tips for small home living
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Americans are turning to smaller, affordable housing. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks into this trend.
This year readers were concerned about bedbugs and greenwashing, and everyone wants to know more about smaller homes.
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.
For part three of our 2010 Predictions series, the experts predict that consumers will demand—and create—healthier, more efficient homes. Cool by us.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Denise Franklin's 280-square-foot cabin in British Columbia provides everything she needs--and more.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
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!
For the first time, acclaimed Not So Big House author and architect brings quality-over-quality design to a residential development.
Guest blogger Sarah Lozanova talks about the advantages of downsizing to a small home as her family moves to Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage.
Guest blogger Jaci Kennison explores creative storage solutions to declutter her small space.
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.
Think your balcony's too tiny to provide food and fun? Check out Apartment Therapy's great tips for making the most of your outdoor space.
Hanging baskets on your walls helps to create storage and still offer decorative design in your home.
Got kitchen clutter? Turn a picture frame into a beautiful, useful storage solution.
Learn how to be happier at home with these simple living tips.
Keep your storage off the floor and decorate your home using birdcages.
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.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
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.
The Reincarnated McMansion Project aims to tear down one inefficient, climate-insensitive suburban house and replace it with two small, green, handcrafted homes.
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.
Learn more about our new (and free!) Guide to Homemade Household Cleaners resource app. Make your own natural cleaners with this easy guide.
We can learn a lot from the Amish, who have passed down wisdom on living simply and celebrating community for generations.
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.
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.
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.
Short on storage? Repurpose a door into a swinging shelf or basket storage system!
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.
One Iowa city used herbs as a way to de-ice their dangerous roads.
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.
Learn how to make flavored vinegar with tasy herbal, spice, fruit and vegetable combinations.
One Herb Companion intern shares her New Year's commitment to improved health habits with food, activities and herbs.
Start living simple with help from our January/February 2014 issue. From learning to crochet to making your own compost, we have the tools you need to live the good life.
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?
Turn a tree branch into an ideal storage solution for your jewelry.
Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace chats with HGTV green building expert Carter Oosterhouse about simple ways to green your 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.
A graduate student experiences the comfort and efficiency of a superinsulated, passive solar home in Taos.
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.
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.
Share your favorite fantastic natural beauty tips and DIY treatments with Natural Home magazine. The best tips win a prize!
A new study found that, obese or not, the number of years you live depends on your lifestyle.
A new report by the Environmental Working Group urges people to eat less meat and cheese to help reduce greenhouse gases.
Whether you should take stairs or the elevator is a daily question. So if you think you don't have time to take the stairs, think again. Research shows that taking the stairs saves time in the day.
Protect yourself from illness and help your immune system stay in top form.
If you're looking for an indoor garden that keeps animals away and requires little space, the Woolly Pocket is right for you!
Terrariums are easy to make and a great way to incorporate nature into any room.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
One guest blogger recently discovered that you can make homemade terrariums from everyday household items already hanging around the house. Check it out now.
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.
Could you have an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, or orthorexia? Learn the differences between normal and harmful behaviors around food and weight.
Following a diet out of a book means you're just adhering to a set of externally imposed rules. Learn how to listen to your body for direction on what nourishes you.
Natural Home guest blogger Stephanie Small reveals the little food allergy that could mean big weight gain.
Bathing suit season approaches! Guest blogger Stephanie Small goes beyond the standard "portion-control-and-exercise" weight loss tips to bring you the top five truths you must know in order to drop the pounds. Look for one new tip on each Monday in May.
Create a homemade sachet to add fresh fragrance in your home every time you vacuum.
Children’s lunches aren’t kept cool enough before lunch, leading to the possibility of food-borne illnesses.
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.
Discover 10 natural remedies for allergies from author Michelle Schoffro Cook to make the spring allergy season more tolerable.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
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.
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.
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.
I'm sitting on the deck of my room at the Northern Queen Inn in Nevada City, California, on a gorgeous spring day.
Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence introduces her new blog, Natural Home Living, and shares everything you need to know about going green. Natural Home Living focuses on answering your green home questions, following green building news and showing you how to save money by going green.
I’ve heard that the moment you plunk down a deposit for a vacation or buy yourself a plane ticket, a good chunk of you is already at the beach (or the mountains or the city . . . or wherever).
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.
Create a happy and healthy home with these helpful tips.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Stephanie Small reveals the similarities between Sumo wrestlers' diets and Americans' diets.
Bathing suit season approaches! Stephanie goes beyond the standard "portion-control-and-exercise" weight loss tips to bring you the top five truths you must know in order to drop the pounds. Look for one new tip on each Monday in May.
Clayton Homes’ first green prefab home project, i-house, will feature a plethora of green technologies and innovative designs.
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.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
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.
