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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8/31/2016
A kitchen remodel or big kitchen renovation means lots of cleaning afterwards. This post provides some pointers for cleaning the green way to save the planet while also saving time and money.
8/30/2016
Have you wandered the aisles of your local home improvement store trying to determine what you need for your home’s air conditioning or furnace? If you are unsure about what is wrong with your equipment, get a professional’s opinion or you could be spending money unnecessarily.
8/24/2016
Living with injury is a constant struggle for everyone, especially someone aiming to homestead. Even a simple thing such as getting a sack of chicken feed out of the car can be a problem, and we often ask a neighbor for help with that. Here is what to do when health issues interfere with building the home of your dreams.
8/17/2016
Making the commitment to going fully green at home is huge, however there are certain things you should know first, such as what it truly means to go green, your home's energy expenditure, and your carbon footprint.
8/15/2016
Wood is one of the oldest forms of heat, and throughout the millennia, has been used to keep mankind toasty and defrosted. However, now that we’re an older and (presumably) wiser race, we’re seeing how inefficient and unsustainable this form of heat can be. Rocket mass heaters and rocket stove technology offers the solution, and puts affordable, efficient heat within reach of us all.
8/12/2016
Rainwater cleans clothes better than does hard well water and can be used in electric washing machines.
8/1/2016
Summertime is prime grilling time. But there are ways to make your barbecue greener and cleaner. This article compares the eco-friendly attributes of various grill options: gas, electric, charcoal, and pellet.
7/7/2016
The smart home has a companion: the smart garden. It's now possible to harness the power of the internet to foster better gardening and, at the same time, help conserve energy.
6/17/2016
Instead of assisted living, or managing a large home without help, cohousing creates a small neighborhood of independent individuals who all do what they are able in order to maintain a mutually beneficial and enjoyable community.
6/15/2016
Creating garage storage often requires going out to buy new plastic storage containers. Here are a few ways to make your garage storage green.
6/14/2016
This past year has been a hallmark year for the advancement of Light Straw-Clay building. The publication of our new book The EcoNest Home and the latest edition of Franz Volhard’s book Light Earth Building translated into English, and the inclusion of Light Straw-Clay Building in the International Residential Code has made this beautiful form of construction accessible to more people than ever before in modern times.
6/3/2016
Being outside on the patio brings us closer to nature. But there are ways of bringing natural elements to the patio as well. This post will describe some eco-friendly ways to "green" an outdoor patio.
5/26/2016
Solar hot water heaters are simple, cost-effective and have been around almost as long as mankind itself.
5/26/2016
Understanding how much sunlight falls on your solar system is the key to success. Positioning your solar collectors correctly in the solar window will ensure you get the most from your investment.
5/20/2016
Gas range or induction cooking? The speed and efficiency revealed. Because I’m off-grid, induction will be my go-to cooking method when sunshine is ample, offering an option for fossil-free cooking!
5/19/2016
Earthbag, cob and straw bale are three very popular natural building techniques, but which should you choose, and why? Here’s a checklist for every new natural builder.
5/11/2016
An automatic gate opener is a great example of how simple and convenient it can be to use solar panels to power all of its tools and equipment. You can also get a 30% federal residential tax credit toward the cost of a new solar powered gate opener, accessories and installation, as long as you do it before December of this year.
5/3/2016
There quite a few home improvement projects to help increase your energy efficiency including updating your home's floors, bathroom, as well as your water system.
4/20/2016
If you were to rank sustainable homes primarily based on their energy efficiency, Zero Net Energy homes would rank extremely high. They’re pretty cool — and complicated. Top U.S. home builder PulteGroup moves into the eco-friendly homes market by providing Zero Net Energy homes to the masses.
4/19/2016
Passive cooling is natural air conditioning. By reducing a home’s internal and external heat gains, with clever techniques like properly positioned shade trees, houses can be completely cooled without using a mechanical air conditioner.
4/18/2016
Building an eco-friendly deck involves many considerations. Choosing the right material is certainly one of them, but other factors are also involved, including climate, location, and budget. This post reviews the important factors.
4/14/2016
Megan Offner of New York Heartwoods is salvaging downed and damaged city trees to redirect material from our waste stream, decrease greenhouse emissions, and fuel the demand for local wood products.
