Not So Big House
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse Here Sonya gets ready for a busy week of subcontractors for the NewenHouse kit home. The interior of the home is nearing completion!
I recently came across a new website, Fight Germs Now. The site’s primary focus is to alleviate concern about the safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps. However, I’d like to scream from the rooftops, “Antibacterial soaps aren’t necessary!”
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how and why the Passive House conference inspired her to change the NewenHouse kit home's design to meet Passive House certification.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated under the slab of the NewenHouse prototype home and the importance of air sealing to achieve Passive House certification.
Sonya Newenhouse describes the roof truss system and air-tight barrier between the second floor and the roof for the Passive House NewenHouse Kit Home.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
Natural Home intern Carly Halvorson shares her recent research on the Monolithic Dome Institute website about monolithic dome houses.
The Herb Society of America hosted an open house to celebrate its newly constructed headquarters in Kirkland, Ohio. Check out the photos.
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 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.
An affordable prototype home helps revitalize a blighted Syracuse, New York, neighborhood--and could be the city home of the future.
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.
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.
Daylighting systems company Solatube offers facts about daylight in conjunction with Daylight Saving Time.
Choose among three naturally-scented John Masters Organics bar soaps.
Learn about the food sovereignty movement and what it means to you.
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the framing process and how she finds opportunities for borrowed light in the inner walls of the NewenHouse kit home.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes building the 12-inch remote Larsen Truss wall, which, combined with the OSB air barrier, will create a 16-inch-thick insulated wall system for the NewenHouse kit home.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
Sonya Newenhouse discusses some of the issues with synthetic gypsum drywall and documents the steps she will take to avoid electromagnetic fields in her new house.
Here Sonya describes moving into the the NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test (reaching an amazing score of .51 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals)and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
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.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she and her team insulated the perimeter of her model Passive House slab and installed an EPS foam frost skirt around the slab for cold climate construction.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the super-insulated, sustainable and small NewenHouse kit home she's planning to bring to market in 2012. The prototype, being built in Viroqua Wisconsin, is striving for LEED Platnium and Passive House certifications.
Add sorrel to your kitchen garden to grow a super healthy green for salads, soups and side dishes.
Listen to these tunes to get you through tilling or motivate you to grow tomatoes.
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.
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
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 foods you’re eating could be chipping away at your bone density. Find out which four foods and drinks are eating away at your bones.
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.
Make a yule log—out of wood or chocolate—and welcome the sun’s return.
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.
Give winter sowing a try to chase away winter doldrums. Here is a step-by-step guide.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
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.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
Don’t want to waste paper? Opt out of phone book delivery and use the Internet instead.
KC has got her hands on another great cookbook: The Culinary Institute of America: The New Book of Soups.
This restorative chicken, kale and sweet potato soup recipe is not only nourishing, but colorful and delicious with a hint of smoky bacon.
Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than chilled soup. These recipes fill you up while cooling you down.
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
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.
Simone Swan built her off-the-grid domed and vaulted home in Presidio, Texas, as a model of how financially and thermally efficient adobe can be. For $50 a square foot, she built a masterpiece. She says you can, too.
Soba noodles and sesame oil are both high in nutrients that lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar, making this recipe a must eat.
Bookbinder Specialties recently added four new flavors to their line of gourmet, ready-to serve gluten-free soups packaged in resealable glass jars.
Instead of buying store-bought and possibly toxic cleaning agents, give these nontoxic homemade cleaners a try.
Deer proof your garden with these 5 helpful tips.
Soapwort is growing well for Cynthia Meredith, our guest blogger from Texas.
Soothe and soften your feet with this DIY natural spa treatment.
Soapwort has an array of health benefits. You can grow this herb in your garden and the leafy branches can be used to wash your hair, give your dog a bath or wash laundry.
Solatube International, the worldwide leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs), announces its new line of decorative fixtures, called Glass Distractions.
Indulge in your own therapeutic treatment with SheaMoisture’s Bath Soaks that help relieve pain, congestion, muscle aches and dry skin ailments.
Step into summer early with these three delicious summer recipes.
Bio S.I. Technology’s Lawn and Garden Formula can help you improve soil for a better garden or lawn.
Designed to be a comfortable, modern home with a minimum impact on the environment, the Cube generates its own energy and proves that you don't have to sacrifice creature comforts to live in a small space.
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.
A University of Georgia study finds that common houseplants can remove toxins and improve indoor air quality.
