building for the environment
Green builder Fred Koch explains his unique strategy for green building in southern California.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
Blogger Laurie Dickson is blogging from the Living Future "unconference" in Portland, Oregon, this weekend. Living Future is devoted to promoting innovative green design that focuses on real solutions for real planetary problems.
Editorial intern Amanda Thompson takes a step-by-step look at her daily activities to see just how environmentally friendly she really is.
A new report by the Environmental Working Group urges people to eat less meat and cheese to help reduce greenhouse gases.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Location near public transportation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated—and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
With 65 properties in Oregon and Washington, McMenamins historic hotels are a must-see if you’re traveling to the Portland area.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson discovers the Apple Recycling Program, which is perfect for her aging PowerBook G4 Apple laptop.
Try these tips to green a birthday celebration.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
Last weekend—the second anniversary of the tornado that destroyed the small town of Greensburg, Kansas—residents invited the public to see its progress toward becoming one of the first green towns in the United States. Greensburg homeowners and business owners have rebuilt much of the town with eco-friendly construction materials.
Robyn reflects on the past 10 years of Natural Home and the green building movement.
Jessica revisits Maison Madeleine, a beautifully restored historic Southern French cottage.
Consider the environment when choosing deck materials. Here’s a breakdown of your options.
An unpublished British study says that plastic bags are a greener option than paper or cloth--but only if you don't make the most of your reusable bags.
British scientists have found that many pesticides--including those commonly found in food and 16 that were previously considered safe--disrupt male hormones.
While giving her small home a deep green retrofit, designer Tracy Parker finds that reclaimed wood flooring is grounding and gorgeous.
Tradical Hempcrete, a concrete-like substance made from hemp and lime, is used in two Asheville, North Carolina, homes.
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will 'shake up the industry,' Healthy Building Network official predicts.
Superior Walls foundations systems are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations.
Made from natural minerals, sea salt, water, sand, recycled coal byproducts and natural fibers, CompoClay is a promising alternative to gypsum, engineered wood and resins.
Expect to see more modular homes, a boom in the green remodeling business and a ton more “green” products when it comes to green building trends in 2010—and be prepared to ask a lot more questions.
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
The effect on our environment from discarded dry cell batteries can be catastrophic over time, polluting our world’s ground soil and water supply, resulting in health hazards to humans, plants, and animals; switching to rechargeable batteries has vast environmental benefits.
Sustainable furniture is made from nontoxic, renewable resources and is a smart choice for reducing environmental impact.
'Green' cleaning products are awash with misleading labels and false claims. Always look for a third-party certification to assure you're buying the healthiest, most environmentally friendly cleaners.
The health benefits of kale are greater than
those of any other vegetable. Kale provides nutrients that fight off sickness
and diseases and has a low environmental impact.
All it takes is a few deliberate and creative tweaks to turn our living space into a healthful, stress-free environment. Follow these 10 simple solutions to do just that.
The health benefits of kale are greater than those of many other vegetables. Kale provides nutrients that fight off sickness and diseases and has a low environmental impact.
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.
The 10 Project Green Search finalists head to Hollywood for the final round of the eco-modeling competition.
Project Green Search is looking for eco-conscious models to participate in its green modeling competition.
During national bedbug summit, health experts urge thorough cleaning and heat as the best prevention and cure for the nasty pests.
While federal regulators fiddle, Wal-Mart bans controversial flame retardants from its shelves. Will more retailers follow suit?
Use all-natural exfoliating scrubs with your favorite herbs or essential oils to cut down on your contribution to plastic pollution in the ocean.
The EPA will regulate perchlorate and other toxic chemicals--but you may want to consider water filters in the meantime.
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
This 19th-century Creole cottage was disassembled, moved and meticulously reassembled and restored on a new site in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Built for its climate, the welcoming home is an excellent example of passive cooling and material reuse.
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
For the past year, I’ve been chronicling the progress of a green-built home here in Boulder, Colorado, where I live, via this blog and accompanying videos. Watching the project unfold has been enlightening for many reasons, not least of which is the opportunity to see firsthand many of the cool technologies we read about and hear about. Sometimes that entails a little sacrifice.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
The launch of Oakley’s first pair of eco-friendly shades keeps Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson on her search for sustainable sunglasses.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins explains why the first step in green building should be "don't build."
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.
When it comes time to choose what decking material to use for your next outdoor living project, consider wood composite decks that save old growth trees by utilizing recycled content.
