building your own home
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Good stock is an important base to flavoring a lot of recipes. Learn how to make your own chicken stock at home with these instructions.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson describes how to make homemade ice cream and gives some organic ice cream recipes.
Part two of Natural Home intern Dani Hurst’s “green pet ownership” series. This time, it’s all about cats.
Part one of Natural Home intern Dani Hurst’s “green pet ownership” series. This one’s for all the dog lovers who want to raise a greener best friend.
As more Americans tighten their belts to save a penny or two, many are finding they can save money by growing food-producing gardens.
Victoria Gazeley considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin, located on 7 acres of fertile earth in British Columbia, a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
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 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.
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
As a new year unfolds, Natural Home forecasts 2010 predictions—and it's good news—Americans will become smarter, greener consumers.
Guest blogger Elise Roth Edwards and her family plan for spring gardening and growing food.
The list of benefits of owning a pet is growing longer and longer. Discover your excuse to bring home a pet today.
Homeschooling is coming to be considered a holistic approach to learning by families who want to take charge of their well-being and education.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
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.
A typical Make-Your-Own Beeswax Candle Kit contains several sheets of honeycomb-printed Beeswax made in the United States, 100% cotton wicks and instructions; enough supplies to make at least 10-12 individual candles.
Guest blogger Elise Roth Edwards offers a cookbook review of "D.I.Y. Delicious" by Vanessa Barrington.
Now that fall is upon us, try your hand at picking your own apples at a local orchard. Buying local produce is an important step towards greening your life, and picking your own right off the tree is a fun way to do that.
There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation.
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.
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.
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.
Add medicinal activated charcoal to your natural medicine chest to quickly treat infant colic and a variety of poisonings.
If you’re looking for a healthy and eco-friendly dog shampoo that smells great, then look no further than Olive Bubble + Squeak Herbal Dog Shampoo. This shampoo is USDA approved organic, 100 percent biodegradable and bottled in recyclable plastic.
Although there are many workshops and classes available that will teach you how to “make your own” medicines and crafts, it's sometimes just as easy as snipping herbs and heading into the kitchen. This article is a quick how-to look on making medicinal oils.
You don't have to spend a fortune and buy nasty chemicals to run your dishwasher. Whip up powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent in minutes--and don't forget to add essential oil. You'll get a dose of aromatherapy while your dishes get clean.
Take care of poison ivy the old-fashioned way, with herbs from nature. Jewelweed is an excellent treatment for poison ivy. Use this herbal wonder to make a natural salve.
After its exploding popularity in the late 19th century, echinacea was widely researched. Since then, numerous echinacea benefits have been discovered. Try these two simple echinacea remedies to fight the common cold.
It's not too late to start or expand your garden this summer! Plant sun-loving herbs, vegetables and flowers for a strong harvest and bright blooms.
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.
Architect and land planner Helena van Vliet incorporates biophilic design principles into her renovated house to create a home connected to nature.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she and her husband, John, are aiming for LEED Platinum-certification for their rural Tennessee farmhouse.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace chats with HGTV green building expert Carter Oosterhouse about simple ways to green your home.
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.
For anyone who attempts to start their own homestead, there will be hurdles to overcome. Keep these five simple tips in mind when it comes to growing your own food, raising livestock and transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle.
This is the first of a series of blogs about construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home on an organic farm in middle Tennessee.
Don't throw away that leftover loaf of bread! Use it to make homemade breadcrumbs and croutons. Waste not, want not!
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
Have a skirt with a tear or a stain? Don't compost it - re-make it! A few simple cuts and stitches and you can re-purpose your worn out wardrobe into a new closet full of new fashions. Start by turning a skirt into a halter top.
They don’t call them the dog days of summer for nothing. Surprise your pup with these easy and delicious homemade frozen treats to keep him cool in the heat.
Start decreasing your reliance on store-bought, pre-packaged foods by preserving produce at the peak of the season. Try this easy recipe for homemade sauerkraut and enjoy this season’s cabbage crop all year.
Mayonnaise is a sandwich staple that you can easily make at home. It takes just minutes to make and you can experiment with new and exciting flavor combinations.
Making granola at home is simple and allows you to customize it to your liking. Experiment with this basic recipe and discover your perfect granola.
Readers vote on whether they'd be most interested in learning to make hard cider, apple wine, mulled wine, ginger beer, eggnog or amaretto at home.
Try one of these three simple but tasty homemade salad dressings the next time you’re in the mood for a lighter lunch or dinner.
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.
To lead a healthier lifestyle, green your home with these nine cost-effective solutions.
Take the initiative and reduce your carbon footprint at home with these six tips.
Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, the design duo behind Nightwood, deconstruct abandoned furniture pieces and then reconstruct them into folksy-modern works of art.
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.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
Building a tiny home from an old camper trailer brought a sense of community when family and friends pitched in to help.
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.
Jessica hunts for eco-friendly and secondhand items to make her new townhome greener. Greening an apartment or home you don't own can be a challenge, but searching for eco-friendly products is fun.
Leave your lips feeling luscious and quenched with this simple recipe for homemade lip balm.
