free building materials
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
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.
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.
Superior Walls foundations systems are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations.
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will 'shake up the industry,' Healthy Building Network official predicts.
Tradical Hempcrete, a concrete-like substance made from hemp and lime, is used in two Asheville, North Carolina, homes.
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.
Freekeh Foods is a fun, delicious way to add more whole grains to your family's diet.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
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.
Organic Architect's Eric Corey Freed shows designers what green really means during Dining by Design, a charity event featuring tabletop installations in New York.
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.
LG Electronics unveiled a new energy-efficient bottom-freezer refrigerator at the Maison & Object living design exhibition in Paris. The product, which uses linear compressor technology to save energy, was named the best example of an eco-chic product at the exhibition.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she and her husband, John, are aiming for LEED Platinum-certification for their rural Tennessee farmhouse.
Guest blogger Heidi Cardenas commits to a 100 percent recycling program and discusses the good—and free—things that can come from that.
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.
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses built with reclaimed materials, as the first in her Throwback Thursdays series.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
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.
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.
Grow your own fresh supply of fragrant perennial flowers this year to scent your life and use as cut flowers, for crafts, and in natural personal care treatments.
Use this simple recipe to preserve fresh tomatoes as freezable stewed tomatoes.
Crispy Green Crispy Fruit are made from 100-percent freeze-dried fruit with no additives or preservatives and are full of delicious fresh fruit taste. FruitziO snacks combine the wholesomeness of fresh fruit with a pinch of cane sugar.
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
With 65 properties in Oregon and Washington, McMenamins historic hotels are a must-see if you’re traveling to the Portland area.
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated—and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
As summer dwindles down to a close, you may be left standing in your garden or kitchen thinking "Now what?" Preserve herbs with our expert tips: dry, freeze, pickle and pack them to continue enjoying your favorite herbs well into the winter.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
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.
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.
Try guest blogger Jennifer Robins coconut flour pancakes recipe for a breakfast treat that is gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free!
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
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.
Readers vote on which type of reclaimed material they'd be most interested in adding to their homes.
The Herb Channeler gets in gear to preserve the herbal harvest for the fall and winter months. Get ideas to freeze, dry and preserve your herbs as well as bring them indoors.
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.
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.
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.
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 visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
Keep warm with hand-knitted scarves, hats and hand warmers from Icebox Knitting’s two lines of products made from upcycled materials.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
Designer David Stark creates furniture and room accessories from discarded packing materials for West Elm’s newest store.
Consider the environment when choosing deck materials. Here’s a breakdown of your options.
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."
Tessemae’s All Natural announces the release of its line of gluten-free salad dressing and marinades.
Love the pumpkin spice latte? Then try this dairy-free, sugar-free pumpkin spice latte recipe that calls for real pumpkin—not just flavoring!
Guest blogger Faith Moser shares five laundry tips (including a homemade natural fabric softener) for cling- and chemical-free clothing.
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.
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.
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.
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
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.
Architect and land planner Helena van Vliet incorporates biophilic design principles into her renovated house to create a home connected to nature.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
Give your palate a break from heavy holiday food with this Crunchy Wild Rice Salad Recipe with Citrus Dressing from guest blogger Stephanie Meyer.
Ever wondered: what is amaranth? Learn the history of this ancient grain, plus put it to good use with a recipe for savory amaranth fritters.
At the Herb Companion we are passionate about the well being of humans and animals alike, and we think it is important that our readers are informed of the cruelties of animal testing in the cosmetics industry, the availiable alternatives, and ways to fight back.
For every purchase of one its PVC-, phthalate- and BPA-free bamboo toothbrushes, Smile Squared donates a toothbrush to a child in need.
PURE Glass Bottle is a new portable re-usable glass drinking bottle designed with SafeShell technology to make it shatter-resistant.
Gone Studio, a design company offering post-petroleum products for the home and office, launches Greensleeve, its 100-percent petroleum-free iPad case made with zero-energy manufacturing.
Fracking, buying American, GMOs and unplugging topped the green news this week.
Celebrate a technology-free Sabbath with a jug of organic wine, a loaf of homemade bread and handmade candles. Could you go 24 hours without your smartphone?
Guest blogger Faith Moser shares the pros and cons of using stevia as a sugar substitute.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace shares her newfound love for farm-fresh eggs after experiencing rich, nutritious eggs at DeLoach Vineyards in Santa Rosa, California.
These gluten-free snacks are ideal for a light breakfast or pre-workout snack.
Beat the heat with these mint-infused beverages.
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.
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
Getting into the garden for people with disabilities may require careful and creative planning and design to accomodate each person's unique physical needs. Providing safe access is important for physical well-being and enjoying gardening.
