Green Homes

The ins and outs of green construction and natural building, with specifics on solar design, home insulation and more.





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10/17/2014
These California schools are utilizing natural building materials, such as milled lumber and bamboo, to give students a green schoolyard.
10/7/2014
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
9/26/2014
There is an ideal relative humidity range for our health and that is somewhere between 35% and 55%. In modern life we have introduced many new sources of moisture into our homes. Daily showers, laundry, cooking and dishwashing tend to create concentrated bursts of humidity. Because conventional construction can tolerate very little increase in humidity without condensation/mold problems moisture from these sources must be mechanically sucked out of the home.
9/12/2014
Recycled toilet paper is expensive. Here’s an alternative, reusable option called the “family cloth.”
9/12/2014
A shower caddy works to hold sponges, soap and other cleaning materials in the kitchen as well as the bathroom.
9/12/2014
You can store garden tools in an organized manner by using discarded wood pallets.
9/12/2014
You can place insulation pillows in foundation vents to ensure proper ventilation and lower heating costs during winter.
8/28/2014
As demand for air conditioning continues to increase, discover how to reduce the impact it has on the environment.
8/22/2014
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
8/22/2014
Shelter Publications’ new book has all manner of roaming, tiny dwellings to spark your inner wanderlust.
8/22/2014
Considering induction cooking as an eco-friendly alternative to cooking with electricity? Can’t begin to contemplate spending $3,000 on a stove? This article will run down how you can integrate the hottest new tech in cooking into your kitchen without winning the lottery.
8/20/2014
I love my two-story log cabin, which combines recycled and an array of green building materials.
8/5/2014
This article explores the nature of the staycation, if it is indeed a greener option and ways to vacation in a more eco-friendly manner.
8/4/2014
Building Biology advises us to look for a successful history of use when choosing building materials but in our ever changing product-based building environment we seldom have the luxury of evaluating track record. This becomes quickly apparent when vetting new products for client’s homes. I recently called a major manufacturer to find out what was in a new product developed to prevent mold growth on framing lumber.
7/18/2014
A basic recipe for making compost tea.
7/17/2014
Homes in the United States a responsible for one fifth of all carbon dioxide emissions. Simply taking steps to reduce these on a domestic level will help positively impact carbon outputs, decreasing environmental damage.
7/14/2014
Learn how to store linens and organize gift bags in an efficient, no-fuss manner.
7/14/2014
Incorporate leftover bathwater into your greywater recycling system.
7/14/2014
Don’t let old prescription bottles go to waste! Follow this tip for recycling and reusing the prevalent plastic containers.
7/14/2014
Keep your kitchen sink drain clean and reuse leftover lemons and limes with this tip for using natural cleaning products.
7/14/2014
Prevent grease from clogging your drains and simultaneously feed the birds.
7/8/2014
A video documenting the "One Day Cob House" build in Reno, Nevada.
7/3/2014
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
6/25/2014
With carbon emissions in the US higher than most other countries in the world, more should be done to minimize unnecessary carbon waste. Around one third of the overall carbon consumed by the average US citizen comes from the home, if every home took a few simple steps to reduce waste, the world could a greener place.
6/19/2014
When it comes to that most essential of all modern appliances, the best way to be eco-friendly is to stick with the tried and true three R's: reduce, reuse or recycle.
6/17/2014
Those of retirement age can reduce their carbon footprints by moving into a smaller, cozier mobile home.
6/10/2014
The best time for selling your cordwood home. Tips, websites, suggestions, and what to do BEFORE you build.
6/10/2014
"Earthen Floors" by Sukita Reay Crimmel and James Thomson provides essential information for creating beautiful floors using natural techniques.
6/9/2014
60 people raised a cob house in one day in Reno, Nevada, with the Be the Change Project and House Alive.
6/4/2014
Building a nutrient rich, low water, drought resistant vegetable growing system.
6/4/2014
Guru Drain keeps hair and debris from clogging drains, saving you time and money.
5/29/2014
Make your home more energy efficient with Indow Windows Shade Grade.
5/19/2014
Moving is stressful, but it's not an excuse to forget your carbon footprint. Here are some ways to make your move as eco-friendly as possible.
5/14/2014
Find guidance and inspiration by reading these reports on the ins and outs of building or buying a home debt-free.
