Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how hemp, a renewable resource, can aid in building zero-carbon homes.
Tradical Hempcrete, a concrete-like substance made from hemp and lime, is used in two Asheville, North Carolina, homes.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
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.
Will harvesting hemp aid in the American green collar jobs movement? Products made from hemp grown in Canada, China and Eastern Europe (where it’s legal) amounted to $300 million in annual retail sales in North America last year. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains hemp's appeal.
Homeschooling is coming to be considered a holistic approach to learning by families who want to take charge of their well-being and education.
Uruguay has authorized industrial hemp cultivation on an experimental basis. The South American country’s officials want to know how the crop responds to Uruguayan soil and its productive capacities before authorizing nationwide cultivation.
Celebrate hemp, one of Mother Nature's most useful plants, during Hemp History Week. This versatile, multi-purpose plant has a rich history in the United States. Unfortunately, it's now illegal to grow it here.
Oregon becomes the sixth state to make hemp legal to produce, trade and possess.
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.
Shortages and soaring cotton prices have prompted U.S. farmers to plant more cotton and less food. Hemp is much more versatile and less resource-intensive to grow. Unfortunately, outdated U.S. laws prohibit its production.
To protest the ban on hemp farming, six hemp activists symbolically planted hemp seeds on the lawn of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
Farmers in northern Michigan urge county officials to support hemp farming.
California’s Proposition 19, which would make it legal for adults to possess and grow marijuana, could also bring back industrial hemp, a multibillion dollar industry, to the United States.
CRAiLAR, a new fiber made from hemp stalks, could revolutionize the sustainable fabrics industry by bringing down the cost of organic textiles.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
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.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
Hemp can be made into a wide variety of products, including fashionable, functional clothing.
A new Facebook group, “I Want to Grow Hemp Like George Washington,” connects supporters of hemp reform and lets them share their views on hemp production in the United States.
Stackable chairs made from molded hemp represent a breakthrough in using the versatile, renewable fiber.
Marley Audio Electronics collection, which debuted last week, showcases premium, eco-conscious manufacturing and materials, including hemp.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A naturally absorbent fiber, hemp could help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
If the DEA can't tell the difference between hemp and marijuana plants, says a former Kentucky governor, how can it distinguish between powdered sugar and cocaine? Hempsters: Plant the Seed is a must-see movie that gives pro-hemp activists a voice.
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.
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.
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.
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 looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
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.
A new Environmental Protection Agency website helps homeowners and renters decrease their energy consumption and cut carbon emissions.
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 Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
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!
Navitas Naturals is adding Blueberry Hemp to their award-winning line of organic Navitas Power Snacks. Blueberry Hemp Navitas Power Snacks provide a diversity of the most nutrient-dense organic superfoods and organic seeds, fruits and nuts.
A bill that would make hemp production legal in California would create jobs and opportunities in the financially strapped state.
As scandalous as it once seemed to be, the Hemp Lip Protector at The Body Shop isn't that crazy
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 Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
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.
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).
Choose chemical-free organic bedding to start off the new year with healthy rest in a healthy bedroom.
Keep things sexy with all-natural, non-toxic ‘XTC Get Wet,’ the first personal lubricant of its kind.
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.
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!
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.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
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.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
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.
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.
Consider these environment-friendly tips when remodeling your home.
See how an energy-efficient house faired it’s first winter in Maine.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Follow along as architect Mark Miller takes his energy-efficient design skills to the next level with the Passive House standard.
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.
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.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.