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1.

GREEN HOME IMPROVEMENT

DAN CHIRAS
Paperback

Price: $34.95

In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits by helping homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Many of these smaller home improvements require only a modest investment, and g…

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In a tight economy, this book offers clear financial benefits by helping homeowners immediately cut their utility bills. Many of these smaller home improvements require only a modest investment, and give readers an edge when they sell their homes: Buyers are looking for energy efficiency, and they are also tuned into green health and environmental concerns.

The book's projects include quick and easy, low- or no-cost tasks — like insulating a water heater, sealing foundation cracks or painting with insulating paint — as well as bigger-ticket items, such as installing a new energy-efficient heating system, windows or green flooring. The more than 65 "Go Green" tips highlighted throughout the book give readers ideas to make their homes and lifestyles greener.

Projects include:

  • Green flooring and paint options
  • Environmentally friendly cabinetry and countertops
  • Whole-house insulation and weather-stripping
  • High-efficiency heating and cooling
  • Water conservation
  • Efficient lighting, appliances and plumbing fixtures, including Energy Star and WaterSense models
  • Solar electric and water heating systems
  • Eco-friendly roofing and siding
  • Energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights
  • Green materials for patios, walkways and driveways
  • Landscaping and irrigation for water conservation and energy

2.

TREE CRAFT

Chris Lubkemann
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Nothing adds more warmth and charm to a home than the simple, rustic beauty of natural wood. Now, thanks to the inspiring and creative ideas of woodworker Chris Lubkemann, bringing the natural eleganc…

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Nothing adds more warmth and charm to a home than the simple, rustic beauty of natural wood. Now, thanks to the inspiring and creative ideas of woodworker Chris Lubkemann, bringing the natural elegance of the outdoors into your home is easier than you think. With little effort that can produce amazing results, twigs, branches and fallen trees can be transformed into artfully designed candleholders, coat racks and coffee tables that will flavor your home with an eco-chic style.

If you're creative, have an appreciation for wood, and can work with a few basic tools, you can create these 35 unique and practical projects using the easy-to-follow instructions and some found wood.

Among the distinctive projects in Tree Craft, you'll find:

  • A gallery of knotted-wood photo frames to hold your favorite pictures
  • Attractive table lamps in a variety of styles
  • One-of-a-kind décor items such as curtain rods, clocks and planters
  • Beautiful and practical coasters, napkin rings and spoon holders
Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books to readers. For 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

3.

PHOTOVOLTAICS

SOLAR ENERGY INTERNATIONAL
Paperback

Price: $59.95

Producing electricity from the sun using photovoltaic (PV) systems has become a major industry worldwide. But designing, installing and maintaining such systems requires knowledge and training, and there have been few easily accessible, comprehensive guides to the subject.

Now, with Photovoltaics: Design and Installation Manual, a world-class solar energy training and education provider - Solar Energy International (SEI) - has made available the critical information to successfully design, install and maintain PV systems. This book contains an overview of photovoltaic electricity and a detailed description of PV system components, including PV modules, batteries, controllers and inverters. It also includes chapters on sizing photovoltaic systems, analyzing sites and installing PV systems, as well as detailed appendices on PV system maintenance, troubleshooting and solar insolation data for more than 300 sites around the world. Used worldwide as the textbook in SEI's PV Design & Installation workshops, topics covered include:

  • The basics of solar electricity
  • PV applications and system components
  • Solar site analysis and mounting
  • Stand-alone and PV/Generator hybrid system sizing
  • Utility-Interactive PV systems
  • Component specification, system costs and economics
  • Case studies and safety issues
Photovoltaics guarantees that those wanting to learn the skills of tapping the sun's energy can do so with confidence.

4.

THE NATURALLY CLEAN HOME

KARYN SIEGEL-MAIER
Paperback

Price: $10.95

Keep your home clean, green and healthy! Common, nontoxic kitchen ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar are wonderful household cleaners and great replacements for harmful chemical cleans…

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Keep your home clean, green and healthy! Common, nontoxic kitchen ingredients such as baking soda, lemon and vinegar are wonderful household cleaners and great replacements for harmful chemical cleansers. Pair them with essential oils to clean, disinfect and freshen every room. With more than 150 recipes for all-natural, easy-to-prepare solutions, you can clean wood, glass, tile, porcelain, fabric, carpets and much more — naturally and safely.

