Expand your sustainable lifestyle to include living in a green or naturall home. Whether already built, or starting from the ground up, check out our green building books.

  • PREFABULOUS + ALMOST OFF THE GRID

    Prefabrication offers a simple path to the green home of your dreams, and in her latest book, Prefabulous author Sheri Koones highlights the many ways of using prefabrication to create almost-off-the-grid homes: houses that are not only environmentally friendly but often operate at nearly zero annual energy cost.
    Item: 7115
  • PREPPER'S SURVIVAL RETREATS

    When disaster strikes, bugging out will be sufficient to escape short-term danger. But when widespread collapse comes, survival will depend on having a long-term prepper retreat ready and waiting. Prepper’s Survival Retreatsbreaks down the daunting task of strategic relocation into manageable steps that allow readers to create a personalized plan appropriate for their budget, needs, and specific goals. No two preppers are alike and no two strategic relocation plans should be the same,this book will show how to put together the perfect survival retreat for every prepper.

    Item: 8902
  • PRESCRIPTIONS FOR A HEALTHY HOUSE

    CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $28.95. AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

    Although there is nothing complicated about constructing healthier homes, building for health is still not standard practice, and in fact there are many aspects of conventional home construction that are detrimental to human wellbeing.

    From foundation to rooftop, to home care and repair, Prescriptions for a Healthy House takes the mystery out of healthy-house building, renovation and maintenance, by walking the owner/architect/builder team through the entire construction process. Chapters include:

    • Frame construction alternatives
    • Thermal and moisture control
    • Finishes
    • Flooring
    • Furnishings

    The authors -- an architect, medical doctor and restoration consultant -- bring a singular combination of expertise and perspectives to this book. The result -- now in its third completely updated edition -- is a unique guide to creating healthy indoor and outdoor spaces, including many new resources, as well as specialized knowledge from several nationally recognized experts in the field of building biology.

    This unique guide will appeal to architects, designers, contractors, medical professionals and homeowners.

    Item: 4604
  • REAL GOODS SOLAR LIVING SOURCE BOOK

    What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint and increasing their energy independence.

    This 14th edition of the sourcebook is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading, and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on:

    • Natural building
    • Permaculture and biodynamics
    • Electric and biofuel-powered vehicles
    • Passive solar
    • Solar water heating
    • Grid-tied photovoltaic systems

    You’ll also find maps, wiring diagrams, formulas, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets and much more.

    Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips … everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality.

    Item: 7458
  • SHELTER II

    Shelter II was published in 1978, five years after the book Shelter. It was a sequel in a sense, but a more sober and practical book (in black and white, not color) for any owner-builder interested in building a simple stud-frame house. The heart of the book consists of an introduction to the principles of house design, followed by a condensed 24-page instruction manual for the novice builder for building a stud-frame home: foundation, floor, wall and roof framing; roofing, windows, doors, interior finish, as well as plumbing and electrical work.

    Featured is a section of complete, to-scale drawings by Bob Easton of seven different homes, accompanied by floor plans. These unique drawings allow the first-time builder to visualize each structure as a whole by showing every member of the house frame.

    Indigenous builders are studied with an eye to the still-usable skills of the past. There are many photos of North American houses and barns: still-standing reminders of an era of practical building.

    Rehabilitation projects then underway in major cities are also covered. There's a critical analysis of domes - they were found to be neither practical nor durable, and there's a detailed critique of America's program in those years to establish colonies in space.

    Shelter II tells a story: Practical builders (past and present, in country and city) have always built with time-tested techniques and materials readily at hand: lumber, earth, stone, concrete, brick, thatch or abandoned city buildings. Design is governed by weather, purpose and economy. Building technique is determined by tradition, experience and practice. Then, as now, initiative and hand labor by owners can beat the high cost of building and reduce or eliminate lifetime mortgage obligations.