5/14/2014
The Breitenbach family achieved their dream of self-sufficiency by converting a machine shed into a mortgage-free dwelling.
5/14/2014
The Burggraf family relied on their community to help them raise their home, in the style of an old-fashioned barn raising.
5/14/2014
The Smiths’ cabin, which they built in rural Alaska, started as a shell that the Smiths moved into as they worked. They took their time building so they could save money, and their journey has led them to a debt-free existence.
5/14/2014
Betsy and Larry Mehaffey built an off-grid home on a mountain in Idaho. Their beautiful cabin is comfortable and economic.
5/14/2014
A historic property that boasts a creek and grist mill is where the Mechlings decide to build a debt-free weekend home.
5/14/2014
The Rigoni-Escobar family put their million-dollar home behind them to move into smaller quarters. They paid for a dome kit home with cash and have constructed it together as a family.
5/14/2014
A burned out kit home became the Pfister’s bungalow after they took on its cleanup and construction. After just a year, they turned the scorched insides into a mortgage-free dwelling.
5/14/2014
The Wagners worked for several summers to complete their log house, which they now live in. They spend a lot of time on the property with family pressing apples for cider, hunting mushrooms, and tapping maple trees for syrup.
5/14/2014
Not only has Roy Trembath built a debt-free home that’s larger than most — he also teaches others how they can do the same. Here is some of his advice.
5/14/2014
Paul Scheckel took his time building his house, and thus avoided taking out a mortgage. His off-grid home is powered by sun and wind.
5/14/2014
With only one good leg, Bill Poupore built two debt-free homes, a log cabin and a straw bale abode.
5/14/2014
At only $300, the Meads’ mortgage-free shelter is formed out of reclaimed materials.
5/14/2014
The Lacefields purchased an older-model manufactured home to save money and lessen their environmental impact.
5/14/2014
Eric Guldenstein incorporated energy-saving and passive solar features when building his home, so it’s efficient as well as debt-free.
5/14/2014
The Kemsleys’ stunning debt-free house is located in a tropical rainforest environment in Costa Rica. They’re completing the project piecemeal, paying for it as it’s built over the course of four years.
5/14/2014
After finding himself without a home, LaMar Alexander moved onto inherited land and built a 400-square-foot cabin in two weeks for $2,000.
5/14/2014
Cheryl and Don Ficker’s two-story, passive solar house rose slowly, as the Fickers had time and money to work on it. This allowed them to dodge building debt.
5/14/2014
Anne Denton’s daughter and her daughter’s family located a low-cost, vacant residence that required some renovation, so they rolled up their sleeves and worked side by side to turn the house into a home. The home has a walk-out basement, a sunroom, and a detached shop and garage.
5/14/2014
The Kalmers’ earth-sheltered, passive solar house is made out of many free and inexpensive materials, and cost less than $10 per square foot.
5/9/2014
From a spacious log cabin to a geodesic kit home, readers recount how — with innovation, patience and resolve — they built their own ideal abodes.
5/9/2014
Cure stubborn drain problems with washing soda and white vinegar.
5/9/2014
A reader from Australia shares a bug-repellent recipe that uses Listerine.
5/2/2014
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
5/2/2014
The cordwood chapel at Kinstone Academy was built over three years and has many natural motifs in the walls.
5/1/2014
Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
4/30/2014
Make homemade household products like paint stripper, insect repellent, tar remover and whitewash using ingredients that can be found under the kitchen sink.
4/30/2014
Baking soda and vinegar are great for cleaning appliances and, chances are, you already have both products under your kitchen sink.
4/30/2014
The Hudson Passive Project is a green home by New York-based architect Dennis Wedlick that incorporates principles of passive solar design to drastically reduce heating and cooling costs.
4/24/2014
Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
4/15/2014
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.
4/15/2014
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!
4/14/2014
Increase home heating and cooling performance and boost savings quickly by adding attached sunspaces to existing structures.
4/11/2014
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
4/9/2014
Learn how to eliminate mold growth in your home and improve indoor air quality by using Concrobium.
4/8/2014
Unforgettable Fire's Kimberly and Katydid wood stoves are heating solutions for any and all spaces.
4/7/2014
Houses take a lifetime to pay off these days, and even a prosaic shed, barn or coop requires a heavy investment of money, time, skilled labour and imported materials. For thousands of years, though, people around the world used an ancient technique to build homes and other structures quickly, using nothing but local material and simple, easily learned skills.
