage you in the search for that small rural acreage, reasonably priced, where you can begin to realize your dreams.
Alma Hecht's renovated century-old cottage is artistic and beautiful--and it inspires her to create wonderful watercolor paintings. Her home is both an outlet and a source for her creativity.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
Broadening your understanding of mold and mildew in the house will help you to eliminate this hazard to health and home value.
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
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.
Have some fun in your garden this year and grow something giant!
Here are some simple steps you can follow when setting up drip irrigation for row crops.
Use programmable watering timers in your garden to help you maintain a regular schedule, keeping your plants well hydrated with less work.
How to build a small and super-efficient masonry heater out of fire bricks.
The Chicken Kooler keeps the water away from the chicken’s feet, where is can get filled with straw and dirt.
Stephanie Tourles, author and Seven Springs, Pa., FAIR Speaker, shares how to make a delicious, ice-cold watermelon cooler. Refresh after a day in the heat with this super easy and nutritious drink.
Eating cicadas, building a porch, and hauling lumber for said porch all in the same week with several images of the action as well as some bee installation pictures.
Sigg apologizes for BPA-lined bottles and offers a bottle-exchange program.
A brief description of our experience with a masonry heater.
We're lucky to be able to live the way we do, even when we feel like we're melting
Learn more about how you can reuse waste water from your home.
Hiking The Ozarks' Lost Valley - Where getting lost is part of the fun! By Mike McArthy of Photozarks
It's true! You really can pump water to a higher elevation using nothing but water power.
Find out the easiest way to use greywater in your home.
Of our daily water use, 75 percent is consumed in the bathroom. Changing our habits can cut back on our use. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence advises on how to save water and energy in the bathroom.
The Start A Lie campaign challenges the idea of truth in advertising while targeting the bottled water industry.
talking about building a composting toilet and how well the Seed Swap went on Saturday. Hauling capacity of a golf cart compared to an ATV generated some useful and helpful comments regarding electricity vs internal combustion engines. No till works!
Simran Sethi describes the choices she made for her eco-friendly kitchen remodel.
Solar panels are strong enough to resist damage from most hail. But if you live in an area where large hail is common, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk.
Student teams prepare to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy hosted, fourth biyearly Solar Decathlon, where they will be judged on the overall quality of their solar-powered homes.
The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.
Although forced air is the most common form of home heat in North America it is far from ideal. This article explains why Building Biology regards the masonry heater as the ultimate heating system for health, comfort and ecology.
describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.
Sensor Plug update along with a report on Sunflowers being used as a cover crop and when to properly harvest onions.
Saving butternut squash seeds while using a sledge hammer and putting up a roof and planning a seed swap. Also planning a high density apple orchard with a new variety called Zestar.
Tips for water conservation during a drought.
March 10-16, 2013 is National Groundwater Awareness Week and groundwater provides over 40 percent of U.S. population with drinking water. You can protect water quality at home by conserving water.
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.
Protect and enjoy our nation’s 70,000 miles of rivers during National Rivers Month.
Top bar hive modifications, turkey traps, and gourmet potatoes are just a few of the topics covered in the past week of blogging we've been up to. Homesteading healthcare and a new virtual book club round off the week with several reader comments.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a way to double electricity from solar cells by using dyed glass.
On a wintry Sunday morning, I can’t think of much I’d rather do than settle in at the kitchen table with a cup of fresh coffee and read the big, fat Sunday New York Times.
Passive Houses use only 5 percent of heating energy compared to traditional houses.
Admirals Alternatives make it easier to obtain renewable energy systems for your home.
Nokero International has been awarded the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity’ award.
The GateMate, by Cartell, has the lowest current draw in standby than any other free exit system on the market.
Admirals Bank opens Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco.
Green-building company PM Architecture recently put out a slide show about the negative aspects of buying bottled water.
Energy expert Dan Chiras shares the technique of conserving water with a two-gallon bucket.
Learn how one person is celebrating her birthday by raising money to bring clean water to those who need it.