Adding houseplants to your home’s décor is an easy, affordable way to enliven your home.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Badger Headache Soother Mind Balm, which helps clear sinuses with eucalyptus and peppermint oils while calming your senses with a light touch of lavender.
Green builder Fred Koch explains his unique strategy for green building in southern California.
Many air fresheners can emit toxic chemicals; however, potted chrysanthemums are natural and safe deodorizers.
Salt can soak up stains, clean pots and pans and exfoliate skin. Check out these and other uses for salt!
A new study links diet soda to increased risk of fatal cardiac problems, while a health group connects caramel coloring in soda to cancer.
Ten years ago the Lemon Verbena looked for big herbs that would take up space but still add a punch to the herb garden. Here are the results, ten years later.
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.
Sort through all the hype over dietary fat with this Fit Fat Guide from Dr. Christopher Mohr.
Ever wondered: what is sorghum? Learn the history of this ancient grain and put it to good use with this Curry Carrot Salad recipe.
A Tulikivi soapstone fireplace and cook stove complement the off-grid lifestyle of a Montana man and his Earthship home.
Paula’s Choice introduces its Earth Sourced collection—a line of natural and vegan skin-care products.
Concerned about GMOs in your family's food? Take action.
Men love spruce and lavender -- or maybe it's the Soaptopia body balm.
Turn castoff shipping pallets into a DIY sofa, daybed, coffee table, headboard or shelving with just a little creativity!
This holiday season, Nordic Naturals is proud to promote the ‘Buy One, Pass it On’ campaign, which seeks to provide Ultimate Omega products to veterans and soldiers, both stateside and abroad.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
Grow mushrooms to help improve garden soil.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Pacifica solid perfumes. These sweet little tins pack as much scent in just as cute packaging as the traditional sprays.
LOVE NATURE NYC’s line of bath, body and home products helps create an experience that nurtures and connects the mind, body and soul.
An update of my mother's pasta salad recipe, adding asparagus, tarragon and sorrel for cold pasta salad with hot nutrition and flavor.
Mystic Masala offers Ayurveda-based candles, soaps, and body products made from sustainable herbs and fair trade methods in Nepal.
Southwest Windpower launches a program to sells its Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbines at select Home Depot stores.
Looking for a safe but effective way to deter deer from using your garden as their personal buffet? Sprinkle this plant tonic on their favorite garden munchies.
Sip on cherry juice; sleep soundly. Sleeping soundly through the night could be as easy as sipping on some cherry juice.
Throughout human history people have used herbs to protect themselves against lightning strikes.
Cap off your Hemp History Week celebrations by making hemp soap. Hemp oil contains essential fatty acids and poly-unsaturated fatty acids known for their excellent emollient and lubricating properties.
Grow your own beautiful houseplants from citrus seeds. Growing citrus trees from seed is easy, fun and, best of all, free.
Organix-South has expanded its TheraNeem Skin Care Line with the introduction of Triple Neem Care Ointment, a great alternative to Neosporin.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother foot lotion.
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.
Rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and nutrients, Seaweed Bath Co. products hydrate the skin and soothe irritation often associated with various skin conditions.
My favorite experience at the Natural Products Expo West was the 6th Annual FIG Media Luncheon, hosted by the Fresh Ideas Group. This year, the panelists discussed how to pave the road for a healthier future.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
Jessica revisits Maison Madeleine, a beautifully restored historic Southern French cottage.
Consuming too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and heart disease, yet most Americans consume more than the recommended amount. Reduce your sodium intake with these seven simple steps.
A study found that soy supplements are not helpful for increasing bone mineral density or treating symptoms of menopause.
Link up with your favorite magazine via Facebook, MySpace or YouTube to get the most out of your Natural Home experience.
A new Facebook group, “I Want to Grow Hemp Like George Washington,” connects supporters of hemp reform and lets them share their views on hemp production in the United States.
Carrotmob, a project of Virgance, a company that organizes activism campaigns, works to create social change by rewarding green businesses through consumer buying. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains more about this innovative activism group.
A new social networking tool helps you share rarely used items with friends and neighbors, keep track of who has your stuff, and even lets you know how much you’re saving by borrowing instead of buying.
These homemade orange ornaments will add bright colors and a citrusy aroma to your tree this year.
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.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
To give your bedroom a boost, consider new paint suited to your personality. AFM Safecoat's Ayurveda Essence line allows you to choose colors based on your dosha, or personality type, within Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal system.
