Mother Earth Living






4/29/2011
Two students have created an inspirational blog that features one upcycling project—something made from discarded materials—each day. They've committed to keeping it going for 30 days, but with your help it could go forever.
4/29/2011
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
4/29/2011
What can you do with all those useless newspapers, paper bags and Yellow Pages books? Tear them into scraps and use them to decoupage walls and other surfaces. It's easy, cheap—and surprisingly elegant.
4/29/2011
Celebrate and spread the word about Fair Trade food and products with a World Fair Trade Day breakfast on May 14.
4/28/2011
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
4/28/2011
The Japanese are masterful at living in small spaces. We can learn a lot from the superbly designed microhouses that have become a hot trend in Tokyo and beyond. Take a few tours and learn a few tricks in this must-see video.
4/28/2011
Will our nation's positive moves toward saner, simpler living and smaller homes fall victim to an improving economy? No way.
4/27/2011
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
4/27/2011
Zen Buddhism's Seven Ruling Principles are wabi-sabi's foundation. They're also excellent guiding lights for a good home and life.
4/27/2011
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
4/27/2011
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was 'born 100 years too late.' Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont—and she loves it.
4/26/2011
Most Americans believe that cleaning products are required to list ingredients on labels. They're not. But Whole Foods is taking matters into its own hands with a color-coded rating system that holds manufacturers accountable for green claims.
4/26/2011
Making your own cleaning products using vinegar, baking soda and water is healthy, easy--and cheap. Learn how to whip up your own cleaners using foods you already have in your kitchen cupboard.
4/26/2011
Don't have the budget for a hot tub? Check out how these homeowners saves money and space by planting vintage clawfoot tubs in their gardens.
4/26/2011
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
4/25/2011
If spring is giving you peas, it's best to eat them right away before their sugars degrade. Here's how to whip them up into a wonderful spring soup.
4/25/2011
Kate and Jeff are building their off-the-grid dream near Taos, New Mexico. As they build themselves a small straw bale house and make do with a few solar panels, they're realizing how little they really need.
4/25/2011
The United States imports more than $2.2 trillion worth of products from 150 countries every year. That's just crazy, given all the benefits that buying locally can bring to both consumers and communities.
4/25/2011
As grocery prices rise, now more than ever we need tools to save money. These websites help you get organized and give you the tools you need to buy the best—for less.
4/21/2011
Green is Universal and Etsy's The Art of Reuse Contest is a gold mine for DIY home project ideas. My favorite pays homage to Audrey Hepburn's ahead-of-its-time sofa made from an old clawfoot bathtub in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
4/21/2011
Christy Oates's brilliant fold-out furniture takes up virtually no floor space when it's not in use. It's the perfect solution for small homes--and a hopeful sign for the future of design.
4/21/2011
Do you dream about living in a tiny, super-efficient home but worry about living with less space? This list of reasons for living could help push you off the fence. Dream big, live small!
4/21/2011
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
4/20/2011
DiggersList is giving away wildflower seeds to anyone who posts something for sale on its site, and Re-Nest just came out with an awesome guide to buying, selling and swapping stuff online. Spring cleaning just got easier!
4/20/2011
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
4/20/2011
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
4/20/2011
Charles and Ray Eames are modern wabi-sabi heroes who brought fresh, spare furniture, without pretense or stodginess, to the masses. Their home was a wabi-sabi masterpiece.
4/19/2011
Whether I'm in the market for something funky or just a few bricks for the garden, I always visit Boulder ReSource first. Check out this expert's tips on mining your local salvage yard for gems.
4/19/2011
Jeld-Wen's new Custom Wood line combines character with energy efficiency in windows and doors made from salvaged, reclaimed wood. It's the best of all possible worlds.
4/19/2011
Don't throw away the Peeps left at the bottom of your Easter basket. They're the building blocks of many good projects.
4/19/2011
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
4/18/2011
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
4/18/2011
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
4/18/2011
Replacing paper towels with rags is a super simple step toward sustainable living. Follow these simple tips to get disposable paper towels out of your house. You'll never miss them.
4/18/2011
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
4/15/2011
Reed diffusers are a great way to fill your home with the fresh, healing scents of essential oils—but they're pricey. You can save a bundle by making your own using repurposed bottles and plant stalks.
4/15/2011
We all have hoarding tendencies. If yours are getting the better of you, rest assured that there are support groups and professional organizations just waiting to help.
4/15/2011
Using herbs and food to dye Easter eggs gives them beautiful, earthy color--without scary chemicals. And it's surprisingly easy.
4/14/2011
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
4/14/2011
We use more water than we need in our homes every day. If you’re curious to know how much water your own home might be wasting, check out this infographic on U.S. residential water consumption from eLocal.com.
4/14/2011
Tearing out wall-to-wall carpet is one of the healthiest things you can do. Dress up the scuffed wood floor underneath using plant-based paint and stencils. You'll never miss the rug.
4/13/2011
Frugality and lack of pretense or compromise are key ingredients in creating a wabi-sabi home.
4/12/2011
Making mosaics out of salvaged, broken tiles is a great project for free-form do-it-yourselfers. It's easy, fun and results in a brilliant surface--often for pennies. Check out this video and give it a try.
4/8/2011
Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool contest, featuring homes of less than 1,000 square feet, is a gold mine for smart ideas that make tiny spaces elegant, graceful and liveable.
4/8/2011
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
4/8/2011
Combine two of this hopeful season's symbols—herbs and eggs—in this simple project that celebrates spring.
4/8/2011
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor 'rooms' that extend her living space.
4/8/2011
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
4/7/2011
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
4/6/2011
Jessica invites readers to visit her and watch her speak at the 2011 Green Festival in San Francisco April 9 and 10.
4/6/2011
Plant a patio garden, get a more efficient TV and change your light bulbs, suggests eco-designer Sabrina Soto.
4/6/2011
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
4/6/2011
In GE's new bulb, a halogen capsule—which turns on instantly—is nestled inside a compact fluorescent swirl. The halogen bulb turns off when the CFL warms up, maintaining the light's energy efficiency.
4/6/2011
A quiet life filled with appreciation for simple things is the richest life possible.
4/5/2011
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated—and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
4/5/2011
The square footage of green roofs—which absorb rainwater, regulate temperatures, save energy and resources and provide valuable habitat—grew by 28.5 percent last year.
4/5/2011
Use old jars to make these cute, inexpensive candle lanterns—for a fraction of what you'd pay if you bought them at the store.
4/4/2011
Jessica discusses her recent adventures in efficient-car shopping, which included a weeklong test drive of the Chevy Cruze, a Prius test drive and the purchase of a diesel Jetta TDi.
4/4/2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says its first certification program for bio-based products will make it easier for consumers to identify biodegradable, renewable, recyclable and environmentally safe products.
4/4/2011
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
4/4/2011
This fresh spring soup is rich and creamy without the heaviness of cream.
4/4/2011
The urge to eliminate clutter and create space for ourselves is a healthy sign of self-respect. Why, then, is it so darn hard?
4/1/2011
Rain chains are a smart, good-looking way to collect rainwater from your roof—but they can be pricey. You can make your own for next to nothing. Give your house a little bling.
4/1/2011
Shortages and soaring cotton prices have prompted U.S. farmers to plant more cotton and less food. Hemp is much more versatile and less resource-intensive to grow. Unfortunately, outdated U.S. laws prohibit its production.
4/1/2011
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
4/1/2011
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.






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