5.

WOODLAND STYLE

Marlene Hurley Marshall
Paperback

Price: $24.95

From a lakeside cabin to a hilltop farmhouse, from an urban brownstone to a suburban ranch — any house can be beautified with decorative pieces crafted from found bits of the woodland landscape, such …

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From a lakeside cabin to a hilltop farmhouse, from an urban brownstone to a suburban ranch — any house can be beautified with decorative pieces crafted from found bits of the woodland landscape, such as pine cones, moss, bark, twigs and river rocks. Artist and author Marlene Hurley Marshall shows you how to use responsibly collected materials to create stylish wreaths, frames, furniture, collages, potpourri, birdhouses, garden pots and much more. Featuring luscious photography by Sabine Vollmer von Falken, Woodland Style gives you the inspiration and instruction you need to enjoy the peace and beauty of the woods and meadows in your own home.

About the author
Marlene Marshall is a painter/collage artist, arts educator, designer, and author of Making Bits and Pieces Mosaics (Storey, 1998), Shell Chic (Storey, 2002) and Woodland Style (Storey, 2010). For more than a decade, Marshall has been conducting studio art classes in mosaic and shell design applications, as well as the visual arts. She frequently lectures at museums, art schools and private clubs along the East Coast. She also designs and consults with communities on outdoor mosaic projects for public walkways and parks. Marshall has appeared on both the Home and Garden and DIY networks. Her work has been exhibited and sold in galleries and museum shops throughout North America. She lives in Hudson, N.Y.

6.

GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR WOOD-BUYING BUCKS


Paperback

Price: $10.97

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! Find, cut and dry your own lumber. This essential guide will save you money and expand your knowledge of wood.

For woodworkers who want to purchase wood wisely and save money by finding, cutting and drying it on their own, this guide from the experts at American Woodworker is a must. Along with learning the most economical way to buy and process lumber, there are a number of how-to's in this book, including:

  • Interpreting rough lumber
  • Working with defects
  • Deciding which grade is most economical for the project
  • Re-sawing thick wood
  • Storing lumber
  • Using boards that are not perfect
With expert advice, detailed drawings and step-by-step photographs, this is a skill-expanding and money-saving book that every woodworker needs.

7.

SIMPLY IMPERFECT: REVISITING THE WABI-SABI HOUSE

Robyn Griggs Lawrence
Paperback

Price: $22.95

Wabi-sabi is about appreciating the simple and letting go of the superficial – the perfect antidote for a society in recovery from a decades-long consumerist binge. In 2004 The Wabi-Sabi House introduced this ancient Japanese philosophy to North America. Simply Imperfect is a fully revised and updated edition of The Wabi-Sabi House, aimed at moving past our belief in life, liberty and the pursuit of stuff to finding beauty in austerity, serenity and authenticity.

Far more than home décor, wabi-sabi is a state of mind: living modestly in the moment, stripping away the unnecessary, finding satisfaction in everyday things. Simply Imperfect recounts wabi-sabi's rich history, tracing it from its Zen Buddhist roots through to the present day. This beautifully illustrated book reveals ways to introduce wabi-sabi into your home such as:

- Clearing clutter and blocking noise
- Integrating salvaged and recycled materials
- Making and growing things yourself (or supporting local artisans who do)
- Taking time and space for self-reflection

Wabi-sabi is everything that today's sleek, plastic, technology-saturated culture isn't. Simply Imperfect asks readers to see that mass-produced perfection is seductive but boring. This gentle book is for anyone who is overwhelmed by consumerism or whose focus has shifted from getting more to getting by.

About the Author

Robyn Griggs Lawrence was the editor at large for MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Natural Home & Garden and The Herb Companion. She is a prolific writer and speaker on topics ranging from green building and ecological design to organic gardening. She has been instrumental in introducing the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi to a Western audience.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, MOTHER EARTH NEWS is recommending books and products to readers. For more than 40 years, MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been North America's "Original Guide to Living Wisely," creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.

8.