Buck’s Biscuits Gourmet Dog Treats are made with organic ingredients and contain no preservatives, making them the perfect, all-natural dog treat for your furry friend.
Instead of buying your friends gifts for the holidays this year, save money and lighten your impact on the planet by making homemade gifts. These ideas will get you started.
If you’re nuts about almonds, try out this simple recipe for making fresh almond butter at home.
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
Reacting against the built-for-resale mentality that's destroying our modern homes' liveability, Slow Home Studio offers a path to a more satisfying home.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
Jessica shows off her headboard, made of antique doors and a little paint.
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.
Our favorite natural homes of 2010 range in size and grandiosity, from a 280-square-foot mountain cottage to an urban warehouse-cum-artists’-loft. Every one of them can teach us a lot about living green.
The American Institute of Architect’s Home Design Trends Survey confirmed what Natural Home predicted in January—Americans are moving to smaller homes.
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.
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.
For an investment of less than $10,000 and about a week of labor, you could have a custom workshop, barn, garden shed or office.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
Discover 10 natural remedies for allergies from author Michelle Schoffro Cook to make the spring allergy season more tolerable.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
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.
Nearly 20 years ago, Robert Laporte began experimenting with building a house using straw and Iowa's excellent clay. In the process, he discovered what makes a home's soul.
Create a happy and healthy home with these helpful tips.
Natural Home editorial intern Andrea Olsen demonstrates how to add some feminine details to an outfit by crafting a floral necklace.
Reach for these taste-tested, healthy granola bars next time you need a snack.
Dehydrated foods are high in nutrients and easy to transport and store, but buying them at the store can be costly. Investing in a food dehydrator can save you money, allowing you to make your own beef jerky, dried fruits and fruit leather at home.
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.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
Guy and Kay Baker and their three sons spent five years building a small weekend cabin in Alabama from scraps and salvage. When the 1,100-square feet house was complete, they loved it so much they made it their permanent home.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
Stylish furniture typically doesn’t involve discarded trash—but the designs of Studio Jo Meesters do. Studio Jo Meesters introduces “Odds and Ends, Bits and Pieces,” a fun collection of furniture pieces made from recycled materials that contain just as much panache
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.
Americans continue to believe that green homes make a difference--but they need to be more affordable.
An annual survey of home buyers found that Americans want smaller homes with a focus on casual living and togetherness. From larger kitchens to outdoor living spaces, these 10 features were the most popular. Find out how you can get them, too!
In Bethel, New York, a developer that has specialized in large luxury homes is building modest houses to appeal to a younger crowd--more anecdotal evidence that smaller homes are here to stay.
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.
Instead of flowers, give a homemade token of your friendship and support.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
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.
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.
Small house builder Rich Daniels seeks to cluster 100 homes under 400 square feet in a former sawmill.
This morning in my inbox: Orlando Bloom announced at Wednesday night’s Global Green pre-Oscars party that he’s building a green, solar-powered home in London. And an RISMedia report stating that despite the downturn in the general housing market, demand for green homes continues to be a hot trend.
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.
Keep your home clean and your family healthy with these easy tips.
Christmas may have passed, but the remnants of the holiday festivities remain—piles of wrapping paper, boxes, and ribbons tangled strands of lights trees losing needles all over the living room floor. Fortunately, cleaning up after another holiday season is easier—and more
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 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.
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.
Treat your cat to fresh spring herbs when you whip up this healthy homemade kitty food.
Making your own compost bin is simple. Compost bins are great for disposing kitchen scraps to make fresh, rich compost 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.
The U.S. Green Building Council recognizes the top projects, developers and home builders participating in its LEED program for 2011.
Existing homes that are certified as “green” sold for 30 percent more than homes without such a designation, according to an analysis of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan region released today by Earth Advantage Institute, a nonprofit green building resource. Newly constructed homes with a sustainability certification sold for 8 percent more than non-certified homes.
This result continues a four-year trend in which new homes with third-party certification for sustainable construction and energy performance have consistently sold for more than newly constructed homes that had not been certified. The term 'certified home' includes homes that received an Earth Advantage New Homes, ENERGY STAR, or a LEED for Homes designation, or a combined Earth Advantage/ENERGY STAR certification.
Consider these environment-friendly tips when remodeling your home.
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
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.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins explains why the first step in green building should be "don't build."
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.
Stuck indoors? Brighten up a rainy summer day with these fun, green activities.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Location near public transportation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
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!
Can you craft delicious home cooked meals without eating up a ton of energy? Discover whether your slowly cooked Crock-Pots are any more energy efficient than stove top or oven cooking.
Readers vote on which type of cheese they’d be most interested in learning to make at home.
As the paper garden catalog is slowly sinking in the west, the Lemon Verbena Lady is searching out herb seed catalogs and websites offering the best seed catalogs and herb seeds of every kind. This is the first installment of several catalog and website postings.
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.
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.
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).
Making tinctures at home may sound intimidating, but it is as simple as following a simple recipe from a cookbook.
Simple rosemary mayonnaise makes an exceptional sandwich spread.
Who needs to make a trip to the grocery store when you can make these tasty cheesy crackers at home?
Simple salad dressings provide bursts of herbal flavor to your salad greens.
