How can we as a culture emerge out of the darkness where we think that our species has all the answers to complex relationships on the Earth? I share thoughts here regarding the treatment of our wild mustangs, and how their predators can help them and us.
I have a lifelong affinity for rocks and bricks. Though collecting them isn’t perhaps the most weighty thing I do, they certainly give my body a workout as they find their way into my garden and life over and over again.
It costs the average musician upwards of $1,000 to be a member of most music trade groups, pay for conference fees, travel, and get hotel rooms and meals. That is more than most musicians make in a year. If it costs more to be part of the garden than the garden can provide, the farmer needs to make a choice: Abandon the garden or get rid of the pig.
Forestry and climate change are complex and emotionally charged issues. In this post, we focus on the forests themselves and how they can contribute to global cooling when forest management practices are adjusted through the incentives in the multi-billion dollar carbon credit programs being launched.
Spiders are beneficial arachnids, meaning they have eight legs. They can be found in or near a home. Relocating spiders to a more appropriate place is a much wiser idea than killing them when they're in our way.
Coyotes live among us just as they have with our Native Peoples in the past. But unlike our Native Peoples understanding and respect of coyotes, our present day culture has little knowledge, and this greatly takes away from all the positive experiences we can have with America’s wild canine.
What changes a predator’s relationship with your farm? Relationships are two-sided, and human behavior has much to do with our relationships with predators. Here are two real-life stories about just that.
The Cranberry Glades are situated within the Monongahela National Forest, which comprises almost 1 million acres of land, making it the third largest national forest east of the Rocky Mountains. Within The Glades are many natural areas and attractions such as the “Cranberry Glades Botanical Area.” This 750-acre preserve is home to many unusual plants, and this is where you’ll find “the bogs.”
Even though we live remotely in the mountains with bear, coyote, mountain lion, deer, elk, and bobcats, the lowly little packrat may be the most dangerous critter we face. Here's how we deal with packrats on our remote homestead.
As much inspired by the mountains, rivers and forests as serving the needs of the droves of visitors attracted to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, Gatlinburg's arts and craft community, plus many of the hotels and restaurants, offer nourishment for the mind, body and soul.
Cradled by the half-million-acre Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, can be a perfect, if not also eco-luxurious, base camp, a cornucopia of discoveries for the arts and craft crowd, or a wacky diversionary stop on the way to or from an entrance to the most visited national parks in the United States.
A day full of learning and fun created the perfect respite to my recent turmoil about lawn ordinances and greater world tragedies. There are so many friends and animal family that I have yet to discover—I will hold onto this day as a lovely treasure of proof that there are people who understand and walk similar paths.
Meet some of our outdoor family members as I work to comply with the lawn ordinances being forced upon us. Hopefully, more of them are still alive and are adapting to something more akin to cave dwelling than open-forested lands.
Most forests are working forests. They are cut regularly for lumber production and other uses. Only 12.7% of the earth's forests are protected. Wood is carbon. Carbon volumes sequestered in the woods need to multiply to significantly contribute to global cooling. Without this, the carbon credit market is mostly wasted as a tool for significant global cooling. We still have time to save our forests.
Sewage and industrial sludge is being managed as a liability. Current outdated regulations and technologies focus on the least-expensive means of the sludge disposal. Sludge management needs to be redirected toward the recovery of energy and chemicals embedded in the sludge and guided by the principals based on the current scientific findings and technology. Environmental and demographic considerations need to play an important role in this new approach geared toward sustainable and energy-efficient waste management practices.
An understanding our human history teaches us much about our present day perspectives and our behaviors that manifest those perspectives. We can observe this in all facets of our human society, and it is most poignantly made aware to us in Dan Flores’ newly published book, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Read on!
Come early or linger for a few days after the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR and cool off at Elkhart Lake. Explore some of the spectacular natural areas, savor farm-to-table meals, or relax at an eco-spa at the Osthoff Resort.
Cougars, our American lion, historically have been the most widespread large carnivore of both North and South America. After being almost systematically annihilated from our continent by those who came before us, our big cat is making heroic attempts to return to their lost homeland. Will we let them?
A precedent setting legal battle is being played in Virginia's countryside. Local business owner is seeking county's permit to store and process municipal and industrial sludge inside a residential neighborhood. If he is allowed to build the biosolids processing facility - health and the quality of life of hundreds of local residents will be compromised and the permit could mean a green light to other similar enterprises mushrooming in rural areas.
Surprisingly, the San Diego area is home to one of the largest collections of small farms in any county in America. Green travel is boosted by these farmers supplying the farmers' markets and farm-to-table restaurants. There's a few lodging options for the eco-minded, too.
Meet Carla Jordan, the resident of a rural county of Spotsylvania, VA. This a true story of how land application of biosolids affected Carla's life and how she decided to fight for the health and welfare of her family and her community.
Caroline Snyder, Ph.D.,is Professor Emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. For the last 20 years she has researched the politics and science of using biosolids and industrial residuals as an agricultural "fertilizer". She founded Citizens for Sludge-Free Land and is a charter member of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Here, Dr Snyder shares with us her views on the role of anti-sludge activists.
The burden of municipal and industrial waste disposal is transformed into a commercial enterprise, with the careless disregard for growing concerns over the risks it poses to the human and animal health and to the natural environment.
With temperatures typically in the 70s or 80s and plentiful sunshine, there’s rarely a day you can’t catch the sunset, go for a ocean kayak trip or bike some of the hundreds of miles of bike trails or pathways that weave through San Diego.
I have a long-standing fear and dislike of spiders — especially big ones. You could say I was not a likely candidate for conversion to a spider lover. This story is about the Yellow Agriope spider I found in my tomato plant and the unlikely garden friendship we developed.
Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.
An examination of flocking behavior in starlings and the beauty and mystery we see when those flocks, or “murmurations” are extraordinarily large and active. Also an inquiry into the 500-year-old history of collective nouns for groups of animals.
Agricultural use of sludge is not only detrimental to human health, but it also damages the social fabric of rural communities all across the country. Federal and state regulations are ill prepared to address medical, social and environmental consequences of this disastrous practice.
This blog post introduces you to the new educational website www.FarmingwithCarnivoresNetwork.com. It is a collaborative effort of leading farmers, experts on guardian animals and fencing, and biologists whose work focuses on carnivores. Its purpose is to help create a farming of the future by sharing knowledge and experience with each other.
The April/May 2016 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about breeding heritage flocks, growing rare root crops, building your own utility knife, making your own nontoxic laundry soap, solar myths, earthworms, and much, much more.
Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.
Farmers opting for biosolids applications on their farmland believe that this is a safe and natural way to fertilize the soil. Oftentimes they see local anti-biosolids activists as the adversaries, not realizing that the truth is quite the opposite. There is a mounting body of scientific and medical evidence that the practice of biosolids land application is detrimental to human health and constitutes an environmental factor contributing to many chronic conditions. Farmers, their families and neighbors are often first to suffer the consequences.
How do you talk to young children about caring for the environment without loading them with guilt? Here are five environmental education suggestions that create natural opportunities for kids to learn about what they can do to be immersed in nature and help our planet.
Dr. David Lewis, Ph.D., who was formerly a senior level research microbiologist at EPA-ORD, kindly agreed to an interview for the MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog addressing the issue of agricultural use of sewage and industrial sludge, aka – biosolids. He is one of the most prominent scientific voices in the growing opposition to biosolids land application. Dr. Lewis’ publications are frequently cited as an example of solid, unbiased scientific evidence of the danger posed by this practice.
This blog post explains how the use of rodent poisons is having a serious effect on the health of carnivores. The very species that have the ability to control rodent populations are being negatively affected by the human use of poisons.
With forces and circumstances intensifying all around, this is the optimum time to take positive action for your family, your community, and your planet. CSA Signup Day on Feb. 26 gives everyone an opportunity for intelligent action by joining and supporting a community farm (CSA).
Sewage sludge and industrial waste is applied to the farmland under the pretense of natural fertilizer. This dangerous practice introduces pathogens, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and thousands of other pollutants into the soil and groundwater. This is a brief review of a failed federal legislature that allowed it to happen.
Parasites catch a bad rap. Often feared and maligned, we tend to overlook the fact that they play an integral role in the ecological health of our ecosystems. Though animal and microbial parasites are most familiar, there are parasitic plants as well. What follows is a brief overview of the nature of parasitic plants.
The February/March 2016 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about making a living in a rural community, growing delicious and disease-resistant tomatoes, raising sheep, making a backyard greenhouse, best wall framing techniques, growing high-yielding greens, and much, much more.
Studies show that synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, which is ubiquitous in industrial agriculture, is linked with a buildup of uranium in water and in crops irrigated with that water, as well as increased soil acidification.
Recent studies have begun to spark a fresh debate about whether battery-powered electric vehicles are really better for the environment than gas-powered ones. The key point is asking how much the source of the electricity that powers an EV contributes to its green credentials. This post explores that question.
Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.
Since moving to the mountains of Southern Colorado, we have encountered many black bears and because of those encounters, we have learned much about the species. I find it incredible that bears and other smaller critters can hibernate. Our winters are sometimes 7+ months long and for any animal to put itself into a dormant state for that long is simply amazing. Read more insights into how bear hibernation works.
It would seem that most people don’t pay any attention to plants unless they are pretty or useful in some way. I reject this reality outright. From the smallest duckweed to the tallest redwood, the botanical world is full of wonder. I am here to defend that.
As climate chaos intensifies, we have many reasons to cultivate resilience - the strength and flexibility to endure shocks and yet still function. Through CSA farms the quality of consilience - the linking together of principles from different disciplines - becomes a way for all shareholders to enhance the resilience of farms and thereby strengthen community.
More than 20 years ago, we made the decision to live a more simple life. Living in the big city, we had accumulated many possessions that had, at best, limited function. When we decided on a more uncluttered and simple lifestyle, we called an auctioneer and had him auction off the majority of our possessions. When we moved to our small cabin in the mountains we were immersed in nature.
Every member of an ecosystem community needs to be present in order to keep your land healthy and vibrant. That includes the carnivores - both terrestrial and avian. But one carnivore affects that ecosystem community more than the others: the keystone carnivore. And Coyotes play the role of the keystone carnivore in many of the landscapes of North America.
The December 2015/January 2016 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about homemade whole-grain flours, market farming on small acreage, vegetable portraits, making a kitchen cupboard, easy setups for home gardeners, dieting with healthful fats, and much, much more.
The world's population is growing but we're wasting much of the food that's being produced. There are protections in place for those donating edible food, and there are many things you can do in your own home to reduce food waste.
Drones can be used to survey areas to develop more accurate maps. They can be equipped with heat sensors and used in search and rescue at far less cost than putting people out there searching for those lost. This post counts the beneficial uses of drones, or airborne robots.
This blog post is an introduction to the author'snewly published book, "I Am Coyote." What is essential to know when living and farming with carnivores? I would suggest that THE most important aspect to understand is WHO THEY ARE. Get to know how they live, how they think, their complex social lives and much more.
Many rural Nepalese faced persistent food insecurity even before the recent earthquakes. Now, because of the destruction of livelihood assets, the situation is substantially worse. With support from Groundswell International, family farmers in post-earthquake Nepal are learning and using ecological agriculture principles to restore their farms, become more resilient, and create a more equitable landscape for women.
There is one time of the year in the mountains that is special and above all other seasons in my opinion. Fall time in the mountains is invigorating and refreshing. It is the season the invigorates all five senses. For a little Rocky Mountain fall-time inspiration, read on.
Further expand your awareness and interaction with your environment by adopting the conscious attitude of moving Toward a destination instead of going To a destination. This post describes how the author's mentor was always prepared to further enhance the landscape by making any general improvements using the caretaker's attitude.
As a conservation biologist whose focus is large carnivores, I find that historical perspectives regarding our understanding of our place within Earth’s communities and the behavior that flows from those perspectives is essential to understanding our present day relationship with carnivores. In my first post, I want to take you back in history, sharing with you worldviews and the actions that expressed those views, as Europeans settled on the American continent.
We recently attended a concert for Climate Change at the Uptown Arts Bar in Kansas City organized by Craig Wolfe and Randy Deutch of the band Soular. The concert premiered a song by Winston Apple that brought tears to some eyes in the audience. There is no way to know for sure if we’re past the point of no return.
The October/November 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about small-space fruit trees, building your own natural backyard pond, edible plants, living in homesteading communities, making homemade convenience foods, choosing the right trailer for your homestead, and much, much more.
Are you bothered by the food industry, landfills, or consumer culture and interested in free, quality eats? If yes, then look no further than your local trash receptacles. Unless a dumpster is located against a building or enclosed by a fence with “No Trespassing” signs, they are veritable treasure troves ripe for plundering.