TRANSFORMING YOUR KITCHEN WITH STOCK CABINETRY

Jonathan and Sherry Benson
Paperback

Price: $24.95

With so many attractive stock cabinetry designs available, creating the kitchen of your dreams no longer involves the budget-busting price tag of custom-made cabinets. In fact, you'll be amazed as cab…

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With so many attractive stock cabinetry designs available, creating the kitchen of your dreams no longer involves the budget-busting price tag of custom-made cabinets. In fact, you'll be amazed as cabinetmaker Jonathan Benson shows you how to beautifully — and affordably — transform your kitchen by using money-saving stock cabinetry and a well-thought-out plan.

From having a solid design that meets the needs of everyone using the space, to advice and lessons on what to know before going cabinet shopping, or how to live in a construction zone, Benson and his wife, Sherry, a former chef and restaurant owner, show you how a little teamwork can make a kitchen remodel go more smoothly.

Transforming Your Kitchen with Stock Cabinetry will put you right in the heart of a remodeling project, which happens to be the Bensons' own kitchen, and guide you through the complete process. The inspirational gallery at the end of the book is filled with beautiful photos and gives true meaning to the term "dream kitchen."

9.

SHED NATION: DESIGN, BUILD AND CUSTOMIZE THE PERFECT SHED

Dan Eckstein
Paperback

Price: $8.77

CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Whether you want a storage structure, children's playhouse, art studio or workshop, you can learn how…

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CLEARANCE ITEM. PREVIOUS RETAIL PRICE WAS $19.95 AVAILABLE ONLY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST!

Whether you want a storage structure, children's playhouse, art studio or workshop, you can learn how to design and build the ideal shed for any yard with this Popular Mechanics guide. You'll learn how to site, plan and choose durable and attractive materials. There's easy-to-understand information on carpentry and structural anatomy, from installing a foundation to nailing roof shingles to framing a window. This book also includes a final chapter with shed designs that will help you get started building your own structure. Become a citizen of Shed Nation and enjoy your property to its fullest.

There are innovative plans for building several sheds, each with a different practical use, as well as contributions from Popular Mechanics readers who share their own designs.

The sheds include:

  • Small Is Beautiful: A 6’ x 8’ shed with solid framing, plywood sheathing and cedar siding. It’s big enough to hold a variety of tools, but won’t dominate the backyard.
  • The Groundskeeper: This 9’ x 13’ shed with a spacious layout and a crisp, no-frills design is ideal for the beginning DIYer.
  • The Big Red Shed: This handsome shed is a multipurposer’s dream; a 10’ x 12’ tool shed combined with an 8’ x 10’ open bay that’s great for firewood or tractors.
  • Classic Colonial: A stylish, multipurpose garden shed with decorative trim and architectural accents. Includes a 12’ x 12’ general storage space, 4’ x 12’ potting area, and a small loft for seasonal storage.
  • The Greenhouse: Complete instructions on purchasing a kit greenhouse in a variety of sizes (7’ x 9’, 8’ x 16’, or larger) allows for a big-league growing season.
For additional motivation, beautiful photographs present a wide variety of sheds, from tree houses to eco-friendly buildings.

10.

THE BIG BOOK OF BACKYARD PROJECTS

Paige Gilchrist
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Here's a mammoth resource that belongs in the library of everyone who owns a garden. It's a colorful treasure trove of the best backyard projects ever, from decorative to functional, from walls to wal…

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Here's a mammoth resource that belongs in the library of everyone who owns a garden. It's a colorful treasure trove of the best backyard projects ever, from decorative to functional, from walls to walkways. Providing solutions to every possible garden problem, this book furnishes comprehensive coverage of all planning stages: design, technical considerations, tools and materials.

Transform your yard into a beautiful oasis by making attractive and practical garden features using a wide range of materials. Whether you need more rustic seating or want to accent your perennial beds with a flagstone walkway, there's a perfect design here to fulfill your needs.

Need to enliven an ordinary setting? A garden floor can do the trick. Follow the instructions for making one of brick, ornamental gravel, stone or concrete. Want to define a space? Add a beautiful pathway. Find out how to put up a fence for extra flair, or choose one of 30 garden seating ideas, including a trestle swing. How-tos, photos, drawings, and patterns make construction easy.

Complete with hundreds of stunning color photographs, The Big Book of Backyard Projects will enable you to add function and style to your outdoor areas.

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