4/8/2016
Cordwood chicken coops are the ideal method of protecting your birds and providing warmth and security. Enjoy these pictures of unique cordwood chicken coops throughout North America.
4/5/2016
People think building is difficult. It’s not. And in the hope of encouraging a few more wannabe natural builders, I’ve compiled the following list. Because in my experience, there are far harder things in life than building a house.
4/3/2016
Installing a chimney chase cover is a common project among do-it-yourself homeowners. Many homes were built with galvanized chase covers which rust after a few years – causing leaks and rust stains. Homes that were built with a masonry chimney eventually end up with a cracked and weathered mortar crown, also causing leaks and damage to the home.
3/21/2016
According to the Department of Energy, many Americans are leaching up to 30% of their heated or cooled air through leaks, cracks or poor insulation. While you can hire a professional to perform a complete home energy audit, homeowners can conquer this important task themselves by following some simple guidelines, especially when it comes to checking and/or adding additional attic insulation if necessary.
3/16/2016
Before you set up your own DI composting toilet, read the experiences of several folks who have successfully — and happily — lived with simple bucket toilets.
3/3/2016
Recycling in the home shouldn't be confined to the kitchen. The bathroom can be a haven for recyclable items too. This post shares some ideas on setting up a recycling system for the household bathroom.
3/3/2016
The first time I saw a living roof, I knew I wanted one. Unfortunately, I live on the Mediterranean where summers are hot and dry. Here’s how to make a living roof that sometimes dies.
2/22/2016
This new book by veteran natural builder Conrad Rogue of House Alive natural builders is a treasure of technique and philosophy.
2/11/2016
Learn to choose the right-sized wood stove, manage your firewood and light, and maintain quality fires to heat your home with wood.
1/29/2016
Winters can be brutal, especially on our homes when it comes to our energy costs. Winter tends to drive up energy costs but there is a way to prevent that from happening this winter including eliminating drafts, smart thermostats, and more.
1/27/2016
There are many ways to save energy in the home and one of the most efficient is the right use of home automation. Here are the top five ways you can use home automation to turn your house into a smart, energy-saving abode.
1/21/2016
Unlike Portland cement, builders’ lime is breathable, anti-fungal, beautiful, and carbon neutral — so why is no one using it?
1/15/2016
You're recycling as much as you can, but have you ever wished to lower what goes into your recycling bin while reducing that landfill-bound trash, too? Here are 6 simple ways to live a more zero-waste life.
1/7/2016
Avoid environmentally harmful plastic wrap by using a suction-sealing silicone lid when reheating leftovers.
12/28/2015
Here are some creative ideas for upcycling old cabinet doors into something beautiful and useful.
12/28/2015
Many people assume that a shower head doesn’t need to be cleaned. However, it's not uncommon for lime scale and mineral deposits from the water to clog your shower head and reduce the flow of water. Cleaning the shower head is important but it must be done correctly and in an eco-friendly way.
12/24/2015
By sawing his own lumber from fallen trees, Billy Reeder not only built his cabin debt-free on family land, he also built a new life — a deliberate life. A good life.
12/23/2015
Many people wonder about mud homes and heavy rain. What happens in a flood? Will a house of earth ‘melt’? Here are a few ways to help your mud home cope with the wet.
12/18/2015
Cleaning your wallpaper must be done carefully. Here are ways to do it safely as well as greenly.
12/15/2015
Looking for alternatives to store-bought gifts? Check our these eco-friendly holiday gift ideas. Green your holiday season by making your own gifts, gifting experiences, or giving plants- the gifts that keep on giving.
12/14/2015
Indoor air is polluted by volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are emitted into the air from products like pesticides, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint and paint remover, personal care products, appliances, furniture and building products, including carpet and pressed-wood floors, and more. Learn several steps to take to guard against indoor air pollution and how indoor air quality monitors can help.
12/10/2015
Home insulation can no longer be regarded as something homeowners simply put off as a vague way to be environmentally conscious. Insulating one’s home properly is the best way to cut down on those surging energy costs plaguing every homeowner.
