A recycled cork yoga mat prototype gets a rigorous workout as one editor puts it through the ropes in her quest for more eco-friendly Zen.
This ancient beverage has provided a nutritious, naturally-caffeinated boost for centuries and a new carbon-subtracting brand benefits the earth and consumers alike.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence finds a company that upcycles old yoga mats. Recycle Your Mat, a company founded by yogini Stephanie Stano in 2008 gives yoga mats a second life as an upcycled or recycled product.
Essentia introduces the world's first memory foam mattress made without chemicals.
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.
Simple to make, this stone bath mat is a treat for your feet.
Planet Connect's Get Green Video Contest wants you to show how you can Green Your City with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
Part 1 in a series on Mat and his wife's experiences dealing with toxic mold, its health effects, and what you can do to eliminate or control mold in your home.
Some wisdom for chicken owners who are just getting started, from a chicken owner who is still getting started.
We’re all in this for the glory projects: the garden, chickens, bees, and wind turbine. But there’s one thing all new homesteaders should do before getting started on these other projects.
By: Matt Kelly
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.
What is true sustainability? In this post, Matthew Stein explores the definition of what it takes to make a world that is truly sustainable.
Tornado, facts, myths, and tips to help you make the right decision when facing a possible tornado strike.
Calculating your fuel economy is easy and can help you save big bucks at the pump.
Learn how to identify the right time to butcher laying hens for meat.
Wireless temperature control mattresses and pads offer a dream come true for
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.
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.
Backcasting into the future: a powerful tool for developing creative pathways towards a sustainable world and a bright, positive future for Planet Earth!
Car tips for prepping and survival for driving in extreme winter weather.
California architect Matthew Hofman gives a 1978 Airstream a good green makeover.
Want to grow and save your own vegetable seeds? Meet Fruition Seeds. They produce regionally-adapted, organically-grown seeds. And they can show you how to do it too.
When a chicken dies suddenly for no obvious reason, it's unsettling. But it's not uncommon. Here are some possible causes for that sudden death in your otherwise healthy flock.
Catching and moving chickens is a cinch if you train them from the start and use these chicken-catching tips.
There can be no greater happiness, the Japanese say, than to live a life that follows the natural order of things.
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.
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 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.
A recent study by German carpet company suggests that its Cradle-to-Cradle-certified carpet might actually improve indoor air quality.
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.
Simran Sethi writes about the importance of eco-friendly mattresses, bed frames, and bedding.
Dig in to our wealth of food preservation resources to learn how to keep fall crops edible well into winter.
Safely eliminate mice in your home with these house mouse control tips.
These beekeeping resources will help beginning beekeepers get started raising bees.
If you want a live Christmas tree, plan ahead and take steps to help it prosper after the holiday season.
Get rid of fire ants — without using heavy-duty chemical pesticides — with these tips for fire ant control.
Learn what to do when you come across onion flowers and garlic flowers in your garden.
What does “Certified Organic” mean? Food labels can be befuddling, but we’re here to help. Learn the standards that guide the “Certified Organic” label.
Gardeners in certain regions frequently ask about how to improve clay soil. Lighten up your heavy clay soil by using organic matter, sand and other soil conditioners.
Nuclear Armageddon due to solar flares or EMP, avoidable for teh cost of a single Stealth bomber
This current situation is a perfect example of the 80/20 rule of homesteading: 80 percent of your time, energy and effort is spent on maintenance; 20 percent on progress towards the dream. A majority of your time homesteading is spent covered in chicken poop, squashing potato bugs, figuring out why gas isn’t getting to the carburetor in the ATV and shoveling snow after dark by headlamp.
The journey to a self-sufficient life is a bumpy ride. Having a backup plan — or two — can make all the difference in your progress.
If your job, finances, family commitments, etc., have thwarted or delayed your dreams of self-reliance, you don’t have to wait until you can afford a 20 acre parcel. You can start working where you are now to build and nurture self-reliant living skills that are sure to provide you with more peace of mind and improved health, and will most likely be of great personal benefit during the coming decades of global challenge and change.