Most stock tanks aren’t designed to prevent the water from freezing. The tanks have no insulation, and the large area of water exposed to air doesn’t help either. Livestock owners frequently us a floating electric tank heater. But there’s a better (and less expensive) solution — solar livestock water tanks.
The average American uses twice as much water as the rest of the world. We can lower our consumption by taking a look at how we eat, shop, travel and live. (Taking shorter showers isn't even the half of it.)
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.
Unit helps homeowners heat more space while slashing high hot water bills
A new report released at World Water Week in Stockholm last Thursday states that nearly half the world's food (and therefore large quantities of water) is mindlessly wasted.
Hundreds of disease-causing chemicals could be lurking in your tap water thanks to outdated federal laws.
Beware. I’m stepping up on the soapbox for a minute.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
Putting a new roof on a mobile home and harvesting the worlds biggest sweet potato while growing for the first time Par-cel cutting celery and hauling horse manure from our parking area back to the garden.
Announcing an opportunity to get Anna's new Ebook for free today at Amazon on the subject of homesteading in a mobile home otherwise known as a trailer.
Summing up the last week of activity by hitting on a few key stories that might prove note worthy to a few of the homesteading folks out there complete with photo montage of golf cart jousting and aquaponic trout.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
A simple, practical and easy option for priming seasonal water systems.
Because county health departments and public water systems check only for a few contaminants, homeowners are advised to test their own water, an inexpensive and simple solution for peace of mind.
Try these simple actions at home that can help reduce water pollution.
High-efficiency washers save energy, water and money with every load. And with the average household washing 400 loads per year, those savings add up.
The Rainwater Hub is an entirely new answer to the limits of traditional downspout diverters and rain barrel systems. The Rainwater Hub distributes rainwater up to 150 feet through regular garden hoses.
Wise sprinkler usage will conserve water while maintaining your attractive lawn.
The EPA continues to fight a six-year battle against White House and Pentagon officials about drinking-water standards.
Spot an algal bloom, snap a photo, enter to win great prizes!
Tips on how to protect naturally-beneficial estuaries.
June is National Rivers Month! Help protect your local waterways with these simple tips.
A hippie in the 1980s who demonstrated for a clean environment, particularly water, now owns an online water filter business where she shares her views about the scarcity and fragility of water, the toxins dumped in it and what we can do about it.
Find the best reusable water bottle for you. Whether it is plastic, steel, aluminum or glass, using a reusable water bottle helps the environment. The $11 billion bottled water industry takes a toll on our environment. Here is a list of reusable bottles that could end your bottled water habits.
Rice Intensification uses less water and fewer seedlings to produce greater yields of rice, which helps both poor farmers and the environment.
We claim to live sustainably if we can harvest or extract the earth’s resources without depleting or permanently damaging them. By that standard, no one in a country that devours coal, oil and water—and uses up a quarter of the earth’s resources—can live sustainably.
While garden hoses may leach some chemicals into the water flowing through them, there’s little reason to think it’s a serious health issue.
Captured rainwater off of roofs can save money and water use.
Ready for summer recreation? Hit the water safely during National Safe Boating Week.
The Viking Pure 1000 processes 25 gallons of water.
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
Without federal subsidies, the future of solar power looks grim. Fortunately, the Obama administration is giving solar a boost with four new large-scale solar projects.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
Kingtec K25Z-4 will not only cut the spiralling out of control energy demand from the power-hungry air-conditioning unit of the world but it can also cut a struggling families electric bill significantly.
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.
The EPA will regulate perchlorate and other toxic chemicals--but you may want to consider water filters in the meantime.
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
Steve shares an approach he installed at a friend's place for easing the burden of priming seasonal water systems
A new film called 'Behind the Water' is an engaging story of the men and women searching to find clean water. The film takes viewers on a wild ride through some of the world’s most rural and restricted areas, many captured on film for the first time.
Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!
