Mother Earth Living

recycled building materials





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5/24/2011
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.
11/20/2013
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.
7/28/2011
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.
4/28/2011
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.
3/29/2011
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.
5/25/2011
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.
7/25/2011
Superior Walls foundations systems are resource efficient, using up to 70 percent less concrete in a new home than conventional foundations.
2/22/2011
EU's ban of five chemicals commonly used in building materials will 'shake up the industry,' Healthy Building Network official predicts.
1/11/2010
Tradical Hempcrete, a concrete-like substance made from hemp and lime, is used in two Asheville, North Carolina, homes.
2/16/2012
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
3/15/2011
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
3/27/2009
Designer David Stark creates furniture and room accessories from discarded packing materials for West Elm’s newest store.
6/28/2011
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.
4/29/2011
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.
11/15/2011
The shopping website Hipcycle offers beautiful upcycled products for your home and garden.
12/9/2009
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson reviews First World Trash’s bags and purses made from recycled materials.
4/11/2012
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
12/28/2009
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.
10/16/2009
DIY inspiration comes from the most unlikely places, even discarded materials we consider trash. These projects show you how versatile plastic bottles can be.
2/3/2010
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove explains why she and her husband, John, are aiming for LEED Platinum-certification for their rural Tennessee farmhouse.
5/15/2009
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.
10/13/2011
Jessica features Dan Phillips, Phoenix Commotion founder and builder of fascinating houses built with reclaimed materials, as the first in her Throwback Thursdays series.
1/26/2012
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
3/15/2012
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
2/6/2012
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
10/27/2009
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
1/15/2010
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.
1/20/2010
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove narrows down her choices of Energy Star-rated appliances for her LEED-certified home in Tennessee.
2/22/2010
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.
9/15/2009
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
7/10/2009
The launch of Oakley’s first pair of eco-friendly shades keeps Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson on her search for sustainable sunglasses.
3/2/2011
Washington, D.C., Nevada and New Mexico see the most LEED-certified green building per capita in 2010.
8/14/2013
With 65 properties in Oregon and Washington, McMenamins historic hotels are a must-see if you’re traveling to the Portland area.
4/5/2011
Treat your building professional as you would want to be treated—and more great advice from contractors and designers who have seen it all.
8/28/2009
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
12/27/2010
From West Africa to the Netherlands, furniture designers find oil drums an abundant, green material.
4/28/2010
Don’t have extra money to drop on expensive picture frames or fancy artwork? Editorial intern Amanda Thompson discusses simple ways to spruce up any room in your house at no cost.
7/1/2010
The U.S. Conference of Mayors endorses mandatory green building codes for all new commercial buildings nationwide.
1/7/2009
Robyn reflects on the past 10 years of Natural Home and the green building movement.
10/19/2011
Jessica revisits Maison Madeleine, a beautifully restored historic Southern French cottage.
5/8/2009
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.
1/14/2009
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace gives in to paper towels. Find out why.
6/22/2009
Find out what’s in your paper products with Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide.
6/5/2009
The Boulder, Colorado, green-building program will get a makeover for its second year.
1/19/2010
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.
12/7/2011
Readers vote on which type of reclaimed material they'd be most interested in adding to their homes.
2/13/2012
Cosentino announces the launch of its new ECO Countertop line of recycled countertops.
11/13/2012
Levi's jeans brand introduces its Waste>Less denim collection made from recycled bottles as the next chapter in its sustainable design initiative.
5/4/2010
Using recycled giftwrap as a table runner makes for an easy, inexpensive and eco-friendly DIY wedding decor project.
1/12/2011
The U.S. Green Building Council's Project of the Year is a small, urban home built for $100 per square foot.
3/15/2010
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.
6/6/2008
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.
8/3/2010
BuildingGreen.com founder and Environmental Building News editor Alex Wilson wins Hanley Award for Vision and Leadership in Sustainable Housing.
7/20/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
1/27/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
8/10/2009
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence visits Canada's only straw bale winery, Orofino Vineyards.
12/4/2012
Keep warm with hand-knitted scarves, hats and hand warmers from Icebox Knitting’s two lines of products made from upcycled materials.
10/27/2011
A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
2/27/2014
Consider the environment when choosing deck materials. Here’s a breakdown of your options.
11/19/2010
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.
6/29/2010
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins explains why the first step in green building should be "don't build."
6/23/2010
Green your oral hygiene routine with toothbrushes made from recycled yogurt containers by Preserve. Each toothbrush’s package doubles as a return envelope, so when you’re finished with the brush, mail it back to keep up the recycling process.
2/25/2009