Summing up the last week of mostly frozen stuff except for a brief thaw.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
Hand crafted from recycled materials, each item one of a kind.
Green builder Jim Gooley gutted an Airstream Trailer and renovated it with cork flooring, clay plaster walls, bamboo countertops and other eco-friendly materials.
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.
Press Release about UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative’s Toolkit, “Achieving the Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting.”
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
These natural cold and flu remedies will help you build up your immune system and reduce the duration and discomfort of colds and flu.
Using leaves in the garden will boost the soil’s organic matter.
Growing organic apples isn’t impossible! Follow these tips and methods for avoiding pest damage and growing apples organically.
Growing pine trees from seed will allow you to produce lots of trees very economically. Follow these instructions to propagate pine trees from seed.
Many wood finishes contain toxic solvents or heavy-metal drying agents. Learn which nontoxic wood finishes are best to use on decks, fences and unfinished, wood-sided homes.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
Extolling the virtues of salvaging and reusing building materials
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.
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
The Organic Materials Review Institute was formed by organic certifiers back in 1997 to focus exclusively on the products and materials used by farmers.
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.
The Organic Trade Association is vital to the success of the organic industry and I’m thrilled to serve alongside such a talented and well-respected group of industry leaders.
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
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.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, a community of sustainable treehouses in the jungle canopy, connected by zip lines and suspension bridges, is an Ewok Village come to life.
Cam loves his four-wheel drive truck ... despite being an environmentalist!
At this time of year, Cam feels a little overwhelmed by the gardening chores ahead of him.
Cam has an exciting evening when his neighbor drops off another expectant cow.
Michelle discovers a new threat to her basil plants!
After 35 years together, Cam can still make Michelle laugh. He just has to try a little harder...
Our 4 eggs a day suddenly became just one egg a day and so we had a mystery to solve!
We've added a rooster to our small flock and he's fitting in just fine!
Cam has found a new use for old rice bags - turn them into man purses!
A chicken describes a typical day of treats at Sunflower Farm.
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.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
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.
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.
Broadening your understanding of mold and mildew in the house will help you to eliminate this hazard to health and home value.
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 .
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
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.
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
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.
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.
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
Cam shares his love affair with garlic and explains the work involved with growing and processing organically-grown garlic.
Cam grows a patch of wheat to see how much work is involved. He will never take a loaf of bread for granted again!
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
It's been quite a fall for mushrooms around here...
Cam learns to appreciate country music.
Cam considers the care and upkeep of an outdoor skating rink as an art form.
Sometimes the wildlife can get kind of wild around here....
Cam appreciates his local volunteer fire department.
Cam describes how an act of kindness many years ago has inspired him to help others.
Cam has a feeling that this concept of "cloud computing" is all going to end in tears....
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
Cam enjoys a sense of accomplishment many times a day as he uses his sidewalk!
Cam promotes the return to our independent roots.
Cam describes a mosquito infestation INSIDE his house.
Cam gives an update on his new chickens!
Cam and Michelle enjoy having their first "HelpX" volunteers to help out in the gardens!
Cam babysits a baby goat for the weekend.
Cam thinks his chickens resemble Captain Jack Sparrow. Has he been spending too much time in the sun?
Cam describes his weight loss program which involves lots and lots of gardening....
Michelle knows how much work it is to grow strawberries.... and she's happy to be able to buy them at any price!
Cam enjoyed another week with some volunteer helpers!
Cam is getting worn out trying to keep up with watering during a drought.
Cam has a great deal of respect for farmers.
Cam shares six important lessons that he has learned from his chickens.
Cam is appalled by how much stuff he has accumulated and how much stuff other people have too.
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 describes the zen-like state he achieves while splitting firewood.
Cam ponders the wisdom of starting a CSA at the ripe old age of 52.
Cam describes a recent encounter with some aggressive dogs.
Cam is mourning the loss of his beloved dog Morgan.
Cam found a way to expand his chicken coop without spending a lot!
Cam is exhausted but exhilarated by the early success of his CSA.
Cam is enjoying a bumper crop of onions this year!
