Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
Looser standards and self-certification have led to a market flooded with Energy Star appliances—many with questionable qualifications.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which passed the House on May 5, would provide $6 billion in rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
Cree's new dimmable LED bulb emits a warm, incandescent-like color.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
Guest blogger Tracy Herz juggles greenspeak 101 while considering what products and certifications she will use in her West Virginia condo remodel.
Jessica discusses her experience as a judge at the Lighting for Tomorrow energy-efficient lighting design competition.
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
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.
The recipe for a well-lit room involves combining energy-efficient bulbs with stylish, sustainable light fixtures.
Have you ever wondered about the difficulties of starting a compost bin? Check out our recommendations and suggestions for composting as well as its benefits for your garden.
The NewenHouse kit home has officially received Passive House certification! The Passive House is also the highest-rated Energy Star home in the state of Wisconsin.
To address consumers' growing desire to save money and be environmentally conscious, GE is launching GeoSpring, the first hybrid electric ENERGY STAR-qualified water heater manufactured in the U.S.
The “Cash for Caulkers” home-retrofitting program, known as the Home Star program, is expected to pass the Senate this summer. The bill offers rebates for 13 different types of retrofits, including insulation and air and duct sealing
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
Easily extend your growing season with a cold frame, a simple enclosure with a transparent lid.
Tea, salt, vodka, corn starch—even ketchup and mayonnaise—can be used to get your entire house clean. No kidding.
When the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 passes (as expected) this summer, be prepared by learning what to expect when you buy a water heater, heating system, air-source air conditioner or heat pump.
GE Lighting’s full line of light-emitting diode (LED) GE Energy Smart incandescent replacement bulbs are anticipated to be on store shelves within the next 16 months.
Third-party certifications are extremely helpful. While you’re out shopping, look for the following logos.
Try these valuable bug repellent formulas for a weekend in the woods.
The borage plant (Borago officinalis) is a tall herb with hairy foliage, blue starshaped flowers and many useful properties. Whether you use it for healthy, tasty greens, a medicinal herb or a companion plant for your strawberries and tomatoes, you’ll be happy you planted borage.
Practice zero-waste gardening by donating your garden’s excess produce to local food pantries or other community organizations.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson discusses Starbucks’ progress in making its coffee cups recyclable.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
Starting an exercise program isn't as tough as you think! Just follow these simple tips to get moving.
That sage (ahem!) advice is from the Wall Street Journal Online, in an article about how small investments in buying seeds can reap large returns in the coming year.
Two new federal programs, the Home Energy Scoring program and the PowerSaver program, make it easier for homeowners to save energy.
One restaurant owner in Chicago relies on local farms for outstanding in-season herbs and other produce.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
Starting seeds indoors is economical, fun, and easy to do for most anyone. Gardening under lights can be as simple or complex, inexpensive or expensive as you desire. Starts can then be planted outdoors in easily accessed containers or raised beds.
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
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.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
The Greener Gadgets competition in New York called on designers and entrepreneurs from around the country to come up with the greenest electronic gadgets around. From toys to tents, they didn’t disappoint.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
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.
Building homes using dangerous and impactful industrial chemicals--in the name of energy efficiency--is not sustainable or ecological, a green building veteran says. His Health-Based Building model is an important step forward for green design.
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
Without federal subsidies, the future of solar power looks grim. Fortunately, the Obama administration is giving solar a boost with four new large-scale solar projects.
Turn out the lights. Light the candles. Tomorrow night (March 28) from 8:30-9:30 (in your time zone) is Earth Hour.
If you're starting seeds indoors, consider making your own biodegradable seed-starting pots out of newspaper, cardboard or eggshells.
Decorate your home with zero-waste decor that can be reused, recycled or consumed—instead of toxic landfill trash. The Christmas decorations of Colonial Williamsburg offer inspiration for using natural decor.
Summer is heating up! Discover how you can cut costs, lower your energy usage and reduce your carbon footprint all while beating the hot summer sun.
The new Microsoft Hohm application makes it easy to track your energy use and provides simple recommendations to save energy and money.
Summer marks the start of buzzing AC units, but this doesn’t have to waste energy or drain your wallet. By accessing the energy leaks in your home with a simple energy audit, you’ll save money on utility bills. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how to perform a home energy audit.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares exciting information about the Google PowerMeter, a new device that helps homeowners find ways to reduce their electric bills.
One guest blogger's special, original recipe prevents illness and quickly helps recover from, or completely ward off, colds, flu and other malaise.
A survey by the Shelton Group, a Tennessee-based advertising firm, reveals why energy-efficient products are flying off the shelves during this tough economic time.
Consumers are intrigued by smart grid technology, but they need a lot more information and better tools before they'll participate.
Homeowners and renters who made five or more energy-efficient improvements found satisfying savings, a new study finds.
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
You can make these pickles with cucumbers or a plethora of other fresh vegetables plucked from your own garden or farmers' market, including summer squash, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onions and more.
Try even more of our favorite, flavorful herb pickling recipes. They only take minutes to make.
This cooling French tarragon-infused drink can help you quickly beat the summer heat.
I wish you could experience the English Walled Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois. Blooming wisteria drapes over rows of trellised classical columns and flowering fruit trees shimmer in the breeze.
Learn how to catch more fish using star anise essential oil. Blogger Dawn Robnett explains why Illicium verum oil with keep the fish nibbling all day.