4/2/2014
Learn how to build using the cordwood construction technique. Author Richard Flatau recommends taking a workshop or building a practice building.
3/24/2014
For some, underground home designs allow them live in harmony with their surroundings and to more easily acknowledge the beauty in nature.
3/24/2014
Earth-sheltered homes are becoming more common as the costs of dependable, sustainable energy rises.
3/21/2014
Take advantage of low-budget housing options, such as campers and teepees, for off-grid lifestyles.
3/20/2014
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.
3/11/2014
Either when preparing for disaster or the week’s dinner menu, safe food storage can cut down on frustration and waste.
3/5/2014
Create and stock up on all-natural household cleaners like vinegar, baking soda and castile soap to avoid volatile organic compounds in your home.
3/4/2014
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
2/27/2014
What is the best way to learn cordwood construction? Are there workshops or classes offered?
2/20/2014
Kefir is a yogurt-like dairy substance that you can easily culture at home using grains and milk.
2/19/2014
Website links to earthbag building projects.
2/13/2014
An introduction to the North House Folk School.
2/11/2014
The fundamental building blocks, descriptions, diagrams and pictures of best practices cordwood buildings.
2/10/2014
A compendium of modern nomadic sweats.
2/10/2014
Avoid chemical-laden household cleaners by trying this homemade laundry soap recipe.
2/10/2014
This reader tip will prevent you from feeling guilty if you forget your reusable shopping bags.
2/10/2014
Keep your drawers organized and clutter-free with this handy tip using leftover toilet paper rolls.
2/10/2014
There are so many uses for nutshells, it’s explosive!
2/6/2014
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
2/6/2014
Here is a great article on straw bale gardening.
2/6/2014
Introducing our new chickens.
2/5/2014
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.
2/3/2014
Our community offers their best composting tips for all levels of expertise.
1/31/2014
Review of a great axe made by Vipukirves.
1/31/2014
The best rat trap I have ever owned.
1/28/2014
Update on the homestead.
1/15/2014
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.
1/10/2014
Did you buy or build a home without going into debt? We're looking for stories on homes built with a small mortgage, or no mortgage at all. Here's what we want to know.
1/9/2014
A week of no rain, kayaks and firewood in review.
1/7/2014
Winter gardening, and the practice of utilizing solar heat, was a common practice in botanical gardens hundreds of years ago.
1/6/2014
Clearing away snow has just gotten a charge from Snow Joe, the leading US supplier of over 140 products for snow removal and other seasonal needs. I got my hands on their latest innovation, a cordless snow blower powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery, and compared it to their top-selling cord-based electric snow thrower.
1/6/2014
A review of the Husqvarna hatchet.
12/31/2013
A review of hammers of friend Jack Fulton.
12/19/2013
A progress update on our book Tiny Homes On the Move
12/17/2013
Handy Camel multi-purpose bag clip earns several awards during release year.
12/16/2013
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.
12/12/2013
Chainsaw safety equipment.
12/6/2013
Green building expert Lloyd Kahn reviews Kevin Kelly’s new book Cool Tools, an amazing book for the homesteader, builder or anyone who likes cool tools.
12/4/2013
Safely eliminate mice in your home with these house mouse control tips.
12/2/2013
Old homes are often thought of as second-hand or sub-par quality. There are a lot of things you can do to modernize your home, and even make it more energy efficient that many new homes.
11/21/2013
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.
11/15/2013
Ed Begley, Jr. reveals his passion for sustainable living, the passive solar design for his house and the motivation behind his two books, "Living With Ed" and "Ed Begley, Jr.'s Guide to Sustainable Living."
11/13/2013
Sustainably harvested cork creates a beautiful flooring material that’s competitively priced with other kinds of sustainable flooring.
11/12/2013
A methane digester — also known as an anaerobic digester — can be a great source of biofuel and fertilizer.
11/8/2013
New, efficient technology is replacing the old, and it is transforming the way in which we live, and more importantly, our impact on the environment.
11/5/2013
You can recycle common household goods to be used as kitty litter mats.
11/5/2013
Hang an indoor clothesline in a greenhouse or sunroom for sun-fresh laundry all winter.