It's Week #11 of our CSA and we can't find boxes big enough to fit all of the great produce!!
Cam discovers he isn't as young as he once was while enjoying a sense of community at the local arena.
Lemony sorrel is the base for a classic Eastern European soup that's equally good served hot or cold. It's fast, easy and tastes of spring and early summer.
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.
Garlic is a very labour-intensive crop to grow but the rewards are worth it!
Cam shares what he has learned about corn smut in his organic garden.
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
The right dog can be a very useful member of the family when you are growing corn!
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
Cam compares the population density of his home to some of the most densely populated countries in the world....
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
It's always wonderful to meet someone who is passionate about what they do!
Cam shares some of the things he is grateful for....
Cam describes some family heirlooms - especially his favorite one - a shovel!
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
Being in control of your own home heating.
Providing the firewood to heat his home has become a pleasurable hobby for Cam Mather.
Cam hates shopping but occasionally he is forced to venture out....
Cam has been playing with and skating on thick ice lately.
Cam blames horror movies for his overactive imagination.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
Cam finds getting around in the country, especially in the winter, so much easier with his 4X4 truck.
Cam considers the environmental implications of using paper diapers vs. cloth diapers.
Cam can't help but get involved and speak up when he disagrees with things. Sometimes it works!
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
Just so you don't think it's all fun and games living out here in the country....
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Cam appreciates all four of our seasons!
Cam and Michelle enjoy a visit to their neighbour's "sugar shack" during maple syrup season!
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
Cam describes the challenges of winter driving and cutting down trees.
Cam makes himself laugh sometimes....
Cam describes a natural disaster on a small scale near his home.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and considers growing food to earn a living.
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
Cam loves growing his own heat!
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
In our ever-growing quest to produce our own food we've acquired two egg-laying chickens!
Cam describes the building of his chicken coop.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.
Cam has a "reality check" moment and realizes how lucky he is!
Our HelpXers Mike and Melissa share their experiences as volunteers here at Sunflower Farm.
A cow is born at Sunflower Farm!
Cam has found another way to save money - his wife cuts his hair now! He also describes how even though he isn't artistic he creates and enjoys the masterpieces from his garden.
Cam enjoys a visit with Ken & Madeline who farmed this property many years ago and Cam realizes how hard farming was back then....
Cam battles with scarabs in his raspberry patch.
Cam discovers that his chickens have unique personalities....
Cam has been doing some radio and podcast interviews lately with some interesting hosts.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
Cam describes a recent adventure involving round bales, train tracks and a stressful drive home.
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Cam celebrates his daughter's engagement but considers the impact of flying across the world for the wedding.
Cam has been busy harvesting and sorting potatoes.
Cam appreciates the simple things like rotten hay and beautiful vegetables from his garden.
As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving here in Canada, Cam reflects on what he is thankful for.
Cam has been an Apple Mac fan since the beginning.
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
Cam was generously offered the loan of a small backhoe and had a whale of a time getting jobs done!
One of the realities of country life is having to get your septic tank pumped every few years.
Cam notices how many chicken-related expressions we use in our every day language!
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
Cam hates to see good scrap wood go to waste and so he cuts it into kindling and has even started selling it!
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
Cam loves living in a place where he can enjoy the night skies.... even if he doesn't completely understand what he's looking at some of the time!
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
Cam describes how the seasons progress through one messy task after another at Sunflower Farm.
Cam battles with the flying squirrels who want to inhabit his guesthouse using some unique weapons.
Cam rationalizes his hoarding behaviour....
Michelle and Cam continue to debate whether a real tree or a fake tree is the better choice from an environmental perspective.....
You might be surprised to read Cam extolling the virtues of television!
Cam enjoys a magical walk through a winter wonderland while cutting and hauling firewood.
Cam sees the bright side of having to deal with a flat tire.
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Cam believes in the Boy Scout's "Be Prepared" motto when it comes to all aspects of his life....
Cam shares the "joys" of a living in a house with a metal roof.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Cam thinks people worry about the small things (bugs), when they should be more concerned about the big things (climate change).