Participating in clean, local community food initiatives is increasingly recognized not only as an intelligent response to reality, but also as a key civic duty. A new study from the University of Iowa underscores this truth.
Throughout the U.S., neighbors discover strength and security as they embrace a do-it-ourselves approach to more sustainable communities. These seven Homestead Hamlets can serve as models for creating more resilient neighborhoods.
Recycling is an important step towards a cleaner, healthier environment. But recycling alone is not the most effective way to reduce landfill-bound trash from your home. PREcycling stops much of that packaging waste from coming into your home in the first place!
Community farming (CSA) is about the essential renewal of agriculture through its healthy linkage with the human community that depends on farming for survival. CSA is also about the necessary stewardship of soil, plants, and animals: the essential capital of all human cultures.
Most environmental activists focus on top down policy changes to combat global challenges like climate change. But to enact real change, we need to look inwards. The environmental challenges we face in the 21st century are outcomes of who we collectively are as individuals. The best ways to help the environment is to better ourselves.
As our climate changes, more and more people will find themselves living in fire country. Forest thinning is one of the first and most important jobs in preparing your homestead for fire season. Added benefits include timber for milling, increased bio-diversity and an endless supply of firewood.
The August/September 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about year-round gardening, this generation’s homesteaders, getting rid of ticks, using solar ovens, the best types of cider apples, making your own biodiesel, and much, much more.
Deer impact our lives, whether you're a farmer, permaculturalist, forester, hunter, vegetarian, or landscaper. According to The Nature Conservancy, "No other threat (upon forests) is greater at this point in time." So what to do?
As the question of what it means to be “green” is becoming more frequently asked, many new rating systems have been introduced to measure the performance and sustainability of everything from appliances, food, buildings, and corporations. But what if we could rate the largest and most complex things that humans build with one methodology? The International Ecocity Framework & Standards Initiative takes on the challenge of rating cities.
The information and ideas presented in this post are from teachings and skills Tom Brown, Jr., learned from the Lipan Apache Shaman and elder Stalking Wolf, who mentored Tom a decade. We can learn to develop a relationship with the Earth that becomes an ongoing communication and a form of mutual healing. The lessons and skills of nature awareness, wilderness survival and a philosophy of living with the Earth focus on how to cultivate a caretaker approach.
WNET Thirteen’s new Nature episode, “The Sagebrush Sea,” tracks the Greater Sage Grouse and other wildlife through the seasons as they struggle to survive in a rugged and changing landscape. The program airs Wednesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings) and will be available for streaming after the broadcast on the PBS website.
The April/May 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about canning and preserving, renewable home energy, avoiding common gardening mistakes, the best tools to have on your homestead, lobbying for better food policies, building a backyard fire pit and smoker, and much, much more.
Recent studies show that the jet-stream patterns have changed significantly during the last decade. The oscillations that bring the jet stream down to lower latitudes have increased in frequency and amplitude.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has several Citizen-Science Projects to engage individuals and communities in actively participating in conservation efforts. Learn more about these programs and how to become involved.
"The Wild Wisdom of Weeds," by wild-foods advocate and author Katrina Blair, is the only book on foraging and wild edibles to focus on thirteen weeds found all over the world, which together comprise a complete food source and extensive medical pharmacy and first-aid kit. Blair’s philosophy is sobering, realistic, and ultimately optimistic: If we can open our eyes to see the wisdom found in these weeds right under our feet, instead of trying to eradicate an “invasive,” we could potentially achieve true food security and optimal health.
Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.
While you should be doing good for the environment all throughout the year, Earth Day is the perfect time to take it the extra mile. Cleaning up a local lake or pond is a great way to give back to the community and the planet.
Fire pits can be great things. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard through the fall and winter. But they must be used safely. Here are some guidelines for fire pit safety.
Herbicide residue can linger in soil and ground water for years. Use these proven methods of strategic burning, grazing, cover crops, mowing and “frost interseeding” to establish your native prairie, and avoid harming wildlife.
Check out these Bald Eagles captured on live web cams! Right now these bald eagles are taking turns to incubate their eggs which should be hatching any day now. As beautiful as this could be please remember this is nature and anything can happen.
The April/May 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about the benefits of grass-fed meat, growing winter squash, turning extra food scraps into delicious meals, finding the right utility vehicle for your homestead, farming inside city limits, building a garden potting bench, using the most efficient watering systems in your garden, healing and preventing minor gardening and farming injuries, and much, much more.
Choosing to purchase goods and services from local vendors impacts your local economy twice as much as purchasing from corporate suppliers. Here are seven local services you can remember to purchase from more often.
Avian Influenza has been detected in five western states. There are several steps you can take to protect your backyard chickens, and one simple way to find out if you, as an urban hen keeper, are at risk.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are very energy efficient, but disposing of them can cause complications because of the mercury in them. It is good to be informed about proper recycling and make informed decisions to minimize greenhouse gases.
Native bees are a necessary component of maintaining native habitats. Their role is increasingly important as honeybee populations struggle with Colony Collapse Disorder. Learn what you can do to support your local pollinators this spring.
With humans living longer and technologies on the horizon that could prolong our lives even further, we must accept the necessity of our own mortality. When we do, we will finally realize the full heroic potential of our species.
When we produce locally what we consume locally creates cells of sustainability. The shorter our supply lines the more resilient we become. More importantly, sustainable cells produce a healthier and more beautiful way of life.
The February/March 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about making your own pasta, growing flowers and vegetables together, nutritious crop varieties, maximizing MPG, building a drying rack for pastas and herbs, capitalizing on your recycling habits, using a standing desk to boost your health, making your own low-cost homemade yogurt, and much, much more.
A simple, low maintenance compost toilet that makes instant fertilizer by separating solids (worm food) from liquids (fertilizer, ready-to-use). Two chambers allows one to compost while you make deposits in the the other.
Urban community green spaces are an essential component of our built environment. Their significance is becoming more and more apparent to city planners and urban residences all over the United States.
Typical suburban landscaping is a maintenance expense with no return to the owner and often diminishes the habitat for the living things around us. One alternative is to create a forest island that provides flowers for pollinators and food for people with little to no maintenance cost.
In conventional lending, underwriting decisions are based on averages, and algorithms, credit scores and cashflows. They do not reflect a would-be borrower’s character, and are un-nuanced — “black and white.” Kiva Zip, a non-profit based in San Francisco, is pioneering an innovative, character-based approach to lending that allows for a more colorful underwriting canvass.
Managing timbered property can benefit your wildlife and your pocketbook, but beware! Timber buyers are often con-artists. Learn the questions you should be asking about sustainable timber management on your property or homestead.
The December 2014/January 2015 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about easy, homemade one-pot meals (accompanied by plenty of recipes!), sourcing truly high-quality garden seeds, whipping up your own body care products, making hay the old-fashioned way, early tomato varieties, growing and cooking leeks and winter squash, electric cars, and much, much more.
Climate change is a sign of the end of the industrial age. If humans are going to survive the end of the industrial age it will be because individuals and groups of neighbors take these matters into their own hands. It cannot happen any other way.
A new film called 'Behind the Water' is an engaging story of the men and women searching to find clean water. The film takes viewers on a wild ride through some of the world’s most rural and restricted areas, many captured on film for the first time.
The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.
Tarps are lightweight and inexpensive alternatives to conventional backpacking shelters. Consider switching to a tarp for shelter in order to minimize pack weight and maximize your enjoyment in the great outdoors.
The history of Samhain reminds us that we once celebrated holidays because of a shared human connection that resonated with the Earth’s cycles — the weather, the moon, the harvest — rather than needless consumerism or “heroic” dominance.
If you were a teenager in the 1990s, you remember the flying cars and giant holograms of Back to the Future II, set in the impossibly distant 2015. If you were a kid in the 1960s, you probably remember the talking robots and interstellar travel of Lost in Space, set in the faraway 1990s. John Michael Greer's new novel 'Star's Reach' depicts a different, back-to-basics future world.
Our declining industrial system has created a series of environmental and social problems and can no longer produce the wealth required to solve them. That means that ordinary citizens must shoulder the burden of changing the way things are done by creating biodiverse systems. Here is a place to start.
Warmer weather proliferated the rise of a viral infection in deer dubbed Episodic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), carried by a tiny biting fly called a midge. Unfortunately, individual state deer management, once based in science, has now grown to be political. Influenced by farm agency and insurance company lobbyists, legislators regularly appoint natural resources directors who are not faithful guardians of wildlife.
Come early or spend a few days after the three days of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pennsylvania this September 12 – 14, 2014. Less than 30 miles from Seven Springs Mountain Resort, there’s an ecotourism adventure to be had.
At the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Wash, I listened to lecturers cover topics from re-newable energy, small-scale farming, green building, organic gardening, simple living, and citizen solidarity building. While I listened, I pondered ways to weave these powerful themes into our children's lives.
The October/November 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about off-grid living, growing cold-hardy kale, spinach and Austrian winter peas, eight great places you’ve (maybe) never heard of, Icelandic chickens, understanding plant pollination for improved gardening, building a portable greenhouse, terrific homesteading tools, and much, much more.
Throughout the United States, people are working together to create local food systems, plan for a healthy future and build sustainable communities. Each year the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Great Places series highlights towns and cities that are working to get it right. The 2014 choices are Ashland, Oregon; Beaufort, South Carolina; Bozeman, Montana; Burlington, Vermont; Penns Valley, Pennsylvania; Evanston, Illinois; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Sparta, Tennessee.
Asheville has a long history of attracting people searching for a tranquil place for personal retreats and wellness. For Day 3, it’s time to chill, revitalize ourselves and do some rebalancing of our mind, body and spirit on a health and wellness tour.
The August/September 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about our 2014 Homesteaders of the Year, the best summer cover crops, DIY storage bins for your produce, mycorrhizal fungi, pickling, the hidden salt in supermarket meat, building a biogas generator to produce natural gas, cooking with tomatoes, green beans and basil, understanding the immune system, and much, much more.
Electronic waste, aka e-waste, is the fastest growing waste stream of our time. E-waste is considered hazardous waste and more often than not, is recycled improperly. But there are ways to avoid contributing to the growth of this toxic waste.
This is a listing of some of the green-themed films that came out between 2012-2014. These films are on a variety of topics, including food/agriculture, health, energy sources, water, climate change, animals, etc.
One of the favorite events among attendees to the Puyallup MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR was investigative author Doug Fine’s Hemp Bound talk. Here are his thoughts on why hemp matters so much, a belief that was translated into a passionate and funny workshop.
At a time when greenhouse gas emissions from cars and electricity generation around the world are at an all-time high, Heifer International in Cameroon is leading initiatives and programming to help reduce such emissions from livestock production there.
On May 27, the Rachel Carson Homestead Association and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History are hosting the Celebrate Biodiversity Symposium in Pittsburgh, Penn., to celebrate the United Nations World Environment Day. Read to find out more and to register.
The April/May 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about conquering pernicious pests, less-than-stellar soil and other gardening challenges, homesteading within city limits, slashing your food costs by buying in bulk, building a root cellar, growing and processing your own wheat, understanding garden soil pH, making fresh cheeses, and much, much more.
As the planetary ecology falters, and finite resources are depleted, communities everywhere will be challenged to create vibrant local economies that function within and help to renew local ecosystems.
Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest, with the Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, Asheville, North Carolina, is the perfect basecamp for an ecotour, cultural trip and culinary adventure. Experiencing the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair held here this past April was just the start for my wife and me.
"The Farm Then and Now" by Douglas Stevenson tells the story of The Farm: an intentional community that has defied the odds, blending idealism with a practical approach to create a model for sustainable living.
"Grass, Soil, Hope" by Courtney White is a new book from Chelsea Green Publishing that discusses combating climate change through land-based carbon sequestration efforts such as composting and increasing biodiversity.
Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.
Leading food sovereignty activist Vandana Shiva will present “Cultivating Diversity, Freedom and Hope” in Kansas City. Many other farming and gardening workshops and events are planned for April 17-18, 2014.
Natural escapes to ecological preserves minutes away by bike in Hollywood, Florida. A vast sawgrass and gator-inhabited wilderness, including the Everglades National Park, found less than an hour’s drive from the Miami skyline. What surprised my family and me the most on our recent ecotourism adventure in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale areas were their accessibility – and beauty.
The April/May 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about conquering pernicious pests, less-than-stellar soil and other gardening challenges, homesteading within city limits, slashing your food costs by buying in bulk, building a root cellar, growing and processing your own wheat, understanding garden soil pH, making fresh cheeses, and much, much more.