Relieve ear infections with this at-home remedy. One young mother takes a crash course in using herbs for this common childhood complaint.
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.
Guest blogger Faith Moser shares five laundry tips (including a homemade natural fabric softener) for cling- and chemical-free clothing.
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.
Try our healthier alternatives to household cleaners with toxic ingredients.
Brighten whites with this bleach substitute.
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.
Natural, eco-friendly cleaners are great for your family and for the planet. Try our formula for a natural, herbal all-purpose cleaner.
Making your own natural cleaners is a smart option for savvy-savers.
Half a lemon and coarse salt is all you need to keep wood cutting boards looking their best.
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.
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 Elizabeth Richardson considers quality over quantity, slow homes and creating something beautiful.
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.
Instead of flowers, give a homemade token of your friendship and support.
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.
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.
These home remedies repel ants safely without the use of chemicals or toxins.
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.
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.
It's easy to make your own air freshener spray. You'll avoid chemicals and delight in the fresh smell.
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.
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.
Outdoor kitchens, dining areas and living rooms are a great way to expand your home's living space. Designers offer advice on how to make the most of the great outdoors—in your own backyard.
Grow a balcony herb garden to reap the many benefits of herbs while living in the city.
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 inspiration to anyone wanting to build their own home from salvaged materials.
Deconstruction, breaking down houses bit-by-bit, is a great way to find free building materials to build small low-cost homes.
The U.S. Green Building Council recognizes the top projects, developers and home builders participating in its LEED program for 2011.
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 shares her plans for Blackbird Studio, a 333-square-foot she plans to build.
The Living Building Challenge provides builders with information and a forum for sharing advice in an effort to promote the highest building standards.
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.
Here are three great reasons that hemp cultivation should be legal in the United States: food, health and shelter.
Location near public transportation and walkability are as important as green materials and design in creating a green home, study finds.
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.
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!
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence looks forward to good, green building news for 2009.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how 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 describes moving into the first NewenHouse and conducting the final duct blaster test and balancing the HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation Unit).
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson shares how she built her home's front porch from salvaged wood—and how she finds beauty in flawed materials.
Making tinctures at home may sound intimidating, but it is as simple as following a simple recipe from a cookbook.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
After a wildfire destroyed their off-the-grid compound in Colorado, Betty and Rolland rebuilt—better than before—following Rolland’s creed: no plywood, no plastic and nothing that smells bad when it burns. The wildlife around their home approve.
Start living healthy with our tips for getting well and staying well.
Make your home feel like new again with these five home improvement ideas that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
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.
Simple salad dressings provide bursts of herbal flavor to your salad greens.
Who needs to make a trip to the grocery store when you can make these tasty cheesy crackers at home?
Simple rosemary mayonnaise makes an exceptional sandwich spread.
Matt divulges into his New Year's resolution of using greener cleaners and more natural cleaning methods.
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.
Do you eat like you spend? Similarities may exist between your relationship to food and your relationship to money. Learn to identify your patterns so you can heal them.
Create growing space for a small space garden with pocket gardens for posts, chairs, walls and doors.
Southwest Windpower launches a program to sells its Skystream 3.7 personal wind turbines at select Home Depot stores.
The Herb Companion is partnering with Poppy Swap, a new online herbal marketplace, to bring you a free herbal product of your choice.
Try this fun garden-layout idea for your medicinal herbs this spring.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
Green Builder Media’s Vision and ReVision Houses highlight energy efficiency, water conservation, waste management, indoor air quality and great new green materials.
Maintaining indoor air quality is important in a healthy home, but poor craftsmanship can lead to water damage and eventually mold issues.
Sonya Newenhouse describes how she uses the southern-facing 17-inch-deep windowsills of her Passive House-certified home to grow seedlings.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
Is your patio short on space? Check out the Hot Pot BBQ, a grill that doubles as an herb planter.
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
Every once in a while we need to rebel against the machines. Hand a towel to your significant other and ask him to dry while you rinse. Sweep the floor with a real broomcorn broom. Have a real conversation. Enjoy things happening slowly.
A quiet life filled with appreciation for simple things is the richest life possible.
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.
Going to be in the Seattle area the first weekend in June? Then join us at the Mother Earth News Fair, a fun, family-friend event focused on sustainability.
Container water gardens are easy to design and maintain, making them a perfect low-cost accessory to your outdoor living spaces. Learn how to make a container water garden!
Plant a patio garden, get a more efficient TV and change your light bulbs, suggests eco-designer Sabrina Soto.
With no building experience but a lot of determination, Gary Zuker built an 800-square-foot straw-clay home on the shores of Lake Travis in Texas--for $40,000.
If you're hoping to grow some of your own food but are short on space, use these three tips for small-space gardening success in containers, on your patio, balcony or roof.
