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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
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.
Anecdotal evidence from coast to coast indicates that Americans have had enough of granite countertops and whirlpool tubs. They want smaller homes with green finishes instead.
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
A Tulikivi soapstone fireplace and cook stove complement the off-grid lifestyle of a Montana man and his Earthship home.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
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.
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.
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.
Luna Lodge, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, relies on hydro power.
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.
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.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
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.
Buying carbon offsets for flying is one way to green your travels.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
Lack of interest threatens ClimateSmart, a program that helps PG&E customers in California offset their carbon emissions, is about to be cut.
Editorial intern Amanda Thompson is heading to Egypt after college graduation, and discusses ways to make her trip an Earthy-friendly one.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Take a peek inside our office and watch our efforts in decorating. This year's theme?—Feliz Navidad!
Comfrey is an attractive, easy-to-grow herbaceous perennial that has many uses in the herb garden, landscape and first aid and personal care preparations.
A new study found that your office chair may be hurting your health.
Green your back to school shopping with Pentel’s Recycology line, featuring pens and pencils made from recycled plastic.
Editorial intern Andrea Olsen finds environmentally friendly, recycled-paper notebooks that don’t scrimp on style.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz searches for the greenest school supplies.
Consumers are intrigued by smart grid technology, but they need a lot more information and better tools before they'll participate.
This easy-to-grow herb has a wide array of medicinal uses and is a favorite for summer salads and teas.
Rosemary is an aromatic perennial herb native to the Mediterranean that has many uses. This guest blogger loves to use it as a hair rinse. Learn more.
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.
Add valerian to your herb garden or to a wet area of your landscape to grow your own natural sleep and relaxation aid.
The dandelion is one of the most hated weeds in America, but also the mostly widely used wild green in the world. Learn how this herb was used historically, how it can treat many ailments, such as liver diseases and eczema, and how to make a dandelion omelet.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
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.
Researchers may be able to add "improves mental function" to the long list of rosemary health benefits.
Calendula officinalis, a bright and cheery herb for any border or kitchen garden, is more than just another pretty flower. It has many uses in the kitchen, medicine cabinet and personal care arena.
Keep your sage alive. Check out our growing tips for dying herbs.
Keep your rosemary thriving with our helpful growing tips.
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
Calendula is an easy flower to grow. Plant in full sun flower beds, containers, and vegetable and herb gardens.
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.
Editorial intern Samantha Schwartz finds runway-inspired eco-clothing for $50 and less.