Where environmental groups claim financial incentives for recycling to be a costly and unnecessary form of expenditure, we see them as the only realistic option available which actually produces the desired effect.
The Union of Concerned Scientists is advocating the reform of current palm oil farming practices which release drastic amounts of carbon, harm local ecosystems and treat workers in an ethically unsound way.
While some visitors to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area spend much of the time baking in the sun, hitting the clubs or running up credit cards shopping, my family and I discovered that a subtropical ecotravel adventure awaits less than a half hour away in every direction from the big city bustle.
Reynaldo Ochoa, the subject of a new short film, grows with a goal of teaching and practicing permaculture unique to an individual's region, emphasizing sustainable farming as opposed to “slash and burn” agriculture.
If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.
While you may already look for eco-friendly organic wine when you select a bottle, you're probably not aware of the environmental implications of opting for a wine closed with natural cork in lieu of a less sustainable synthetic stopper.
The release of new genetically modified crops resistant to 2,4-D herbicide will mean a huge increase of potent, dangerous chemicals on American farmland and a serious threat of herbicide drift problems for other growers.
The adventure in the water, on the water or on dry land does stop with the ecotravel activities in the Florida Keys, many of which help preserve and conserve the very things we came to see. Some of the lodging options – and restaurants or food options – are an adventure in and of themselves.
The February/March 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about saving money via self-reliance, maximizing your garden’s output, compost bins and tumblers, homemade herbal medicines, growing and storing potatoes, wheat, raising ducks and geese, growing fruit trees, and much, much more.
The rich and diverse marine life of the Florida Keys can be experienced without ever getting wet: in a kayak, on a sailboat or at one of the many animal rescue or rehabilitation centers scattered along the Keys.
The first MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR for the Midwest, held in Lawrence, Kansas, is covered by the PBS affiliate television show "Sunflower Journeys," featuring all of the excitement and some of the speakers from the 2013 FAIR.
With more than 1,700 islands that encompass the Florida Keys, they provide refuge to hundreds of bird species, a spectacular diversity of tropical plants and abundant sea life. In other words, it’s the ultimate place for tropical eco-adventure without leaving the continental US. No passport needed.
By focusing on the conscientious habits and self-reliance of its readers, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has seen its audience quadruple over the past decade. Publisher Bryan Welch discusses the reasons for this growth.
A hippie in the 1980s who demonstrated for a clean environment, particularly water, now owns an online water filter business where she shares her views about the scarcity and fragility of water, the toxins dumped in it and what we can do about it.
In 2014, I resolve to stay curious about the incredible world that we live in and continue to ask plenty of questions each day. I resolve to learn new things and stay informed and aware of global issues.
Drought has been displaced by winter storms in the headlines, but persistent water shortages are plaguing much of North America, and the past 18 months have seen a global outbreak of water emergencies.
Mankind’s use of fossil fuels during the last 200 years has dumped millions of years of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 315 gigatons of carbon have been added to the atmosphere, leaving the carbon cycle 315 gigatons out of balance.
There’s no reason not to “go green” when picking up a game for a young loved one. Despite the abundance of “Made in China” plastic toys and games that line the aisles, some companies have made it their business to create amazingly fun toys and games for children in ways that protect, preserve or restore the planet.
Expand your perspective on hunting and compassion and possibly even your approach to life and death. Miles Olson is dedicated to a sustainable and non-destructive lifestyle of breaking down the barrier between the self and the universe.
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
The quake that struck near Prague, Oklahoma on November 5, 2011, was the biggest ever recorded in the state. Now geologists are warning Oklahomans that quakes may become a regular phenomenon in the state. And the problem is apparently connected to natural-gas operations.
Only through selfless, voluntary, individual sacrifice can we expiate our essential human flaw and restore the Garden. We have to accept mortality as the necessary and – if voluntary – heroic alternative. We must divert the resources we are using to mindlessly expand human life and work and invest them, instead, in the improvement of all life both human and non-human.
While the Mother Earth News Fair at Seven Springs Mountain Resort may have been John D. Ivanko's family’s primary destination (as speakers about renewable energy, sustainable living and farmstead cooking), it definitely wasn’t their only reason for eco-touring the region known as the Laurel Highlands.
Every time I leave the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR I come home with a bag full of stuff that I have accumulated along the way. My youngest son typically tears into the bag, once exclaiming that my return from the FAIR is always “like Christmas.”
Here are a few ways to know if a business is supporting green practices or not. Green practices are increasingly more and more important as companies increase and continue to have a large impact on the environment.
For three days before the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, held at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, John D. Ivanko and his family rafted, biked, toured some of Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes, and savored farm-to-table cuisine that blew us away at The Historic Stone House.
Strict ceilings on resource use, with rationing, can halt and reverse climate disruption. Australia's experience shows why the alternative to rationing, a carbon tax, is too indirect and too politically toxic to succeed.
For humanity to create a better world, we must address issues of economic equality and limited resources. The natural environment can recover from much damage if we gradually limit the human population and judge business success by quality rather than quantity.
After Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch decided that death might be a personal choice, he was struck by the heroic potential in making mortality a conscious decision. As we are increasingly able to lengthen our lives and perpetuate our health, the notion of death is transformed. Death is our ultimate opportunity to consciously give back.
From the outset, Earthineer was built to support and promote sustainability and homesteading as a lifestyle choice. Every feature we have planned has that goal in mind. What we have now is the foundation that we'll build off of.
Each year, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Great Places series highlights towns and cities that are working to create successful, sustainable communities. The 2013 choices are Arcata, Calif.; Ava, Mo.; Cumberland, Md.; Decorah, Iowa; Lander, Wyo.; Logan, Utah; Marfa, Texas; and Punta Gorda, Florida.
Humanity has the power to change and to take the actions needed to foster a healthy planet and a better standard of living for all. Choosing beauty and abundance will ensure a better future not only for humanity, but for the natural environment as well.
For decades, corporations have been able to skirt past being held accountable for any environmental irresponsibility, and that has helped propel us into a time where pollution is out of control, and our natural resources are at a constant decline. Raising the standards for these faceless corporations is becoming evermore necessary.
Incorporating charcoal into the soil helped Amazonian farmers grow better crops, and its new industrial version is promoted as a panacea for both agriculture and the global climate. Those claims are not realistic.
For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees.
As the costs and consequences of climatological and ecological instability become impossible to ignore, people are recognizing the need to be more prepared for the challenges we could face in the short-term and the long-term. A variety of initiatives are arising to share ways of becoming more resilient—i.e., able to survive and thrive in the face of dangers and even disasters.
The 2013 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., last weekend was again a source of great energy and exceptional education, thanks to 15,000 attendees, more than 125 presenters and some 300 sponsors and exhibitors.
There’s more than one way to be an environmental warrior. And some approaches work better than others. Elemental follows the stories of three environmental advocates united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most dire ecological issues affecting their respective communities. This isn’t only a story about plight and pollution, however. Rather, Gayatri Roshan’s and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee’s documentary works best as a character-driven study of eco-activism’s do’s and don’ts.
The Lawrence Anthony Earth Organization published a new analysis that depicts the dangerous flaws in oil spill response and outlines technology they claim will save marine life, oceans, animals and people, while saving millions of dollars.
Are you ready for the kinds of severe weather that could impact the area where you live? National Severe Weather Preparedness Week takes place from Mar. 3-9, 2013. This is a great time for you and your family to “Be a Force of Nature” by learning the importance of planning for severe weather events and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes.
People took a stand against one of the largest multi-national oil companies in the world and resolved to fight back against Shell’s plans to annihilate the Sacred Headwaters. And we were successful. After 5 years of incredible campaigning, community organizing, hard-hitting ads, protests and a storm of media coverage, Shell agreed to forfeit its tenures in the Sacred Headwaters and public pressure catalyzed the government of British Columbia to ban all further oil and gas development in the region.
Bastyr University is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seattle-based Choice Organic Teas to develop and launch a new line of flavorful, certified organic Wellness Teas. This marks the first time the University has lent its name on a consumer product.
Carrington Farms, the creators of delicious 100 percent organic, non-genetically modified health food products, continues to reach outside of the box to provide healthy flax seed blends and cooking oils that are not only good for consumers but are affordable and taste great!
Kasco Manufacturing introduced a new 10’ wide Vari-Slice seeder at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. The Vari-Slice seeder is suitable for applications including pasture seeding, beef, dairy and horse farms for worked or no-till conditions and where tight germination of grass seed is needed.
FCX Oil-Fired Condensing Boilers, designed and manufactured by Geminox, provide a reliable and efficient alternative to non-condensing boilers. FCX Boilers feature a steel, non-condensing primary heat exchanger coupled with a stainless steel, condensing secondary heat exchanger.
May is the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Preservation Month. In conjunction with this month dedicated to protecting historic places, Sansin Corporation — a wood protection company focused on eco-friendly, “water-borne” interior and exterior stains — offers tips that do-it-yourselfers should keep in mind when undertaking historic home renovations.
It may not be in the Kangaroo Valley tourist brochures, and you might think it odd to visit a rural supply store just for a look, but I would encourage any visitor to Australia's Kangaroo Valley to make a trip to the Red Shed.
New Holland has introduced its next generation of hardworking utility tractors, the T4 Series. This tailored offering produces between 84 to 106 horsepower thanks to powerful 4-cylinder engines with Common Rail technology and a Cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation system to meet Tier 4A compliance.
Annie’s is expanding its line of wholesome comfort food favorites with a new, kid-friendly pasta product: Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese, made with 100 percent real cheese and certified-organic pasta in a variety of shapes featuring life on the farm. Like all of Annie’s products, Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese contains no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives.
Des Moines, Iowa, gardeners may soon find themselves in hot water with their City. A local resident recently took front yard veggie growers to task for what the resident feels to be unsightly lawn growth. Beets and berries, it seems, do not have the same aesthetic appeal as a green, freshly-mowed front lawn.
The Rainwater Hub is an entirely new answer to the limits of traditional downspout diverters and rain barrel systems. The Rainwater Hub distributes rainwater up to 150 feet through regular garden hoses.
Dixie Chopper, the manufacturer of The World’s Fastest Lawn Mower, offers the Zee 2 series, its newest and largest line of residential zero-turn lawn mowers. Ideal for large property owners, Zee 2 mowers include a variety of features for fast performance, quality cutting and comfortable operation.
Dansko announced recently that it received the 2012 Plus Award for Design Excellence in the Women’s Comfort category. This is the eighth time — and seventh year in a row — that the comfort footwear leader has won the award.
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
The October/November 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about strategies for self-reliant living, crafting mini-greenhouses, best crops and varieties for winter gardening, cob construction, working dogs for your homestead, summer grain crops, using fall leaves in the garden, nut recipes, our 2013 Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of, and much, much more.
The December 2013/January 2014 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about baking traditional sourdough bread, raising chickens for meat, building and using movable greenhouses, homemade cooking oils, herbal antibiotics, sweet potatoes, making sausage, cooking with cinnamon, and much, much more.
The August/September 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about freezing fruits and vegetables from your garden, easy ways to boost flavor and nutrition of fresh foods, space-saving home design, bringing in native bees, relocating a house, growing turnips and rutabagas, farm apprenticeships, melon recipes, our 2013 homesteaders of the year, and much, much more.
The June/July 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about growing staple crops for food self-sufficiency, pressure canning, building a pergola, green remodeling, nutrient deficiencies in our modern diet, starting a work-from-home business, selling your surplus garden goods, cooking with peaches, and much, much more.
The April/May 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about building cheap garden beds, tapping wind power at home, putting chickens to work in the garden, growing heart-healthy grapes, greenhouse kits, the White House garden, zero-turn mowers, the remarkable abilities of plants, and much, much more.
The February/March 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about living simply, growing Native American varieties of corn, beans and squash, DIY distilling, building a workbench, cultivating naturally sweet sorghum and stevia, heating your home with wood, crafting simple mini-greenhouses for your garden, and much, much more.
Inner-city communities in Cleveland are banding together to help their residents take greater control of their housing quality through low-interest mortgage loans, education in home maintenance skills, and energy audits. Originally published as "Local Self-Reliance" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Organic farming makes a comeback, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council fend off mining corporations, Palau Islanders resist a U.S. Department of Defense proposal to store nuclear material, a mixed environmental impact from new jobs bill, and nuclear power plant construction moratorium is upheld. Originally published as "Friends of the Earth" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
MOTHER's staffers recommend their picks of the summer season for books on gardening, cooking, literature for youngsters, continuing education, aging, and running a home business. Originally published as "Access" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A selection of Words of the Wise. This index links to 5 different sets of great quotations, for your edification and entertainment. Witty quotations. Eco quotations. Quotations for gardeners and farmers. And more.