Matt divulges into his New Year's resolution of using greener cleaners and more natural cleaning methods.
Living in a high-efficiency home can be a bit of an adjustment. Follow these four expert tips to make the transition go more smoothly.
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.
Green builder Fred Koch explains his unique strategy for green building in southern California.
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.
Learn how to make flavored vinegar with tasy herbal, spice, fruit and vegetable combinations.
Research into the potential causes of obesity doesn't lead exclusively to a poor diet and lack of exercise: Environment and exposure to endocrine disruptors can also play a role in weight gain.
Make your home feel like new again with these five home improvement ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Readers vote on which type of reclaimed material they'd be most interested in adding to their homes.
Dani recounts her first “green” grocery trip, and touts the advantages of going green in small steps.
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.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
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.
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.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
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.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
We asked our readers to share their tiny homes: The only criteria was that they be 1000-square-feet or less. Gain inspiration with these small homes from our community of readers who love their tiny homes.
See how one blogger made the decision to build a tiny house and her plans to build it herself.
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!
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova talks about the advantages of downsizing to a small home as her family moves to Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
Learn how to be happier at home with these simple living tips.
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.
The weather outside may be frightful, but it’s a delightful time to curl up with a stack of gardening books and begin planning next season’s harvest.
This recipe for homemade mango ice cream has the creamy goodness of ice cream and the refreshing taste of sherbet. Grab a spoon and dig in!
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.
Does the huge task of cleaning windows leave you feeling overwhelmed? Follow these six simple steps—using inexpensive materials you already have around the house—to get your windows sparkling and streak-free.
Try these natural deodorant alternatives to eliminate body odor without the potential toxins of many commercial products.
When Joan King Salwen is invited to speak with Bill and Melinda Gates about The Power of Half, she learns how valuable homemade gifts can be.
Conventional household cleaners contain toxic chemicals that could have adverse effects on your health. Learn how to mix up your own homemade cleaners with these suggestions from Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence.
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean—without chemicals.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
Guest blogger Kim Wallace shares a simple recipe for homemade holiday sangria.
Jessica shares her sustainable wedding food find after locating eco-minded caterers in the Kansas City area.
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova works with her children to turn the heaps of candy they collected at the St. Patrick’s Day parade into homemade art projects.
Learn how to make homemade yogurt with this seasonal yogurt recipe.
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.
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!
The newest articles of Natural Home are in. See what's inside.
Peruse our articles about healthy living from the July/August 2013 issue. In this issue we teach you how to enjoy your bountiful garden harvest all year; give you product recommendations to create a healthier, simpler, more self-sufficient home; show you simple solutions for quick breakfasts; discuss the basics of simple and affordable DIY body-care products; and much more!
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.
DuPont Building Innovations has achieved zero landfill status by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally.
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the Sprouting Building of Montpellier and its living green facade.
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.
I don't know about you, but its absolutely impossible to keep my feet clean in sandals, my summer staple. So when I stumbled upon Wipe Your Feet by Jamar Labs, I was intrigued.
These three homes--in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina--use passive cooling techniques to eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning. Check them out and learn a few tricks for reducing--or eliminating--your AC bills this summer.
Dani Hurst provides tips on how to green your morning routine.
Natural Home intern Dani Hurst explores practical plastic bag alternatives as well as ways to reuse the ones she already has.
Dani Hurst explains how to update your closet with eco-friendly fabrics and offers advice on what to do with your old clothes.
Natural Home intern Dani Hurst explores ways to make your commute a little greener.
Natural Home editorial intern Dani Hurst provides tips on how to be a greener cook.
Learn more about blue cohosh's medicinal uses.
Readers vote on which varieties of heirloom vegetables they’d be most interested in learning how to grow.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence finds a company that upcycles old yoga mats. Recycle Your Mat, a company founded by yogini Stephanie Stano in 2008 gives yoga mats a second life as an upcycled or recycled product.
Natural Home editorial intern Dani Hurst shows you how to throw a grand green graduation party.
DIY inspiration comes from the most unlikely places, even discarded materials we consider trash. These projects show you how versatile plastic bottles can be.
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.
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.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
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.
A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
Managing editor Jessica Kellner discussed her early house hunting experience and her hopes to do green remodeling.
This 433-square-foot floating home on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, feels spacious and airy on the inside.
In the down real-estate market, more people are choosing to renovate rather than relocate. Use these tips to create a customized home that supports your lifestyle.
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.
Avoid the headache and stress of dealing with a pest infestation by watching for these simple signs of pests before they wreak havoc.
Solar energy use continues to climb by 20 percent every year. Learn more about this amazing clean energy by checking out these 10 fun facts about solar energy.
Whether you work-from-home, need a space to call your own or are just ready to upgrade your interior design, these six steps will transform your spare room into the perfect woman cave.
Made from bamboo, wood and grass seed, this tiny house could be our future.
Homeowners and renters who made five or more energy-efficient improvements found satisfying savings, a new study finds.
One Iowa city used herbs as a way to de-ice their dangerous roads.
Eco luxury brand VivaTerra kicks off Home for the Holidays, a 25-day/25-products half-off shopping spree featuring some of their most popular items from the year.