Organic gardening connects us with the earth and produces good-for-you food.
Aquifer depletion, rising temperatures, population increase and ethanol production are conspiring to send grain prices soaring and could lead to a world food crisis, Earthwatch Institute president Lester Brown predicts.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull kicks off soup season with this simple carrot soup recipe.
My home is going nearly 100 percent solar thanks to a local solar leasing program.
Enter Natural Home’s Go Solar Giveaway to win a solar hot water heating system from Sunward.
The new USDA guidelines about sodium intake may be daunting, but it is possible to lower your salt consumption and still have delicious herbal meals.
No need to go it alone. Local herb societies are like old friends, and recipes and techniques abound.
Madalene Hill left a lasting impression on many people in her life, including The Herb Companion. Such an influential and inspirational figure in the herb community, K.C. Compton reflects on Madalene's influence.
The latest Herb Society cookbook is by the St. Louis Herb Society. Learn more about it.
In an effort to help consumers find safer products, the Environmental Working Group has created an online guide that rates more than 2,000 household cleaners for safety of ingredients and disclosure of contents.
Try our healthier alternatives to household cleaners with toxic ingredients.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace introduces a green gardening series on Biodynamic farming based on her trip to DeLoach Vineyards in Sonoma, California. She details the meaning of Biodynamic farming and a field preparation called horn silica 501.
SheaMoisture’s Coconut and Hibiscus Curling Soufflé (Gel) with Agave Nectar and Flax Seed is an effective, easy-to-rinse-out, no buildup, light-weight and all-natural alternative to other curl defining styling aids on the market.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can simply observe.
Who says Meatless Monday has to be boring? Try this creamy roasted cauliflower soup recipe for a delicious weeknight dinner.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
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.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
Relieve sore muscles using ginger. Learn how to make a ginger compress in this video from Mother Earth Living Editor-in-Chief Jessica Kellner.
Not only is neem oil beneficial as a bio-pesticide, but it can actually enrich garden soil. Discover the benefits of neem oil for your garden!
Every good home needs a porch. From fireside chats to sleeping—and even hanging laundry—porches can accommodate every aspect of our lives. Here are five inspiring examples to put a fire under your porch-sitting fantasies.
Boost your immune system, control your cholesterol levels and stay full longer with healthy, easy-to-make winter soups.
Warming winter soup can keep away the winter chill and make us healthier.
Jessica searches for eco-friendly soy wedding candles and offers sources.
A scientists who has studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years warns that Roundup Ready crops could cause 'a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.'
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.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares a recipe for Sausage Vegetable Stew, a recreation of a soup she enjoyed at In the Red Wine Bar and Cafe in Seattle's Phinney Ridge neighborhood.
Learn more about two conferences that could open your mind to the world of herbal medicine.
Use these five excellent resources for help planning a productive, healthy, money-saving vegetable garden this spring.
Instead of using synthetic scents, try this simple natural trick to make your home smell delicious.
World Day Against Child Labor is this weekend and elementary students in New York are asking Hershey to stop exploiting their peers in Africa.
At the Herb Companion we are passionate about the well being of humans and animals alike, and we think it is important that our readers are informed of the cruelties of animal testing in the cosmetics industry, the availiable alternatives, and ways to fight back.
In an effort to inspire others to participate in environmental and social activism, The Timberland Company named Wyclef Jean, a Grammy-award winning musician and humanitarian, one of its seven Earthkeepers Heroes.
Every time you take out your wallet, you have an opportunity to change lives or support causes you believe in. Here's how to vote with your wallet.
If you haven't joined in on our social networking fun, what are you waiting for? We'll post fun surveys, stories, blog posts and even coupon codes for our Natural Home Kitchen Products in the coming weeks. Join us now! Tell us what you want to see in 2010, and we'll be sure to incorporate your ideas into our magazine and web content.
I don't know about you guys, but this time of year can be rough. As in your skin. It's cold outside, you are busy getting everything ready for the upcoming holidays, and maybe you haven't gotten in the habit of
Learn how a calendula and lavender baby bar soap helped make child care a little easier for this blogger.
A new "relaxing room" in England reinforces the aromatherapy benefits of lavender. Learn how to incorporate lavender in your everyday life.
Guest blogger Faith Moser shares four dangerous ingredients to avoid when choosing safe makeup as well as some of the products in her beauty bag.
