Mother Earth Living






6/29/2011
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
6/29/2011
Salt glaze pottery, primitive colonial furnishings and pewter bring wabi-sabi into your home—while honoring our American traditions.
6/29/2011
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
6/28/2011
Sayra and Dominic live with their 5-year-old daughter in a charming 550-square-foot home in rural Idaho. There are challenges, but they've found that less really is more. 'It's like living in a fun clubhouse,' Sayra says.
6/27/2011
Feeling claustrophobic? Before you start looking for more space, make the most of what you have by containing clutter, choosing the right furnishings and color schemes, and creating new "rooms" with dividers.
6/27/2011
This Meatless Monday, whip up a batch of Julia Butterfly Hill's Top Anything Sauce, made with peanut or almond butter, and make a meal out of fresh veggies and quinoa.
6/27/2011
Follow these simple guidelines to make the most of your small space: contain clutter, find furnishings do double-duty, and make maximum use of color and light.
6/24/2011
This home in the Florida Keys stays cool by capturing prevailing breezes and taking advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open, screened walls and a reflective roof.
6/24/2011
Pick some pretty leaves, paint them and press their likenesses onto an inexpensive shower curtain liner to make a shower curtain much prettier than anything found in stores.
6/24/2011
This home in the Florida Keys captures prevailing breezes and takes advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open walls and a reflective roof to keep its occupants cool and comfortable without air conditioning.
6/23/2011
TV personality and author Chris Kilham, founder of Medicine Hunter, says schisandra, cacao and San Pedro cactus could replace many common pharmaceuticals--without the onerous side effects.
6/23/2011
There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation.
6/23/2011
“Do you sometimes feel like your life is a microfield for everything that’s going on today?” scholar, philosopher and researcher Dr. Jean Houston, one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time and a founder of the Human Potential Movement, asked the crowd gathered this morning for the LOHAS Forum in Boulder, Colorado. That got my attention, especially when she went on to say that humans now face “the most profound task in human history—choosing whether we grow or whether we die.” At this moment, Houston says, many of us are “encapsulated bags of skin carrying around dreary little egos,” caught up in “lives of serial monotony.” Still, she has hope. Humans, she said, have an opportunity to play a role in “the greatest transition the world has ever seen, the most far-reaching and rapid change in our history.” “We are coded with potentials, few of which we ever learn to use,” Houston said. “We can no longer be half-life versions of ourselves, and something huge is beginning to happen as the world’s mind is discovering itself.”  
6/22/2011
In ancient Japan, preparing and serving bitter green tea became a means for ordinary people to escape for a moment and share a ritual. Tea ceremony became a venue for Japan’s finest poets and artists that endures to this day.
6/21/2011
At the Healthy Homes Conference in Denver, a health care pioneer said healthy housing is as important as diet and exercise in maintaining well being and that access is a social justice issue. The Home Depot Foundation is addressing that.
6/21/2011
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
6/20/2011
James E. Churchill’s advice for finding and preparing chicory, mint, catnip and blackberries, found in a 1970 issue of Mother Earth News, is timeless—and very timely right now.
6/20/2011
There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation.
6/20/2011
Matt and Kelly Grocoff keep cool in Michigan by taking advantage of their 110-year-old home's natural ventilation strategies. It's as easy as opening a couple of strategically placed windows.
6/20/2011
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
6/17/2011
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
6/17/2011
Mother has always known best, and these tips for reusing what would otherwise be garbage are as relevant today as they were in 1970.
6/17/2011
This small project could gain you big time savings. Simply screw a few hooks inside a pretty cigar box, give it a knob and hang it near the door. Never search for lost keys again!
6/17/2011
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
6/16/2011
These tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News, published in 1970, will make your housekeeping more enjoyable and efficient. Mother has always known best.
6/16/2011
Americans are being asked to turn up the thermostat 3 degrees on June 21. If you find you don't notice the difference, why not keep it up? You will notice the difference in your electric bill.
6/16/2011
Housekeeping tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News--published in 1970--are surprisingly relevant today. Use these to make this task--which we all have to do sooner or later--more efficient and enjoyable.
6/16/2011
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
6/16/2011
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
6/15/2011
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
6/15/2011
Wabi-sabi is underplayed and understated, quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It’s a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon obscured behind a ribbon of cloud.
6/15/2011
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that garden and in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
6/15/2011
Wabi-sabi is underplayed and understated, a quiet, undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It’s a fragmentary glimpse: the branch representing the tree, shoji screens filtering the sun, the moon obscured behind a ribbon of cloud.