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!
Guest blogger Kim Wallace shares a simple recipe for homemade holiday sangria.
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.
My grandmother taught me everything I need to know about keeping my house clean—without chemicals.
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.
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.
Jessica shares her sustainable wedding food find after locating eco-minded caterers in the Kansas City area.
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.
Keep your family healthy by paying close attention to your home's 10 germiest places.
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.
Try these natural deodorant alternatives to eliminate body odor without the potential toxins of many commercial products.
Don't throw away that leftover loaf of bread! Use it to make homemade breadcrumbs and croutons. Waste not, want not!
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.
Managing editor Jessica Kellner discussed her early house hunting experience and her hopes to do green remodeling.
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.
This tiny kit home—less than 90 square feet—is energy-independent and so well-designed that you'd never miss the space.
This 433-square-foot floating home on the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, feels spacious and airy on the inside.
A lookout tower home featuring reclaimed materials connects its homeowner with her past, present and future.
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.
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.
Matt divulges into who really wins in the end when McDonalds' stock is up and the stock market is down.
DiggersList, city-by-city home improvement classifieds, has expanded its website to bring its services to homeowners and contractors across the country.
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.
Alchemy Architects builds its first weeZero, or net-zero weeHouse, in the desert near Moab, Utah.
The miniHome by Sustain Design Studio puts a modern twist on traditional trailer design.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Richardson offers advice on how to incorporate reclaimed materials into home design without the end result looking like "junk."
Elizabeth Richardson lays out her plan for building her own salvaged home.
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.
Kids and veggies don’t mix, right? Guest blogger Stephanie Small doesn't buy it. Re-learn a few tried-and-true tips to help your children actually enjoy their vegetables.
New research is suggesting that a mere single serving of fatty food per day could have major health implications in the long run.
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
Luna Lodge, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, relies on hydro power.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
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.
Landscape designer Alma Hecht turned a tiny house into a welcoming home and studio with cozy outdoor 'rooms' that extend her living space.
Happy New Year! This year I’m happily going to my friends’ house to ring it in. If you’re hosting the New Year’s Eve party this year, start 2010 out right by keeping it green.
A wonderful, whimsical Austin eco-remodel is the playful expression of two highly creative minds.
Every good home needs a porch. From fireside chats to sleeping—and even hanging laundry—porches can accommodate every aspect of our lives. Here are five inspiring examples to put a fire under your porch-sitting fantasies.
A survey finds that 53 percent of Americans plan to make a green New Year’s resolution in 2010.
Sustainable furniture is made from nontoxic, renewable resources and is a smart choice for reducing environmental impact.
Learn more about our new (and free!) Guide to Herbal Remedies resource app. This guide makes herbal health simple by breaking down 20 herbs you should know and 20 health concerns you probably want to know more about.
Herbs and cheese go great together in the kitchen and offer an array of flavor. Try our recipes.
There is nothing better for building community than gathering your friends and neighbors for a soup party. Here are five ideas to help you plan yours.
Get inspired with these 10 New Year’s Resolutions you can make to help yourself, humanity, and the planet.
Learn more about our new Guide to Healing Herbs resource app. This digital issue contains comprehensive information about growing, cooking and, best of all, healing with herbs in a handy mobile format.
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.
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.
Home design apps for smart phones and iPads make visualizing your dream home even easier.
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.
International eco-artist David Trubridge designs furniture, lighting and home accessories that are not only aesthetically beautiful, but also environmentally responsible.
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.
Hemp can be made into a wide variety of products, including fashionable, functional clothing.
The Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies offers scientific backing to herbal and natural medicine.
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.
Natural Home chose bamboo for its kitchenware line because it's both sustainable and beautiful.
Clutter taking over? Organize your kitchen with these decluttering tips and storage solutions.
Beer brewed with herbs is a tasty alternative to traditional malts and hops.
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.
Swap out your bottled ranch dressing for this easy and nutritious recipe!
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.
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.
Sacred Seed Bread delivers the healing power of medicinal seeds in a delicious, homemade loaf.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
Guest blogger Erica Binns travels to Mood Designer Fabrics to find fabric for her homemade wedding dress.
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.
Save money and win your sweetie's heart with a beautifully set table and handmade candy hearts this Valentine's Day.
With just three ingredients and two simple steps, you can clear away germs and freshen your home's air to welcome spring.
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.
Janeen Solberg developed these homemade cleaner recipes more than 10 years ago and still uses them today.
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!
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.
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.
Find itching relief in nature. Narrow-leaved plantain is a common garden weed and also, ironically, a gardener’s best friend.
These homemade orange ornaments will add bright colors and a citrusy aroma to your tree this year.
Looking for the perfect gesture of appreciation this weekend? Try these homemade Mother's Day gift ideas.