Cam has a (temporary) job outside of the house and he has gained a new appreciation for being self-employed.
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.
Cam is reminded to be grateful for what he has.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Cam often finds himself relating to song lyrics.
The second of the 3Rs is re use. Cam has been a re-user for a long time!
We call our homestead Sunflower Farm and now we have the sign to show for it!
Cam always wanted to be the kind of guy who could swap out a motor and now he is!
Cam is frustrated by new technology that just doesn't work - and prefers old-fashioned DVDs to watching movies online.
Cam finds an new old-fashioned way to keep the wildlife out of his garden.
Cam has a recurring nightmare in which the land across the road is being developed and his peace and quiet and isolation is threatened.
The drought conditions at Sunflower Farm are making Cam rather cranky.
Ranting about the drought worked! We got rain here at Sunflower Farm!
Cam contemplates the meaning of life while picking strawberries.
It's an aromatic time of year at Sunflower Farm - time to clean the garlic!
Cam undertakes an experiment to see how much food he can produce on his one acre of garden space.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
There's more reason than ever to be prepared for natural disasters, no matter where you live!
The challenges of dropping out - going off the grid - and living your authentic life.
Cam can't think of anywhere he'd rather be than on his own private skating rink.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Cam is not a big fan of "ebooks."
Cam's wife Michelle considers the economics of keeping egg laying chickens.
Cam responds to a negative comment about a previous blog.
Readers responded eagerly to our call for recipes to use up green tomatoes. An Ohio woman wowed the judges with her entry.
Cam learns the hard way why it's never a good idea to procrastinate about important jobs!
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
Mother Nature has a way of filling in the blank spots....
Quirky behaviors involving shaving, moisturizing, socks and water conservation!
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
When it's -30 degrees outside you can make your own snow!
Cam shares his experiences getting lost in the woods.
Cam describes why his method of harvesting firewood from his woodlot is the most sustainable way.
When you live in an off-grid house in the country, it's important to be handy!
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Some of Cam's best inspirations come to him in his sleep!
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam talks about getting mistaken for a garden centre employee and also the time that his house appeared to get sold out from under him!
Cam admits to admiring Oprah and watching her show from time to time.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Cam describes why he was anxious to leave the city for a life in the country.
Cam prefers the view from his office in his country home.
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Cam is getting burned out on technology and seeks solace in his "low tech" garden.
Cam describes his ongoing inner dialogue concerning his carbon footprint.
Cam thinks its important that we all have a Plan B, no matter where we live.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Cam has been collecting old windows for years and has finally put them together to make a greenhouse!
Cam is trying to extend his growing season with DIY greenhouse structures.
Four new hens joined the flock at Sunflower Farm and it has taken some time to re-establish the pecking order.
Cam describes the method he used when planting his sweet potatoes this year with hopes that he'll end up with a prettier finished product!
Cam contemplates his place in the universe while weeding his corn patch....
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
Even after 15 years, Cam still loves heating his home with wood that he cuts himself.
Use care when cooking red kidney beans in the crockpot. The beans contain a toxin that can be activated if the beans are raw or undercooked.
Cam enjoyed a very successful sweet potato harvest!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Easy-sew step-by-step instructions (with photos) to repurpose feed bags into handy totes.
Cam looks back at the challenges of moving to his off-grid home.
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!
Canadian homesteader Cam Mather sinks into the village life and discovers the joys of small-town living.
The basics of using a woodstove to heat your home.
The best way to start a fire in your woodstove.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
Cam is amazed at the level of awareness concerning Peak Oil amongst today's youth.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
Cam contemplates the amount of energy that goes into our food production and shows how he prepared corn for freezing the zero carbon way!
Michigan invasive species order takes aim at heritage and Old World hogs.
During World War I, the federal government ordered people to keep a backyard flock of chickens. What happened? Why is it so hard today?
Monsanto, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds and the toxic herbicides used to drench them, is calling itself a supporter of sustainability. You’re kidding, right?
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce the release of the How to Can app, a free app to help you safely put up summer's bounty in a jar.