Here's how you can find out what financial incentives are available for purchasing solar panels, or another renewable energy system for your home. Search these resources to find state and local incentives.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
Going solar in developing countries, especially in communities that lack access to electricity, is a completely different experience. Here the 3 main reasons why solar is taking off abroad.
QSolar Limited today announced that it has introduced its' new Kristal and Kristal Rainbow range of semi-transparent and colour semi-transparent solar panels.
Team Germany takes first place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second and Team California in third.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
The Solar Decathletes begin assembly on the National Mall at midnight, Oct. 1. But just getting the houses into D.C. is no simple task.
Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.
Simran Sethi interviews Tom Kostigen about water waste and conservation.
Talking about carrying in the red roofing tin the old fashioned way due to a broken golf cart and some very muddy conditions. The refrigerator root cellar continues to prove itself as an experiment that seems to be working so far.
MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.
Here's another reason to love solar panels and wind turbines: They're great tools for providing power to people who wouldn't otherwise have electricity at home.
Try these DIY methods to help warm up a cold basement.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
In the United States, renewable energy is growing, but we still don't get very much of our electricity from renewable sources. How can we speed things up?
While photovoltaic panels are great for meeting small-scale energy needs (like those of individual homes or businesses), perhaps a more viable large-scale option is concentrated solar power (CSP) technology.
Check out this dramatic short movie.
New York makes a plan to increase solar power as part of an aggressive energy policy.
AC solar panels are an intriguing new idea on the PV market. The panels themselves still produce DC, but each panel would come with its own attached micro-inverter, which converts the DC to AC.
This handy online tool helps calculate your solar energy potential based on your location.
Find the right type of insulation for a Solar Heat Grabber from MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Simran Sethi discusses easy (and free) ways to reduce your water footprint.
Breaking down the last week of homesteading we've done over at WaldenEffect.org, and the Top Bar project we started as well as talk on Brix, biodynamics, and Plant Secondary Metabolites. Also have details on an external frame backpack modification.
A unique contest challenges people to hand-pump more water in one minute than a 64-year-old grandmother can.
Going to the beach? Get real-time info on Great Lakes beach water quality, weather and water conditions.
Water filter supplier offers recommendations to avoid radiation contamination following the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster.
Protect our water supplies during National Groundwater Awareness Week by saving water at home: www.earthgauge.net/?p=23794
Learn the parts of a pond’s watershed and the differences between aboveground and belowground ponds to determine which pond type is the best for your property.
Home experiment reveals tomato seedlings started in water heated in a microwave do not grow well. How different are we from plants?
There are weeds in the pond, what to do and what to use. A description of what to do with pond weeds and how to manage them with the various pond weed tools available on the market and a description on how they work. In this article we do not discuss chemical treatments and stick to natural methods.
Planting a water-smart garden with native plants can help you save water when temperatures heat up.
Show us how you take a second to conserve water!
You can create refreshing-flavored waters and sodas right from your backyard. Homemade waters and sodas are easy, cost effective and healthy.
Filtering tap water instead of buying plastic bottles helps my family’s carbon footprint—and bottom line.
Tips on how to clean up after a hurricane.
Productive urban landscapes, if managed correctly, can reduce pollution in local watershed.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been in the news constantly for the past two months, and all the new developments can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a comprehensive update to help you keep everything straight.
Tips on how to be smart about salt this winter and protect water quality.
Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples.
May is American Wetlands Month. Find out the many environmental benefits of wetlands and find out how you can help protect them!
Natural cleanup methods for the Gulf of Mexico oil leak, such as using hair and hay to absorb oil on the water surface, are beginning to spark interest in the United States.
November 11-17, 2012 is Geography Awareness Week and the theme is 'interdependency' this year.
Tips on how to protect water quality with phosphate-free cleaning projects during spring cleaning.
Tips on how to protect local wildlife and water bodies during the spring thaw.
Tips on how to calculate your nitrogen footprint.
Tips to save energy and water during the holiday season.
Tips on how to improve lakeshore habitat conditions by reducing nutrient pollution.