This DIY washing powder is simple to make, costs just pennies and smells heavenly.
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.
Replace the sugary, salty store-bought version with this wholesome Homemade Chewy Granola Bars recipe.
Light up your Valentine's Day with all natural, herbal homemade candles.
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.
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.
PRIMAVERA organic airsprays naturally scent your home using essential oils.
This is the first of a series of blogs about construction of a LEED Platinum-certified home on an organic farm in middle Tennessee.
From perpetually sunny Orange Country, California, Humble sells extremely eco-conscious home décor accessories featuring designs that will remind you of summer’s past.
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.
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.
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.
Learning a few tips and tricks for cooking inexpensive cuts of meat can help you save grocery dollars on high-quality pastured, grass-fed and free-range meats.
Enjoy your herbs throughout the winter months with these different drying techniques.
Ken Ruck wants to build a fully self-sustaining earthship on New York's Lower East Side.
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson builds an end table out of a salvaged window frame and four legs.
Transforming Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson’s space started with an empty living room, and now it slowly resembles a livable space with seating. After buying a used love seat and ottoman, she recovers both so they match the room’s theme.
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson packs up her natural space and moves to a new apartment.
The Yube modular furniture system makes organizing simple and stylish for every room in the home.
Turn terra cotta planter pots into candle holders. This super simple project is an inexpensive way to bring a little romance to your garden.
Vintage tins add decorative accents to your home while also providing storage.
Ditch the toxins in conventional laundry products. Keep your clothes clean with the best natural laundry detergent!
An easy description of making your own baby food from scratch. Create nutritional options for your baby and safe money!
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.
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.
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!
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.
Make a nutritionally rich face mask and a tropical exfoliator to take advantage of all the health benefits of the avocado.
Follow these recipes for using essential oils and a few simple ingredients to make your own chemical-free cleaning products.
Leave your lips feeling luscious and quenched with this simple recipe for homemade lip balm.
Clear your home's air naturally for better health and well being.
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.
Stand against animal testing with certified cruelty-free cosmetics and homemade lip balms and lotions.
Architect and Passive House consultant Mark Miller continues his introduction to the Passive House standard.
Try these pumpkin candleholders and tell us about your favorite pumpkin decorations.
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.
My Mobilegro invention is much more than the next new innovative home gardening product to hit the market.
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.
Made from Tagua, Habitus tiles are natural sustainable and suitable for floors or walls.
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.
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
Two new federal programs, the Home Energy Scoring program and the PowerSaver program, make it easier for homeowners to save energy.
The first Tiny House Conference will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 16.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Jaci Kennison takes time out this holiday season to honor and appreciate the planet.
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.
Put your money where your principals are—supporting eco-conscious living projects. Invest in green companies to make a greater impact on our environment.
Make your own tiki torch and fend off mosquitoes at the same time.
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.
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 Victoria Klein reviews certified-organic fabrics from Harmony Art.
Natural Home guest blogger Victoria Klein reviews green home decor from MIO.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natural Home bamboo kitchen tools are made without formaldehyde or other harmful additives, through a process that eliminates waste.
Today's a great day to follow our tips for creating a home office that's easy on you and light on the planet.
Jessica offers her top tips for shopping for used and antique home furnishings.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
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.
Ditch the sponge and the harsh chemical cleaners for this natural bathroom and kitchen multipurpose scrubbing cleaner.
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.
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.
These three great design blogs share inspiration to redecorate our homes on a budget—using rescued and reclaimed items.
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 guest blogger Rebecca Selove picks natural, native sandstone to use in her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse that she is building to LEED Platinum standards.
Whether you don't have the space for outdoor composting or you just want to get to work on your gardening preparations as soon as possible, this indoor composting method is a simple way to start.
Learn how to be health conscious when your candy cravings start this Halloween.
I've never thought of myself one to carry on the family tradition of farming - but now that I have the opportunity to raise chickens within city limits, I am going to give it a shot! Read about how I'm getting started in urban chicken farming. And please, send me suggestions!
Listen to these tunes to get you through tilling or motivate you to grow tomatoes.
Elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremony had become the norm in 16th century Japan when Sen no Rikyu proved that simplicity is ultimately more luxurious with his rustic, minimalist Tea ceremony--which endures to this day.
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson is attending the Business Alliance of Local Living Economies and reporting on rural economic development strategies.
The Mother Earth Living editors pick their top five favorite natural lip balms.
Make 2010 your healthiest year yet. Natural Home assistant editor Kim Wallace shares her five green beauty resolutions for a naturally beautiful new year!
Natural Home editorial intern Stephanie Nelson creates a planter table to hold her everyday items and incorporates plants into the design.
Stephanie tackles moving and furnishing an empty house by picking salvaged, hand-crafted or environmentally friendly pieces.