10/29/2013
If you are planning to build a healthy home your first step is to find a site that will support health and here are some helpful tips about siting
10/28/2013
10 easy steps to get your home prepared for winter.
10/23/2013
Make bathroom maintenance a snap and protect from toilet leaks.
10/22/2013
If you are hoping to build a new home or weekend cottage, we would appreciate your participation in this short survey, which will gauge your interest in a variety of possible kit home features.
10/8/2013
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
10/7/2013
Sansin Corporation offers advice on green, historic home renovations.
10/3/2013
Many people perceive going green as an inconvenience and an unnecessary burden on their daily lives. What they don't realize is that they can take simple steps to help protect the environment without the disruption to their lifestyle, but save money as well.
9/27/2013
Learn how to build a solar water heater for your home.
9/27/2013
Cherished Aladdin lamps were on display at a recent collectors show in Topeka, Kan.
9/26/2013
This blog covers the four major reasons for hiring a healthy home consultant and five keys to creating a successful healthy home project.
9/25/2013
With a few key supplies, you can revive worn wood flooring without heavy-duty sanding.
9/24/2013
The GateMate, by Cartell, has the lowest current draw in standby than any other free exit system on the market.
9/20/2013
When it comes to your health and well-being your bed is the most important furniture choice you will make. This article describes why and how to choose the healthiest bed options for you and your family.
9/19/2013
Passive design includes positioning your house for greatest passive solar gains: having excellent insulation, selecting the most energy efficient tools for heating and cooling and choosing energy efficient appliances.
9/18/2013
When you do business with someone, you are indirectly condoning their methods. with access to the internet, anyone can do a little research to see which businesses are living up to our high expectations.
9/11/2013
Discover how to hand-sculpt a custom, mortgage-free home from dirt-cheap, local materials.
9/11/2013
Take a tip from the philosophy of Feng Shui and use a mirror to reflect the outdoors, which will make a small room seem larger.
9/11/2013
Eric, Michael and Loren decided to build a winter shelter from natural and re-used materials two winters ago, their first ever natural building experiment. This is an account of that experience that changed their lives in mysterious and unforeseen ways (for the better!).
8/28/2013
Window film can reduce peak electricity demand.
8/28/2013
We all have the responsibility to do are best to preserve the Earth and the environment in any way we can. Some people take it to the extreme, but that isn't always necessary. There are many ways we can make simple changes in our lifestyles to contribute to saving what's most precious for our children and future generations.
8/22/2013
Our bedroom should be a sanctuary where our body repairs as we sleep soundly but is your bedroom as healthy as it could be?
8/22/2013
Considering natural building? Learn how to navigate building codes, building permits and acquire homeowners’ insurance.
8/13/2013
Deltec Homes has built wind-resistant houses with beautiful, open floor plans for over 30 years.
8/9/2013
Learn how to create a yoga studio that enhances your practice and your health.
8/7/2013
In our modern society, we are starting to realize how important the environment is and how fragile it really is. Our resources are limited, and if we aren't kept in check, we will ruin any hope we have of preserving it. Using the technology we have available to help us is something everybody can do.
8/2/2013
Instituting community-wide, Eco-friendly programs can be a great way to beautify cities, save money, and do your duty to help preserve the planet. It might be difficult, but all it takes is one person to make a difference.
7/18/2013
The "Jøtul Changeout Program" offers a voucher for a new EPA-certified wood stove in exchange for an outdated and non-EPA-certified model.
7/15/2013
There are many ways we can conserve energy, and be more eco-friendly, especially with the advancements that technology is making every day.
7/2/2013
Sometimes your dream home is far from where your heart is. Moving an existing home to a new location is possible, and it can potentially save you money.
7/1/2013
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
7/1/2013
From shampoo and lotion to wood polish and drain cleaner, you’ll be surprised at how many common household products contain potentially hazardous ingredients. Here’s how to identify problem products and find the best alternatives to buy — or save a little money by making your own.
7/1/2013
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.
7/1/2013
Save money and energy at home by choosing energy-efficient products whenever you purchase home appliances or computers and other electronics.
6/27/2013
A home’s air-tightness is just as important as how much R-value it has.
6/27/2013
Passive solar design comes to Navajo families, as architecture students build homes on Utah reservations.