Tips on how saving energy this fall and winter can help reduce nutrient pollution in water bodies.
Explanation of what bioretention systems are and how they are used to reduce and filter storm water runoff.
This year's Blog Action Day topic is water, and thousands of bloggers around the world are joining together to provide valuable information, increase awareness and help readers learn more about the state of water, why they should care, and what they can do to help.
Expecting our third child any day, I went into labor the afternoon of July 27th. Almost 12 hours of labor later, the contractions stopped. I was starting to lose all trust I had in my body and the birthing process. This is Part 2 of Nathalia's story.
Cool bees are more productive than bees that have to work at keeping cool. Here's several ways to help your bees keep cool this summer.
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
The sun provides us with enough clean energy that if ever effectively harnessed, we might never need any other form again. Sadly, we are only able to harness a fraction of it's potential. Fortunately, we are making great progress to get where we want to be.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
Solar Energy International is excited to announce the 2013 Online Solar Training schedule! On Jan. 14, we will kick off this year's online training schedule with some of the most rigorous solar training in the industry. Join thousands of people from all over the world in SEI's Online Campus!
There are a growing number of small, solar-powered gadgets for sale including solar flashlights, radios, cell phone chargers, outdoor motion lights and more. Are you using any of these small solar products? Do you find them useful? Tell us what you think!
Rice University's ZEROW HOUSE takes first place for hot water and second for architecture and market viability at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in D.C.
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
Whether you choose renewable energy for ecological or financial reasons, this article will help you see how solar panels and a solar hot water heating system can be financed and get you closer to being a sustainable household.
If you've been wondering how to dehrydrate tomatoes, look no further! We've compiled step-by-step instructions on solar dehydrating tomatoes, complete with photos from our own experience drying veggies in the solar dryer at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
Share your opinion: Are you contemplating installing a solar-electric panel for your home?
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
The Niagara Conservation Corporation has developed a new pressure-assisted toilet, the Stealth, which uses even less water than your standard pressure-assisted toilet.
Keeping goats inside during nasty weather isn't easy, but it's worth the time! Dealing with sick goats, fever and runny noses isn't fun, so taking precautions makes things much easier.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
The Solar Impulse has made history as the first solar-powered airplane to fly across the North American continent.
A do-it-yourself portable solar cart allows us to have solar power without removing trees from the yard. We can also take it away from the home site and move it indoors before storms.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
The term "living off the grid" can be used in different ways, but it means something very specific when you start looking at producing electricity from renewable sources.
Next spring, President Obama will install a solar panels on the roof of the White House. The photovoltaic system will provide hot water and some electricity for the White House living quarters.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
When you're ready to price or purchase a new solar system, findsolar.com has everything you need.
Here’s advice from a renewable energy expert about what you can expect to pay for a solar-electric system to power your home.
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
Solar energy solutions can reshape the future. It can help sculpt the world we live in and can help solve some of the greatest environmental problems facing the world today including climate change and our reliance on fossil fuels.
Today most new homes are sited without any reference to solar energy at all. A few builders are catching on, however, and making the simple adjustments necessary to turn new houses into solar collectors by adhering to the tenets of passive solar building. Learn more about how passive solar works and its benefits.
The fastest-growing energy technology in the world is solar, and photovoltaic solar collectors capture solar energy in a supremely adaptable and portable form. Find out more about photovoltaics, how they work, and how they can change the way we make energy.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Missouri farmer and HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates tackles the Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline, which would cross 1 mile from his area's water intake.
Plant life along small streams starts a food chain that stretches all the way to the ocean.
Whether you’re traveling or staying home, try these tips for a healthy & environmentally-friendly Thanksgiving. www.earthgauge.net/?p=33317
Headwater streams are small streams or tributaries that carry water from the upper reaches of a watershed to a river.
Keeping your pond healthy and its inhabitant healthy can be a challenge, but knowing the basic steps to a healthy ecosystem can keep the pond alive for years, even reverse the aging process. Let’s look at two highly recommended tools for pond maintenance, aeration and beneficial pond bacteria.