A highlighted tour of the 76th annual meeting and Educational Conference of the Herb Society of America.
Find out how to make new friends like blogger Jessy Rushing has done through involvement with her local chapter of The Herb Society of America.
The Natural Home and Garden offices have been overflowing with lotion recently In preparation for a product roundup in our September October 2011 issue, we called in lotions from more than half a dozen companies. With almost two dozen scents
Herb Society of America meets in Boston June 26-28 to celebrate its 75th Anniversary. Keynote speaker Holly Shimizu urges members to advocate for plants.
The symposium will feature a special guest lecturer, informational herbal workshops and a special garden tour.
A plastic knife will open those weighty bags of potting soil or top soil faster than most pricey garden gadgets.
Guest blogger and novice gardener Shelley Moore plants her vegetable seedlings.
It's not too late to plant cover crops to increase your garden soil's fertility and enhance garden beauty this winter.
Terrariums are easy to make and a great way to incorporate nature into any room.
Up to 75 percent of antibacterial products carry triclosan and triclocarban, hormone-disrupting chemicals that affect brain and nervous system development.
Brominated vegetable oil (BVO) lurks in many citrus-flavored sodas and sport drinks.
Natural and effective skin and hair care for our pets can be easy, economical and gentle. Learn which herbs guest blogger, Dawn Robnett, uses to make Castile soap for her pets.
Fresh basil, cilantro and parsley give this cold, tangy tomato soup fresh summertime flavor. You can make enough soup to feed a crowd in minutes. Enjoy!
This tomato soup recipe packed with Italian tomatoes is perfect any time of the year.
Guest blogger Eileen Troemel sets out to find easy-to-grow indoor plants that she can successfully keep alive with a black thumb.
Conventional toothpaste is loaded with fluoride, SLS, triclosan and other chemicals. Learn the dangers of fluoride and explore the world of natural toothpastes!
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments—including solar panels and a geothermal system—when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
This simple and delcicious spring soup is sure to be a favorite among kids and adults!
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.
This fresh spring soup is rich and creamy without the heaviness of cream.
Boost your immune system with KC's delicious chicken immunity soup recipe, made with Avena Botanicals' Immune Soup mix.
There is nothing better for building community than gathering your friends and neighbors for a soup party. Here are five ideas to help you plan yours.
Get rid of canker sores faster by turning to homemade mouth rinses, probiotics and other natural home remedies for canker sores.
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.
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.
After a tree crushed the back of their shotgun home (while 40 Hurricane Katrina refugees were camped out there), a Baton Rouge couple rebuilt a green, energy-efficient house that encourages connection with their neighborhood's 'front porch' culture.
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.
Cool weather means it’s time to cozy up with a bowl of homemade soup. Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares some of her favorite soup recipes—and why she loves soup so much.
There are both benefits and risks to drinking milk substitutes instead of cow’s milk.
Widely-recognized candle maker Yankee Candle introduces an all-natural, 100 percent soy wax candle collection.
Try using essential for skin care. Blends include remedies for acne, shingles and cold sores.
Treat your dry, itchy throat this winter with these herbal remedies
Save your throat this cold season with homemade, herbal cough drops.
The Lemon Verbena Lady shares more about her experience at the 100th RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a popular flower show in the United Kingdom. Here she discusses which of the Chelsea Flower Show gardens were her favorites.
A proper tea house is a luxury I believe in.
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!
Learn how to make soap from scratch using eco-friendly materials and herbs.
Undo summer’s damage with S.O.A.P.’s new Brown Sugar Souffle Body Scrub.
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.
Purchase beeswax, soap making and candle making supplies from GloryBee Foods' online store.
Phosphate levels in soda have risen dramatically in the last 20 years, and new research finds that too much phosphate intake can quicken the aging process and shave years off our lives.
Our newest guest blogger, Dawn Robnett, is always searching for great herbs to color soap and skin care products. She recently discovered comfrey, which provides a beautiful green color and wonderful skin benefits.
Recent studies find that many public bathrooms contain soap dispensers with bacteria-infected soap.
McDonald's has new, healthier plans for its popular kids' meal.
Seattle leads the way in asking the federal government to implement a comprehensive, health-focused food system.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares a rich and hearty recipe for potato-vegetable soup.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a biennial, meaning it takes two years to mature and reproduce. Get your chance to grow parsley from seed in your garden by entering our special garden giveawy. Ends April 2, 2012!