12/9/2015
Gifting is more enjoyable when you know that the gifts you are giving are environmentally conscious and a lot of fun, plus the recipients will be totally in love. VivaGreenHomes.com released its annual eco-friendly gifts list this year with everyone in mind: men, women, children and pets.
12/1/2015
My earthbag home has liberated me from a mortgage. The technique has numerous benefits. Here’s my list of why anyone might want to think about an earthbag home.
11/16/2015
Don't fall into the "greenwashing" trap when buying a new home. Gain tips on how to avoid it and insight into how one website is trying to safeguard against the real estate practice.
11/12/2015
There are five main areas of the home responsible for wasting the most energy. At the top of that list is windows, and one of the most effective ways to decrease your home’s carbon footprint is by replacing old, drafty windows with new, air-tight Energy Star-qualified windows.
11/6/2015
This green homes blog post describes energy-efficient, fiberglass windows and the impact they have on energy costs in your home.
11/5/2015
MOTHER EARTH NEWS explores the low environmental impact of using ground source heat pumps and three other benefits.
11/4/2015
Take notice of your environmental footprint over the festive period and follow our guide for a greener Christmas.
10/28/2015
Dream big, build a small house or make home improvements, and enjoy the benefit of every task when you tap into your Zen of Building.
10/27/2015
Are you thinking about building a cordwood home or cottage, but are not quite sure if it's worth all the effort? Why not first spend some time in a cordwood home? There are several places where you can enjoy vacation time in a Cordwood Bed and Breakfast.
10/13/2015
Using new design ideas in your home will help you create an aesthetic that is all your own, but you don’t have to go out and dump your bank account into new items. You can make some great updates to your home using recycled or salvaged pieces for very cheap. This article explores five design ideas anyone can do for a dime by incorporating recycled materials that will make your home look amazing.
10/1/2015
Estimating the work load and minimizing re-work is the key to happy owner-builders of small homes. The basic steps are similar wither you build a straw-bale, stick-frame, or masonry structure, all must be completed within the relatively short building season.
9/28/2015
Net-zero homes are very popular. What are they and how do you get one? Here are some tips.
9/24/2015
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the amount of energy lost annually through windows costs consumers $35 billion. Heat loss and heat gain through and around windows accounts for between 10 and 25 percent of our heating and air conditioning usage, the largest consumer of energy in a modern home. Here are some ways to make sure your windows are as energy-efficient as possible.
9/22/2015
Air compressors can be used for just about anything on your homestead but they don’t have the best reputation for going green. Here’s what you need to know. These valuable machines are used in many factories, small businesses and even in homes, and making sure yours is efficient can cut down on emissions and your energy bills at the same time.
9/18/2015
The first question on the path to creating a sustainable homestead is: Where should I live? Find out how population and topography characterize a town and use a simple method to map your region and locate and research the right-sized town for your home.
8/27/2015
Tiny homes are becoming more and more popular throughout the United States. This article explains why tiny homes are inherently green and offers an example of Anita’s 248-square-foot Lilypad Tiny Home, decked out with green appliances and sustainable materials.
8/20/2015
Designing a tiny home can seem like a Rubik’s cube challenge—finding ways to shift things around when needed and out-of-the-way when done. Find out how to integrate inside/outside rooms, single/multiple rooms, and built-ins and fold-outs into your tiny house design; plus learn about the “14 Basic Requirements of a Livable Home.”
8/18/2015
Utilize these simple earthworks systems to survive the drought and design storm water runoff to transform from a problem to an asset for your home! Let the Water work for you! Remember: “Slow it, spread it, sink it.”
8/14/2015
A damaged roof or a roof over 20 years old may need to be replaced. When doing so, there are several environmentally-friendly options to consider.
8/11/2015
Eco-friendly rugs can be found both indoors and outside but it's important to know the differences and the attributes that make outdoor rugs "green". Here are some of the best options for eco-friendly outdoor rugs.
7/31/2015
Get the most out of your kerosene lamp by knowing these tips for proper set up and use.
7/30/2015
Bamboo is frequently touted as one of the best green options. Here are the pros and cons, and what certification organizations say about its sustainability.
7/15/2015
A green outdoor lifestyle doesn't need to remain outdoors. There are ways of "greening" the interior of your home as well. Here are some ideas to make that happen.