Here at Deer Isle Hostel, Maine, we use a compost pile built with local, natural materials and a 100-foot water pipe to create a steaming hot shower.
Don't let the spring invasion by algae aggravate the enjoyment of your pond.
Cage culture of fish has several sustainable techniques to consider adapting for a more innovative approach.
Why manual water pumps are making a comeback and how to select the right type for a homestead.
MetLife Stadium is reducing waste, saving energy and saving water. Take a page from their playbook. www.earhgauge.net/?p=33964
Chase down household leaks and fix them to save water and money during the Earth Gauge #FixALeak Week.
Explore ways to reduce both your direct and indirect water footprint. Reducing your water footprint could make a huge different to both the environment and finances.
The Drought Pod experiment assists growing tomatoes in drought.
Use a hand water pump to compress air for filling tires without electricity.
Tips on how to prevent soil compaction on your lawn and reduce water pollution!
We'd like to hear about projects you have planned that will help you save energy, save water or otherwise make your home greener.
Installing a rain gauge can help determine how much water your plants really need.
An explosion at a British Petroleum oil rig has caused a massive and growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico just off the Lousiana coast. Here is an account of where the spill stands at the moment.
Tips on how to dispose of pet waste properly for National Dog Day!
Experiences building a water-saving bath house out of salvaged logs.
Tips on how to save energy, water and fuel at home and on the road in 2013!
Tips on how to conserve water in the fall with weather-based irrigation controllers.
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Tips to help wildlife beat the heat with fresh water.
Tips on how to take part in citizen science projects during the fall!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
This posting discusses how the oceans stores heat and transports the heat to warm colder parts of the planet. The posting uses El Nino as an example on how warm ocean water can have a diverse effect on the climate in different regions of the planet.
Tips on how to protect yourself form harmful algal blooms.
Enter the Take a Second contest and win great prizes! http://takeasec.org/
Chaya is one of the most delicious greens you've never tried. Learn to grow and enjoy this wonderful perennial!
A gravity watering system can consist of a cistern to save roof top rain water and elevated tanks to gravity feed this water to your garden. As climate change makes rain less predictable, you can both water your garden and help save ground water.
Tips on how to save water at home and protect water quality during National Water Quality Month.
Tips on how to properly maintain your home's septic system.
Tips on how green roofs can benefit your wallet and the environment!
We have slowly replaced out dated fixtures and the Rialto toilet was the final step in getting more environmentally compliant.
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
This post is about our water cisterns and what we use them for. It also contains a caution that many local governments would like to tell you what you can and can't do with rainwater.
Tips on how to keep water away from your home and water damage prevention.
Four of the requirements honey bees need to thrive, no matter where they live, or what type of shelter they have, or what kind of management they have, or don't have.
Your drinking water might not be as spring fresh as you'd like to think.
During National Ground Water Awareness Week next week, let's bring attention to what natural gas drilling is doing to our ground water supplies.
Solar energy organization Show Me Solar comes highly recommended by renewable energy expert Dan Chiras for its 2010 list of workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities.
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.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
Tools and techniques for sustainable living.
The energy a PV system will produce during its lifetime far exceeds the amount of energy it takes to produce the PV system
Save thousands on a solar electric system by learning this simple secret.
Check out RenewableEnergyWorld.com for background information and breaking news on renewable technologies.
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.
LEDs are all around us. Here are some of the ways these great green lightbulbs are being used, and a little more information about how they work.
If you’re thinking about getting a solar electric system to help the environment and save money, think about efficiency first.
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
Alternative energy has become a hot topic in recent years as we try and work towards more sustainable resources. Whether we'll get there or not remains to be seen.
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
Utility companies and solar power companies are vying for customers' business. See how that affects you.
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
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.
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
Michael Strizki proves that living off the grid doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.
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.