WiseWay Pellet Stove is the first and only EPA-certified and UL-listed non-electric pellet stove on the market today. This pellet stove eliminates the need for electricity by using a gravity-feed natural draft to accomplish a high efficiency rating of 75 percent. It’s capable of heating up to 2,000 square feet and able to hold a fire up to 31 hours on a 40-pound bag of pellets. The stove is also mobile home approved.
Every year on his birthday since 1977, Christopher Nyerges has done a "birthday memory run," where he runs a lap for each year, and attempts to recall what happened in his life in that year. Here is his report for 2013.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Solar Energy International is excited to announce the 2013 Online Solar Training schedule! On Jan. 14, we will kick off this year's online training schedule with some of the most rigorous solar training in the industry. Join thousands of people from all over the world in SEI's Online Campus!
Dynamic Recycling is a La Crosse, Wisconsin-based computer and electronics recycler, IT asset management and electronic scrap purchasing company. Since the company’s January 1, 2007 inception, Dynamic Recycling has been providing exceptional customer service to the Mid-West and beyond in regards to accountability to the various needs of corporations, scrap yards, municipalities, educational institutions and manufacturers to whom they work with.
Land Pride is proud to announce four new skid Grapples in 12 different sizes as well as a skid-mounted Stump Grinder. These completely new attachments feature the same quality and durability that you’ve come to expect from Land Pride.
Change is not only possible, it’s inevitable. Within the next few decades, great change is coming, because the way things are done today literally cannot continue. America's use-it-up-and-move-on way of life is in its endgame.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS celebrates activists, scientists, and ordinary folks working to make the world a better place for people, animals, and the environment. Originally published as "Profiles" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Esse has created a complete line of high quality, machine washable bags that all fold small and fit inside a CarryAll Tote shopping system. Voted as a best gift to give this holiday season, the CarryAll Tote helps people to remember and use their reusable bags and offers an extra pocket to store coupons and shopping lists.
The December 2012/January 2013 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about making whole-grain breads, saving seeds, DIY kit homes, broody hens, greener hearting options for your home, growing eggplant, raising pigs, cooking with shallots, starting seeds indoors, and much, much more.
A report on a long-running battle over the proposed Hells Canyon Dam and pending legislation to protect Death Valley from mining are among the environmental news items excerpted from the Friends of the Earth newsletter.
A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home, and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage.
The last laugh column shares MOTHER EARTH NEWS Plumtree boys and reader submitted regional American humor with other MOTHER readers. This issue the Plumbtree boys hear a story about a missing picnic bottle opener.
Across the U.S., voters of all political leanings gave overwhelming approval in the 2012 presidential election to taxing themselves and spending money for new parks in their communities, The Trust for Public Land announced. Of the 57 measures on local and statewide ballots, 46 passed, an approval rate of 81%.
A look at the Sears, Roebuck catalog of 1900 shows what a camping trip would have cost—and how much the gear would weigh—at the turn of the century. Originally published as a sidebar titled "Camping Out in 1900" in the article "A Tent Away from Home" in the October/November 1992 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The October/November 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about achieving food self-sufficiency, making compost, passive solar home design, growing raspberries, cooking with pumpkins and squash, the future of renewable energy, finding and buying farmland, avoiding genetically modified food in the supermarket, and much, much more.
In this posting we discussing how both the surface and bottom water ocean temperatures are rising along the East Coast of the United States. We also discuss the consequences to this rising water temperature.
In this posting we discuss how rock weathering controls the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We also discuss why rock weathering can't remove the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was generated by our use of fossil fuels.
In this posting we discuss the role global warming is playing in the planet's rapidly decreasing fresh water supply. We also discuss how global warming and the loss of fresh water is impacting building infrastructure.
If you would like to be represented by more elected officials who support environmental safeguards for our air, water, and land, take a look at these resources, including the League of Conservation Voters' National Environmental Scorecard.
In this posting we will ask the question if the climate is reaching a tipping point. We will define climate tipping points and use the paat to determine if we are reaching tipping points. We will also discuss climate feedback amplification.
In this posting we discuss how the record infection rate of West Nile virus is related to the record global temperatures of the past decade. We also discuss how these record temperatures have allowed the infections to occur in northern latitudes.
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
This posting present comments by leading scientific organizations, individual scientists and government leaders pertaining to human induced climate changes. All agree that climate change is anthropogenic and that it has become a serious problem.
Predictions about world oil production and an update on solar radio—a radio station that met most of its energy needs through solar electric generation—were among the energy news stories reported in this regular feature.
World Wildlife Fund researchers find that humpback whale songs contain rhymes, public opinion polls show Americans to be increasingly concerned about the environment, a new alarm clock wakes you up with scents, escaped farmed salmon endanger wild salmon in Scotland, and tips for reducing home energy consumption. Originally published as "Bits and Pieces: Rhyming Whales?" in the September/October 1989 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Describes the process of forming a community garden from the physical and energetic standpoints. The power of teamwork, the joy of accomplishment and the building of a feeling of group unity are described.
Why is it unrealistic to believe we can agree that clean air and water are important and limited resources? How insane is it to think we could imagine a world of beauty and abundance? That’s what I’m going to aim for.
Two couples share what they learned when moving to Wyoming to set up homesteading in Teton Valley. Learn why this area of the state is considered a great choice to make when homesteading in rural Wyoming.
A study of bleached-paper milk cartons by Canada's Health and Welfare Branch has shown that a carcinogen produced during the bleaching process migrates from the cartons into the milk, North Dakotans will celebrate their state's 100th anniversary by planting 1 million trees for each year of statehood, and scientists have found that dehydrated plants emit high-pitched noises inaudible to the human ear. Originally published as "Bits and Pieces: Toxic Paper" in the July/August 1989 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Every natural environment is beautiful in ways we cannot imagine. We must preserve natural beauty for precisely that reason, because we could not conceive of natural beauty on our own without nature’s inspiration.
The August/September 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about outstanding, inspiring modern homesteaders, building earthen homes, great storage crops and how to keep them, a DIY rainwater-harvesting system, growing cabbage, water options for your homestead, winter cover crops, the beauty of living frugally, and much, much more.
An ocean thermal energy conversion plant off the Hawaiian coast, a new continuous fermentation process, and debate over the possibility of a natural gas glut were among the energy stories in the news in 1981.
Google can be the most enlightened power-user on the planet. Because it is so successful, and because it uses a lot of electricity, Google has the opportunity to set a new global standard for clean power.
A Tennessee company is replacing chain link fences at nuclear facilities and military installations with trees that have intertwined branches and four-inch thorns; homeowners can get help making their homes more energy-efficient from the U.S. Department of Energy website; high air lead levels are found at indoor shooting ranges; and too much nitrogen fertilizer causes a decline in produce vitamin content. Originally published as "Bits and Pieces: Security Trees" in the January/February 1990 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Take a tour of the mills and mountains of the Ozarks of Missouri and Arkansas, home to some of the finest remaining historic gristmills that still exist in the U.S.A. Based on the popular Historic Ozarks Mills book created by award-winning photographer Mike McArthy. Hydropower's energy-producing capacity is getting well-deserved attention these days, and these old mills provide inspiration.
The Jenzabar Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for students, as well as higher education organizations and non-profits, to encourage fellow students to be engaged citizens of the world.
Learn about an Arizona land dispute involving Navajo and Hopi Native Americans and a mining company. Originally published in the "Bits & Pieces" section of the April/May 1998 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Conscientiousness is woven into the company culture, quite intentionally. The more prosperous and powerful the company becomes, the more strident the criticism. Any institution as powerful as Google has great potential for evil, and for good.
This installment of the Energy Flashes feature touched briefly on over a dozen topics, including a corporate crime penalty that benefitted the company responsible, wind turbine noise, and a French nuclear accident.
The June/July 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about home canning, the basics of passive solar design, natural mosquito repellents, cooking with farm-fresh eggs, finding the best meat, growing all types of summer squash, supporting farmers by eating local food, choosing the right seed planter, and much, much more.
Stories on conversion to waste wood power, use of pigeon post to transport blood samples, and a utility tax that utilities haven't been paying are a few of a dozen or so energy-related news stories in this article.
A Beautiful Green Backyard Burial: This story is written to help inform anyone that may be considering being buried, or burying a loved one, on their own property. It shares some of what one may go through at the end of a life's journey.
Still looking to score free tickets to the 2012 Puyallup Mother Earth News Fair? Here's your chance! Tell us what you want to see at the Fair no later than Friday, May 25, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a pair of tickets.
Most of the things we do to conserve resources and protect the environment are subtle. We remain acutely conscious that all this, combined, still doesn’t make us a truly sustainable business. We have a long way to go. But we’re trying to get there.
One of the best-proven characteristics of our system of business is its contagiousness. The system has proven itself repeatable and contagious across both time and space, across centuries of time and every continent.
Do you support or work for a nonprofit that helps protect the environment or promotes sustainability? Whether it’s a small local group or a national one, this month you have the opportunity to help it get recognized in GreatNonprofits’ 2012 Green Awards. Here’s how.
Our writers sometimes criticize the system, but everyone understands that the system makes our existence possible. And the more successful our company is within the system, the more influential our work becomes. That's fair, I think.
We had a once in a lifetime opportunity over Easter this year to talk to more than 30,000 people about honey bees, pollination, honey and beekeeping. And the place we got to do this in was one of a kind.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots activists. This year’s six inspiring and courageous prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
We try to help people create abundance by both possible methods: by conserving existing resources and by propagating new resources. In other words, the two basic tools at our disposal are conservation and innovation.
If you have ever thought about beekeeping photography then this article is perfect. Geoff Fitzgerald talks about his motivation for the topic and what got him started on the rooftops of Brooklyn. There are also some fantastic urban beekeeping photos.
Yes, we aspire to beauty. And we create some beautiful things, judging with our own eyes and the eyes of our audiences. But of course it’s only through the ongoing daily aspiration to beauty that beauty is achieved. So, we keep it up.
If a society decides its human populations can be held within the capacities of local farms to feed them, then our small farms can be replicated into the future, until further notice. I think that’s a very contagious idea.
The April/May 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about growing perennial vegetables, enlisting insects for natural pest control, cooking with artichokes, gardening in containers, making your own hollandaise sauce, what you can do about genetically modified foods, our newest portable chicken coop plan, and much, much more.
Want to win this fantastic basket full of chicken goodies from our friends at Storey Publishing? Just post a comment here telling us why you love chickens AND your email address, and we'll select a winner at random!
Preserving watershed land not only protects our source of water but also saves big money and protects animals' natural habitats. Originally published as part of "Bits and Pieces" in the February/March 1998 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Arlo was twelve when the two of us headed to the Fair in Seven Springs. I had only a couple of rules: We pay for any book you want as long as he reads it, and that he find something to keep himself occupied while I was working.
On every continent in the world there are large regions where a family can, through ingenuity and hard work, provide a lot of its own food in active partnership with the natural environment. And people get excited about that.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.
Fairness is not so much a standard to be achieved as it is a criterion to be interpreted and applied. We strive for fairness, even though it can’t be clearly defined, much less perfected. In the striving, I think we create a better world.
What I like about MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIRS is that they encourage an active, participatory human presence in nature. Too many environmentalists think that human activity or presence is incompatible with environmentalism.
When my wife and I consider whether Rancho Cappuccino helps create abundance, we need to look at all three underlying questions: Does it enhance natural resources, improving supply? Does it help reduce demand? And, does it help us embrace simplicity?
We’re creating beauty more fundamentally, internally, by learning about the place, loving it and treating it with care. Year by year, its beauty is more compelling to us as we know it better. Beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder.
Rancho Cappuccino is what we call our farm, 50 acres of tallgrass prairie a few miles outside Lawrence, Kansas. Farming is the reflection of our value system. Rancho Cappuccino is the vessel for our lives.
The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices is exactly what the title promises: a useful guide to help you make the best decisions with the least environmental impact. Originally published as "The Not So Magnificent Seven" in the August/September issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The February/March 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features insight and advice on self-sufficient living from nine modern homesteading experts, plus articles on starting seeds, gardening in small spaces, building boxes, growing beets, creating permanent beds and paths in your garden, making out-of-this-world homemade pizza, and much, much more.
Over the next few weeks, I will offer here three case studies of how the queries might direct change within three very different organizations – our own Rancho Cappuccino; the business I run, Ogden Publications; and Google, Inc.
The Africans showed up at our door on a sunny, chilly November afternoon. Two men introduced themselves as Stone and Abraham. In the background stood a young woman with a gregarious little boy, Henry, about 2 years old. They were looking for goats.