7/9/2015
Reduce and reuse when choosing remodeling materials.
7/6/2015
One of the largest energy expenses in a typical home is its water heater. Here are some ways to assess the efficiency of your water heater and decide whether a replacement is needed and if so, what type it should be.
7/2/2015
These three major developments in green-building materials are bound to change lives and climates all over the world.
6/29/2015
Choosing a countertop for a kitchen remodel involves many considerations. One of the most important considerations is eco-friendliness. Here are some of the best eco-friendly countertop options available on the market today.
6/15/2015
An eco-friendly and also budget-friendly way to search for a new rug can actually be very simple: the search can start right at home. Here is a way to re-purpose an old tablecloth into a new rug.
6/2/2015
Ever thought about designing and building your own space? Darles Eaton will walk you through thoughful design, best materials and lessons learned.
5/20/2015
What it's really like to buy, sell and market a green home.
5/14/2015
Are you ready to make your home or living space greener? Now is the time to get started; look up and think about how you could give back to nature, starting with your roof.
5/11/2015
Using loads of energy to stay cool? Consider an efficient cooling unit called an indirect evaporative cooler, an advanced version of a “swamp cooler.”
5/5/2015
Warmer weather brings greater focus to porches, patios, and outdoor spaces in general. Here are some tips to ensure that outdoor space makeovers are done in an eco-friendly and environmentally safe way.
4/24/2015
A homesteader introduces readers to his quest for a simpler life, which led to the construction of a unique underground home.
4/23/2015
Timber framers from around the world gathered in a small town in Michigan to raise a community pavilion.
4/22/2015
In order to be environmentally friendly, a kitchen remodel should reduce energy use, reuse or recycle materials, and minimize the carbon footprint of the remodeling project. Here are five tips to keep in mind in order to achieve a greener, cleaner kitchen.
4/20/2015
Pallets can have many uses. And they can be re-purposed into just about anything. This article shows how to re-purpose a wood pallet into a wine rack.
4/15/2015
A Review of "A Man Apart: Bill Coperthwaite's Radical Experiment in Living," by Peter Forbes & Helen Whybrow.
4/10/2015
A list of the 6 most basic questions to ask before a buyer purchases a green home.
4/3/2015
A single bulldozer engine can emit as much particulate matter as more than 500 cars. Learn how the construction industry can get green with these tips.
4/1/2015
Greening our homes, neighborhoods and communities depends on friends and neighbors working together. This blog will show and tell several examples of friends and neighbors greening the neighborhood.
3/30/2015
Indoor air pollution can be even worse than outdoor. For this reason, choosing eco-friendly floor coverings is essential to a healthy home.
3/24/2015
The outdoor rugs that line my garage and mud room get filthy and need a good cleaning every now and again, a cleaning that usually goes beyond just vacuuming. But this cleaning can be done in an eco-friendly way, without the use of harsh chemicals.
3/20/2015
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research in Germany have developed a new type of insulating foam.
3/5/2015
It's never too early to think spring. And it's a good time now to plan for an eco-friendly patio by thinking about how household items can be smartly repurposed and upcycled into useful patio décor.
3/5/2015
Here’s how to use every last drop of charge from 9-volt smoke detector batteries.
2/25/2015
Windows can be responsible for up to 40 percent of heat loss in a home. One way to achieve both cost savings and energy savings is by installing the right window treatments.
2/25/2015
Most ice build up on roofs in the winter time are caused by specific circumstances. This project that we just completed had ice build up from the day it was built. Although the builder did a good job of insulating, he missed one key element, which you will read about here.
2/23/2015
How to choose a sustainable flooring product. Review of sustainable flooring used over time and links to more material choices.
2/21/2015
Catching and storing rainwater is one of the most important tasks on the suburban frontier for "green preparedness." It's a great way to build "home economics" and connect more closely with taking care of basic needs.
2/19/2015
Some businesses toss around the word "green" to be hip and fit, but the question is just how green are their products and buildings anyways? Let's take a closer look.
2/16/2015
The "Earth Shelter" at The Farm Community in Tennessee combines the geothermal properties of the earth with solar design to produce a very energy efficient home.