Sustainsia’s compact, green-built work pod could solve my office needs.
DiggersList, city-by-city home improvement classifieds, has expanded its website to bring its services to homeowners and contractors across the country.
Herbs might not be the first thing that come to mind when you start considering ways to save money, but they actually can be a great help in cutting costs while boosting health, flavor and the general deliciousness of life.
Matt divulges into who really wins in the end when McDonalds' stock is up and the stock market is down.
Though used like timber, bamboo is a grass that self-propagates as it spreads underground via a network of rhizomes. A white oak tree takes 120 years to grow to maturity; bamboo takes three-and-a-half to seven years.
Alchemy Architects builds its first weeZero, or net-zero weeHouse, in the desert near Moab, Utah.
Guest blogger Jaci Kennison explores creative storage solutions to declutter her small space.
The miniHome by Sustain Design Studio puts a modern twist on traditional trailer design.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
Light up your Valentine's Day with all natural, herbal homemade candles.
Find itching relief in nature. Narrow-leaved plantain is a common garden weed and also, ironically, a gardener’s best friend.
From a homemade furniture polish to a skin and hair conditioner, olive oil has many uses around the home. Just check out these 15 uses for olive oil!
Sacred Seed Bread delivers the healing power of medicinal seeds in a delicious, homemade loaf.
White sage is a large herbaceous perennial shrub native. It attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, and offers many health benefits. Then find natural headache relief with our homemade salve.
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares some of her likes and dislikes of homemade pizza and some of her favorite pizza parlors in the Seattle area.
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.
Looking for the perfect gesture of appreciation this weekend? Try these homemade Mother's Day gift ideas.
Swap out your bottled ranch dressing for this easy and nutritious recipe!
Sausage can be healthy if made at home. Try it! It's easy.
I make the cookie-of-the-month for my brother-in-law, and he loves it.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
These homemade orange ornaments will add bright colors and a citrusy aroma to your tree this year.
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.
Make your own all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent and mildew remover with safe, simple ingredients. Ever think you'd be doing dishes with Kool-Aid?
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!
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
Alka-Seltzer can give your cleaning routine a little extra fizz. Try it for unclogging drains and cleaning toilets.
Whip olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice into a cheap, effective polish for wood furniture.
Janeen Solberg developed these homemade cleaner recipes more than 10 years ago and still uses them today.
Guest blogger Erica Binns travels to Mood Designer Fabrics to find fabric for her homemade wedding dress.
Replace the sugary, salty store-bought version with this wholesome Homemade Chewy Granola Bars recipe.
Craft these DIY Asian-inspired guest soaps to reinvigorate road-weary visitors.
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.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse describes the HRV (heat recovery ventilation) unit and insulation installation for the NewenHouse Kit Home.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
Keep your storage off the floor and decorate your home using birdcages.
Midwest Living designers give the Smart Home at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry a green makeover that features zero-VOC paint, furniture made from recycled steel and reclaimed wood, and other planet-friendly home decor.
The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers scientific backing to herbal and natural medicine.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren weighs the pros and cons of live and artificial trees in her quest for an eco-friendly Christmas tree.
Victoria Gazely lives in a 650-square-foot homesteader's cabin built by a man who didn't need closets. She's found five great ways to stash her stuff without renovating—and her solutions work for anyone who needs to hide a few things.
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.
Hemp can be made into a wide variety of products, including fashionable, functional clothing.
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.
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.
Clutter taking over? Organize your kitchen with these decluttering tips and storage solutions.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Vermont Natural Coatings, manufacturer of high performance naturally derived whey-based wood finishes, recently introduced new Heirloom Wipe-On PolyWhey, a durable, safe furniture finish with the look and feel of traditional hand rubbed finishes.
International eco-artist David Trubridge designs furniture, lighting and home accessories that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also environmentally responsible.
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.
Beer brewed with herbs is a tasty alternative to traditional malts and hops.
The benefits of home birth outweigh the risks for many expectant mothers. These simple perks can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you and your family.
Reduce stress and help ensure the best birthing experience possible with these simple tips for preparing your home for a home birth.
Skip the store-bought hand sanitizers. Instead create your own natural herbal hand sanitizers with Aloe Vera and essential oils.
Learn how to incoporate healthy, antioxidant-rich superfoods into your daily meals.
Cooking with basil is fun! Each variety of basil has its own unique flavor and way of enhancing any recipe. One of our guest blogger's favorites is cinnamon basil. Learn how to grow it and cook with it.
Thrift store finds have limitless uses if you look beyond their original purpose.
Try this Valentine's Day-inspired spicy basil pie recipe for a heart-healthy treat.
Protect eyes from the sun this summer with a cool pair of shades. Read on to find your perfect pair of sunglasses.
Rid your home of pesky fruit flies with this simple, nontoxic, homemade fruit fly trap.
Two Lousiana residents have died after using a neti pot incorrectly. Learn which mistakes to avoid.
When she thinks of summer, our guest blogger, Ramona Werst, thinks of lemonade. Learn how to grow and cook with her favorite lemonade garnish: lemon basil.
Watch out for these three common technique mistakes in your garden this spring.