These six great natural and organic chocolate bars will satisfy your sweet tooth while paying mind to the earth.
Give your locks the love they deserve with these five best natural shampoos, handpicked by the Mother Earth Living editors.
Guest blogger KyLynn Hull shares six recipes for homemade salad dressings, including favorites like Ranch, Caesar and Thousand Island.
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.
Your simply imperfect arsenal for getting the whole house clean--naturally.
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!
Salt can soak up stains, clean pots and pans and exfoliate skin. Check out these and other uses for salt!
Good for cleaning home and body, vinegar has many uses around the house, from cutting grease in the kitchen to softening hair and laundry.
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.
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.
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!
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 recounts the unexpected expenses she faced while building her sustainable Tennessee farmhouse. Selove is building her green dream home to LEED Platinum standards.
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.
You'll be happy with thyme (Thymus vulgaris) in your flower or herb garden border. It's an easy-to-grow herb to use for cooking and herbal remedies.
This month, Scarlet Faith shares why growing a lemon tree from a saved seed of a bought lemon is a great winter project.
Cinnamon is full of health benefits. It protects from health problems such as infections, heart disease, migraines and arthritis, and it even helps boost your brain function.
Your fresh cut flowers will last longer if you give natural preservatives a try.
Whether you want it for tea or some other project, handling stinging nettle during harvesting does not have to be painful.
Orchids are some of the most beautiful flowers—they're safe around house pets, they come in a multitude of colors and shapes and ... they're edible?! Read more.
If you're growing cilantro plants, sow the seed directly in your garden to use in various dishes.
I know an awful lot about plants. I know precious little about cooking. Could the old adage be true? Does any good relationship have a gardener and a chef?
Readers share which herbs they can't wait to plant come springtime.
There is a beauty in discovering the lost art of keying wild plants. Learn more about this practice.
The best tips for natural pet-care from The Herb Companion's latest E-Book "Natural Pet Care."
Heat illnesses are serious business, but they are also easily preventable. Read on to learn more.
Blogging about beginner gardening.
Discover magazine (one of my non Herb Companion faves) features a magnified (by a scanning electron microscope) image of a strawberry (Fragaria spp.). Check it out it's really cool. The make up of the fruit is clearly visible, with the seeds looking like boulders
This spring, I am dreaming of delicious, beefy summer tomatoes. So I planted some; they're taking over my kitchen as we speak. I love fresh, homegrown tomatoes. And I just can't find delicious tomatoes in stores; even the local, organic market. Not to mention, I'm sick of paying for them! In fact, I'm tired of buying
Looking for eight ways to jump start your holidays? Try these tips and treats from The Herb Companion.
Have you ever wondered how much saffron you should use in a recipe. We have the answer.
Fresh lilacs are just one of many edible flowers you can enjoy this spring.
One restaurant owner in Chicago relies on local farms for outstanding in-season herbs and other produce.
For a refreshing change, toss together a salad made with fresh herbs instead of lettuce.
Sunflower seeds have been found at several archaeological sites in the United States. Discover the many uses of this ancient plant.
Cleaning can be calming, but nauseous-smelling products aren't as lovely as using herbs or "green" alternatives. Learn more about herbal cleaning.
Natural herbs and supplements such as blackcurrant and ginseng can give your athletic performance a boost.
Readers share what they are doing with their herbs until spring arrives.
Heartburn affects 44 percent of the population, and experts warn that serious side effects are more serious than we consider – potentially cancer. Learn about some treatments from experts that aren’t so tough to swallow.
Deer proof your garden with these 5 helpful tips.
Ever wonder what herbs fare well in Minnesota? So did one of our readers! Learn the best ways to grow and store garlic along with other cold climate information.
Don’t hold your breath - stop hiccups the herbal way.
Mike Benziger, founder and winemaker at Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California, answers five questions about his 2007 Signaterra Three Blocks Red.
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.
Roux Maison Detergens are now available in Sweet Tea and Ambrosia.
A Tulikivi soapstone fireplace and cook stove complement the off-grid lifestyle of a Montana man and his Earthship home.
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.
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 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.
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.
Re-Nest's list of its favorite Etsy stores makes navigating the handmade goods shopping site easier to navigate.
Jessica gives an update on her townhouse greening: a recycling center, cardboard art, and upgraded lighting and bathroom fixtures.
Jessica reports about all the fun and wonderful information at the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup, Washington.
Natural Home guest blogger Rebecca Selove shares the lessons she learned building her now completed green 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Go ahead, play outside. These tips will keep you from being eaten alive by mosquitoes.
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.
Rescue old windows and recycle them into beautiful light fixtures.
Create the feeling that you are waking up underneath the trees with a headboard made of aspen branches.
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.
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.
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.