2/16/2015
New Energy Star standards not only raise the bar for energy efficiency in refrigeration, but they also introduce, for the first time, the idea that putting Wi-Fi into a fridge can help with energy savings.
2/5/2015
When choosing light bulbs for the home, a close look shows that the most eco-friendly choice - LED light bulbs - can also result in the greatest long-term cost savings.
2/2/2015
Learn about five easy ways for companies to help the environment by implementing a few simple changes to their building and operations.
1/28/2015
How bamboo differs from hard-wood flooring and why it's a wonderful green alternative.
1/27/2015
Marketing green homes has been limited to few websites with outdated listings that cost the seller or agent an arm and a leg to list. As a homeowner who had invested a lot of money in a green remodel of my own, I was perplexed as to how I was going to show off all the features of my home in a normal MLS listing. With years of research and development, I created a very innovative way to buy, sell, and market sustainable homes.
1/27/2015
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
1/19/2015
I wanted a DIY natural cleaner for stainless steel appliances, because I don't use all those terrible chemical-filled products that I was tricked into buying 10 years ago. How do I clean without the name brand products that promise to make life easy and clean your stainless steel products? Let me tell you my secret.
1/16/2015
Living in a tiny house is good for the environment and for the wallet, but requires a lifestyle shift for the inhabitants.
1/13/2015
Taking out a driveway and reclaiming automobile space can be one of the most rewarding projects on the suburban frontier. Replacing it with a walnut tree, blackberries and a storage shed with edible landscaping over the roof is even better.
1/12/2015
Learn about the dangers of radon in the home and what can be done about it.
1/8/2015
How convenient that citrus is a winter fruit! Their peels, when dried, make great kindling for your fire.
12/31/2014
Learn about the different types of earth-sheltered homes and why you should consider digging in the ground to find your next residence.
12/23/2014
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
12/18/2014
Transforming this suburban property has been one of the most satisfying and creative adventures in my life. No need to go anywhere. Making big changes was the plan from the beginning, 15 years ago, when I bought this quarter-acre property with a modest 1,100-square-foot mid-fifties suburban house. If I reincarnated as a house and suburban property, this would be it.
12/16/2014
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
11/24/2014
This variation on the (endlessly adaptable) traditional Mongolian yurt design was inspired by the work of master yurt builder, educator, and homesteader Bill Coperthwaite (who was also a neighbor and friend of the Nearings). This low-cost yurt design combines basketry, wattle and daub, and basic lashing (similar to skin-on-frame boats). Not much more than a glorified tent, this DIY yurt made from sticks, string and mud makes a very comfortable, durable and beautiful tiny house, studio, or meditation space.
11/23/2014
“You don't have to move to live in a better neighborhood.” Half of all Americans live in suburbia. It’s true that suburbia is on the receiving end of a lot of social, economic and environmental criticism with much of that criticism well deserved. While some of these criticisms may be justified, at the same time, suburbia offers enormous potential to become a critical new frontier for deep changes in our culture and economy through principles of suburban permaculture.
11/19/2014
A reader wonders how often to change furnace filters to keep the air clean in her home. Learn the frequency with which homeowners should replace a furnace filter.
11/4/2014
We're using earthbags and straw bales to construct an efficient, cost-effective, and roomy earthbag root cellar.
11/2/2014
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
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
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 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
Shelter Publications’ new book has all manner of roaming, tiny dwellings to spark your inner wanderlust.
8/22/2014
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
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.
5/9/2014
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.
4/24/2014
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!
4/11/2014
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.
3/20/2014
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.
3/5/2014
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
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.
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. discusses sustainable living, passive solar design and his 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.
11/8/2013
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
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.
9/18/2013
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
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!).
8/30/2013
Second annual report shows how homeowners consume and conserve energy; one third willing to cool off in undergarments rather than turn down the A/C.
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?
8/13/2013
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.
7/1/2013
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.
6/14/2013
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.
5/13/2013
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.
5/7/2013
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.
1/20/2013
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!
12/11/2012
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.
11/1/2012
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
10/28/2012
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.
10/28/2012
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.
10/24/2012
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.
10/1/2012
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.
10/1/2012
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.
9/28/2012
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.