Caroline Saul uses recycled plastic milk jugs as the main material in her weightless sculptures.
6/24/2010
Add a pop of color to a dull decorating scheme with these brightly colored recycled glass vases from Z Gallerie.
3/8/2011
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
3/21/2014
Try your hand at this DIY apron project made with recycled jeans.
4/20/2010
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.
6/29/2010
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
1/19/2011
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.
12/16/2010
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.
9/14/2010
The USGBC’s “50 for 50” green schools initiative aims to create a green schools caucus in every state legislature.
9/9/2010
Green builder Fred Koch explains his unique strategy for green building in southern California.
10/5/2010
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
5/30/2013
Architect and land planner Helena van Vliet incorporates biophilic design principles into her renovated house to create a home connected to nature.
10/14/2010
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
10/2/2009
Jessica searches for eco-friendly engagement and wedding rings and explores a variety of sustainable options, including conflict-free diamonds, recycled diamonds, recycled gold, recycled jewelry, alternative wedding rings, Canadian diamonds and cultured diamonds.
3/29/2012
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
5/3/2011
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.
1/31/2011
Pebbles, rocks and stones are beautiful, natural materials that add beauty and a very classic look to any style design. 
2/29/2012
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
1/10/2012
Revive a feeling of ritual at your dinner table by summoning the family with a dinner gong made of reclaimed materials.
1/17/2012
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
4/19/2012
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!
8/20/2010
Finding used art can brighten your garden without emptying your pocketbook.
11/18/2011
In the five months since its launch, Crush 100 percent recycled glass tile from Fireclay Tile has upcycled more than 55,000 pounds of glass from its local environment.
3/26/2012
Mountain Rose Herbs has debuted new sustainable tea packaging made from 100 percent recycled newspaper and compostable non-GMO plant cellulose.
10/10/2011
Future Foam recycles Nike Grind, salvaged scraps from old Nike Shoes, into StepAhead carpet cushion.
11/3/2011
Recycled holiday cards from Paperworks Studio are not just great for the planet—they provide jobs for people with disabilities.
2/2/2012
The new Gardener’s Hollow Leg Junior, a smaller version of the original Gardener’s Hollow Leg, makes picking dinner from the garden easy.
6/12/2008
Jessica gives an update on her townhouse greening: a recycling center, cardboard art, and upgraded lighting and bathroom fixtures.
3/14/2011
Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made from recycled cardboard and newspaper.
10/12/2009
Eco-friendly jewelry is in style. Check out these variations of green, fashionable jewelry: newspaper jewelry, recycled jewelry and instrument string jewelry.  
4/21/2011
In honor of Earth Day, the Cork Forest Conservation Alliance has teamed up with Anthropologie to create unique window display art made from recycled corks.
8/2/2012
After picking out colors and a design theme, guest blogger Erica Binns turns her attention to finding eco-friendly wedding invitations and stationery for her green wedding.
8/13/2009
Made from recycled glass and handcrafted in Pennsylvania, Plates with Purpose helps raise money and awareness for a wide variety of nonprofit partners.
7/2/2010
Jessica discusses the eco-profile of the soy candles, recycled glassware, recycled-content paper and vintage and handmade wedding decor.
3/11/2011
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.
6/2/2009
Natural Home editorial intern Susan Melgren shares several lines of eco-friendly bathing suits that won’t break your bank.
9/16/2009
This charitable foundation cleans up coasts, employs impoverished communities, turns discarded items into new products and uses the funds from sales to help alleviate environmental issues such as whaling and support social issues such as education, conservation and development initiatives in poor communities.
1/17/2012
DuPont Building Innovations has achieved zero landfill status by reducing, reusing and recycling manufacturing byproducts and waste at manufacturing sites globally.
5/17/2011
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.
8/10/2009
Natural Home editorial intern Kristin Standley examines the Sprouting Building of Montpellier and its living green facade.
12/17/2009
This is the first of a series of blogs about construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home on an organic farm in middle Tennessee.
9/17/2010
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green home.
4/7/2010
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.
12/8/2010
The U.S. Green Building Council singles out the Forest Stewardship Council as the only trusted wood certifier.
12/5/2012
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.
3/12/2012
These three great design blogs share inspiration to redecorate our homes on a budget—using rescued and reclaimed items.
6/24/2010
Jessica offers a sneak peek of her biodegradable wedding, which featured recycled glassware, handmade decor, recycled paper table runners, biodegradable plates and cups and soy candles.
6/2/2010
Natural Home editorial intern Samantha Schwartz finds eco-friendly, stylish sandals for the summer season.
12/21/2010
Recycled glass can make a stunning addition to your home. Discover recycled glass countertops, tiles and mosaics for your home.
8/9/2012
Guest blogger Erica Binns continues her search for eco-friendly stationery with a hunt for wedding thank-you notes and silk flowers for her green wedding.
3/17/2010
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.
11/3/2011
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
2/3/2010
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace picks out her favorite Linda and Harriet stationery to use as Valentine's Day cards.
3/26/2010
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.
6/18/2009
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson discusses Starbucks’ progress in making its coffee cups recyclable.


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