Mystic Masala offers Ayurveda-based candles, soaps, and body products made from sustainable herbs and fair trade methods in Nepal.
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.
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.
Guest blogger Stephanie Nickolson shares five of her favorite interior design products companies.
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).
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.
Myriah Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, the design duo behind Nightwood, deconstruct abandoned furniture pieces and then reconstruct them into folksy-modern works of art.
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.
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.
Turn a window screen and picture frame into a perfect storage solution for delicate jewelry pieces.
Tired of looking tired? Try these home remedies for dark under-eye circles.
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.
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
Follow these tips to banish clutter and increase your efficiency, from your home office to your garage.
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.
My home is going nearly 100 percent solar thanks to a local solar leasing program.
Use glass bottles or jars over light bulbs to create a beautiful chandelier.
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.
Recently, I discovered Thymes, a very girly company that sells paraben-free body care and home fragrance products. It was love at first sight.
Bee stings can cause pain and swelling. Treat your bee stings naturally with these home remedies.
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.
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 favorite fast food during the hectic holidays? Bread and soup. In the time it would take to get drive-thru on the way home, you'll be sitting down to a bowl of bliss that will warm your heart and soul.
If you are new to cooking with herbs, try adding flavor to your meals with these six culinary herbs.
One rookie gardener battles seasonal temperature fluctuations and too much rain in the quest to grow the perfect tomato—and realizes she isn’t alone.
Learn how to catch more fish using star anise essential oil. Blogger Dawn Robnett explains why Illicium verum oil with keep the fish nibbling all day.
Strengthen your immune system now with herbs for improved vitality and protection from stress and winter illness.
New research suggests that a healthy diet has no room for diet soda.
This scrumptious, all-natural recipe gives you a healthy option your taste buds will love.
Sip on cherry juice; sleep soundly. Sleeping soundly through the night could be as easy as sipping on some cherry juice.
Keep your lavender thriving with our helpful growing tips.
Keep your mint alive. Check out our growing tips for dying herbs.
Save time, money and backache with a few of these tips from the first leg of my series on outdoor gardening’s easy do's and don’ts.
There are many ways to use parsley in your home. Enter for a chance to win parsley seed packets.
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.
Good for cleaning home and body, baking soda has many uses, from absorbing odors to keeping hair shiny and carpet fresh.
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.
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.
Mike Benziger, founder and winemaker at Benziger Family Winery in Glen Ellen, California, answers five questions about his 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County.
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.
Contributer Susan Belsinger shares her experience with severe eye irritation and a low-cost home herbal cure.
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.
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.
Springtime is here! Floral motifs in interiors are popular—and also a great reminder that the new season has arrived.
Artist Boris Bally’s edgy, street-smart furniture is made from recycled street signs.
There’s plenty you can do to protect yourself—inside your home and out—from the potential risks of electromagnetic fields and radiofrequency radiation.
Instead of using synthetic scents, try this simple natural trick to make your home smell delicious.
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.
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.
Suffering from the pain of swimmer’s ear? Try one of these natural home remedies to treat your case of swimmer’s ear.
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.
When lettuce is finished in your garden, sow chard seed for fresh greens all summer. Enter for a chance to win chard seed packets.
When I bake cookies, they look like pancakes. I need to adjust the recipe for a higher altitude, but I’m not sure how. I need your help!
A Mexican restaurant shares the secrets of chili rellenos ''stuffed chillis'' without the long wait.
Buying the right produce, using the best cookware and storing leftovers properly will result in a safe and delicious meal for your family and friends.
Believe it or not, terrariums are coming back into style. Learn how to make your own terrarium with these easy steps.
This inconspicuous-seeming herb is well traveled and renounded for its medicinal properties throughout the majority of the world. Learn how it grows and what famed herbalists have said about it.
It is time, however, to start cleaning up garden beds and preparing for new plants in the garden. If, like me, you've allowed that pesky Coastal Bermuda to invade your beds, now is the time to dig it out. Learn more.
The best herbs for fall, and the most commonly grown, are cilantro, dill, arugula and chervil, along with the edible flowers of calendula, violets and nasturtiums
Grow your own beautiful houseplants from citrus seeds. Growing citrus trees from seed is easy, fun and, best of all, free.
This spring, guest blogger Patsy Bell Hobson is expanding her lavender collection to extend the bloom period with different varieties.
I recently stumbled upon this great gardening tip. This project is an environmentally fun way to plant herbs.
Like herbs, evergreen trees have a powerful fragrance, some even with medicinal properties, and with a few simple steps, you can find the perfect tree to keep safe from fire and fresh throughout the holidays.
Check out these few easy steps you need to know to start this innovative, non-traditional method to grow organic herbs at home.
Entertain your feline friends with a homemade catnip toy.