The Mission Wolf sanctuary is a special place that takes in wolves who have been unsuccessfully domesticated. I can tell you that having a 150-pound timber wolf kiss you on the lips is an experience you won’t quickly forget, but the fact it liked you enough to do that is even more amazing when you consider what men have done to the wolf.
We have no examples of economic growth occurring in the absence of human population growth. Population growth is a Ponzi scheme and we’re setting up future generations as its victims. We are paying into the base of the pyramid with natural resources.
We met Max Gonzales in the mountains of northern New Mexico about 25 years ago. I sometimes wonder if he’s up there this year, in the Cruces Basin or some other isolated mountain valley, listening to radio and dreaming of home.
Most American homes are codependent with a lifestyle-support-system of roads, wires, pipes, lines of credit, satellites, and a collective identity determined by the supply side. Yet just about any household budget offers continuing opportunities for creating a healthier, less expensive lifestyle that’s also easier on the environment.
Our economic dependence on population growth bears a disturbing similarity to a global Ponzi scheme - a scam in which an unethical entrepreneur promises investors big returns, which he fraudulently generates from the contributions of later investors.
Our habitat won’t allow the human population to expand forever. But if the global population stabilizes, we face an unprecedented economic problem. Prosperity depends on an expanding human population to support our expanding global economy.
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
Environmentalists are better leaders when we can better love human ingenuity. We will need to form partnerships with the natural world, to ingeniously utilize its resources in ways that preserve its natural productivity.
Environmentalists should strive to understand the joy experienced by the race fan, the motorcyclist and the snowmobiler, and we should use that understanding to stimulate the human imagination in ways that benefit the planet.
The December 2011/January 2012 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about cutting food costs (but not quality!), choosing the right woodstove, home energy audits, the best vegetable seed companies, cooking with a pressure cooker, farm fencing, growing celery, hand-built homes, bison meat, and much, much more.
If a white midget turkey hen can survive alone in the woods for months, nature’s diverse citizenry will find new ways of thriving on a warmer planet, a wetter planet, a drier planet or a colder planet. They’ve done it before.
Many farms of the 21st Century are, comparatively speaking, biological wastelands. Plowed, fertilized and cultivated from property-line to property-line, much of the world’s most productive land has been stripped of its wildlife.
Our innovations have made possible a rapid expansion in the quantity of human life on earth. But the same technological foundation is used, with equal facility, to improve and sustain the quality of human life.
Human history gives us plenty of evidence to support a pessimistic outlook, but history also gives us plenty of reason for optimism. On the humble foundation of skin clothing and bone jewelry we have built a wondrous technological superstructure.
An alien biologist visiting from a distant planet might look at the remarkable similarities in our physiology and conclude that chimps would live pretty much as humans do, only more simply. But there’s something definitively, well, human about us.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers recently named dishwashing formula as their most desired DIY cleaner, so we’ve rounded up some easy and inexpensive dish de-griming recipes for your automatic dishwasher or for washing by hand.
Actor Carel Struycken is famous for his role as Lurch in Addams Family, as well as many other roles. He is also a big proponent of permaculture. Nyerges talks with Struycken at his Pasadena home about permaculture and sustainable farming.
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.
Renowned sportsman and conservationist Beau Turner is bringing his knowledge and unique talents exclusively to Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, with the debut of his new original series, Beau Knows Outdoors.
Evidently when it comes to visualizing our future, a lot of people expect the worst and are inclined to leave it up to God. It is up to God, of course, but God gave us two eyes in the front of our heads to look forward and prepare for what’s to come.
I realize that if I provide an example for the pursuit of fairness in the world I will be inviting dissent. But maybe an idealistic endeavor, like the international Fair-Trade movement, can at least illustrate the aspiration toward fairness.
The October/November 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about building a hoop house to grow more food, gardening sustainably, raising rabbits for meat, improving garden soil with cover crops, living off the grid, storing food in an outdoor root cellar, growing strawberries, finding the best firewood, lowering blood pressure with hibiscus tea, and much, much more.
Survivalists and others who yearn for a better way of life, and a better world, would be best served by studying the successful tribal cultures and ways of the past. Based on an interview with Vine Deloria, author of "God is Red."
A recent Gallop poll concludes there is a big significance difference betwen what scientists and the general public know about climate change. This posting discusses two basic facts about climate change that can't be refuted.
Enormous obstacles form a barrier that effectively blocks our view of the future. Even if we dream up a beautiful and abundant vision for our future, can we see the path from where we are today to that future past these big obstacles?
Jerry DeWitt of the National Center of Appropriate Technology will present a workshop on the culture of sustainability at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
The role of natural cycles and anthropogenic forces on the climate are explained. We also demonstrate that the current global warming trend is happening at a faster rate than earlier periods and humans are responsible for the current warming trend.
We don’t have a positive vision for our future, but we can picture a lot of different ways in which things may go badly for us. This lack of a positive vision seems dangerous to me because we so often realize what what we visualize.
Frances Moore Lappé of the Small Planet Institute will present a workshop on positive environmentalism at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers agreed to work together to pass federal legislation for better treatment for the country’s egg-laying hens. While the slightly larger, furnished cages are an improvement for chickens in industrial egg production, you can support animal welfare and get more nutritious eggs by buying pastured eggs from local farmers or raising chickens yourself.
The August/September 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about starting a self-sufficient homestead, growing a fantastic fall garden, managing the 10 worst garden weeds, cooling your home without air conditioning, tapping into greywater, making your own hot sauce, building a root cellar, growing winter grains, and much, much more.
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
Green Earth Technologies is a “totally green” clean tech company that combines sustainable, American sourced, bio-based ingredients with proprietary technologies shaped around the four ideologies of being GREEN: biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe.
The 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash., brought together thousands of people from diverse backgrounds with one common goal: to have fun and get practical information on living a better, more sustainable life. There’s just no substitute for meeting face-to-face with folks who share your enthusiasm for wiser living, and learning from experts eager to share their knowledge. Here’s a recap of the best moments of the 2011 Puyallup FAIR, and a look ahead to future FAIRS.
Find out how to pack a litter-free lunch using a lunchopolis lunchbox by Enviro Products. The lunchbox containers are BPA-free and can help you cut down on 3.5 billion pounds of lunchbox garbage generated every year.
I am loving my time spent at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington thus far. There are tons of great and interesting people to meet, delicious food, fun and information-packed lectures and demonstrations, and, best of all, adorable anima
Anyone looking for natural, nontoxic soaps or powder cleansers will want to check out the products offered by this "wiser living" company. Bon Ami spokesperson Carolyn Beaham West explains more about the company in this video interview.
Cecile Andrews, simplicity advisor and Dena Marshall of Marshall Meditation will present workshops on simplicity and conflict management at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Purina, a Mother Earth News Fair sponsor, is giving away 10 40-pound bags of Layena Plus Omega-3 chicken feed. Comment on the Mother Earth News Fair Facebook page by 3:00 PM Central on Wednesday, June 1 for a chance to win!
Sukita Reay Crimmel of Claylin and From These Hands, and publisher of Mother Earth News Bryan Welch will present workshops on building earthen floors and how to build a sustainable future at the Mother Earth News Fair, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, WA.
With the summer fast approaching, it’s time to make those last minute vacation plans! Plan your trip using SustainableTrip.org to find tourism businesses that conservce the environment and support local communities!
The June/July 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on saving big by installing your own solar panels, controlling garden pests organically, building a portable, predator-proof chicken coop, vegetable garden mulches, keystone species, sweet potatoes, the importance of biodiversity, growing melons, cooking summer squash, and much more.
Alisa Shorey will present a workshop on beekeeping and Jack McCornack will present a workshop on 100-mpg cars at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Soapmaker Anne-Marie Faiola will present a workshop on soapmaking and Dr. Andrew Iverson will presenet a workshop on natural health at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
The 2011 RecycleMania Tournament, a college recycling competition, ended April 2. See the college recycling statistics, and find out how college recycling programs across the United States and Canada are doing.
Carolyn Guske, official illustrator for MOTHER EARTH NEWS heritage farm animals, will teach kids how to draw and paint heritage farm animals at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
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.
It’s spring or promises to be, and so, again, I need to be among the Cranes. There’s an actual ache in my breastbone which pulls me to get my feet wet in the meadows, to watch the Sandhill Cranes eat and dance in the farm fields, to hear them wake and call to one another at dawn, and to see them ride thermals on the brighter, south wind days, kettle, then fly to the river to roost together on the sandbars in the river at dusk.
This reader has found a handy way to limit the number of results when he conducts an Internet search. Originally published as "Country Lore: Easier Web Searches" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The Goldman Environmental Prize is the world’s largest and most prestigious award for grassroots environmentalists. This year’s six inspiring prize winners (one from each of the six inhabited continental regions of the world) are...
Whether you’re a teacher, parent, school administrator, or homeschooler, you might be interested in some of these online resources related to environmental education and green curricula. Most of these websites are related to K-12 education.
Reader surveys have revolutionized how MOTHER EARTH NEWS communicates with its readers and how the magazine is put together. The input we receive from our readers makes the magazine better, and frankly, we think MOTHER EARTH NEWS has a stronger connection with its audience than any other magazine out there.
The April/May 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on maximizing your garden harvest, getting started with chickens, crafting homemade tomato cages, growing cucumbers, building a garden shed, composting human waste, companion planting, rhubarb recipes, the Passive House standard, and much more.
Do easy ways to save money exist? Absolutely! Blissful saving is only a trip to the bulk section away! When you get home from the store, keep track of your finances on Mint.com; then look for Groupon's daily deal. Search the house for unused items and sell them on eBay. Use these tips to start saving today!
We learned a long time ago that we couldn’t attract an audience for our magazines unless we gave our readers tools they could use to improve the world personally. A backyard organic garden is the perfect symbol of positive vision and commitment.
Clean with vodka for a spic-and-span house and less of a headache in the morning! You can use the alcohol to freshen your laundry, remove mold and mildew, and even repel bugs. Vodka kills bacteria and dries clear and odor-free, making it an ideal addition to your cleaning cupboard.
We sat down for an interview with James Duft, the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair Planner and Programming Manager. Read about what you can expect to see, do and participate in if you attend the upcoming Fair in Puyallup, Wash. Sheep dog training, cheese making, bread baking and antique tractors await!
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
Farm life is not always predictable, and some of the surprises turn out to be the most valuable lessons. This story from the ranch about some strong winter-born goats, a protective cow with motherly instincts, and a calf that’s making it against all odds will not only inspire you, but it may teach you something about the wonderful spirit of community support.
The February/March 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on starting an easy kitchen garden, heating your home with solar hot water, growing tomatoes, gardening in the shade, electric cars, great places you’ve (maybe) never heard of, homemade liquid fertilizers, small tractors, cooking with asparagus, and much more.
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved the use of methyl iodide, a pesticide toxic to humans, for application to strawberry fields. Methyl iodide is recognized as a carcinogen that can also cause late term miscarriage and permanent neurological damage. Scientists agree that farmers cannot safely use the pesticide, and a concerned coalition has formed to persuade Governor Brown to put a moratorium on the use of methyl iodide.
Using climate history we discuss how tipping points are triggered and the consequences to the planet after a tipping point has occurred. We also look at evidence to determine whether the current global warming trend will lead to a tipping point
Citizens committed to sustainability and community, city officials that implement energy-efficiency goals, and endless opportunities to enjoy what makes life grand — the communities recognized in our 2011 installment of “Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of” have it all.
This posting discusses how deforestation increases global warming and ocean acidification. It also discusses the role of deforestation in triggering severe flooding,aquifer depletion, soil degradation and animal and plant extinction.
This posting discusses the role of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuel in ocean acidification. We also discuss the potential effect ocean acidification will have on marine inhabitants.
This posting discusses how global warming alters the ocean ecosystem to create ocean deserts. We use tropical oceans as an example of such deserts. Another example discussed is the creation of ocean dead zones by the over use of fertilizers.
While some can't wait for the warmer days to return and others are invigorated by the seasonal briskness, most of us have some cold-weather habit, holiday activity or winter ritual that we hold dear. Whether it's burrowing under thick piles of blankets, watching for the first snow flakes or getting a head start on garden planning, what are your favorite winter moments?
This posting discusses how the oceans stores heat and transports the heat to warm colder parts of the planet. The posting uses El Nino as an example on how warm ocean water can have a diverse effect on the climate in different regions of the planet.
The December 2010/January 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on easy homemade bread, Floriani Red Flint grain corn, an easy-to-build solar hot water system, growing asparagus, savory winter recipes, green funerals, vertical gardening techniques, insulation, an off-the-grid cordwood community center in Wisconsin, and much more.