Conserve your iPod’s energy with these eco-friendly tricks.
The Geothermal Exchange Organization provides geothermal heat pumps to help reduce heating costs during this brutal winter.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
MyEmissionsExchange.com stimulates the economy and combats global warming by paying registered users for reducing their energy use.
Improvements in incandescent light bulb technology give compact fluorescent bulbs a revamped competitor.
Weatherizing your home saves you money. Just a few simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of energy your home requires to stay comfortable. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence fills you in on how to weatherize your home and collect stimulus money.
Now playing in select theaters, Carbon Nation is a non-preachy, solutions-based documentary that proves the benefits of a low-carbon economy.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
If night sweats are causing you to lose sleep and costing you more on your air-conditioning bill, consider a Bedfan.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
For a zero-waste kitchen, learn how to reduce food waste with these tips from guest blogger Letitia Star.
When it comes to “going green” at home, the purpose is clear: to conserve and manage your home’s energy intake and expenditure. A good start, especially during the hot months of summer, would be to take a look at fiberglass windows.
Mother Earth offers many natural energizers that wake you up without compromising your health.
Jessica talks about her recent travels to Wisconsin for the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair and gears up to find an energy-efficient vehicle.
With Earth Day afoot, it’s important that the rest of our nation keep a close eye on Chicago’s green initiatives.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term 'smart grid.' We have a lot to talk about.
Guest blogger Mike Samsel provides an overview on how the iPad and new apps relating to home automation can help you save energy through better control of heating and cooling, lights, window coverings, irrigation and security systems.
Think having a green home is out of your price range? Here are some easy, realistic ideas to create an eco-friendly living space that might actually save you money!
In Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage, high-performance houses experience much more comfortable temperatures with little electric output.
Scheckter’s Organic Beverages introduces Scheckter’s OrganicEnergy, a natural, vegetarian-approved organic energy drink.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
Panasonic Everleds offer new energy-efficient lighting that lasts almost two decades with regular use.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
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.
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.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented an air conditioner, the DEVap, that’s up to 90 percent more efficient than traditional ACs.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Now Pacific Yurts introduces one of its most exciting innovations to date the unique Custom Curve™ window system. Custom Curve™ is the first glass window system with a structurally engineered framework that follows the curved wall of the yurt.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Exercising is good for you—but what about for the environment? Getting your workout fix outdoors, using retrofitted or energy-efficient machines and buying sustainable workout gear will lessen your carbon footprint by pounds of CO2 a day.
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.
Switch out old, rusted windows for new, stylish ones while cutting down on energy costs by choosing new windows wisely.
Deliciously cool off this summer with these naturally-sweetened chocolate ice cream toppings made with fair trade cocoa.
Save money and energy by ditching the dryer and air drying your clothes instead.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers an introduction to the Passive House standard, including what makes Passive Houses energy-efficient and how they differ from passive solar homes.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller shares discusses the lack of energy-efficient, insulated doors in the U.S.
Next time you need a boost of energy, put down the caffeinated beverage and pick up one of these natural remedies for boosting energy.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller explores high-performance windows, a key element in reaching the Passive House standard.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
This smoothie recipe, courtesy of Driscoll's, is perfect as a quick breakfast, a post-workout snack or a healthy summertime treat.
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse tests the performance of her new Passive House by not turning on the heat—and enthusiastically reports that you can comfortably live furnace-free in Wisconsin in the winter.
Here Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses her southern facing 17 inch deep window sills to grow seedlings. She also notes that their electrical bill for February in the furnace free home was only $11 -- $8 of which was service fees.
Experts say that that bathroom and kitchen remodels--once a sure-fire way to move a home for sale--aren't necessarily the ticket anymore. Creating a house that feels homey and welcoming is most important.
While corporate progress toward sustainability may seem agonizingly slow, GreenBiz editors found plenty to cheer about in 2010--and believe 2011 will be a banner year for green initiatives.
Urban Moonshine will introduce its new certified organic Energy Tonic at Natural Products Expo West, the industry’s largest event taking place on March 8th.
In my quest for the most energy efficient ceiling fan, one model blows the rest away. Now is the time to install ceiling fans for lower electricity bills this summer—here's how.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
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.
President Obama and the Department of Energy are creating new standards for energy-efficiency in lighting.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller pinpoints areas where unconditioned air could be leaking into or out of homes.
Use these herbs to relieve stress, increase energy and stimulate sleep this school year.
Southwest Windpower launches a program to sells its Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbines at select Home Depot stores.
Jessica reports about all the fun and wonderful information at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the successes and failures of the Beddington Zero-Energy Development.
What you eat throughout the day can affect how you sleep at night. Avoid these five foods for a better night’s sleep.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stop accepting loans from the nationwide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which helps homeowners pay for the cost of energy-efficient retrofits.
Zephyr’s new range hoods are quieter, more powerful and more energy-efficient with DC Energy Technology, HD LED Bulbs and an Integrated PC Board.
These powerhouse herbs are great for runners. They act as natural energy enhancers, improve stamina and endurance, heal aches and pains and improve circulatory health.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers solutions to thermal bridging.
Reading books from your local public library is a greener alternative to buying new books.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz helps her family plan an eco-friendly road trip complete with a hybrid car, organic snacks and energy-efficient hotels.