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Whether you want it for tea or some other project, handling stinging nettle during harvesting does not have to be painful.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares an inexpensive and easy recipe for yellow pea soup, a low-fat but tasty vegetarian soup.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
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.
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
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.
The Herb Society of America will honor the rose this year at its annual spring symposium.
This year, The Herb Society of America's 2010 Educational Conference & Annual Meeting of Members is being held in beautiful Nashville, Tennessee.
During day two at The Herb Society of America's 2010 Educational Conference & Annual Meeting of Members we stopped for breakfast at the Centennial herb garden.
The United States Postal Service is set to issue 29-cent Herbs postcard stamps in five designs. Check them out here.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller details plans for a National Passive House Alliance in the U.S. and shares the activities of current regional Passive House alliances.
Home sick for the day, Natural Home editorial assistant Susan Melgren tests the effectiveness of natural home remedies for nasal congestion, sore throat and aching muscles.
This smooth dessert recipe is brightly sweet and refreshing, a perfect break from the heat of the day. Try it with fresh mint or lavender and a hint of cinnamon.
Heavy cream and sherry lend this simple mushroom soup a sophisticated flavor. Enjoy this recipe, courtesy guest blogger KyLynn Hull.
The PopUp House from House Port, Inc. embodies the definition of model green home as it utilizes sustainable methods, not only within the structure of the dwelling, but also within the interior of the home.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
At only 156 square feet and just 4 feet across at its widest, the Keret House in Warsaw, Poland, might just be the skinniest tiny house ever.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
Citing breaches of contract and “good faith,” Dr. Wolfgang Feist of the Passivhaus Institut has announced that it is cutting ties with the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS), no longer allowing the branch to certify Passive Houses in the U.S.
The solar powered RainPerfect pump system is a great way to harvest the rain that does fall and recycle it to help your gardens and lawns stay hydrated and rejuvenated.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
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.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
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.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
President Obama plans to help earn the White House LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller pinpoints areas where unconditioned air could be leaking into or out of homes.
Designed as a shotgun-style house for natural ventilation, the Alligator House was designed and built as part of the rehousing effort in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
Seeking out social support, whether from friends and family, a support group or talk therapy, can help overcome depression as part of a natural treatment plan.
Stand against animal testing with certified cruelty-free cosmetics and homemade lip balms and lotions.
One way to fight against animal cruelty in the cosmetics industry is to buy from certified cruelty-free companies. Another is to make your own products at home.
In her new book, Micro-Green: Tiny Houses in Nature, Mimi Zeiger profiles 36 creative, innovative small dwellings that represent a 'new, rich architectural typology.' Here are eight great examples to start fueling your fantasies.
David Salman encourages gardeners to fertilize in fall when root growth is most active and winter fertilizing imperative.
Soy-free, mushroom-based Quorn frozen products offer convenience without sacrificing a healthy diet.
Fearing a sugar shortage, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it would defy a District Court judge's ban on Roundup Ready sugar beets.
Jessica discusses the eco-profile of the soy candles, recycled glassware, recycled-content paper and vintage and handmade wedding decor.
What we eat throughout the day affects how we sleep at night. Try these five foods to help you sleep better at night.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares a simple and tasty recipe for hearty mushroom and leek soup.
Concerned about Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops and genetic engineering of our food? Let President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack know.
The Herb Society of America (HSA) was invited by Lake Metroparks Farmpark to decorate a Christmas tree in their main lobby. Learn how they decorated the tree.
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.
New research suggests that a healthy diet has no room for diet soda.
The Barr-Co. collection is made from natural ingredients and is hand crafted in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps' fair trade, hemp almond pure castile soaps are a competitive rival to conventional formulas in both moisturizing capabilities and scent.
The Soap Kitchen Tea Tree Wake Up is an olive oil-based soap with palm, coconut and tea tree oils that soothe irritated, inflamed skin
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.
Some of the nastiest chemicals we bring into our homes are used to clean ovens and drains—and they're not necessary. Learn how to clean your entire kitchen using vinegar, baking soda and a little salt and lemon juice. You'll love the results!
Gardener’s All Natural Hand Balm with Shea Butter by SunFeather Natural Soap Company ($9) is a delectable combination of olive oil and shea butter scented with lavender, lemon and ginger essential oils.
Washing the dishes is a necessary evil, but it doesn’t have to be a burden on your wallet or the planet. Dani dishes about how to green your dishwashing routine.