9/26/2012
Therapeutic grade essential oils have a tonne of uses on the homestead - here's how we've used them effectively, and how they bring us peace of mind.
9/12/2012
After Greensburg was destroyed in 2007, the citizens of Greensburg, with the help of GreenTown, have invested in green building for a better tomorrow.
8/31/2012
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...
8/13/2012
According to the USDA, consumers can feel secure in the accuracy of the biobased claim and can make better informed purchasing decisions.
8/9/2012
If you missed it, be sure to check out this great informative interview with John Burke of MSi Green Lighting LED Company. They are lighting it green in Macy’s and saving them millions!! They use Cree LED diodes in their bulbs and proprietary tech.
8/5/2012
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.
7/10/2012
In this update on eco-friendly nursery renovations, Natural Home and Garden editor Jessica Kellner shares her progress on re-wiring, installing windows, insulation and new drywall.
6/21/2012
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.
6/14/2012
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.
6/13/2012
Jessica Kellner, editor of Natural Home & Garden, is beginning research on electric in-floor radiant floor heating products as an efficient method of heating the new nursery.
6/7/2012
Learn how to keep your house cool without air conditioning by using these cross-ventilation techniques.
6/6/2012
Broadening your understanding of mold and mildew in the house will help you to eliminate this hazard to health and home value.
6/6/2012
It was a cold, windy New Years evening. Logan and I were wrapped up in the covers; he was surfing the internet and I was reading a book. It was a perfect and cozy night to be at home.
6/5/2012
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.
6/1/2012
As a nursery renovation begins, Jessica, editor of Natural Home and Garden, is just beginning an investigation into remodeling options for an eco-friendly nursery.
6/1/2012
An organic cotton and wool body pillow goes a long way to help relieve pregnancy back pain.
5/30/2012
Absorb and Clean delivers unmatched performance for cleaning up liquid spills on land, water, and hard surfaces instantly.
5/25/2012
Wireless temperature control mattresses and pads offer a dream come true for restless sleepers.
5/16/2012
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
5/6/2012
The challenge of refurbishing an ingeniously designed 30-year-old combination woodworking machine was just to intriguing to resist. I found my Zinken MIA 6 on Craigslist, then proceeded to make all 5 functions work like new again.
4/20/2012
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses made with reclaimed materials.
4/20/2012
Learn about the history of housing finance from the Homestead Act of 1862 to home loans in the 1970s, to how housing finance affects American society today.
4/19/2012
12 of Morton’s buildings have been awarded the National Frame Building Association’s Building of the Year Award for 2011.
4/10/2012
Morton Buildings is a proud ENERGY STAR® partner and also employs LEED Accredited Professionals to assist customers looking to achieve certification.
4/6/2012
A lookout tower home, which features reclaimed materials, connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
3/28/2012
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.
3/27/2012
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
3/21/2012
A strong partnership between Cascades and Office Depot to deliver on customer need for softness and strength while significantly reducing total environmental impact.
2/16/2012
The ‘Kiwi House’ is organized around the primal element of fire.
2/10/2012
The Sun Mar composting toilet uses a first of its kind technology to deliver a pollution free and sanitary product.
2/3/2012
“Green,” sustainable homes that deliver low cost of ownership.
1/20/2012
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
1/16/2012
Solar protection window treatments that never go out of season.
1/13/2012
It has become a Christmas ritual for me to clean out my mother's fridge. I find whiskery gnarled morsels, shoved to the back of the fridge many months previously, unseen, and untouched by my mother’s arthritic hands. Do I compost all this detritus?
1/5/2012
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
12/29/2011
This blog post is a description of starting a building project using Structural Insulated Panels, also known as SIPs.
12/20/2011
Follow these three quick, simple steps to take your guest room from lifeless to luxurious.
12/16/2011
Protect children's health and the environment by choosing responsibly made toys that are free of lead and other toxins.
12/11/2011
Wondermill Grain Mill
12/11/2011
News Flash!! Jay Shafer Taking His Tumbleweed Tiny House to Occupy Wall Street NYC
11/29/2011
In the down real-estate market, more people are choosing to renovate rather than relocate. Use these tips to create a customized home that supports your lifestyle.