If you’re a dog owner you know that fleas can be a common hassle. These three herbs offer an alternative way to battle this pesky problem.
There are several herbs that will increase your energy and help you burn more calories.
Dani Hurst explains how you can celebrate an important Jewish holiday while keeping the planet in mind.
The weather outside is frightful, and feeding birds is so delightful. All it takes to make one of these great bird feeders is a dip in the recycling bin, bird seed and a little creativity.
Dani shares her spring break adventures and explains how you can stay green, even on vacation.
Whether you’re just starting out on the green path or looking for more ways to live sustainably, check out Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills by Raleigh Briggs, which teaches simple domestic skills to help you lead a DIY life.
Cinnamon basil offers a mild cinnamon flavor to the dishes you infuse it with. This holiday season, try Ramona Werst's herbal twist on the traditional pumpkin pie: Cinnamon Basil Pumpkin Pie.
Napoleon Fireplaces provides some helpful tips to consider when preparing your fireplace for the winter season.
Relax and relieve your stress with these three herbs.
This basil appetizer can be made ahead of time. Just mix sauce in a crock pot, add meatballs and cook. They'll be the hit of the party!
Guest blogger Dani Hurst shares recipes for homemade salsa and vegetable dips.
Shrink your dryer sheet waste and use a dryer sachet instead. Learn about the benefits of dryer sachets, how to make your own sachet and a few ideas about what to do with your used dryer sheets.
Going green on your lunch break is an easy way to show Mother Nature you really care. Dani delves into the art of greening your afternoon eats.
Add garlic to your daily diet by taking these tips into consideration.
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.
Use leftover corned beef and Serata basil to make these Reuben Sandwiches.
Kidney stones affect many Americans. Here are some herbal remedies to help stop them.
In the late summer, Ocimum basilicum 'Thai' bares beautiful red or deep purple blooms. Check out Ramona's recipe for basil-infused chicken dumplings.
Treat your dry, itchy throat this winter with these herbal remedies
The spicy flavor of 'Spicy Globe' basil adds a unique taste to many sauces and fresh fruit desserts. Try my delicious 'Spicy Globe' Blackberry Tart.
Celebrate the end of eggplant season with a plate of homemade baba ganoush. Follow this simple recipe and you’ll be on your way to a yummy appetizer or a scrumptious side dish.
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.
An easy description of making your own baby food from scratch. Create nutritional options for your baby and safe money!
Make a nutritionally rich face mask and a tropical exfoliator to take advantage of all the health benefits of the avocado.
Stand against animal testing with certified cruelty-free cosmetics and homemade lip balms and lotions.
Use nature’s own ingredients to add color and moisture to your lips with this homemade lip tint.
Create a yummy summertime lip balm with your kids.
Naturally healthy skin need not be a daunting, complex task. It can be a delightful ritual using natural ingredients found in your own home. The important first step is to simplify your beauty routine. Learn about the five necessities.
Follow these recipes for using essential oils and a few simple ingredients to make your own chemical-free cleaning products.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
Infusing spirits with your favorite herbs and spices is a fun and easy way to stock your bar for holiday entertaining. They also make the loveliest gift for a cocktail enthusiast!
Hanging baskets on your walls helps to create storage and still offer decorative design in your home.
From perpetually sunny Orange Country, California, Humble sells extremely eco-conscious home décor accessories featuring designs that will remind you of summer’s past.
PRIMAVERA organic airsprays naturally scent your home using essential oils.
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.
Got kitchen clutter? Turn a picture frame into a beautiful, useful storage solution.
After a year with her family spent in a high-performance home, one blogger shares the joys of living in a home that offers low utility bills, energy independence, comfort, lasting memories and much more.
There are myriad perks to turning your home into a net-zero living space. Learn how to find energy independence with these high-performance home tips.
Find home office furniture for your office space without spending a fortune with these tips.
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.
Try one or more of these smart kitchen storage ideas to add comfort, convenience and style to small-space kitchens.
Minimize indoor pollutants, protect your health and live in style with these ideas for incorporating eco-friendly, natural décor into your home.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
Save money and energy by ditching the dryer and air drying your clothes instead.
Don’t just throw away pumpkin seeds after carving your Halloween pumpkin! Did you know pumpkin seeds are a very nutritious snack? And now you can use them in a fresh basil pesto.
Even something as little as conditioning your hair can help save thousands of acres of rainforest.
If you can’t build your dream garden just yet, container gardening is a great alternative. Check out these tips for homemade fertilizer and soil retention, and learn how to repurpose common plastic containers into handy individual gardens.
Get inspired by these tips and make something useful out of your used glass instead of just recycling it. From wine bottles to baby food jars, you’ll find a repurposing project that suits your recycling bin.
Instead of eating it all now, learn how to pickle asparagus with this easy Spicy Pickled Asparagus recipe and save some for later in the season! Your future self will thank you.
New research suggests lowering blood pressure may be as easy as eating foods with isoflavones.
Slough off dead winter skin with homemade skin scrubs. Try one of these recipes that use ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
Turn a boring wall into a vertical garden with The Woolly Wally Pocket. Made of 100% recycled plastic bottles, this hanging planter is the answer for anyone looking for a unique and eco-friendly planter for container gardening.
Rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and nutrients, Seaweed Bath Co. products hydrate the skin and soothe irritation often associated with various skin conditions.
Our cornbread dressing recipe puts a twist on a Thanksgiving dinner menu classic.
This home in the Florida Keys stays cool by capturing prevailing breezes and taking advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open, screened walls and a reflective roof.
Children’s lunches aren’t kept cool enough before lunch, leading to the possibility of food-borne illnesses.
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.
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.
Natural Home guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews green home decor from MIO.
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.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Try these pumpkin candleholders and tell us about your favorite pumpkin decorations.
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.
Don’t let the flu, a cold or any aches, anxieties and pains get the best of you this season. With the season already upon us, here are a few herbs, fruits and foods to consider to help relieve your aches, pains and anxiety.
Natural Home guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews certified-organic fabrics from Harmony Art.
Design your dining room with patterned placemats from Amenity. Made of organic cotton and hemp, these placemats come in a variety of colors and designs, making it easy to find the perfect fit for your room.
Create a homemade sachet to add fresh fragrance in your home every time you vacuum.
Hang used fabric on your walls instead of paint or wallpaper.
When stacks of mail, cards and school pictures start taking over your kitchen table or refrigerator, wage war with this project to keep it all organized and unclutter your life.
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.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
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.
Two new federal programs, the Home Energy Scoring program and the PowerSaver program, make it easier for homeowners to save energy.
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.
If the heat is getting you down—and out of your comfortable sleeping—take your bedroom outside and let Mother Nature cool you while you slumber.
Put your money where your principals are—supporting eco-conscious living projects. Invest in green companies to make a greater impact on our environment.
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
Back to the Roots (BTTR) is collecting 20,000 pounds of coffee grounds each week, cultivating them into a rich substrate from which to grow oyster mushrooms and make grow-it-at-home mushroom kits.
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. The leading systems providers each have IPad apps
Guest blogger Jaci Kennison takes time out this holiday season to honor and appreciate the planet.
La Chanh Nguyen's eco-friendly designs are changing the function common household items. Her process is simple; she deconstructs an object and recreates it with a green purpose and function.
My Mobilegro invention is much more than the next new innovative home gardening product to hit the market.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
Make your own tiki torch and fend off mosquitoes at the same time.
If you find yourself with a bag that seems to swallow up all of your things, consider adding snap-in coin purses to help you organize.
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.
Jessica offers her top tips for shopping for used and antique home furnishings.
Ditch the sponge and the harsh chemical cleaners for this natural bathroom and kitchen multipurpose scrubbing cleaner.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
To help you keep your house free of vermin, we’ve compiled a list of five top tips on how keep pests from ever entering your home.
Use these easy storage solutions to keep every room in your home organized and clutter-free.
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.
Skips the hazardous commercial varieties and opt for one of these five natural air freshener options.
In Belfast Cohousing and Ecovillage, high-performance houses experience much more comfortable temperatures with little electric output.
Get inspired by early winter to decorate your home.
Reclaimed furniture can add a rustic yet elegant touch to your home. Find out why you should choose reclaimed over new and how to incorporate it in your home.
Bringing gemstones into your home can add beauty, and some believe they offer healing benefits, too. Find out how to incorporate beautiful gems and stones into your home and life.
Made from Tagua, Habitus tiles are natural sustainable and suitable for floors or walls.
Martial arts training can help with weight loss and improved mobility. Discover how this fitness regimen could benefit you and pick up a few tips for success.
Avoid these three common mistakes in to help ensure your efforts of DIY pest control actually work.
To boost the indoor air quality of new homes, turn to these two common, energy-efficient ventilation strategies.
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.
Share your favorite fantastic natural beauty tips and DIY treatments with Natural Home magazine. The best tips win a prize!
These three great design blogs share inspiration to redecorate our homes on a budget—using rescued and reclaimed items.
Find winter comfort in a high-performance house. With a heat recovery ventilation system you can more-efficiently heat your home.
Super energy-efficient homeowner Sarah Lozanova answers some of the most common questions she has received from friends and family about her high-performance house.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
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.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares six recipes for homemade salad dressings, including favorites like Ranch, Caesar and Thousand Island.
Need to save money on Valentine’s Day gifts this year? Natural Home editorial assistant Susan Melgren shares six simple ideas for homemade gifts to give your sweetheart.
Did you know that lemons can cut grease, brighten laundry and whiten fingernails? Discover these and many more uses for lemons!
Making your own baby food not only saves you money but allows you control over what's in your baby's food. Get started—and find out just how easy it is—with these homemade baby food recipes.
Gather herbs for crafting herbal remedies with our expert help. We share basic guidelines for determining the appropriate time of year to harvest each part of a plant and teach you how to harvest herbs from gardens.
December 25th is right around the corner. If you’re looking for a last-minute gift this holiday season, make these Relaxing Sage and Lavender Bath Salts. This homemade gift is budget-friendly, is quick and easy to make and speaks from the heart.
Good for cleaning home and body, vinegar has many uses around the house, from cutting grease in the kitchen to softening hair and laundry.