Rue is an interesting addition to the flower garden, a useful herb, and an attractive houseplant. You won’t regret growing rue.
Go green this winter to prepare for your spring garden. You can easily create a beautiful garden by reusing normal household items.
Got some mint? Try some of these easy-to-make recipes for smooth, rich, dark chocolate mint truffles and candied mint leaves. You'll never wonder what to do with mint again.
Desperately waiting for the arrival of spring? Have patience! Using container herbs will help keep your spirits up during this long winter.
Discover how herb gardens were used in ancient Greece.
Walking can provide you with countless health benefits, and it's fun too!
Use fresh tarragon as the main ingredient in vinegars, salad dressings, and rotisserie herbed chicken recipes to extend its harvest.
Use herbs as a homemade remedy for annoying bad breath.
Ten percent of Americans opt out of their morning meals. Find out why chowing down may be the better option.
Get all the information about how to protect yourself from the latest listeria outbreak.
Kids who chew gum at school perform better on standardized tests, new research suggests.
Cargill has announced one of the largest meat recalls in history. Learn if you are at risk.
A study found that soy supplements are not helpful for increasing bone mineral density or treating symptoms of menopause.
Human cases of Swine Influenza, otherwise known as swine flu, may be emerging in the United States. Learn how you can take control of your health with these facts and tips on washing your hands.
Rosemary is an aromatic perennial herb native to the Mediterranean that has many uses. This guest blogger loves to use it as a hair rinse. Learn more.
Soapwort has an array of health benefits. You can grow this herb in your garden and the leafy branches can be used to wash your hair, give your dog a bath or wash laundry.
There are both benefits and risks to drinking milk substitutes instead of cow’s milk.
Add valerian to your herb garden or to a wet area of your landscape to grow your own natural sleep and relaxation aid.
As grocery prices rise, now more than ever we need tools to save money. These websites help you get organized and give you the tools you need to buy the best—for less.
Which herbs will help keep you energized, focused and possibly in shape? One Herb Companion staffer looks for the answers.
Ratatouille is a delicious way to preserve a lot of garden produce fast. Also, comment to win a French thyme seed packet.
Capsaicin heats up your mouth and your endorphins, so try out a homemade hot sauce recipe.
There are a lot of leftovers the day after Thanksgiving. Check out the Lemon Verbena Lady's favorite recipe for turkey leftovers.
If you’re out of eggs, don’t fret – use flax.
Make herbal salves and lip balms, condition leather, polish metal and create stunning works of art with beeswax.
If you're having trouble falling asleep, try these herbal solutions for insomnia.
A new study shows how freshly cut garlic can help protect your heart. Learn more.
Chaste tree is not just for maidens; find out how its medicinal properties can alleviate many gynecological woes.
Learn to protect yourself so you don't become one of the reported swine flu cases.
Use these beauty recipes to prevent the summer weather from getting to your skin and hair.
Relieve stressed feet with this easy, do-it-yourself foot treatment.
Many air fresheners can emit toxic chemicals; however, potted chrysanthemums are natural and safe deodorizers.
Learn four ways you can enjoy herbs in your daily life.
Learn how to make your own delicious herb-infused honey from the book The Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook (Quarry Books, 2009) by Kim Flottum.
The growing incidence of obesity worldwide leaves individuals vulnerable to other chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes.
Here are some herbal remedies that have specific healing properties for dealing with overcoming sorrow, anger and depression.
Follow these tips for using essential oils to make your own organic perfumes.
The Hawaiian summer sun is relentless and can leave you with achy sunburns. Fortunately aloe vera naturally soothes burns and leaves your skin feeling soft.
Honeybees are the best of friends for blooming fruit trees flowers, and herbs, such as apricot, cherry, members of the daisy family, lavender, oregano and sage. We’ve known that bees
I love seeding. It's just amazing to me how a little seed pushes itself through the soil and reaches for the sun. Just add water! Read more about thyme seedlings in Texas.
Ladybugs are a simple, cheap and effective means of destroying an aphid infestation that just won't go away.
Thyme is a very useful and decorative herb in the garden and in the kitchen.
Eating local doesn’t have to be limiting or expensive. Learn how to eat local using tips from the book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Lemon Verbena Lady has many herbal favorites in the herb garden. The sages were particularly beautiful this season. See some of her favorite salvias and try a recipe for your holiday dinners using the sage that is popular for Thanksgiving.
Medicines and extracted herbs can be disgusting, even diluted in water. Luckily, there's a trick for those of us who don't want to grimace every time we try and do something healthy for our bodies! Read more ...
Starting a worm composting system from your kitchen scraps is easy – and what better time to discover the disturbing art, than the Halloween season? Read what you can do with 8,000 red wigglers …
Ever had trouble growing rosemary outdoors, or getting it to survive past winter? Want to learn everything you need to know about growing gardenias? Find answers to the toughest questions and watch your plants return next spring with these simple steps.