Here are some highlights from my workshop, "Make Your Own Green Cleaners—for Pennies" at the Mother Earth News Fair. Throw away your chemical cleaners and get your home sparkling the healthy way!
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
Because it could cause eye and skin irritation and harm reproductive systems, the Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding it. Baking soda is a solid, safe alternative.
I love discovering beauty products that use essential oils in lieu of artificial fragrances, which is what Pattern does with its body washes.
Learn how to make Irish Soda Bread, a staple of the Irish diet that dates back to the 1840s, with Yankee senior food editor, Annie Copps.
Bee stings can cause pain and swelling. Treat your bee stings naturally with these home remedies.
BPA is everywhere, but with a little know-how you can effectively cut this dangerous chemical from your life. Follow these five steps to avoid contact with BPA.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
Learn the facts about antibacterial soap, what the FDA has to say about it and how you can make your own simple soap.
John Masters Organics Shine On keeps your hair soft and shiny.
Ever wondered: what is quinoa? Discover the history of this ancient grain, and put it to good use with this Sopa de Quinoa recipe.
Ever wondered: what is teff? Discover the history of this ancient grain, and put it to good use with a recipe for teff stew.
Impress dinner guests with this easy-to-make creamy tomato and crab bisque.
Gorgeous greens and fresh mint make a tasty, healthy, and quick soup.
Pre-packaged soup and an easy-to-make sandwich make me feel better, at least for a little bit.
Try these spooktacular treats for your Halloween celebration. We've got mummified hot dogs, terrifying punch and much more.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares a recipe for homemade French Onion soup, a classic favorite.
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
Ranging in size from 528 square feet to 960 square feet, miniHomes are a combination of park model trailer, manufactured home and code-compliant residences that combine modern design with state-of-the-art building technology.
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Ease the symptoms of the common cold with herbs and other natural treatments.
Leave the over-the-counter medications at the store and ease your coughing with these natural remedies.
The American Institute of Architects' most recent housing trends survey shows housing sizes inching back up again after the first declines in decades. Will people still want smaller houses in better economic times?
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller offers solutions to thermal bridging.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowers—they're safe around house pets, they come in a multitude of colors and shapes and ... they're edible?! Read more.
Diana and Tony Varnes are the happiest they’ve ever been, and they attribute their well being to living in a small home. They have more time for reading, talking and enjoying the outdoors—and their relationship is better than ever.
Ryan Mitchell, founder of TheTinyLife.com, is saving up to pay cash for a 130-square-foot home on wheels in North Carolina. He’s seeking perspective, clarity—and a girlfriend who gets it.
Salt glaze pottery, primitive colonial furnishings and pewter bring wabi-sabi into your home—while honoring our American traditions.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
While many indications point to house size shrinking in America, National Public Radio reports that the McMansion is far from dead.
Made with soy wax and 100% essential oils, Hammocks & High Tea’s new candles are housed in reusable gold textured ceramic containers and offered in three scents.
Color your hair at home with Tints of Nature salon-grade permanent hair color, made with a natural soy base, which mitigates the damage and health risks typically associated with coloring hair.
Jessica offers a sneak peek of her biodegradable wedding, which featured recycled glassware, handmade decor, recycled paper table runners, biodegradable plates and cups and soy candles.
New research suggests lowering blood pressure may be as easy as eating foods with isoflavones.
In accordance with this meeting of world leaders making decisions about climate change, The Timberland Company, has launched its global campaign, “Don’t Tell Us it Can’t Be Done.” The campaign is designed as a public forum encouraging people from all over the globe to participate in environmental activism by challenging government leaders attending the conference to reduce emissions.
Natural Home has been invited to decorate rooms in Blair House, the President’s guest house that hardly anyone ever gets to see, and the U.S. State Department’s Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, DC in the first-ever Magazine Holiday Design Showcase, a partnership between the U.S. State Department and the Magazine Publishers of America.
After weeks of planning (and a little bit of panicking), the Natural Home team finishes decorating the Blair House and State Department for the holidays with a selection of fair trade, artisan-made items that benefit our planet and its citizens.
Spring clean your home with natural, food-safe Arm and Hammer Baking Soda instead of harsh cleaners.
From a little-known sugar substitute to a conversation-starting book, this list of items for the green kitchen contains a few surprises.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
Forgo store-bought goods this year in favor of a homemade gift. These homemade Valentine’s Day gift ideas are sure to meet your time, talents and budget!