The Financial Times Climate Change Challenge winner is the Kyoto Box solar cooker, which uses no fuel other than the sun to cook food.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
Solar protection window treatments that never go out of season.
Start cutting your electricity use today, and it will save you a bundle of cash on a renewable energy system when you're ready to buy one.
Sustainable Solar LLC has recently rolled out a line of Light-Weight, Portable, Noiseless Solar Generators providing a convenient power supply in remote or off-the-grid areas.
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
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.
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
This bathhouse from CU user "Solar Lady from Norwood" proudly uses the sun to power it through the day. Making good use of alternative energy, the bathhouse surrounded by lush grass looks like a great little escape. Adorned with a sign and additional artwork, this
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
With new breakthroughs in solar electricity coming out every year, should you wait before investing in a solar electric system? Energy expert Dan Chiras discusses cost of PV modules in terms of cost per watt of installed capacity.
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.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
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.
SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO) announces the availability of its most advanced HIT Power® solar module, the HIT Power 220A, offering improved efficiency and energy output -- and designed to energize integrators and installers with more power per square foot than ever before.
Solar food drying is incredibly easy with a solar food dehydrator, which requires very little effort to make perfectly preserved produce.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
Forty years ago a trombe wall worked to store and release heat in a passive solar house. Is it obsolete in the 21st century?
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
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.
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
We’ve succeeded at drying herbs and greens in our SunWorks solar dehydrator, which promises to make future meals all the more flavorful and nutritious.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
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.
A three-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.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
The Evergreen Institute lowers prices to encourage more participating in its January workshops in home energy efficiency, electricity and electrical wiring, and basic PVs: An Introduction to Solar Electricity.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
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.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Learn about advertising-induced fear of an innocuous, food-grade substance, vinegar. Plus, get interesting information about vinegar being used for bioremediation of extremely dangerous chemicals.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
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.
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
Renewable energy is often seen as a way to have it all and still feel “green” and it is indeed at a glance more environment friendly than conventional power, but no power has as low footprint as the power not used.
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
It seems only common sense that you don’t depend on a single source alone for life-giving home heat in the winter.
1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. In the last five years, falling costs of solar technology have made solar economically viable without subsidies for off-grid communities. How can businesses keep up with this potential solar growth? Hint: it’s all about the customer.
But what happens if progress in poverty’s eradication far-outpaces green energy solutions? Two of the most important issues of our century — clean energy and poverty eradication - are potentially mutually exclusive, if development efforts do not factor in increased consumption that will occur.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
Make your home more energy efficient with Indow Windows Shade Grade.
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
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.
Looking for a better way to preserve all that garden produce without a hot kitchen canning project? A new solar food dryer promises to dry food fast and save energy and money using the sunshine in your back yard.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
A. O. Smith Water Products Company, the leading manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters, has donated a 120-gallon solar storage tank to the Hurston family of Cocoa Beach, Fla., project of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Hodgson Mill Inc., a leading national producer of All-Natural and Organic, Whole-Grain foods, has added two wind turbines to successfully complete the second phase of a significant new green initiative.
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.
After spending several years drying food in an electric food dehydrator, I built a SunWorks solar food dehydrator to try and create truly sun-dried tomatoes.
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
Whether you're planning to install solar panels, or hoping to put up a backyard wind turbine some day, share your thoughts on the renewable energy projects that intrigue you most.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
Weekly user photo of a simple solar homestead. Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage for all the world to see!
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
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.
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
On sunny days it delivers about a half a megawatt of electricity to the biodiesel plant, while providing strategic shade to plants below. Energy is produced above as farmers harvest below in a genuine double cropping scenario.
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
Our power system begins to take shape.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
Nuclear Armageddon due to solar flares or EMP, avoidable for teh cost of a single Stealth bomber
We settle in for a long winter's work.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
Finally, we start to take shape.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
At last, we construct the foundation.
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
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.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
Don’t miss these featured documentaries showing on PBS’s Earth Day programming.