6/15/2011
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
6/15/2011
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors—in your own backyard.
6/14/2011
You don't have to spend a fortune and buy nasty chemicals to run your dishwasher. Whip up powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent in minutes--and don't forget to add essential oil. You'll get a dose of aromatherapy while your dishes get clean.
6/14/2011
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
6/14/2011
Despite their widespread use, nanoparticles are not well classified, regulated or even understood. Fortunately, the FDA is signaling a turn toward more accurate classification and rules for their use.
6/14/2011
When the dining table is laden down with mail, laptops and other clutter, the entire house feels messy. Follow these seven steps to keep your dining table free of detritus. (Set it for dinner right after breakfast, if you have to.)
6/14/2011
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
6/13/2011
After years of caving to the chemical industry, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has delcared formaldehyde—common in particleboard, plastics and textiles—a known human carcinogen.
6/13/2011
Save money and keep harsh chemicals out of your kitchen by making your own dishwasher detergent. It takes just seconds to make a powdered or liquid version.
6/13/2011
Kansas City's 18Broadway project is a superb example of how to capture and store rainwater to grow food in the heart of downtown.
6/13/2011
For environmental activist Julia Butterfly Hill, food is a delicious and healthy form of activism. Whip up her delicious vegan lasagna to celebrate Meatless Monday—and enjoy!
6/10/2011
 I was raised in a family with strong connections to nature. My grandparents weren’t farmers, but their parents were, and they felt a tie with the land around them that they passed on to my parents and me.   My
6/10/2011
Reuse those baby food jars and create a beautiful chandelier! Make this rustic, elegant candleholder or stop before power tools are required to make pretty votives, perfect for patio dining.
6/10/2011
  Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes. This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term 'certified home' includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.  
6/10/2011
After working four jobs to make payments on their larger home, Debra and Gary downsized—to 320 square feet. The family lacks for nothing, and guests are always welcome. 'I've got everything I need,' Debra says. And their $20K house is paid off.
6/10/2011
Tea, salt, vodka, corn starch—even ketchup and mayonnaise—can be used to get your entire house clean. No kidding.
6/9/2011
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas for celebrating the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily.
6/9/2011
  No party is complete without cake, and this delicious Sunshine Cake has been the crowning glory of every Summer Solstice party I’ve ever thrown. Sharon Kebschull Barrett, one of my favorite herbal chefs, developed this recipe for her 1999 book Desserts from an Herb Garden (one of my bibles). Lemony, with a surprising hint of rosemary, this cake just tastes like summer—and the bright yellow color celebrates the sun.
6/9/2011
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive 'punch' that packs a punch.
6/9/2011
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
6/9/2011
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils such as lavender or lemon. Heavenly!
6/8/2011
The only one rule for wabi-style flowers? Strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Let go of perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
6/8/2011
Let's quash, once and for all, the notion that only harmful chemicals can kill germs and bacteria. Hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are natural antibacterials that keep your home clean—and safeguard your family's health.
6/8/2011
There's only one rule for wabi-style flowers: strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Don't worry about perfection. Your 'arrangement' is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
6/8/2011
My old wabi-sabi home stood witness to celebration, sorrow, our children’s first words and fumbling first steps, dinners shared at the end of each day. It provided all that a home could and should, and now it's my lesson in non-attachment.
6/8/2011
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
6/7/2011
A new study has found that biodegradable plastic's rapid rate of decomposition could cause the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. The study's authors suggest that petroleum-based products might be preferable. We need better alternatives than that.
6/7/2011
Highlights from the 'Make Your Own Green Cleaners—for Pennies' workshop at the Mother Earth News Fair: How to use vinegar and baking soda to clean just about everything.
6/7/2011
These money- and waste-saving alternatives to paper and plastic products eliminate the temptation to resort to disposable for your summertime outdoor dining needs.
6/7/2011
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
6/5/2011
Jessica reports about all the fun and wonderful information at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
6/1/2011
Elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremony had become the norm in 16th century Japan when Sen no Rikyu proved that simplicity is ultimately more luxurious with his rustic, minimalist Tea ceremony--which endures to this day.
6/1/2011
Sen no Rikyu's simple, unpretentious ceremony using rustic, local tools usurped the elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremonies that were the norm in 16th-century Japan. His 'aesthetic of the people' made Tea accessible to all--and endures to this day.
6/1/2011
Alabama Chanin makes sumptuous fabrics from scraps, Mona Hoffman imagines the people she's crafting each lamp for as she makes it, and potter Shiho Kanzaki believes that attitude is everything. These are a few of my favorite wabi-sabi artists.






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