11/22/2011
To give your bedroom a boost, consider new paint suited to your personality. AFM Safecoat's Ayurveda Essence line allows you to choose colors based on your dosha, or personality type, within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system.
11/21/2011
Discussion of some of the first log building tools you will need to build a log home — debarking spuds and drawknives.
11/16/2011
Upgrading wall insulation is tricky. You can't see the insulation that is (or isn't) in your walls, and it's not easy to install new insulation in a hidden wall cavity. One solution that shows promise is filling wall cavities with injections foam.
11/16/2011
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
11/10/2011
Friends and I travel to the Open Source Ecology project in rural Missouri to take a tour and help out laying up earth bricks.
10/19/2011
Home energy audits are a great idea for anybody looking to save on energy costs. These audits can contribute to your household’s sustainability, even if you only make minor changes. Read this article to learn more about how energy audits can contribute to a greener — and cheaper! — future for you and your home.
10/17/2011
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
10/12/2011
Insulating your water heater is a snap, and this small investment of time and money can save you more than $100 on your annual energy costs.
10/6/2011
Most conventional paints and coatings emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which can contribute to poor indoor air quality as well as to smog. This overview includes a link to a product listing of healthier low-VOC, zero-VOC, and natural paints.
9/27/2011
Godfrey Stephen's frog carving
9/27/2011
Cae Mabon - An Eco-Retreat Centre in North Wales
9/27/2011
Traditional woodworking with hand tools
9/25/2011
You don't need to rely on toxic chemicals to clean your house. Opt for natural homemade cleaners or nontoxic options such as Bon Ami.
9/25/2011
Sigi Koko of Down to Earth Design and some assistants demonstrate her method of constructing strawbale walls with clay at the 2011 Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pa.
9/20/2011
Before winter's chill starts to compromise comfort and elevate home energy bills, there are 5 energy-saving upgrades you can complete.
9/4/2011
Treehouse in Washington #1
9/4/2011
Great book on San Francisco area wild food
9/2/2011
Bottle Houses
8/17/2011
Check out this magical photograph of an energy-efficient dome home and the surprise above.
8/17/2011
Today, resourceful homeowners are creating more space without moving walls. One innovative solution uses heavy-duty sliding door hardware to show how a vacation home benefits from more efficient floor space.
8/16/2011
Save money and have a healthier home with these ideas for assembling your own green cleaning tool kit. Plus, get our recipe for Lemon-Mint Window Wash.
8/12/2011
Pull up a chair and enjoy the view from my back porch. And the smell of fresh manure.
8/11/2011
Re-Pac reusable bags replace plastic bags and sell like hotcakes
8/9/2011
I've been living in my tipi for almost a month now. Last night, under a chorus of screech owl trills and whinnies, I spent a little time reflecting on some things I've learned about this curious way of living. Enjoy.
8/8/2011
I made a hole in the ground, and then decorated it with rocks!
8/5/2011
Putting up a big cone made of sticks and canvas isn't really all that challenging. Just maybe start before 7pm on a weekday your first time.
8/3/2011
Louie Frazier's Yukon flashlight
8/3/2011
Solar bottles of light
8/2/2011
Let's face it: Tax audits have given the word "audit" a bad name. But a home energy audit is a good thing, and every home can benefit from the information and recommendations a home energy audit provides.
8/1/2011
Nathan Kipnis of Kipnis Architecture + Planning will present two workshops on green energy and building at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25 in Seven Springs, Pa.
7/28/2011
Building a new house with SIPS
7/26/2011
Rustic recycled small buildings in Minnesota
7/25/2011
Tips for saving energy at home while trying to stay cool.
7/21/2011
The Rhombin, a desktop organizer made from a plant-based plastic (bioplastic), merges sustainability with convenience and cutting-edge design.
7/20/2011
I had no idea putting dirt in a box was this difficult.
7/14/2011
New photos of Lloyd House's Leaf House
7/14/2011
Offering paint that saves the rain forest and a full list of ingredients, this natural finishes start-up aims to change the industry. Unearthed is making a bold move by providing full ingredient disclosure for all of its products.
7/13/2011
Lloyd meditates on the essentials of shelter and our memories of home.
