New York’s Hudson Valley Revs Up for Electric Vehicles with New Campaign

The first electric vehicle (EV) consumer education program in the Hudson Valley goes live this fall. For the growing population of consumers who are curious about EVs and want to learn more, Drive Electric Hudson Valley will provide consumer workshops, informational materials, and test drive opportunities throughout the fall

Energy Pros Weigh In on Future of Solar Power

A friend of mine participated in the Second-Annual State of the Electric Utility survey. He also shared with me the results of the 2014 survey, which tabulates the opinions of more than 500 electric-utility professionals on the subjects of demand growth, distributed generation, power supply, regulatory models, and a number of other electricity-generation, transmission, and distribution-related issues.

Tips for Training Goats to Electric Net Fences

Portable fences made of electrifiable netting allow practical movement and protection of small livestock on pasture. It’s important to use and maintain the nets properly, and to train goats to respect the barrier for their own safety and security. Well-managed net fencing offers significant benefits to the health of herds and pastures, and to the homesteader’s peace of mind.

Automakers Ring in 2016 with Electric Car Showcase

General Motors and Volkswagen unveiled various green-thinking transportation ideas, providing consumers with an in-depth peek at what could represent green transportation in the coming years.

5 Unique Ways to Use Solar Power

Solar power is taking the world by storm. People are not only using solar power to produce energy by placing solar panels on their roofs, but they are starting to use the technology in new ways. This post highlights ways solar power can provide homeowner benefits but are less often discussed.

The Wise Grid Series, Part 1: Smart Meters Are Not Smart

Transformation of the electricity sector may be able to be delayed by wasting billions of federal tax dollars on unnecessary meters, and large long-distance transmission lines, but it cannot be stopped. It may be a politically rocky transition for the foreseeable future, but I am confident America will certainly achieve energy independence and clean energy abundance.

Driving Green at the FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS fairgoers could choose a vehicle from a fleet of Ford hybrid cars to test-drive on the rolling countryside outside Asheville, N.C.

Ford Brings a Charge to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Ford Motor Company’s electrifying presence at the 2014 Pennsylvania MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR included sponsoring the event, giving test drives, and updating fairgoers about the latest news on electric and hybrid vehicle technology.

Why We Need the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.

All-Electric Snow Removal That’s a Breeze

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.

National Plug In Day is Coming

Celebrate the third annual National Plug In day on Sept. 29, 2013, and see what electric cars are all about.

'Ride the Future Tour' Aims to Promote Green Travel

Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.

States Achieve 25 Percent Renewable Energy With Wind Power

Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.

Toward Perpetual Motion Machines

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.

SuperTruck: Let's Get the Snowball Rolling!

Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!

The Best-Loved Car in the World

I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.

Solar Generators: Clean, Portable Power

Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.

Weighing a Bee Hive and Improving Dielectric Hygiene

Orchard soil health is a topic that gets covered as well as the new asparagus beetle management system and how it seems to be working better than we could have hoped for. Dielectric grease to prevent rust and corrosion on the golf cart battery post.

The Windmill on Our Homestead

Homesteads are attempting to provide longer grazing times by dividing pasture into paddocks. The difficulty of getting water to each paddock can be solved by a windmill with underground pipes. No electric is needed--just wind!

My First DIY Solar Car

What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.

Seeking Electric In-Floor Heat

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.

Hybrid Minivan in the Near Future

Been on the hunt for an electric or hybrid minivan? The options are currently limited in the United States, but a wider selection of green minivan options should be on the market soon. 

Electric Car Range in Cold Weather

Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.

Solar Electric Incentive Status: What's Changing and What's Not

A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...

A Recent Video Shoot

Looking after your chickens in the winter and cutting with a solar-powered electric chainsaw.

Living Off Grid - Home and Energy Options Part 3

This is the last of a series in home and energy options available to us. It is a short summary of all of the choices we have when designing a new home on or off grid that will benefit your energy use.

Fun with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)

Can party technology teach you about energy savings and even the theory behind electric cars? It sure can if you follow this simple video tutorial on pulse width modulation.

DIY Electric Car attracts Media Attention

Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!

How About 16 Horsepower?

Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy. 

