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Solar energy is an abundant resource. Once a curiosity, solar electric systems are becoming commonplace. As we transition away from finite and polluting fossil fuels, clean, reliable and affordable renewable technologies such as solar electricity will become the mainstay of our energy supply.
Solar Electricity Basics provides a clear understanding of the sun, solar energy and solar electric systems. It discusses the theoretical, practical and economic aspects of residential solar installations including inverters, batteries and controllers, costs of solar electric systems, financial incentives, system installation and maintenance, permits, covenants, utility interconnection, and buying a system.
Whether your goal is to lower your energy bill through a grid-connected system or to achieve complete energy independence, Solar Electricity Basics is the introduction you need.
Author: Dan Chiras
As fossil fuel supplies dwindle, home heating will be one of the major challenges in temperate and cold climates. The reserves of natural gas used to heat the majority of North American buildings are rapidly being depleted. This latest Green Energy Guide helps readers who want to slash their energy bills and reduce their dependence on scarce resources to navigate the sometimes-confusing maze of clean, reliable and affordable options.
Solar Home Heating Basics focuses on renewable energy strategies to heat new and existing homes and small businesses. These include:
While most solar home heating resources are geared primarily towards new buildings, this practical and easy-to-understand guide also addresses ways of retrofitting existing buildings, making solar a reality for many people.
Packed with all the essential information home and small-business owners need to find alternatives to conventional heating solutions, Solar Home Heating Basics is your key to a personal energy.
Author: Dan Chiras
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:
Clearly written, logically organized and beautifully illustrated, The Art of Natural Building is the encyclopedia of natural building.
Author: Kennedy, Smith, Wanek
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.
Author: Chris Dalziel
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:
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.
Author: J Amann, A Wilson, K Ackerly
Author: Marilyn Bohn
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:
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.
Author: P. Beker-Laporte, R. LaPorte
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.
Author: Christope Pourny
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:
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.
Author: Jeff Wilson
Passive is the new green. Passive Houses, well-insulated and virtually airtight buildings, can decrease home heating consumption by an astounding 90 percent, making them not only an attractive choice for current and prospective homeowners, but also the right choice for a sustainable future. The Greenest Home showcases 18 of the world's most attractive Passive Houses by forward-thinking architects such as Bernheimer Architecture, Olson Kundig Architects and Onion Flats, among many others. Each case study consists of a detailed project description, plans and photographs. Including a mix of new construction and retrofit projects built in a variety of site conditions, The Greenest Home is an inspiring sourcebook for architects and prospective homeowners, as well as a useful tool for students and builders alike.
Author: Julie Torres Moskovitz
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:
Author: Pip Waller
Are you looking for creative ways to lower your energy costs, generate more of your own power, or become less reliant on the grid? Energy expert Paul Scheckel offers practical advice for taking matters into your own hands. Understand the fundamentals of solar, wind, water and biofuel energy production as you make your home ready for renewables. Each chapter of The Homeowner's Energy Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of renewable energy sources, along with "green guides" for building your own energy-saving (and energy-producing) equipment. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a bicycle-powered generator, biodiesel processor, thermosiphon solar hot-water collector, biogas generator, smokeless wood-gas camp stove, and more. Whether you want to button up your house to be more energy-efficient, find deep energy savings or take your home entirely off the grid, this guide has the knowledge and skills you need to reduce your use, then produce!
Author: Paul Scheckel
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:
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.
Author: Dan Chiras
This New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.
Despite constant efforts to declutter your home, do papers still accumulate like snowdrifts and clothes pile up like a tangled mess of noodles?
Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes tidying to a whole new level, promising that if you properly simplify and organize your home once, you’ll never have to do it again. Most methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach, which doom you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari Method, with its revolutionary category-by-category system, leads to lasting results. In fact, none of Kondo’s clients have lapsed (and she still has a three-month waiting list).
With detailed guidance for determining which items in your house “spark joy” (and which don’t), this international bestseller featuring Tokyo’s newest lifestyle phenomenon will help you clear your clutter and enjoy the unique magic of a tidy home—and the calm, motivated mindset it can inspire.
Author: Marie Kondo
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.
Author: Daniel D. Chiras
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.
Author: KARYN SIEGEL-MAIER
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:
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.
Author: Becky Rapinchuk
Designer/builder Ethan Fierro celebrates summer with this collection of original outdoor shower designs that he’s discovered across North America. He offers dozens of designs to choose from, all pictured in stunning color photographs, ranging from a simple showerhead on the side of your cottage to semi-detached and freestanding structures. Fierro also includes an overview of basic plumbing and structural requirements, along with suggestions for using a wide range of building materials, such as stone, wood, metal, frosted glass blocks, earth, concrete, tile, stucco, and landscape vegetation. His plans are environmentally sound and incorporate cost-saving techniques, with ideas for repurposing found and recycled materials.
Author: Ethan Fierro