High blood pressure can lead to serious health complications. Reduce your risk for hypertension by incorporating these eight steps into a healthy lifestyle.
The Lemon Verbena Lady spends time with Jekka McVicar, the "Queen of Herbs," and shows her the sights of Pittsburgh with herb gardens, both public and private, a retail experience and a delicious lunch cooked with fresh herbs and ingredients.
Natural Home guest blogger John Patrick explains why he and his wife, guest blogger Rebecca Selove, designed their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse for passive solar gain and a 5.17-kilowatt photovoltaic system. John and Rebecca are building their sustainable Tennessee farmhouse home to LEED Platinum standards.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller shares discusses the lack of energy-efficient, insulated doors in the U.S.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller explores high-performance windows, a key element in reaching the Passive House standard.
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.
This recipe can warm you up on a cold night in December or nurse you back to health when your next head cold strikes.
My favorite fast food during the hectic holidays? Bread and soup. In the time it would take to get drive-thru on the way home, you'll be sitting down to a bowl of bliss that will warm your heart and soul.
Gazpacho is a perfect summertime treat. Cold and refreshing, this blackberry gazpacho recipe is a fruity variation of the traditional Spanish soup that makes for a stunning appetizer or side dish.
Vegetable soup is the reward a summer's worth of hard work in the garden can produce. Spring is the time for spring cleaning, emptying the freezer and washing canning jars.
Fresh ginger will perfume your whole kitchen while this sweet, rich, flavorful soup is cooking.
Guest blogger Lynn Schriner of Trolley Farms shares three light summer recipes for blender ice cream, a summer salad and gazpacho.
Inspired by back-to-the-landers Scott and Helen Nearing, Kate NaDeau grows her own food and enjoys the simple pleasures of seasonal living in her handbuilt stone cottage in Maine. She is the epitome of good wabi-sabi living.
Perfect for fall and full of flavor, this butternut squash soup recipe is a great example of an easy meal made with delicious whole foods.
Welcome the holidays with two flavorful Thanksgiving herbs. Use lovage in our recipe for Cream of Carrot and Lovage Soup, and sage in our recipe for a delicious Feta-Sage Cornbread.
Eating a proper diet will help your body get rid of excess estrogen, the culprit behind PMS symptoms. Prevent cramps, bloating, fatigue and mood swings by incorporating these five foods into your diet.
Jessica explains how she achieved an entirely biodegradable wedding reception with bamboo disposable plates, biodegradable plastic cups and soy candles.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz shares her tips for having a green Fourth of July with healthy food and a fun, waste-free atmosphere.
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.
Managing editor Jessica Kellner discussed her early house hunting experience and her hopes to do green remodeling.
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.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Refresh the exterior of your house with a coat of YOLO Colorhouse paint inspired by the landscape around it.
This 433-square-foot floating home on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, feels spacious and airy on the inside.
Perched atop a cliff overlooking Montana’s Flathead Lake, this 830-square-foot off-grid cabin steps lightly on its site so as not to disturb osprey nesting in the surrounding forest.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
The Obamas plant an organic vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House.
When Steve Sikora and Lynette Erickson-Sikora restored Frank Lloyd Wright's first small, affordable home, they discovered how green the iconic architect really was.
Guest blogger Rebecca Selove searches for the most energy-efficient lighting for her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Michelle Obama's new organic White House vegetable garden is the first of its kind since World War II. I spoke with a friend who was at the scene as students from a local elementary school broke ground Friday, which was the first day of spring. Find out what the new "First Herbs of the United States" are.
The Recharge Mower Ultralite is a Cordless Lithium-powered push mower that weighs under 35 pounds.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
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.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
Alchemy Architects builds its first weeZero, or net-zero weeHouse, in the desert near Moab, Utah.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
Enter the Go Solar Giveaway Sweepstakes for a chance to win a solar powered hot water system valued at over $10,000.
Purple Prairie Botanicals Orange and Tea Tree Facial Toning Bar combines the bacteria-fighting power of tea tree and orange essential oil for a product that promotes healthy, glowing skin.
Eliminate unpleasant odors in your home by using natural products.
Did you know that lemons can cut grease, brighten laundry and whiten fingernails? Discover these and many more uses for lemons!
Sodas cause abnormal weight gain and are laced with unpleasant ingredients like brominated vegetable oil and BPA. Need a reason to stop drinking soda? We’ll give you six.