Salvaged products can be attractive components of a new home. Salvaged materials help save resources and money while adding distinctive features. One source of salvaged materials, Habitat Home Stores, also supports housing development for low-income families.
Cleaning your reusable shopping bag regularly will help protect your family against illness.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove recounts the unexpected expenses she faced while building her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse. Selove is building her green dream home to LEED Platinum standards.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
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.
To build Finca Exotica, a sustainable resort on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, the owners took advantage of plentiful native bamboo, kept the footprint small and let buildings unfold organically.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Greg Franta’s work on climate change and the built environment, as reflected in his book Cooling the Warming, is at the core of Rocky Mountain Institute’s Reinventing Fire initiative.
Architect and land planner Helena van Vliet incorporates biophilic design principles into her renovated house to create a home connected to nature.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she and her husband, John, are aiming for LEED Platinum-certification for their rural Tennessee farmhouse.
Our bodies have an amazing capacity to detoxify, but with increased exposure to hazards in our environment, there is more of a need to support this process. Learn how to decrease the toxins you take in and increase the toxins you put out.
Natural Home editorial assistant Susan Melgren reviews Badger Sunscreen. This natural sunscreen protects from UVA and UVB rays using zinc oxide and an array of organic ingredients.
Find out who won Project Green Search’s eco-modeling competition.
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).
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Lavera Baby and Children Sun Milk.
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.
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.
Natural Home editorial assistant Susan Melgren reviews Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff natural sunscreen lotion. SunStuff uses zinc oxide to provide SPF 30 protection against UVA and UVB rays.
The sunscreens you use may not offer the amount of protection you need.
The EWG's 2011 Shopper's Guide tells grocery shoppers which produce items are lowest in pesticides, and which are highest.
You can get your whole house fresh and shiny clean with just five ingredients: lemons, vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and salt.
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.
During National Ground Water Awareness Week next week, let's bring attention to what natural gas drilling is doing to our ground water supplies.
The Council of Better Business Bureaus National Advertising Division recommends that Sherwin-Williams modify or discontinue advertising claims that its “Harmony” paint line is completely free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Think you're safe because you're buying BPA-free plastic? A study has found endocrine-disrupting chemicals in 70 percent of plastic products--even those without BPA.
The Center for Health, Environment and Justice’s 2011 Back to School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies helps parents find safer and affordable school supplies for their children.
Reading books from your local public library is a greener alternative to buying new books.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove considers rainwater cistern options for harvesting rainwater at her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED standards.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she chose Southern Forest Initiative-certified wood for the framing lumber of her sustainable Tennessee home that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Yes To Carrots natural sunscreen, which contains 10 percent zinc oxide and is free of parabens, petroleum and SLS.
The U.S. Green Building Council may revise its LEED rating system standards, which currently award points only to Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses built with reclaimed materials, as the first in her Throwback Thursdays series.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
DuPont Building Innovations has achieved zero landfill status by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
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.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the Sprouting Building of Montpellier and its living green facade.
This is the first of a series of blogs about construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home on an organic farm in middle Tennessee.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
Building a tiny home from an old camper trailer brought a sense of community when family and friends pitched in to help.
Building a deck can be a challenge, but building with being “green” in mind can be an even bigger challenge. Learn what to look for and what questions and considerations to have when researching and selecting the best green building materials for a deck.
From Los Angeles to Philadelphia, Forbes rates the ten most toxic cities in the United States.
Forbes releases its list of the least toxic cities in America, from Texas to Pennsylvania.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson discusses Starbucks’ progress in making its coffee cups recyclable.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reveals what sunscreen active ingredients are safe and unsafe and recommends resources to find natural sunscreens.
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 assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews a convenient natural sunscreen stick from Environmental Working Group-rated company California Baby.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove picks natural, native sandstone to use in her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Made from repurposed shipping containers and recycled steel, based on Prius engineering, with a gray water system and a living roof, this Mojave Desert residence and workplace is a prototype for low-cost prefab kit houses everywhere.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Good For You Girls, a new line of natural beauty products specially formulated for teen girls.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews Johnson’s Natural Head-To-Toe Foaming Baby Wash.
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.
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 Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the organization that is supposed to evaluate what’s good for you and not good for you, does not evaluate ingredients in beauty products. If the FDA isn’t going to monitor beauty products, who will? Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace reviews two organizations that campaign for safer beauty products.