    Out of print for some 20 years, Shelter II is an integral part of the Shelter Publications suite of books on handbuilt homebuilding, and we're happy to make it available once again.

    Item: 7195
  • SMALL HOMES: THE RIGHT SIZE

    This book features homes that are larger than “tiny,” but smaller than the national average. Small homes are less expensive, use less resources, are more efficient to heat and cool, and cheaper to maintain and repair. The homes here (some 65 of them) vary from unique and artistic to simple and low-cost. Some are plain, ordinary buildings that provide owners shelter at a reasonable cost, and some are inspiring examples of design, carpentry, craftsmanship, imagination, creativity, and homemaking.

    This book represents a logical step for Shelter Publications, after their two previous books on tiny homes. (By way of comparison, homes in their Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter, averaged 200 to 300 square feet.)

    Item: 8242
  • THE ART OF NATURAL BUILDING, SECOND EDITION

    The popularity of natural building has grown by leaps and bounds, spurred by a grassroots desire for housing that is healthy, affordable and environmentally responsible. While many books cover specific methods (such as straw bale construction, cob and timber framing), few resources introduce the reader to the entire scope of this burgeoning field.

    Fully revised and updated, The Art of Natural Building is a complete introduction to natural building for everyone from do-it-yourselfers to architects and designers. This collection of articles from more than 50 leaders in the field is now stunningly illustrated with more than 200 full-color photos of natural buildings from around the world. Learn about:

    • The case for building with natural materials, from the perspectives of sustainability, lifestyle and health
    • What you need to know to plan and design your own beautiful and efficient natural home
    • Explanations of 30 versatile materials and techniques, with resources on where to go for further information on each
    • How these techniques are being used to address housing crises around the world

    Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.

    Item: 7571
  • THE BEESWAX WORKSHOP

    Featuring more than 100 step-by-step recipes, The Beeswax Workshop presents easy-to-follow recipes that utilize the amazing flexibility of beeswax for crafting safe, highly effective home products. From lotions and salves to candles and cleaners, this book shows you how to make organic alternatives to chemical-laden store-bought items. You will love stocking first aid kits with natural sunburn salve and antimicrobial ointment; making beeswax-based beauty products such as lip balm, blush, perfume, shampoo, and hair pomade; and even waterproofing gardening tools and camping equipment. The Beeswax Workshop provides you with a wonderful collection of new and creative ways to use sustainable beeswax.

    Item: 8250
  • THE COMPLETE SURVIVAL SHELTERS

    A step-by-step ultimate guide to building life-saving structures for every climate and wilderness situation which is for beginners and experienced outdoor enthusiasts alike. Without shelter, a person stuck in the wild can die of exposure in a matter of hours—long before they run out of food or water. But most people, even hardened backpackers, don’t know how to build an adequate shelter. Packed with 30 easy-to-follow tutorials and over 200 step-by-step photos, this all-encompassing primer teaches readers how to construct a wide range of life-saving shelters using the natural materials available.

    Item: 8890
  • THE CONSUMER GUIDE TO HOME ENERGY SAVINGS, 10TH EDITION

    Increasing the energy efficiency of your home can save you money, help the environment and enhance your comfort, but how do you decide which improvements are the most beneficial and cost-effective? Completely revised to incorporate the latest developments in green technology, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings is the definitive resource for consumers who want to better their home's performance while reducing their energy bills.

    Well-organized and highly readable, The Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings begins with an overview of the relationships between energy use, economics and the environment. Updated and expanded chapters focus on specific aspects of any home, such as heating and cooling, ventilation, electronics, lighting, cooking and laundry, and provide helpful explanations for each, including:

    • Energy use characteristics
    • Comparisons between available technologies
    • Cost-effective repair and replacement options
    • Step-by-step guidance for finding the right equipment

    This comprehensive resource is packed with tips on improving existing equipment and guidance for when and why to invest in new purchases, as well as a reminder to check local government and utilities for purchase or retrofit grants or incentives. It is a must-read for anyone concerned about reducing both their energy bills and their environmental impact.