Light up the night on Valentine’s Day with eco-friendly soy and beeswax candles. These candles have fewer toxins and less soot, making them a healthier option for a green Valentine’s Day.
The Herb Channeler gets in gear to preserve the herbal harvest for the fall and winter months. Get ideas to freeze, dry and preserve your herbs as well as bring them indoors.
A reader's request leads Lemon Verbena Lady into exploring the works of William Shakespeare for some of the herbal flowers and herbs of Elizabethan England. There is so much that there had to be a second act.
As snow and cold temperatures move in to stay, arm yourself with this creamy white chili recipe to warm you up.
Try this rich fruit soup with strawberry and lavender lavender from The Garden Bistro in Eureka Springs, Arkansas for a sweet special occasion.
Campbell's Soup Company has announced it will start packaging its soups with BPA-free cans as soon as an alternative becomes available.
Here we go back in time to see beliefs and folk uses surrounding Stinging Nettle, how it is most commonly utilized by herb lovers today, along with flower essence information, my own personal favorite uses for this stinging European native, and references for further information.
Campbell’s Soup Company announces that will phase out use of the toxic chemical BPA from its soup can linings.
Explore fresh herb flavors and mouth-watering recipes with this recommended cookbook.
Try these healthy, delicious party foods to serve at this year's Super Bowl festivities.
Conserve your iPod’s energy with these eco-friendly tricks.
In need of an earth-conscious gift that won’t put a dent in your wallet? Check out these seven eco-friendly gifts—all under $40.
Need a last-minute gift? Pick up one of these eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your list.
A proper diet is crucial in promoting good heart health—so make sure you’re eating the right stuff! These seven foods are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants to protect your heart.
Lisa Lillien, aka Hungry Girl, shares a recipe for Teriyaki Tofu Kebabs, perfect for a neighborhood block party or backyard cookout.
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.
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.
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.
The original weeHouse prefabricated kit house is 435 efficiently designed square feet and comes with everything you need to live well. Need more space? You can snap together two or more of the modules to satisfy your needs.
Innermost House, a 144-square-foot off-grid cabin in Northern California, provides a retreat for Michael Anthony and Diana Lorence to pursue simple living.
The miniHome by Sustain Design Studio puts a modern twist on traditional trailer design.
This 275-square-foot cabin on the shores of Lake Simcoe in Ontario provides its owners with a comfortable vantage point for watching sunsets and enjoying nature.
Built from a recycled shipping container, the 160-square-foot Surfshack uses folding, moveable panels and smart design to fit all the creature comforts of home into a durable, weather-proof frame, creating a home-away-from-home on the Washington coast for an avid surfer.
Natural Home and the Obamas are in sync on fun, waste-reducing holiday projects. Find out more about decoupage ornaments.
As Passive House Institute standards up the ante, USA Today’s "Best Green Homes of 2010" list reflects Americans’ desire for affordability, efficiency and style.
Weigh in as Natural Home collects reader and contributor suggestions on "greening the White House."
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley takes a look at the Marrakesh House, the new sustainable home of filmmaker Chris Paine.
Good for cleaning home and body, baking soda has many uses, from absorbing odors to keeping hair shiny and carpet fresh.
The New York Times reports our carbon emissions in 2011 were the highest on record. Reduce your family's carbon footprint by choosing vegetarian recipes such as Fennel and Leek Soup and Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs.
In this third part of our guest blogger's purslane plant profile, she shares three delicious purslane-infused recipes, including a purslane pesto, a wild-greens salad and a summer soup.
In the summer of 2008, one guest blogger started reading Rosemary’s Sampler, an herb blog by two of her two favorite sisters from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and was inspired to start writing her own blog: Lemon Verbena Lady’s Herb Garden.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Take a trip across the pond with the Lemon Verbena Lady to discover a 300-year-old garden.
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.
Two years ago, the Natural Home & Garden staff had the honor of decorating President Obama's guest house with sustainable and handmade holiday decor. Try some of these "president-approved" projects yourself!
A wabi-sabi home just feels right, without pretense or compromise—like our grandmothers’ Depression era homes, where things were patched and mended but scrubbed and clean, handmade or chosen and paid for with care.
This holiday season, avoid the shopping frenzy and make your own gifts straight from the heart. These homemade holiday gift ideas are fun and should cover nearly everyone on your shopping list.