6/24/2013
There are some things that you just aren’t going to wash very often, like your curtains, couch cushions, and probably even your favorite jeans. To spare the air, concoct a simple essential oil-infused linen spray, and spritz away until your definition of what “clean” smells like shifts permanently.
6/21/2013
Here are a few smart home automation gadgets that have become relatively common place, and a few things that we can expect in the future.
6/21/2013
In 45 years, Deltec Homes have never lost a house to high winds.
6/18/2013
Having a properly maintained water heater is like going to the dentist: No one wants to do it, but it’s gotta be done. Ideally, you should have an inspection and necessary maintenance performed on your water heater once a year.
6/17/2013
When tiny homes enthusiast Tammy Strobel decided she needed a life makeover, she wasn’t immediately drawn to small home living. But through the journey of simplifying her life to a mortgage-free existence, she discovered the big happiness that tiny house living can bring.
6/14/2013
My experiences with a reel lawn mower in a small urban neighborhood.
6/13/2013
When highway developments overtook her parents' property and rendered the family home "uninhabitable," MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader Joyce Hetrick had the house lifted and moved to another location 30 miles away.
6/7/2013
Green building guru Lloyd Kahn recounts his favorite new discoveries from the Puyallup, Wash., MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
6/7/2013
Save money and energy by going green and being smart about your home utilities.
6/7/2013
It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your fridge in top working order.
6/5/2013
After every load in your clothes dryer, cleaning the lint screen improves the air circulation, which means that the system will work more efficiently — and run on less energy.
6/4/2013
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
5/31/2013
We are inundated with green messages that can sometimes be confusing or misleading. This phenomenon is especially true when it comes to the paint industry. There is much talk about No-VOC and Low-VOC paints, but what is the truth behind it?
5/30/2013
A newly “refurbished home” smells bad. It has been 3 months and the smells are still overwhelming. Some helpful suggestions.
5/30/2013
A carefully selected home library can make the difference between successful self reliance or years of struggle. Learn how to choose the best books to read on self reliance and homesteading skills.
5/21/2013
Here are seven devices that will help you conserve energy in your home, and maybe even help make our world livable again.
5/20/2013
You smell an odor in your home and suspect that it isn’t healthy. This article explains how to do some safe investigation in preparation for calling in an expert.
5/20/2013
Attics can be a huge energy drain if they are not insulated sufficiently. We’ll leave the heavy lifting for next weekend, but for now look for uneven insulation, base sports, water damage, and anything else that looks out of place.
5/20/2013
Missoula, MT company awards home owners sustainable products.
5/16/2013
It’s springtime and the weather is getting warm, but that is no excuse for letting money and energy fly out the window every single day. Hopefully you were able to find all the drafts and leaks in your windows last fall (if not, now is just as good a time as any).
5/16/2013
A look at the advantages and disadvantages of “off-grid” and "grid-tied” solar electric systems.
5/14/2013
You can retrofit your current home for cheaper energy bills and a more beautiful, livable space.
5/14/2013
Grain bins are a sturdy, inexpensive alternative-living option, and now Iowa company Sukup Manufacturing is making these unconventional houses more widely available.
5/13/2013
Your deck or other outdoor structures may be made of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Learn more about CCA-treated wood and how to dispose of it.
5/13/2013
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.
5/9/2013
From geodesics domes and yurts to underground homes to cob houses, Stephen Hren takes us along as he searches the realm of natural building to find his perfect alternative architecture.
5/7/2013
Get an introduction to Building Biology, the science and philosophy of healthy and ecological building that originated in Germany 60 years ago.
5/7/2013
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.
5/7/2013
Did you know that heat transfer through windows can account for up to 25 percent of your energy bill by allowing heat out during the winter, and makes your air conditioner work overtime to combat the sun’s warming? Drafts and leaks can be the biggest culprit of energy waste but can also be fixed with relatively little effort.
5/3/2013
When you get home today, do this simple test: Close your fridge door on a dollar bill or piece of paper; if you can pull the bill out easily or worse, if it falls, then it is time to replace the seal.
5/2/2013
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
5/1/2013
More than the electricity needed to run these machines, the “rinse hold” hot water setting that many households use is the biggest energy drain associated with dishwashers – as much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water.
4/29/2013
I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.
4/29/2013
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
4/26/2013
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
4/25/2013
To me, the most important features of a sustainable building are not its technological wonders but its simple design features: common-sense strategies that should be incorporated whether the building becomes LEED certified, Energy Star certified, or is just trying to be environmentally friendly.