    Item: 6478
  • THE ECONEST HOME

    An EcoNest is not just a home … it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This unique approach to construction combines light straw clay, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters and other natural techniques with the principles of building biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. By bringing together time-honored traditions and modern innovations, owners of EcoNests enjoy living spaces that reflect the best of both worlds.

    The EcoNest Home is an in-depth exploration of the benefits of choosing this technique over conventional alternatives, combined with a complete practical guide for prospective designers and builders. Authors Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte draw on their own extensive experience to provide:

    • A detailed explanation of the nature-based science behind EcoNests.
    • Fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions to guide you through construction.
    • Dozens of inspiring photos of completed projects.

    The most comprehensive, North American resource on light straw clay construction, written by its leading proponents, The EcoNest Home is a must-read for anyone considering building their own healthy, affordable, environmentally friendly, natural home.

    Item: 7687
  • THE FURNITURE BIBLE

    Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the south of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update and care for it—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms and funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse, vernis anglais and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.

    Item: 7594
  • THE GREENED HOUSE EFFECT

    It’s said that the greenest building is the one that’s already built, because so much energy is embodied in the existing structure.

    With greater public awareness of the need for energy independence, the issue of how we can make our existing homes more resource-efficient is becoming ever more critical. Residential buildings make up a large fraction of our energy needs, largely due to heating and air-conditioning. So it’s no longer enough to simply do the small stuff, like switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, or turning down the thermostat at night.

    In The Greened House Effect, author Jeff Wilson brings his twenty-five years of construction experience and hands-on knowledge of home building to bear on making our current houses cleaner, greener, more comfortable, and healthier. Think of a deep energy retrofit (DER) as a “whole home makeover”—one that represents a significant investment, but that saves money from the get-go by capturing the energy you “drop on the ground” every month, every year, through inefficiency, poor design, or simply living in a typical older home. This isn’t a book about freezing in the dark, but a solution that allows us to live more comfortably while making a positive impact in the world.

    “We can’t buy our way out of the current and impending crises with the latest and greatest high-tech. We can’t buy our way out of it by simply replacing our old stuff with newer, “greener” stuff. That approach only assures that we will continue to experience the vicious circle of energy waste and dependence. I would argue, though, that we can save our way out of these problems,” writes Wilson.

    Using his own family’s retrofit of their 1942 home as a prime example, Wilson weaves a readable narrative at a practical, hammer-and-nail level. He presents the solutions to our building and energy problems, making them seem possible for average homeowners and small contractors by offering the right balance of information, skills, financing strategies, and materials.

    Technical information is presented in sidebars and graphs, and numerous color photos illustrate the process, including:

    • Testing the energy efficiency of your home and learning where improvements need to be made;
    • Dealing with local building codes and regulations;
    • Financing and paying for a DER;
    • Major components of the DER, such as roofs, exterior walls, basements, and whole house systems; and
    • Details of home-scale renewable energy options to complement the DER, including passive and active solar systems.

    Wilson’s building experience, along with his lifelong passion for energy issues, all come together to form an inspirational, can-do approach to making our community, our nation, and our world a better place—one home at a time.

    Item: 6668
  • THE HANDMADE TEARDROP TRAILER

    If you love camping, but you’re tired of sleeping on the ground (or you have a dream of simply checking out and hitting the road), then a teardrop trailer is the perfect DIY project for you. Sleek, nimble, and oh-so-comfortable, a custom-built teardrop trailer lets you escape in head-turning style. Covering everything from sketchbook ideas to the complete step-by-step know-how, The Handmade Teardrop Trailer trains you up like a pro on how to successfully build this iconic camper.