In this posting we discuss the role of the positive Arctic Feedback Factor in amplfying climate change. We also discuss how this feedback factor triggers the release of methane from the floor of the Arctic Ocean and from the permafrost.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
A new episode in the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon, will feature Mother Earth News contributing editor and visionary Lester Brown’s “Plan B” on how we can save civilization in the face of global climate change.
A recent report noted concerns about top seed and agrochemical corporations that are placing claims on multi-genome crop patents, which could put the planet’s agricultural biomass at stake. Click here to find out more.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
This year's Blog Action Day topic is water, and thousands of bloggers around the world are joining together to provide valuable information, increase awareness and help readers learn more about the state of water, why they should care, and what they can do to help.
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
Although the well that caused the BP oil spill is now dead, the spill’s effects live on. Debate about oil dispersants, such as Corexit, and concerns regarding the settled oil on the ocean floor that came from Deepwater Horizon continue to grow. To understand how the spill impacted and continues to affect the Gulf of Mexico, MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Ronald J. Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.
Branded as smarter capitalism, the Petition for a Green Recovery seeks a new kind of environmental policy to green America. Using financial incentives, this idea plans to create a marketplace that takes into account environmental and social costs while increasing the green jobs sector.
The October/November 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on safe and effective herbal remedies, creating a spectacular edible landscape, growing Jerusalem artichokes, building a solar stock tank, using wood mulch to build great garden soil, caulking and weatherstripping your home, and much more.
What do you get when you put a pack of attorneys, environmentalists, and politicians in the same room? According to Richard Schrader, legislative director for the National Resources Defense Council, a fighting chance to save the planet.
Kevin Danaher, the first keynote speaker of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, proved an appropriate choice to kick off the event. His presentation, Green Jobs are the Future, was an upbeat assessment of what ordinary citizens can do to affect positive economic change. It also reminded everyone gathered that in order “to save the eco-system, we must transcend the ego-system.”
Are you headed to (or just arriving back from) the MOTHER
EARTH NEWS FAIR at Seven Springs Resort in Pennsylvania? Share your favorite fair
experiences (and photos), and find out how you can keep up with what's going on
at this FAIR and future events.
Cities, counties and states across the country have created food policy councils in response to their concerns about future food security in their communities. The councils work to coordinate local food efforts, such as farmers markets, to develop a sustainable food system.
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
The Bag Monster Tour kicked off in San Francisco on Aug. 12 with 70 “Bag Monsters” taking to the streets. These “Monsters” — ordinary volunteers dressed in hundreds of plastic bags — were informing Californians about the dangerously large amount of single-use plastic bags being used every year throughout the United States. Andy Keller, Bag Monster’s founder, hopes that the tour and subsequent demonstrations will lead to a national ban on plastic bags.
The United States stands virtually alone in the world in not ratifying treaty on electronic waste. The dumping of electronic waste is a huge hazardous waste problem in the developing world, contaminating water supplies and land with toxic heavy metals, dioxins, PCBs and acids, and putting some of the world’s poorest populations at great risk.
When Woods End Labs recently tested biodegradable plastics and found that most aren't compostable under home compost conditions, one reader (known as Eco-Oxo) wrote that Oxo biodegradable bags aren't designed to biodegrade under compost conditions. Woods End Labs is following up, taking the reader's suggestion and testing Oxo under the conditions Eco-Oxo recommends. This is Part 1 of the new test, where you can follow along and see how Oxo fares under different conditions.
It’s that time of the year again. Store shelves are stocked with notebooks and backpacks, and the first day of school is just around the corner. These green back to school ideas will help you start the school year off on the right foot: by treating Mother Earth well.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding gifts and eco-friendly wedding favors.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about environmentally-friendly wedding food ideas.
The August/September 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on saving money on groceries, raising sheep, growing your own mushrooms, converting a grain bin into a house, strengthening your immune system naturally, choosing home energy improvements on a budget, and much more.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco-friendly wedding decorations.
CU user Shelby captures the beauty of the water falling on the rocks in this week's Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your photos every week at our CU photo-sharing website, and you could be the next Photo of the Week.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco wedding dresses.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding venues.
Hosting a gathering for casual fun or big celebrations can use up a lot of resources and leave a mess. What are you favorite tips for keeping waste to a minimum without sacrificing fun when hosting a great event?
Hundreds of Gulf Coast oil spill workers have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms related to oil exposure. News reports claim that BP is not allowing workers to wear respirators, despite the potential long-term respiratory and neurological consequences workers could face.
Four proposed climate bills on the Senate's table for July, and they will probably form one combined bill. Learn about the proposed laws that could affect you and your children for years to come, and voice your concerns to your Senators.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about eco-friendly wedding invitations and recycled paper products.
In this blog series, I’ll guide you through eight sustainable wedding issues — starting with rings, and making stops for invitations and food — that are both easy and fun to remedy. After all, it may be your big day, but that doesn’t mean you should forget the big picture. This blog is all about green wedding rings and green engagement rings.
Most coral reefs in the world are in danger of destruction in the coming years due to human activities such as global warming, pollution and overfishing. Glover’s Reef, off the coast of Belize, is a beam of hope in the world of coral reef conservation due to its well-enforced marine protected area which prevents overfishing, allowing the area to replenish its species within a few years.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, a year in which nations agreed to meet benchmarks to prevent further biodiversity loss. However, species extinction and habitat depletion are still on the rise because of human activities. Tipping points are approaching several biodiversity hotspots, which would result in economic and ecological devastation. Nations plan to convene for further action in the coming months.
The BigBelly solar trash compactor has saved big cities like Philadelphia and Boston an enormous amount of money in trash-collecting costs. Its ingenious design allows it to run completely on the sun’s energy, and it can hold five times as much waste as a typical city trash can.
Find the best reusable water bottle for you. Whether it is plastic, steel, aluminum or glass, using a reusable water bottle helps the environment. The $11 billion bottled water industry takes a toll on our environment. Here is a list of reusable bottles that could end your bottled water habits.
The weather is heating up, the sun is shining and backyards are ripe for grass-stained jeans and fingernails coated in dirt, yet children today are spending more time than ever inside. The National Wildlife Federation has found a cure for the computer zombies summer vacation creates: the sixth annual Great American Backyard Campout fundraiser.
Electronic Waste in Africa is on the rise. Computer recycling and waste management services offered by organizations around the world help control the hazardous waste. While waste disposal programs are starting up, organizations such as Computers for Africa send refurbished computers to rural Africa to aid with business and education.
The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been in the news constantly for the past two months, and all the new developments can be a bit overwhelming. Here's a comprehensive update to help you keep everything straight.
All the sights, sounds and smells of nature can create beautiful memories. Do you have a favorite nature memory that stands out from all the rest? Share your best nature memory in the comments, and check out other readers' favorites as well.
The Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force has proposed numerous changes, including coastal and marine spatial planning, to keep a constant eye on our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. Will increased regulations help us avoid future accidents in our most treasured bodies of water? Tell us what you think about the proposed changes.
The June/July 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles about natural insect control in gardens, vegetarianism, keeping a family dairy cow, building your own home, growing winter squash, natural tick prevention, creating a sunroom, building a hot tub, and much more.
Photo of the Day blog features a different photo from reader each day. Submit your own photos for a chance to appear on MOTHER's website! What's your favorite facets of nature or down-to-earth living? Share your finds or handmade creations!
Whether it’s pesticides or foods, you should know whether or not it contains hazardous chemicals. If a product’s label doesn’t provide full disclosure, we suggest you don’t buy it. Originally published as "Modern Chemicals: Precaution Is In Order " in the June/July 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
In light of the environmental, economic and other damage caused by the Gulf oil spill, has your opinion about increased domestic drilling changed? Yes or no, we want to hear your thoughts on the topic.
The scale of the projects undertaken by these "ecosystem engineers" might be smaller than those of humans, but when busy beavers get to work they create wetlands habitat that in turn supports a wide diversity of wildlife. Originally published as "The Good Work of Busy Beavers" in the June/July 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The 40 best nature photographs of all time, selected by the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP), are set to be auctioned off this Thursday, April 22, in honor of Earth Day. All proceeds from the auction will go to conservation groups.
Disneynature is premiering its new documentary, Oceans, on Earth Day 2010 to show the beauty and harsh reality of the Caribbean's threatened coral reefs. A portion of the proceeds from tickets purchased from April 22 thru 28 will go to support the preservation of coral reefs in the Bahamas.
Restaurants in the United Kingdom can be evaluated and accredited based on choices such as purchasing ethical meat and dairy products, choosing fair trade coffee, monitoring energy use, supporting community charities and serving tap water.
Thoreau, Rachel Carson, Bill McKibbon, Terry Tempest Williams. Do you have a favorite nature or environmental writer? A book or story you can get lost in, that inspires you to action, or simply reminds you of how incredible nature is? Post a comment to share the titles that invite you into the wonder of the natural world — or have maybe even changed your life.
Have you heard of “guerrilla gardening,” where folks toss flower seeds into vacant lots, or sometimes sneak in at night and plant flowers in unkempt highway medians or strips along city sidewalks? Check it out this year as a fun and fruitful way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
The U.S. Forest Service began hosting roundtable discussions on March 29 (continuing until May 12) to give citizens the opportunity to voice their opinions on the future management of national forests.
The only practical means of creating abundance in our world requires examining the ratio between our capacities and our desires. Our capacities can be measured. Our desires can, presumably, be adjusted to fit within our capacities. And if we fit our desires within our capacities with some room left over then abundance is possible.
The April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on starting a quick and easy food garden, building an all-in-one outdoor oven/stove/grill/smoker, preventing allergies with natural remedies, choosing the best chicken breeds for your backyard flock and the best trees for your yard, and much more.
If we need a vision for a sustainable future then we need a lot of people to contribute their own ideas and energy to forming and realizing that vision. If we are to attract the energy of millions of people to the task, then we must start with beauty in the frame.
The environmental advocacy group, Earth Day Network, is rallying environmental activism through a climate rally and a new site where the environmental community can learn about issues and events. Learn more about their efforts and how you can get involved.
Know of a group that's doing great work to support your community or have a community-building idea of your own? If you live in the Northeast United States, Green Mountain Coffee and Ashoka's Changemakers are holding the "Revelation to Action" contest to find and help fund the most innovative ideas to bolster communities in the Northeast states.
Fairness and repeatability share this essential value: They can be visualized today, even when sustainability cannot. If we make fairness and repeatability part of our criteria for decisions today, they contribute to sustainability in the long-term even if they don’t provide permanent solutions.
The highest goal of politics might be to instill a sense of fairness in society, since that sense of fairness promotes tranquility, productivity and prosperity. The cooperation that undergirds a healthy society — the social contract — is based on a sense of fairness. Without it, a society is unhealthy and unproductive and, ultimately, ceases to exist. As the next big challenges facing our species will be global challenges, considering fairness from a global perspective will be one key to creating true sustainability.
In business, we build a vision of the company at its most successful and we articulate a set of questions to guide us toward that vision. If it works, more or less universally, in business, then why couldn’t we apply it to other large, complex undertakings?
The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.
Most people want to contribute to a positive future. But their intention is often obstructed by the things they perceive that they cannot do. In frustration, they stop thinking about it. When we stop thinking about it, we feel a sense of relief. That sense of relief is, perhaps, the biggest threat to the world’s natural environment today.
In most cases, we can't do all of the things we would like to live more sustainable lives — at least, not all right away. We can all do something, though, and making the choices and taking the steps that we can is an effective, satisfying way to make our lives more self-reliant and better for the planet every day.
The February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on the best tomato varieties for your region, clean diesel vehicles, growing your own poultry feed, wheat, peppers and chestnut trees, plus special features celebrating our 40th anniversary.
Want more MOTHER EARTH NEWS? You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, plus check out the MOTHER EARTH NEWS forums or contact us directly. There are many fun ways to get to know and get involved with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS community. Read to find out more.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists recently moved back the minute hand on the symbolic Doomsday Clock by one minute, in part because of what they see as hope for mitigating catastrophic climate change. Tell us what you think about their decision.
In an effort to influence the world's decision makers, the United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity is heading the campaign, which will consist of events held all over the world throughout the next year.
Hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracturing or hydrofracking, can be an alternative to deeper drilling for increasing water flow from a bedrock well, but the harmful toxins the process releases into the environment have some scientists questioning whether it's worth the risk. Learn more about this process and its potential threat to the environment.