Salt can soak up stains, clean pots and pans and exfoliate skin. Check out these and other uses for salt!
Whether you’re searching for unique gifts for loved ones or just need a little snow day entertainment, look no further than a bottle cutting kit. It may sound complicated, but a little patience and a steady hand are all it takes to master this useful art.
Despite what you may have heard, you don't need to suffer through extreme diets or complicated menus to burn calories. Boost your metabolism with these great tasting herbs that you may already have growing in your kitchen garden.
If you’re looking for a unique container gardening experience, look no further than growbottles from Potting Shed Creations. These self-watering planters are made in the USA from reclaimed restaurant wine bottles, and they’re as sustainable as they are stylish.
In the South we bring in the new year eating black-eyed peas. You should try my pie—it might even bring you luck wherever you live!
Red apples, orange carrots, green kale, purple eggplant—eating colorful foods is good for little growing bodies! A great way to get kids excited & interested in fruits and vegetables is to talk about it's connection to color!
If you’re looking for that perfect reusable bottle, check out ALEX. Not only is this water bottle BPA-free and made from premium grade 304 stainless steel, but it also twists apart in the middle, making clean-up a cinch.
Colorful Harvest is a specialty produce company out of California and have developed a delicious new corn, Ruby Jewel Sweet Red Corn. Guest blogger Ramona Werst created a risotto recipe using 'Spicy Globe' basil and Ruby Jewel Sweet Red Corn. You can replace the corn with a sweet corn and it will be a tasty dish.
Feeling claustrophobic? Before you start looking for more space, make the most of what you have by containing clutter, choosing the right furnishings and color schemes, and creating new "rooms" with dividers.
Want to be sure about what you're putting on your skin and hair? Save a little money and have a little fun mixing up these DIY beauty treatments. These natural home beauty remedies are made from basic household and kitchen ingredients!
Two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, our indoor air quality is worsening. Embrace these five healthful practices for cleaner air.
Good for cleaning home and body, baking soda has many uses, from absorbing odors to keeping hair shiny and carpet fresh.
As you combat dry facial skin this winter, consider using a moisturizing face mask, such as Kahina Antioxidant Mask, once a week to treat your skin to an extra dose of high-power hydration.
Take some pressure off resolutions season by choosing “world improvement” instead of just “self-improvement”. Add a green resolution to your list this year.
My home is going nearly 100 percent solar thanks to a local solar leasing program.
Add eco-friendly home décor to your space by displaying upcycled art such as vintage fabrics, old t-shirts, magazines and ephemera. Personalize your art with family memorabilia and a unique frame to make a one of a kind eco-friendly creation.
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.
Rescue old windows and recycle them into beautiful light fixtures.
Brighten whites with this bleach substitute.
Natural, eco-friendly cleaners are great for your family and for the planet. Try our formula for a natural, herbal all-purpose cleaner.
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
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.
Roux Maison Detergens are now available in Sweet Tea and Ambrosia.
Re-Nest's list of its favorite Etsy stores makes navigating the handmade goods shopping site easier to navigate.
Build a sustainable dog bed out of recycled T-shirts or newspapers. When placed in a revamped end table, it makes a nice piece of doggie furniture, too.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
Relieve ear infections with this at-home remedy. One young mother takes a crash course in using herbs for this common childhood complaint.
Go ahead, play outside. These tips will keep you from being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
Bee stings can cause pain and swelling. Treat your bee stings naturally with these home remedies.
A pillowcase and foam board are all you need for a simple, cheap and environmentally friendly way to organize notes and lists in this project.
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).
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.
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.
Guest blogger Faith Moser shares five laundry tips (including a homemade natural fabric softener) for cling- and chemical-free clothing.
Create the feeling that you are waking up underneath the trees with a headboard made of aspen branches.
Hammocks and High Tea designer and founder Karen Young describes the creative process and the steps it takes to create a sustainable home decor line.
Mystic Masala offers Ayurveda-based candles, soaps, and body products made from sustainable herbs and fair trade methods in Nepal.
Turn a window screen and picture frame into a perfect storage solution for delicate jewelry pieces.
Half a lemon and coarse salt is all you need to keep wood cutting boards looking their best.
Short on storage? Repurpose a door into a swinging shelf or basket storage system!
Guest blogger Stephanie Nickolson shares five of her favorite interior design products companies.
The signs of a carpet beetle or moth infestation can be as small as a few holes in a favorite shirt. These herbal repellents and preventative sachets will protect your favorite fabrics.
Guest blogger Kim Wallace finds four shades of turquoise for her living room accent wall from Olympic Paint and Stain’s “Colors of Inspiration” paint color swatch booklet, which is filled with 1,200 zero-VOC interior paint colors.
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.
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.
Decorating for the holidays does not have to be complicated. Use our recipes for cinnamon spice and gingerbread cookie ornaments to add simple beauty and fragrance to your home.
Use glass bottles or jars over light bulbs to create a beautiful chandelier.
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.
Patters and personality galore, Plover Organic’s organic cotton bedding and kitchen textiles add just the right amount of spice to your green home decor.
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.
Making your own natural cleaners is a smart option for savvy-savers.
Try our healthier alternatives to household cleaners with toxic ingredients.