    Item: 9320
  • THE HERBAL HANDBOOK FOR HOME & HEALTH

    Kitchen pharmacy meets green cleaning and natural beauty in this comprehensive handbook. Expert herbalist Pip Waller provides 501 recipes that harness the power of plants to enhance wellness and toxin-free living. Within these pages, you’ll find a wealth of information about growing, collecting, preserving and preparing herbs for a variety of purposes … from cleaning products to food and drink, medicines, beauty products, and more. Attractive and easy to use, The Herbal Handbook for Home and Health includes growing tips and profiles of herbs, guidelines for setting up an herbalist's kitchen, and techniques to make everything from tinctures to tonics. A valuable resource for anyone affected by allergies or sensitivities, this compendium is handsomely produced with two-color printing throughout and more than 300 striking illustrations.

    The handbook includes contributions from herbalists from around the world and encompasses recipes that range from simple to complex. Seasoned herbalists as well as those just beginning to explore the world of herbs will find something to start their own nontoxic, nonallergenic domestic revolution.

    The book includes:

    • A history of herbal lore
    • The herbalist's kitchen: equipment and procedures for harnessing the power of plants
    • Green cleaning products (from floor wax to stain removers)
    • Herbal pharmacy (from throat lozenges to hangover cures)
    • Nutritional supplements and detoxes
    • First aid (from anti-anxiety drops to bruise ointment)
    • Travel companions (insect repellant to anti-nausea drops)
    • Food and drink (breads, butters, wines, teas)
    • Beauty and balms (toothpaste to shampoo to lip balm)
    • Kitchen pharmacy
    • Food and drink
    • Personal care

    Item: 7597
  • THE HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE TO RENEWABLE ENERGY, REVISED & UPDATED

    Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.

    Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.

    Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:

    • Solar hot water and solar hot air systems
    • Space heat: passive and active solar retrofits and heat pumps
    • Wood heat
    • Passive cooling
    • Electricity from solar, wind, and microhydro
    • Hydrogen, fuel cells, methane digesters, and biodiesel

    This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.

    Item: 8273
  • THE MODERN ORGANIC HOME

    Home is a haven, a place of refuge. But did you know it might be making you sick? If your home is cluttered, overwhelming, and full of chemicals, it’s time to detox. The Modern Organic Home helps you de-clutter and clean with natural, homemade products that are healthy for you and your family.

    Item: 9244
  • THE NATURAL HOUSE

    This exciting book takes the reader on a tour of fourteen natural building methods, including straw bale, rammed earth, cordwood, adobe, earthbags, earthships, and more. You'll learn how these homes are built, how much they cost, and the pros and cons of each.

    Item: 710
  • THE NATURALLY CLEAN HOME

    Keep your home clean, green and healthy! Common, nontoxic kitchen ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar are wonderful household cleaners and great replacements for harmful chemical cleansers. Pair them with essential oils to clean, disinfect and freshen every room. With more than 150 recipes for all-natural, easy-to-prepare solutions, you can clean wood, glass, tile, porcelain, fabric, carpets and much more — naturally and safely.

    Item: 4637
  • THE ORGANICALLY CLEAN HOME

    Forget about chemical cleaners and pricey "green" products … all you need are a few simple kitchen staples to make your whole house sparkle! The Organically Clean Home features 150 easy-to-make recipes for cleaning products filled with all-natural ingredients you can trust (and actually pronounce!). America's favorite cleaning blogger, Becky Rapinchuk, guides you through the steps needed to make everyday necessities from dishwasher detergent to antibacterial wipes without spending a fortune.

    Armed with simple instructions for packaging and storing your homemade cleaners, you'll enjoy turning each room into a beautiful and toxic-free space with fresh-scented products like:

    • Lemon and clove hardwood floor cleaner
    • No-bleach laundry whitener and brightener
    • Peppermint glass and mirror wipes
    • Lavender and lemon bathroom disinfecting spray
    • Citrus foaming hand soap

    With The Organically Clean Home, you'll save hundreds of dollars every month … and have a clean, healthy home that you and your family can feel good about.

    Item: 7236

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