Publisher Bryan Welch's conviction that we need a better vision for our future led him to consider the way we form images, which led him to holograms. Humanity’s perception of its present world and its vision for its future are formed from billions of individual perspectives. Each individual human being possesses a unique vision, a single point in the light field. Each perspective records the person’s place in space and time. Each point of light forms a complete image, a complete vision for the future. When we reproduce the light field projected by those billions of unique visions, we get a three-dimensional picture of humanity’s combined vision. Effectively, we can’t perceive the future in three dimensions without taking into account the entire light field. Find out more about how we can use this idea to create a model for a sustainable future that can be applied across the globe.
Today as I was researching Habitat for Humanity, I learned how far its helping hand reaches. Even more interesting to me, though, was that Habitat continues to build in such war-torn counties as Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich suggests a great idea for a fresh perspective and making your goals more attainable. If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in the next hour to get closer to your goals?
To celebrate 40 years of publication and devotion to a vision of wise living, we've pulled a few nuggets from the vast trove of articles in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS magazine archive. Originally published as "Wise, Wacky & Whiz-bang! Great Ideas from MOTHER EARTH NEWS" in the February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
As MOTHER EARTH NEWS celebrates its 40th anniversary, more and more people are engaged with environmental issues and choosing to live wisely. We feel fortunate to have the opportunity to advise and inspire so many good people. We also feel fortunate that, in these challenging times for magazine publishing, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is thriving.
Time often isn't looked at as a resource - at least, not outside of corporate efficiency evaluations - but it's one of the most valuable resources any of us have. It's required for all the plans and hopes that we have, from learning to bake bread to building a self-sufficient homestead. How do you spend your time, and how would you like to?
A Kansas reader puts in time as a greeting card organizer early in the year to make sending cards the rest of the year easier. Originally published as "Greeting Card Organizer: Never Forget to Send the Very Best" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on baking healthy breads at home in five minutes a day, building a pole barn, growing $700 of food in a 100-square-foot garden, making the most of a small home, and much more.
The popularity of Patagonia clothing demonstrates that quality green products and a business model focused on environmental sustainability are compatible with business success. Originally published as "Patagonia: Making a Profit and Meeting Environmental Challenges" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
White nose syndrome continues to threaten bat populations. To help researchers find the cause, and hopefully a cure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded $800,000 in grants. Here's what one organization is doing to save the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.
For unique arts and crafts, go to Etsy.com, a hub for handmade gifts and vintage products. Originally published as "Buy and Sell Handmade Gifts" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Alarming new research on the health hazards of Roundup weed killer is shining a harsh light on a regulatory process that was meant to protect us. Originally published as "Roundup Kills More Than Weeds" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Nature challenges us: Can we love the world around us unsentimentally? Our enormous achievements have brought most of the planet more or less under our control. Now that we have this powerful role in the world, are we capable of accepting our responsibility? Nowhere is this question more present than on a farm, where we live among the animals that will one day provide a meal, and where providing a humane death is not only neccessary for our nourishment, but for providing a good life for the rest of the animal residents.
Mesopotamia’s “fertile crescent” is not so fertile any more. According to National Geographic’s 2001 story on a study funded by the United Nations Environment Program using NASA satellite images, the cradle of civilization and birthplace of agriculture has almost completely
An old idea is new again with a green shipping twist: the CitizenShipper website connects people who need items shipped somewhere with people who are already traveling in that direction, potentially lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Originally published as "Ship for Less, the Earth-friendly Way" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
From carbon footprints to added wear and tear on everything from trails to monuments, travel of any kind leaves a mark on the environment. The difficulty of balancing the environmental effects of your travels with a desire to see and appreciate firsthand the natural and manmade marvels of the world isn't an easy task, and is an issue that's inspired a wealth of discussion. What do you think? Would you travel less, or otherwise change the way you travel, in order to protect the environment?
PBS and Ken Burns’ new series, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” is stirring up interest in some of our country’s most beautiful and awe-inspiring nature, as well as its people. And it’s no surprise that many of MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers have fond memories of these wilderness areas. What are your favorite memories and stories regarding our national parks?
What makes a place great? A cadre of dedicated citizens with creative ideas and the energy to implement them; a progressive government willing to meet them halfway; opportunities to get close to nature; arts and cultural programs to feed the soul; a desire to meet the challenge of transitioning to renewable energy — these are all components of greatness. Each of the cities on our fourth annual “Great Places You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of” list meets these criteria, and more. They have a spirit of positivity and optimism, plus a proactive willingness to take matters into their own hands and make a better tomorrow — whatever the odds. Find out more about the 11 Great Places that made this year’s list.
The October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on building your own greenhouse from recycled materials, baking with applesauce, beekeeping, growing garlic, heating your home with wood heat, improving your soil with cover crops, and much more.
American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?
All the things you hear about technological advances often aren't what they're cracked up to be. Originally published as "Take Tech News with a Grain of Salt" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
For conservationists or anyone who wants to know more about our country's natural history, Ken Burns’ six-part PBS series on the national parks system is a must-see. Originally published as "Coming Soon! Series on National Parks" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
With a third of honeybee colonies disappearing due to “colony collapse disorder,” it’s time to move into high gear to find a solution. Originally published as "Colony Collapse: Are Potent Pesticides Killing Honeybees?" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
For centuries social and international conflicts have been spurred by contrasts in one group's sense of tribal identity (whether cultural, ethnic or geographic) versus another's. This same conflict plays out today in the United States for those members of American society who, thus far, have been unable to recognize President Obama as part of their tribe. Bryan Welch argues that Obama, in fact, epitomizes the key characteristics of the modern American tribe.
In May 2009, the Paid Vacation Act was presented to the U.S. House of Representatives. If passed, the bill will require that companies offer paid vacation time for their employees working 25 hours a week or more. What do you think of a paid vacation law?
The August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS features articles on how to grow your best fall garden, build an energy-efficient solar home, choose safe plastic products, make delicious whole-grain hamburger buns, revel in the beauty of wilderness, and more.
A recent advertising campaign from one of the world’s largest agribusinesses misses the larger point when it uses the term ‘sustainable.’ Sooner or later, we’ll all have to recognize the elephant in the room.
Created in 1964, the National Wilderness Preservation System assures the continued existence of wild land and vital ecosystems within the United States. Originally published as "The Beauty of Wilderness: A Photo Essay from The Wilderness Society" in the August/September 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The June/July 2009 issue of Mother Earth News features articles on the best berries for your region, safe ways to banish ticks and mosquitoes, how to protect wilderness, natural building with earth, fabulous homemade butter, building a clothesline, and much more.
Independent science is the best tool we have to solve the challenges facing society, but in recent years powerful monied interests have interfered with scientific integrity. Originally published as "Protecting the Integrity of Science" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Gardeners rejoice: the rejection of a patent application on warty pumpkins means you can grow them without fear of legal repercussions. Originally published as "Pumpkin Patent Push Squashed" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
You don't need to comb through legal filings and financial disclosure reports. Several websites have done the work of rating charities for you. Originally published as "How to Evaluate Your Favorite Charities" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A growing body of research shows the nutritional content of common food staples has declined as the use of high-yield industrial farming practices have increased. Originally published as "Industrial Farming is Giving us Less Nutritious Food" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Having a child has a profound effect on the parents, their perspective and their relationships with the rest of the world. One great effect can be heightened awareness of and investment in the world at large, as well as the future.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
The environmental sustainability initiative adopted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service has already earned it several green awards. Originally published as "U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Pursues Sustainability" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
City residents who care about ecology will find a wealth of ideas in this book to set them on a path toward sustainable urban living. Originally published as "A Guide to Sustainable Living in the City" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
These are interesting times we’re living in, with the convergence of monumental challenges and awesome opportunities. As we mark Earth Day, we offer five articles with unique ideas and innovative solutions on a variety of topics — from growing your own food to discussing the complicated issue of population.
Researchers are finding evidence that beautyberry, long used as a folk remedy, really is an effective natural insect repellent. Originally published as "Beautyberry Banishes Bad Biting Bugs" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
In 1960, writer Ted Hughes described in a letter a “moral fable” that formed a permanent cornerstone of his writing “…when you hurt something or somebody else, there is also a spirit in you which receives the hurt.” He was
Resource conservation is important but not the solution by itself. If we want a sustainable future we need to think ahead. Originally published as "Planning for a Sustainable Human Future: Conservation, Population and Economy" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Believe it or not, the global warming debate still exists. The Inhofe EPW Press Blog now has 650 scientists that speak out against the fact that global warming is real and manmade. But are these sources credible?
Every Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his home at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn. to see if he has a shadow and if winter is here to stay. Learn all about Groundhog Day, from the ceremony and tradition to music and a video of the famous Phil.
Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
You can find great reports from the field and footage of rare bird species at the American Bird Conservancy's Bird News Network. Plus, find tips for winter birding and check out highly entertaining footage of the moonwalking manakin bird.
Land rich in biodiversity isn't just more productive than land planted with a single crop. It turns out that increased biodoversity also significantly effects the total "bioenergy" of the land, as well as its carbon footprint.
The book Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A Do-It-Ourselves Guide is a collection of skills, tools, and technologies usable by urban residents wanting to have more local access and control over life's essential resources.
After the discovery of lead in some toys last year, Congress established tighter lead standards, to be implemented Feb. 10, 2009. However, some toy companies are concerned that the costs incurred to meet the deadline might be more than they can bear.
While productivity is often the name of the game at large farms, local food, minimal environmental impact and healthy conditions for farm workers also are hot topics today. Yet, our agriculture — and our living — have a greater impact on the environment and the life it supports than these issues alone address.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.
Food policy councils are a new way to bring together coalitions that are working toward the promotion of locally grown foods, and the creation of school nutrition programs and food security task forces. Originally published as "Let’s Talk About Hunger" December 2008/January 2009 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
How to recycle your non-digital TV. Because TVs will no longer broadcast analog signals as of Feb. 17, 2009, upgrading to TV's with digital format means landfills full of old TV's. Originally published as "Don’t Trash That TV" December 2008/January 2009 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
$100 billion could yield 2 million green clean energy jobs. According to a new report from the Center for American Progress, we could be well on our way to a clean energy future for a sum of money less than the 2008 Economic Stimulus Package.
This winter, be determined to stay off the sofa and expand your horizons. Whether you want to get lost in inspiring reading, plan a spring adventure or learn how to determine north without a compass, it’s easy to ward off the winter doldrums and keep your mind active. Explore the numerous suggestions in this article and you’ll become a better naturalist during the “off season.”
Securing sustainable conservation, population and economic reform. It’s time for us to visualize the future we desire. To get there, we’ll have to tackle these three significant issues together. Originally published as "Three Mountains We Must Climb: Conservation Population And Economic Reform" December 2008/January 2009 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
After 250 years, scientists are just getting started naming all of the species on Earth — though they've collected quite a bit of information so far - and the Encyclopedia of Life aims to collect all of the information about life on Earth in one place. Find out how you can use — and help build — this terrific online tool.
October 15 is Blog Action Day and this year the topic is poverty. Here are several related blog posts on this subject, especially as it relates to the sustainable living topics that we write about every day.
As 923 million people continue to starve around the world, an event called World Food Day is working to help. Held every year on October 16, people meet in small groups to discuss ways to alleviate hunger in their own communities.
Wild skunks and raccoons are among the most pervasive wild animals in the United States. Odds are they live where you live, even in urban and suburban areas. In this article you’ll read their fascinating facts, plus learn how you can help stem the spread of rabies via these critters. Originally published as "Yipes! Stripes! Skunks and Raccoons" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Take a green vacation. If you are planning an escape, but you’re worried about the environmental impact of your travels, here are a few ways to get out and about with less guilt. Originally published as "Green Your Getaway" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
As grandly exhibited in the ongoing 2008 Olympics, one of the things we humans enjoy best is a little healthy competition. And what could be better than competing to do the most good for a healthy planet? Enter Carbonrally.com, where teams of
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?
Learn about Bisbee Arizona, a sustainable living community. Bisbee evolved from a 19th century mining town into the diverse, quirky mountain town it is today. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Bisbee, Arizona" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Remarkable communities combine classic elements such as climate, architecture, natural assets and civic energy in a way that makes places healthy, safe and lively. By investing in the local economy, communities build self-reliance to handle sudden challenges such as surging energy prices or natural disasters. The under-the-radar towns on the third Mother Earth News Great Places list blend qualities like these into rich, energetic cultures. We invite you to get to know these great places with us, and apply some of their innovative approaches and lessons-learned in your own towns and cities.
But it’s not our nature to sit around complacently waiting for the asteroid, not while we have this miraculous opportunity to preserve and enhance our planet. Just as we once visualized the first irrigated field, invented the first wheel and dreamed of machines that fly, we can visualize the earth as a beautiful and productive garden where millions of species thrive. Then we can build it.