7/8/2011
Settling on a flooring option for the tipi was pretty simple after coming across an awesome company that was right under my nose the whole time.
7/6/2011
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
7/5/2011
JavaCycle has saved more than 40 tons of burlap coffee bag from landfills.
6/28/2011
Learn to build your own Hand-Crafted Log Home
6/24/2011
A few things for a tipi dweller to consider in finding the (kind of) perfect property to call home (for a bit).
6/23/2011
Yellow jackets can pose a threat to honeybees. If yellow jackets have built a nest in your yard, here's a recipe for a natural, non-toxic solution that will get rid of them. Please share your own recommendations too!
6/15/2011
Follow the logic trail in how I came to decide upon living in a canvas cone.
6/15/2011
InSpire Cedar Shake is an innovative, authentic and durable mineral-filled polyolefin roof tile that delivers the genuine beauty and texture of cedar roofing without any costly regular maintenance or issues inherent with wood.
6/6/2011
The sustainability of one’s home depends as much (if not more) on its location as on how the house is built. If you’re looking to buy land or to buy (or rent) a house, consider the following sustainability criteria when comparing property locations.
5/27/2011
Kathy Bennett and Scott Bergford will present workshops on raising sheep and keeping your green home safe at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
5/23/2011
Extolling the virtues of salvaging and reusing building materials
5/23/2011
Doug Kennedy of TM4 Group will present a workshop on home owner operation and maintenance at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
5/19/2011
Molly McCabe, green remodeler, will present a workshop about sustainable remodeling for kitchens and baths at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
5/18/2011
Aaron Gould, green builder, will present a workshop on the economics of ecobuilding at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
5/6/2011
Live in a dome home in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
4/27/2011
Forty years ago a trombe wall worked to store and release heat in a passive solar house. Is it obsolete in the 21st century?
4/27/2011
“Bed bugs” are small nocturnal insects that feed on blood. Here are some tips for keeping them out of your home, and for getting rid of them--without using toxic pesticides/insecticides--if they do show up.
4/20/2011
The Lehigh Valley Green Builders is presenting its third annual Green Home and Building Expo.
4/20/2011
Otterbine Barebo Inc. expands their Air Flo 2 diffused air system product line by releasing 2-dome and 1-dome diffuser manifold options to the original 4-dome option.
4/19/2011
An energy audit can help the homeowner determine the best strategies for improving the home's energy efficiency.
4/19/2011
Here's a chance to transform your home into the greenest one on the block and then pay it forward to your neighbors to help paint your whole town "green."
4/18/2011
Michael Strizki proves that living off the grid doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.
3/29/2011
The work invovlve in tranforming a house that wastes energy into a house that's 50%-95% more energy efficient is called a "deep energy retrofit." We need to find ways to do more of these to save energy, money and the environment.
3/14/2011
We know that heating, cooling and operating our buildings is responsible for 40 percent of total energy expenditures in this country. That’s a huge percentage. But we also know how to test, evaluate and improve buildings so that energy use can be cut dramatically.
3/9/2011
Any net zero-energy home needs two things. The first is the sun, providing passive solar energy. The second necessity is retaining maximum heat.  
2/4/2011
Most of us would love to live in energy-efficient homes that are good for the environment and have low, low energy bills. But what are the best real options available? How do you create an extremely energy-efficient home that’s still affordable for most people?
2/4/2011
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
1/28/2011
Weatherproof your log home by chinking or caulking to seal up gaps between the wood.
1/28/2011
Solar electricity, supplemented with a generator, could be the ideal power solution for an Idaho homesteader already planning to build a passive solar cabin. Originally published as "Solar Log Cabin" in the May/June 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
1/27/2011
These space-saving, smart front loading units perfectly accommodate apartments and small spaces and eliminate the need to wash your clothes, remove them from the washer and place them into a separate machine for drying.
1/26/2011
A super insulated house will significantly lower your energy costs in cold and temperate climates. Originally published as "Superinsulated Home" in the September/October 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
1/26/2011
A reader investigating earth sheltered construction seeks advice on earth bermed versus underground structures, roof coverings, and soil types. Originally published as "Earth-Sheltered Homes" in the May/June 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
1/26/2011
The best option is to