4/25/2013
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
4/25/2013
By focusing on environmental change this Earth Day, we can reach our green potential. Green initiatives need to be implemented, both individually and collectively, for us to reduce our environmental impact.
4/24/2013
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
4/24/2013
An introduction to Paula Baker-Laporte's future readers : about Paula, multiple chemical sensitivities, Building Biology and the role of green building in health.
4/4/2013
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
4/3/2013
Some large electronics can use as much energy as a light bulb while in "stanby" mode, meaning you should unplug them when you leave the house or know you won’t use them for awhile. Having a large electronic setup plugged into a  power strip makes it much easier to completely power it down, especially if it has a lot of plugs like a home theater system or computer.
4/2/2013
CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. I know that when I purchased new lamps for my house, they had a whole shelf of incandescent bulbs right next to it, and I had to go search the store for CFLs, so I understand if you are currently using incandescent bulbs. But it’s worth the switch — not only are CFLs equal in light quality, they last way longer and will save you hundreds of dollars over their lifetime.
3/28/2013
Dan Chiras’ superefficient net zero energy home, floor joists, efficient floor design, band beam and rim joist
3/26/2013
The full team from thePOOSH.org attended Over the Moon Festival last autumn in the UK and built a beautiful bender as a temporary shelter area and stall.
3/21/2013
Green living is similar to taking yoga. It is a ‘practice’ – the more you get into, the more there is to learn. It really comes down to three simple things. Are you ready, willing and able to start living green?
3/19/2013
The International Window Film Association says older dwellings can reduce energy use with energy saving window film, which was recently voted into the new California building energy codes.
3/13/2013
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.
3/12/2013
Here is yet another possible building project presented to you which requires no formal training, very little money, and techniques/methods that anyone can use. This blog intends to inspire you to take on a natural building project like this one. Don´t have fear if this is your first time working with these techniques and materials — it often for us also! Swattlesfield Campground is frequented by many kinds of people for various reasons. The owner, Jonathan, wanted to introduce some activity which would draw people together. We had the perfect idea: pizza!  Food, especially food that requires waiting, has a tendency to attract people. And once humans have a good reason to be in the same place, the rest (socialization) has a tendency to just work.
2/25/2013
The basement of Dan Chiras' net zero energy home is outfitted with PVC pipes, insulation and concrete.
2/14/2013
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
2/13/2013
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.
2/13/2013
For one week, BuildingGreen is offering a free download of an insulation guide, available with a 30-day trial of BuildingGreen Suite.
2/11/2013
Learn about some efficient home heating options, such as warm-air heating, radiant heat, hot water heating systems, and more.
2/10/2013
By following certain home design principles, you can save energy and create a comfortable temperature inside your home. Originally published as "The Owner Built Home and Homestead" in the January/February 1971 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
2/10/2013
The devil is in the details in a net zero energy home. Every single step in the design and construction of a home requires efforts to ensure airtightness. The top of the foundation is one detail that deserves special attention.
1/24/2013
Septic system care do's and don'ts to benefit the life of your system, your health, finances, and the environment.
1/23/2013
Tax credits are now available for energy-efficient home improvements such as installation of window film.
1/20/2013
To ensure an airtight design, be sure to level and finish the top of the concrete wall and use sill seal below your bottom plates.
1/20/2013
Once the ICFs are in place and the walls are very well reinforced, it is time to pour concrete. This blog illustrates the process in words and photos.
1/19/2013
This blog describes some of the details involved in building with insulating concrete forms, notably window and door buck details that you need to take into account
1/2/2013
Tips on how to test your house for radon during January's National Radon Action Month!
12/27/2012
In the 1970s, architect Michael Reynolds developed a building system for Earthship houses, which incorporated a passive solar design with recycled materials, such as tin cans, tires and glass bottles.
12/11/2012
An index of previous posts that have referenced green products. These posts have covered building- and home-related products, as well as chocolates, books, and other types of goods. Many of the products mentioned in these posts would make good gifts.
11/19/2012
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
11/19/2012
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
11/19/2012
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
11/11/2012
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.
11/11/2012
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.
11/7/2012
Press Release about UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative’s Toolkit, “Achieving the Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting.”
11/3/2012
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.