We’re here to confront our own biology, the essential nature that tells us to keep reproducing and expanding. If you could view the entirety of human experience from the dawn of our evolution to the present, if you could pick the human century you’d like to witness first-hand, you might choose this one.
Children have gotten lazy, and it's not getting better as technology keeps advancing, making it easier to sit on a couch then go outside. Problems like childhood obesity and ADHD in children keep progressing, but nature can help!
Kids will love this jazzy, upbeat eco-friendly children's album from Hayes Greenfield, in which well-known kids’ songs get an eco-makeover. Originally published as "Singin' 'bout Sustainability" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Energy production depends on water. Which technologies are the most water-efficient, and which are the least? Power plants require water to scrub pollutants, cool machinery, produce the steam necessary to turn huge turbines and generators, and more. Even some alternative energy sources, such as ethanol and hydrogen, require large volumes of water. Originally published as "The Intertwined Tale of Energy and Water" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Keep pesticides out of parks. Many common pesticides are associated with a variety of health problems, especially for children. Read about how your city/county officials can manage parks and recreation areas without chemicals.
Learn about Traverse City, Michigan, a sustainable living community. Traverse City is known nationwide for its world-class sailing, kayaking, bicycling and skiing venues, but this active small town also is rich in culture. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Traverse City, Michigan" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about San Luis Obispo, California, a sustainable living community. With 315 days of sun a year; thousands of acres of national forest, state parks, beaches, lakes and mountain ranges, San Luis Obispo is a hub for outdoor recreation. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: San Luis Obispo, California" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Greenbelt Maryland, a sustainable living community. The citizens of Greenbelt work together to create an involved community with a focus on frugality. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Greenbelt, Maryland" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Moscow, Idaho, a sustainable living community. Moscow, Idaho, also known as the “Heart of the Arts,” emphasizes urban tree planting; restoration of prairie lands and native species; and a community-wide love for the arts. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Moscow, Idaho" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Viroqua Wisconsin, a sustainable living community. Viroqua residents work to preserve their home’s history, local businesses, natural resources and commitment to small, organic farms. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Viroqua, Wisconsin" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Berea Kentucky, a sustainable living community. Berea is known as the “arts and crafts capital of Kentucky.” Home to Berea College, this town knows the meaning of the word “sustainability.” Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Berea, Kentucky" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Bethel Maine, a sustainable living community. Bethel is famous for its outdoor living. Skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking, canoeing, fishing — you name the activity; they have the perfect spot for it. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Bethel, Maine" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Ames Iowa, a sustainable living community. Residents of Ames have managed to combine a small town feel with big city amenities. Great public transportation, civic pride, dedication to higher education and a commitment to the environment also made it into the mix. Originally published as "9 Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of: Ames, Iowa" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.
Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.
The Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is growing at a disturbing rate and is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985. An action plan is in place, but it will only work when and if we actually follow it.
We are focusing our attentions in the wrong place. Motorcyclists, mountain-bikers, skiers and steeplechasers all learn the same lesson: When you have a lot of forward momentum you have to train your attention beyond the short-term challenges. You need to be thinking ahead. You need to form a picture of yourself successfully negotiating the coming obstacles. You have to visualize the successful outcome. Your reflexes and, hopefully, some previous visualization are taking care of the ruts under the tires of your bicycle. Your attention should be trained on the area where you will arrive in the next few seconds. Your mind visualizes the best route and your body begins making adjustments in your approach.
If you focus on the intermediate obstacle, you’re likely to hit that obstacle.
It’s recently occurred to me that I don’t hear anyone describing the world in which we want to live 20 years from now. Almost no one, it seems, is visualizing the successful outcome. We’re too busy arguing about where to drill for oil.
California condors are on the verge of extinction, and lead ammunition has something to do with it. But they're not the only animals being hurt. Based on recent studies, people that eat venison risk exposure to lead as well.
In nature, few creatures live long enough to reach old age. The "ideal" life spans here are based on longevity records of animals raised in captivity or of extraordinary long-lived animals in nature. The "real" life spans are estimations of the average or expected lifetimes of animals in the wild, based on field research.
In his portraits, artist Robert Shetterly features great Americans who tell the truth about helping the environment. With honesty and courage, these environmentalists pave the way to a healthier, brighter future.
It’s always exciting when some new idea or technology makes wiser living an easier and more cost-effective. But some of the best, most effective, least expensive ideas around — such as building using passive solar principles or recycling dead plant material into fertilizer — have been around for centuries. Find out how a return to these “radical,” time-tested methods might be the smartest move yet.
Train your brain to listen to the sounds of nature, and you’ll discover a whole new world. With these relaxation tips, you can learn to quiet internal noise and truly hear the nature sounds around you.
Our national wildlife refuges are more popular than ever as recreational destinations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that nearly 35 million people visited refuges in 2006, generating almost $1.7 billion.
Mother Earth News is better than ever, with new departments, including more space for reader letters, reports and photo sharing, stemming from great reader feedback. Learn more about these recent improvements and Mother’s biggest, most engaged community yet.
Distinguishing between nature terms can be confusing. What are the differences between butterflies and moths? What are the differences between fruits and vegetables? This guide will help you decipher the subtle differences in nature terminology.
Ever wondered what the difference is between a national park, a wilderness area, a national wildlife refuge, or other protected federal land? Here are the major differences in how these different natural areas are used and managed.
Winter wildlife includes super sliding river otters! Slow-burn sleepy black bears! Busybody bugs with scuba tanks! The eerie calls of screech owls! Monster-sized pine cones! Winter may feel like a cold, lifeless season, but the truth is nature never stops being active and unique. Here are some amazing, little-known curiosities of the winter wonderland. Originally published as "Wild Wonders of Winter" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn how refrigerators meet higher efficiency standards. The Department of Energy says it is aggressively developing and implementing updated requirements for the Energy Star appliance efficiency standards. One of these is a new standard for refrigerators, which it says will save U.S. consumers up to $23.5 million in energy costs. Originally published as "Cool New Efficiency Standards" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Mother Earth News has been writing about solar power technologies ever since the magazine began more than 30 years ago. But those technologies have only improved with time, and these days we’re more convinced than ever that the best way to shift our energy economy from fossil fuels to clean renewable sources is to support solar power in all its forms.
Save the earth by working less. Did you know that working long hours is bad for your health and the environment? We produce more stuff, use more resources, and rely heavily on convenience items like fast food with plastic utensils and wasteful packaging.
Introducing EarthMoment.com, MOTHER's new carbon-neutral shopping website. Browse through products from your favorite online retailers, and with every purchase you make, the retailer pays a commission to EarthMoment. We donate half of that commission to a carbon reduction program. Help us contribute to the fight against global warming! Originally published as "Shopping for a Healthy Planet" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about changes to create cleaner outdoor wood boilers, improvements are underway for the inefficient, air-polluting outdoor wood furnaces on the market today. With the help of the EPA and state governments, we may soon have better boilers from which to choose.
As we become more aware of the impact of environmental degradation on human health, such as increased incidence of chronic and infectious disease, will you join the effort to save the Earth and protect the health of future generations?
Partnered with over 60 microfinance institutions, Kiva.org has revolutionized micro-lending, Kiva microlending allows private citizens to "meet" and help needy borrowers in the developing world. As the first and only Internet microfinancer, Kiva lets lenders choose how much they wish to loan as well as who will receive the loan.
Our Basic Birdhouse design is easy to build and will provide critical shelter for backyard birds. You can learn how to build a basic birdhouse, all you need is a few hours of time, some basic tools and a simple piece of lumber. Best of all, you’ll attract house wrens, titmice, nuthatches, chickadees or downy woodpeckers to your back yard. And with simple changes, you can modify this design to make a bluebird house. Originally published as "In Praise of the Basic Birdhouse" October/November 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Grassroots activist Sandra Steingraber and a local citizens’ group, Peoria Families Against Toxic Waste, teamed up with the local Sierra Club chapter and Peoria’s medical community to block expansion of a hazardous waste dump that sits on the border of their Illinois town of Peoria. In the end, the landfill expansion was denied. Here’s their formula for success with grassroots activism.
News from Mother introduces the exciting recent enhancements to our Web sites; Mother Earth Living e-newsletters, editor's blogs for each of our 8 categories, and our new photo-sharing site, CU ("see you"), where readers can post pictures and enter contests. Mother Earth News also announces the results of our latest tests of nutrient levels in real free-range eggs.
Learn about Bloomington Indiana, a sustainable living community. The residents of Bloomington know how to keep their city growing in sustainable ways. With a strong focus on outdoor recreation, backyard wildlife and music, this is Midwest living at its finest. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard of: Bloomington Indiana" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Raptors: These birds of prey include eagles, hawks and falcons. From their awesome aeronautics to their precise predatory instincts, these birds are the pinnacle of flight. Originally published as "Raptors: The Sky Masters" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
News from Mother introduces a variety of project ideas featured in the issue. For a simple, small-scale project, learn to monitor your car's mpg. Or if you're up for it, add a more elaborate, large-scale project to your list and learn to build an energy-efficient workshop. From fresh food tips to easy wind technologies, you'll be inspired to create a more sustainable life.
Learn about Paonia Colorado, a sustainable living community. With nearby national parks and wilderness areas, there’s no limit to the ways you can enjoy the fresh mountain air in Paonia. This great place is small, but the quality of life experienced by its residents is huge. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Paonia Colorado" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Brattleboro Vermont, a sustainable living community. Described as “Vintage New England,” Brattleboro residents go to great lengths to ensure the sustainability of their agricultural heritage. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Brattleboro Vermont" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Ocean Springs Mississippi, a sustainable living community. Hurricane Katrina was no match for Ocean Springs. It’s bouncing back — big time. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Ocean Springs Mississippi" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Bellingham Washington, a sustainable living community. Beautiful scenery, access to an abundance of local food and a strong commitment to water and energy efficiency makes Bellingham really stand out. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard of: Bellingham Washington" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Dixon New Mexico, a sustainable living community. The small town of Dixon celebrates a strong cultural heritage and connection to the land. Artistic beauty is a way of life here. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Dixon New Mexico" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Eau Claire Wisconsin, a sustainable living community. If you want to find ways to make your community family friendly, forward-thinking and energetic, take Eau Claire’s example. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Eau Claire Wisconsin" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Learn about Ukiah California, a sustainable living community. This town of 15,580 enjoys a mild climate, proximity to more than 20 organic wineries and a reputation for maximizing use of renewable energy sources. Originally published as "8 Great Places You've Never Heard Of: Ukiah California" August/September 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Oscar the cat, a former shelter animal, has an uncanny ability to sense death in a Rhode Island nursing home, providing the staff time to notify patients'families, and keeping some residents from dying alone.
A community culture that puts the pieces together, not only identifying what the community needs but how best to meet those needs in resourceful, synergistic ways. This how we describe a great place; here’s who made the cut in our second annual list.
My friends who are handy and competent in mechanical matters love to extol the virtues of “the right tool for the job.” I appreciate this perspective in the same sense that I appreciate the perspective of those who love
I’m surprised by how often someone tells me, “I’m not an environmentalist, but I love Mother Earth News.” How can a person love Mother Earth News if they’re not concerned about the environment? Well, of course, they’re not saying that they’re not concerned about the environment. They’re declining membership in a “movement.”
We’re not the first species to mess up its habitat. In fact, nearly every successful species has, at some time in its history, exceeded the carrying capacity of its habitat and screwed things up for itself and its neighbor
Initiatives that protect natural resources and improve social justice are being hatched all over the world, every day. Most of these initiatives are the products of grass roots innovation. Micro lending is a perfect example of how individuals are
If you read only the major media our species still comes off as shortsighted and self interested. For example The Wall Street Journal’s recent feature on “When to Buy Organic,” answered its question purely on the grounds of
Because today, in the midst of so many pressing issues, I sense that we have started solving what may be, for our species or any species, the ultimate riddle. Millions of people are consciously making changes in their lives so that they will use less of the planet’s resources.
I surprised myself - maybe I should say, "shocked myself" - when I realized recently that I've developed a new admiration for my own species. Despite what the media reports, sometimes, when we see what we need to do and when we need to do it, we actually follow through.
No matter where you live, crows and ravens are your neighbors. You might want to watch them — carefully. Originally published as "Brain Birds: Amazing Crows and Ravens" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Thousands of volunteers across North America take part in the Christmas Bird Count every year to help assess the health of winter bird populations. Originally published as "Join the Winter Birdwatchers" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Individuals who want to contribute global warming solutions of their own have no shortage of options. Originally published as "What You Can Do to Help Solve the Climate Crisis" in the October/November 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
New labeling rules in Washington state protect clean water by protecting salmon habitat. Originally published as "Victory for Clean Water - Green Gazette" in the October/November 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.