One reader asked us to help her diagnose some brown spots she noticed on her basil plant's leaves.
Uncover even more information about the vitamin-rich weed purslane, including useful recommendations from renowned herbalists all over the world.
Someone in your family always says, “Work smarter, not harder,” and that’s true. Here are seven smarter - not harder - tips from the second part of my outdoor gardening’s easy-do’s- and don’ts.
Artemisia absinthium, more commonly known as wormwood, is a bitter herb with many medicinal purposes. It is also an attractive plant in the landscape. Learn more about it.
Check out these tips for growing cilantro, an aromatic herb that is often used in Mexican cooking, from our newest guest blogger.
Garlic does best if planted in the late fall and early winter. If you can find a sunny spot with a foot of soil, you can plant garlic.
Grow the kind of dill that fits your gardening and dining style. Also, comment to enter our latest garden giveaway!
Cool your inflamed muscles the healthy way with turmeric.
Use fresh herbs to treat anxiety instead of potentially harmful drugs.
The burdock plant has long been that pesky plant that attaches velcro-like pickers to your clothing, but it also has an abundance of health benefits.
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.
Follow these tips to pick the best carrier oils for aromatherapy blends.
Jessica explains how she achieved an entirely biodegradable wedding reception with bamboo disposable plates, biodegradable plastic cups and soy candles.
Guest blogger Bill Hutchins outlines ways to build green while keeping a light footprint on the earth.
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
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.
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.
Get rid of canker sores faster by turning to homemade mouth rinses, probiotics and other natural home remedies for canker sores.
Ease the symptoms of the common cold with herbs and other natural treatments.
Natural Home editorial intern Kirsten Hudson describes how to make homemade ice cream and gives some organic ice cream recipes.
Add garlic to your daily diet by taking these tips into consideration.
The fragrant, taste and texture of cinnamon make it a popular spice during the winter months. Cinnamon not only tastes good while cooking but has an array of health benefits.
These tiny, sweet strawberries are hard to find but perfect for any home gardener. Enter for a chance to win strawberry seed packets.
Vegetable soup is the reward a summer's worth of hard work in the garden can produce. Spring is the time for spring cleaning, emptying the freezer and washing canning jars.
A recent study finds that fiber can lower the risk of colon polyps, a cancer precursor. Fiber can also help prevent heart disease and cancer and aid in weight loss.
Researchers have added "antioxidants" to the list of popcorn health benefits.
In the late summer, Ocimum basilicum 'Thai' bares beautiful red or deep purple blooms. Check out Ramona's recipe for basil-infused chicken dumplings.
It wouldn't be fall without apple pie, cobblers, dumplings, baked apples and my favorite—apple crisp. But don't limit yourself to apple desserts. Create savory apple dishes with the help of these delicious herbs.
The Frugal Foodie Cookbook (Viva Edtions, 2009) offers excellent recipes and tips for the everyday cook. Here's a recipe for Roasted Garlic, Spinach, and Feta Pizza.
Tea has a whole library of health benefits. But did you realize it can be essential in a clean home? Read about the battle of tea v. dirt and your best plan of attack.
The borage plant (Borago officinalis) is a tall herb with hairy foliage, blue starshaped flowers and many useful properties. Whether you use it for healthy, tasty greens, a medicinal herb or a companion plant for your strawberries and tomatoes, you’ll be happy you planted borage.
One guest blogger loves building fairy houses for kids and with kids. She never ceases to be amazed at their instinct for this activity. They see things in nature to use and create with that we could never imagine. Check out some fairy garden ideas from the brightest children.
Give winter sowing a try to chase away winter doldrums. Here is a step-by-step guide.
Tired of those cheap cardboard car air fresheners that are ugly and have a fake, overpowering odor? Try this easy solution.
Herbs will reseed all over the garden as volunteer plants if you let them.
Discover delightful garden projects for kids. The author of the Fairy House Handbook shows you how to make fabulous fairy creations out of mud.
Fennel is the perfect herb for the gourmet cook who loves to grow special ingredients. It requires some attention to blanching, mounding soil around the growing basal bulb to keep it white and tender, but is well worth the extra effort.
Grow chervil this spring for a mild gourmet flavor.
This garden favorite is great for salads, mesclun mixes, pastas and pizza. Comment for your chance to win a packet of arugula seeds from Renee's Garden.
Recycle old kegs into beautiful, functional garden planters—guest blogger KyLynn Hull shows you how!
Pruning your mints, lemon balm and oregano will help them grow back more lush than ever.
The unexpected, freezing temperatures in southern Texas haven't kept our guest blogger Cynthia down. Here are some of her cold weather, garden care tips.