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.
Combine a variety of teas, as well as non-tea ingredients such as spices, flowers, herbs, and dried fruits, to create personal signature tea blends that you can use both for sipping and for cooking.
Can't shake that cough? Clear whooping cough from your life with these natural home remedies for the treatment of whopping cough, also known as pertussis.
A Tulikivi soapstone fireplace and cook stove complement the off-grid lifestyle of a Montana man and his Earthship home.
Jessica reports about all the fun and wonderful information at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
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.
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
Cleaning floors can be a bummer. Brighten up with our two recipes for clean floor success. Learn how to turn old towels into eco-friendly cloth towels for your Swiffer and try our homemade floor cleaner recipe.
Handmade from start to finish, Michelle Prosek’s jazzy art glass adds an eco-modern element to any room. Find her unique glass art in her Etsy shop.
Look at your closet, and your shopping, in a whole new way. Repurpose items you already have, making a dress out of a shirt or a handbag out of men’s ties.
J Clay Pottery features all your favorite foodie items—mugs and plates to bowls and sake sets—in all-natural clay and nature-inspired colors.
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.
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.
If you are shopping for the holidays, consider dropping off a box of donations too. Recycling goods to be re-sold is just as important as recycling them into new materials.
Mike Benziger, founder and winemaker at Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California, answers five questions about his 2007 Signaterra Three Blocks Red.
Tired of looking tired? Try these home remedies for dark under-eye circles.
With all the wonderful products that walk across our desks here at Natural Home, here are a few that have stood out during the holiday season. Grab these last-minute gifts for your friends, family, or even yourself. And remember: Green is not just for the holidays. Any of these products would be great year round.
Jessica talks about her recent trip to the Washington D.C. Green Festival and other locations the Natural Home crew will be visiting this fall and winter.
Our Natural Home & Garden cover shoot process has evolved throughout the year. Read a behind-the-scenes take on our covers.
Reuse burnt-out lightbulbs to make this adorable, unique DIY holiday wreath.
Jessica gives an update on her townhouse greening: a recycling center, cardboard art, and upgraded lighting and bathroom fixtures.
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.
Recently, I discovered Thymes, a very girly company that sells paraben-free body care and home fragrance products. It was love at first sight.
Give your living space the smell of Christmas with these fragrant, inexpensive holiday decor ideas and disguise your artificial Christmas tree with homemade pine cone decorations.
Increase your time spent in nature with these easy ideas for creating indoor-outdoor living spaces.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to use more green products, check out Twist’s line of amazing sponges. Not only are they biodegradable, but they’re also free of dyes and made from all-natural, plant-based materials.
The upcoming Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, Mother Earth News Fair promises hundreds of presentations on sustainable, self-reliant living; dozens of animals on display; delicious food; and tons of fun.
Have a headache? Instead of reaching for that bottle of ibuprofen, try one of these natural remedies for headache relief: lavender, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, feverfew or willow bark.
Contributer Susan Belsinger shares her experience with severe eye irritation and a low-cost home herbal cure.
We aren't the only ones who suffer from seasonal allergies. Try a few of these methods to get your pets back to their energetic, playful selves.
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.
Springtime is here! Floral motifs in interiors are popular—and also a great reminder that the new season has arrived.
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.
Suffering from the pain of swimmer’s ear? Try one of these natural home remedies to treat your case of swimmer’s ear.
Turn a tree branch into an ideal storage solution for your jewelry.
Valued for centuries for its fragrance and flavor, cinnamon has a wide variety of medicinal uses. Studies have shown that cinnamon can be useful in lowering blood sugar levels for people with diabetes, fighting infections and treating stomach ailments.
Get creative with your Christmas tree! Save the forests, skip the plastic greenery and really go green this holiday with a different kind of tree.
Mike Benziger, founder and winemaker at Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California, answers five questions about his 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County.
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?
Instead of using synthetic scents, try this simple natural trick to make your home smell delicious.
Is your scalp littered with ugly white dandruff flakes? Skip the store-bought, chemical laden shampoos and treat your dandruff at home with these natural remedies.
Treat yourself to an at-home manicure with nontoxic nail polishes from Scotch Naturals, a company that creates more than 40 different nail polishes with their eco-friendly, water-based formula.
The skin around your eyes is the thinnest part of your skin, making it more susceptible to irritation. Beat looking tired with these natural remedies for puffy eyes.
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.
Commercial toothpastes and gels are not the only way to keep your mouth and teeth fresh and clean. Try these home remedies for healthy teeth and gums without the risky chemicals.
These home remedies repel ants safely without the use of chemicals or toxins.
Jessica explains how she achieved an entirely biodegradable wedding reception with bamboo disposable plates, biodegradable plastic cups and soy candles.
For a quick (and inexpensive) burst of color, nothing beats painting the walls. Here’s why it’s worthwhile to make the paint you use low-VOC.
Leave the over-the-counter medications at the store and ease your coughing with these natural remedies.
Natural beauty is as close as the kitchen. Check out these seven foods for skin—as well as some homemade beauty treatments you can make from them.
Get rid of canker sores faster by turning to homemade mouth rinses, probiotics and other natural home remedies for canker sores.