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
Pebbles, rocks and stones are beautiful, natural materials that add beauty and a very classic look to any style design.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
Revive a feeling of ritual at your dinner table by summoning the family with a dinner gong made of reclaimed materials.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
Decorating with materials that would otherwise be considered junk can bring pops of life and color to your home’s style. Check out these bottle cap crafts for a fun way to decorate with junk!
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson reviews First World Trash’s bags and purses made from recycled materials.
DuPont Building Innovations has achieved zero landfill status by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally.
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.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
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.
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
Spice up chilly nights with this meat-free reciepe chickpea and tomato curry, courtsey of Muir Glen.
Loaded with coconut, banana, carrot, cinnamon and zero refined sugar, this coconut banana carrot cake recipe will quickly become a family favorite.
Ever wondered: what is chia seed? Discover the history of this ancient grain, plus put it to good use with a lemon chia fresca recipe.
Ever wondered: what is millet? Discover the history of this ancient grain, plus put it to good use with a millet stir-fry recipe.
Ever wondered: what is sorghum? Learn the history of this ancient grain and put it to good use with this Curry Carrot Salad recipe.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz marries raspberries with dark chocolate to make these decadent cupcakes.
One Degree Organic Foods announces the launch of its sprouted, vegan cereal line featuring 100 percent traceable ingredients.
Pura Stainless, the global leader in innovative BPA-free stainless steel beverage bottles, announces the addition of a new line of silicone bottle sleeves to its Kiki product line.
In its ongoing search for sources of high-quality botanicals, the organic spice experts at Frontier Natural Products Co-op™ recently established a working partnership with tea growers in South Africa.
Unearthed Paints, a start-up paint company, aims to change the industry by offering biodegradable, vegan and 100 percent VOC-free paints with full disclosure of ingredients.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace bakes vegan, gluten-free shortbread cookies for Santa Claus
Healthy baby shopping begins with an investigation into nontoxic cribs. Check out these three solid wood options.
Soy-free, mushroom-based Quorn frozen products offer convenience without sacrificing a healthy diet.
BPA is a dangerous chemical found in canned foods and polycarbonate plastic. Avoid it by following these easy steps.
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.
Guest blogger Sonya Newenhouse tests the performance of her new Passive House by not turning on the heat—and enthusiastically reports that you can comfortably live furnace-free in Wisconsin in the winter.
Guest blogger Christine Wilson shares another snapshot of her new master bedroom's wall color, painted with VOC-free paint.
Guest blogger Christine Wilson reviews Olympic's Premum Paint line.
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.
In more shocking news about the honey on U.S. store shelves, a Food Safety News study analyzes more than 60 jars of honey and finds that nearly all of them have been ultra-filtered to disguise their potentially tainted and toxic origins.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson bakes her first gluten-free cake using Pamela’s Products baking mix.
Celiac disease affects more than 3 millions Americans, and yet there is no FDA regulation to monitor gluten-free foods. Discover how you can help fight for a FDA regulation.
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
DIY inspiration comes from the most unlikely places, even discarded materials we consider trash. These projects show you how versatile plastic bottles can be.
When seeking out natural flooring materials such as hardwood, bamboo, cork and natural stone for your home, consider the pros and cons of each option.
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.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
Campbell's Soup Company has announced it will start packaging its soups with BPA-free cans as soon as an alternative becomes available.
These home remedies repel ants safely without the use of chemicals or toxins.
Campbell’s Soup Company announces that will phase out use of the toxic chemical BPA from its soup can linings.
Based on a "Brownie Blind Taste Test" recently conducted, Dancing Deer's all-natural, baked-from-scratch brownies won the taste test battle by a wide margin.
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
Fight computer eyestrain with herbs and minerals that naturally improve vision and fight age-related macular degeneration.
Stand against animal testing with certified cruelty-free cosmetics and homemade lip balms and lotions.
One way to fight against animal cruelty in the cosmetics industry is to buy from certified cruelty-free companies. Another is to make your own products at home.
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
Forget butter and salt. These three homemade popcorn seasonings will blow guests away with just a little effort.
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.
Bookbinder Specialties recently added four new flavors to their line of gourmet, ready-to serve gluten-free soups packaged in resealable glass jars.
John Masters Organics Bare Unscented Lotion lightweight and fragrance-free formula makes it a must-have for those with sensitivities to fragrance.
Natural Home guest blogger Stephanie Small reveals the little food allergy that could mean big weight gain.
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz shares her tips for having a green Fourth of July with healthy food and a fun, waste-free atmosphere.
Get rid of canker sores faster by turning to homemade mouth rinses, probiotics and other natural home remedies for canker sores.
The launch of Oakley’s first pair of eco-friendly shades keeps Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson on her search for sustainable sunglasses.
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.
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.
John Masters Organics Shine On keeps your hair soft and shiny.
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.