Tiny plastic beads in cosmetics are found in the Great Lakes, putting fish and human health at risk.
HOMEGROWN blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel outlines strategies for responsible drought gardening in her home state of California--or anywhere.
Pickled garlic is both delicious and easy to make. Ever wondered why pickled garlic turns blue? Find out here!
Chinese water chestnuts are a delicious nutty root that are also easy to grow. Learn more in this article!
This posting will discuss how clouds, volcanoes and water vapor effect the climate.
This week's post is a guest submission by Kaitlin Rose from Bring Birth Home. She writes about preparing for a home birth, and why it's truly DIY.
Heat Recovery innovator produces a safe hot water heating system kit for wood stoves.
As my birthing day draws near, I am settling in and nesting and preparing our home for the upcoming birth by gathering birth supplies, essentials and creating my birth space.
In this posting we discussing how both the surface and bottom water ocean temperatures are rising along the East Coast of the United States. We also discuss the consequences to this rising water temperature.
One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.
This posting discusses how deforestation increases global warming and ocean acidification. It also discusses the role of deforestation in triggering severe flooding,aquifer depletion, soil degradation and animal and plant extinction.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
An introduction to my current pregnancy with Baby #3 and plans for a second homebirth. Details of my seventh month and thoughts on the gender of our baby.
A Birth Altar is a space that will become a power symbol of one's birth. I have begun creating my birth space and bringing together objects that will become my collection of strength during my home birth.
Do easy ways to save money exist? Absolutely! Blissful saving is only a trip to the bulk section away! When you get home from the store, keep track of your finances on Mint.com; then look for Groupon's daily deal. Search the house for unused items and sell them on eBay. Use these tips to start saving today!
This year I took several liberties in developing a new version of salsa verde. I don't grow tomatillos so I use green tomatoes. I won't call it salsa verde (except on the lids of my jars), because it isn't authentic. But let me tell you, it is GOOD. Here is Annie’s Green Tomato Salsa Recipe good for use when water bath canning.
Our third child arrived the night of July 30, 2012. After many weeks of waiting and 12 hours of labor that stalled, we welcomed our daughter Nathalia Christine earthside. This is Part One of our birth story.
Costs associated with providing your own water.
The final result of a reporting a water violation and having a creek restored.
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.
Check out these high-quality workshops on solar electricity, home energy efficiency, and small wind energy systems. Geared to homeowners, aspiring professionals, students and teachers - anyone wishing to learn more about renewable energy systems
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
Bring back bottle-cutting! This contemporary candelabra, which gives new life to beautiful blue mineral water bottles, will make you rethink that old '70s craft.
Summing up the last week of mostly frozen stuff except for a brief thaw.
A new study has uncovered a link between food and environmental allergies and chemicals found in pesticides, herbicides and other agricultural products and drinking water.
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.
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.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
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.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
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.
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
Going solar at home will save you both money and energy. See why it's the future for renewable energy in residential areas.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
As spring approaches the lawn surrounding your home will certainly begin to grow. With the New Lithium Powered Cordless Recharge Mower ULTRALITE, from Driven By Solar Inc., achieve beautiful manicured results without nasty fumes.
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
Tell us what you think. If you installed a wind turbine or solar-electric panels, would you want to be tied to the electric grid, or would you rather have a grid-independent system?
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.
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.
So far this year extreme weather events has cost the US over 35 billion dollars. This posting discusses the potential for non-carbon-based renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
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.
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
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.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
Rancho Margot in Costa Rica is completely off the grid and constantly closing the circle. Nothing is wasted on this self-sufficient ranch, where everything is considered a resource--including methane from the compost ovens.
This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
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.
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.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
We will discuss how the Earth overcomes the increasing solar radiation from the Sun to maintain a stable temperature for life (Gaia Hypothesis). The role anthropogenic forces will also be discussed.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
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.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
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.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.
Simran Sethi discusses how to green your bathroom in easy ways: through your choice of toilet paper, shower curtain, and towels.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
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.
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.