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.

Climate Change and the World's Future Fuel Choice

As the world's demand for electricity continues to climb so will the need for new power plants. We need to decide what will be the fuel of the future for these plants. The choice boils down to conventional versus renewable sources.

Australia to Texas - Drilling the Well

One of the first steps to building our homestead in Texas was to get water and electricity on the property so we had the basics from which we could build. This blog discusses how we implemented the first phase of our utilities.

Toyota RAV4 EV Coming to Market in 2012

Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.

The Mitsubishi I Electric Car at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.

Energy Star Program Launches New Initiative

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program launched its 2011 Change the World, Start with Energy Star Campaign. This campaign encourages and inspires Americans to commit to energy efficiency by highlighting grassroots efforts of individuals all over the United States.

The Dark Side of Nuclear Energy - Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?

Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake.  Radiation levels are on the rise.  The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?

Current Motor Company Debuts Line of Electric Scooters

Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.

Native American Wind Energy Projects and Training

Henry Red Cloud has a lot to do with the wind energy education happening in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. Along with these tribes, the interest in wind energy is spreading across the nation, especially to Arizona, and outside organizations are lending a hand.

The Fisker Karma: An Electric Car With Curb Appeal

The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.

Human Powered Generators: Cheap and Easy Renewable Energy

Human-powered generators cleverly derive electricity from something we already use in abundance — human movement — offering an easy way to tap renewable energy for anyone interested in a low-impact lifestyle. Two creative generators caught our attention: a merry-go-round that supplies light for poor Ghanaian schools and a revolving door that lights up a train station.

Should You Wait for the Latest, Greatest PV Modules?

With new breakthroughs in solar electricity coming out every year, should you wait before investing in a solar electric system? Energy expert Dan Chiras discusses cost of PV modules in terms of cost per watt of installed capacity.

Emancipate Yourself from the Utility

Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.

Can Solar Power the World?

Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.

LEED Continuing Education Credits through the Evergreen Institute

The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.

Is There an Electric Car in Your Future?

Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.

The Prius Effect

The sales history of the Toyota Prius illustrates an exciting phenomenon: When a new idea or a piece of technology ignites the human imagination, it can spread very rapidly.

What Are AC Solar Panels?

AC solar panels are an intriguing new idea on the PV market. The panels themselves still produce DC, but each panel would come with its own attached micro-inverter, which converts the DC to AC.

Does Your Electric Utility Offer a Green Power Option?

We’d like to hear more about your experiences with green power. Is it available where you live? How does the price compare to what you would otherwise pay for electricity? Why have you — or haven’t you — chosen this option?

What Do you Think About Small Solar Gadgets?

There are a growing number of small, solar-powered gadgets for sale including solar flashlights, radios, cell phone chargers, outdoor motion lights and more. Are you using any of these small solar products? Do you find them useful? Tell us what you think!

Average Electric Bills

How does the amount of electricity you use each month compare to the  average American household?

More Wind, More Wires

If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.

Falling in Love with an Electric Car

Zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. Equivalent of 256 mpg. 220 mile range. Costs less than 2 cents per mile to drive. I'm in love. And you will be, too, after watching this video.

Speaking of Clean Energy

Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.

More Renewable Energy Please

In the United States, renewable energy is growing, but we still don't get very much of our electricity from renewable sources. How can we speed things up?

Carbon Counting Cheat Sheet

It's surprisingly easy to figure out how many carbon dioxide emissions come from producing the electricity for your home, or burning a full tank of gas. Check out this carbon calculator, or find out how to do a quick ballpark estimate.

Teeter-Totter for Sustainable Living

Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.

All Kinds of Solar: Understanding the Options

There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.

What's Watt: How Much Electricity Are You Using?

This week, I've been using a Kill-a-Watt at home. It's a small meter that costs about $25, and you can use it to measure the electricity consumption of your appliances and home electronics.

Reduce Computer Energy Use

Almost everyone uses a computer these days. But not everyone knows how much energy is consumed by that one device.Most appliances or electronics tell you the number of watts they use. An average CPU uses 120 watts, while the monitor uses 150 watts. That's 270 watts of power while in use, but there are several easy ways to reduce that amount.