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  • Sweet Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Design

    There’s no doubt: people are excited about building their own DIY, inexpensive ovens for baking pizza, bread, and other delicious foods. For all of those folks, I want to highlight this particularly unique design for a wood-fired pizza oven, built in a greenhouse. More

  • fire built top down

    How to Build a Clean Fire: The Top-Down Fire

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, and there’s more than one way to build a fire. But that doesn’t mean they are all equal: the top-down fire (or upside down fire) is perhaps the most efficient and cleanest way to build a fire. More

  • Great Green Home Insulation Product: Sheep's Wool Batting

    Wool is one of the best natural insulators — think of how precious that favorite wool sweater of yours is, or those toasty wool socks you can’t leave home without on a cold winter day. Well, the benefits of wool extend to keeping your house comfortable, too — it is a fantastic, highly insulative, and energy-efficient material that is a superior material for saving on home heating and cooling expenses. More

  • Small Strawbale Book Spotlights Attractive Tiny Straw Bale Homes

    Building small homes is an increasing nation-wide trend, and similarly, natural building methods are picking up steam and gaining recognition in the movement towards more sustainable lifestyles. Small Strawbale a a book fusing these two attractive building features, providing a nice bit of juice in the inspiration department for those folks intrigued by small homes […] More

  • Occupy George: Protest Wealth Inequality in America on Your Dollars

    As Occupy Wall Street protests ramp up around the country, conversations abound about wealth and income inequality in America. But now you can put your message on your money with Occupy George dollar bill templates, which highlight economic disparities through clever graphics that you can print directly on your greenbacks. More

  • GrΓ€nsfors Bruks: Still Hand Forging Axes in High Tech Gadget Age

    A big part of my life is building. I moved into my own hand-built cob house two summers ago, and currently I’m building a timber frame kitchen, and planning for a another house. I pursue natural building, using local and recycled materials, and with that, using traditional techniques. This includes the use of hand tools. […] More

  • What is Life Like Without an Air Conditioner?

    For the past two weeks, talk about the weather has been a very, very hot topic. (Godawful pun, forgive me.) For good reason. Here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, daytime temperatures have been in the mid 90s consistently, peaking as high as 100Β°. Nighttime temperatures have brought little to no relief. On top […] More

  • The American Dream is a Mirage: a Poem

    Still denying Still lying to yourself Still crying about all the wrong things One of these days Something’s gonna tip or fall or crash and maybe, just maybe you’ll wake up and realize that ice is melting the sun is blazing and even your feet are colder in the winter That things aren’t just gonna […] More

  • Cheap Solar Lighting with a Two Liter Water Bottle

    An ingenious solar lighting idea is spreading across the slums of the Philippines. This solar light design requires neither a solar panel nor a light bulb, however. In fact, all it requires is the sun and a two liter water bottle. Light bulbs are only for the very fortunate in the Philippines, as they are […] More

  • What is Organic Food, Really? Exposing The Agriculture Myths

    Just what the heck is organic food, anyway? When a particular product is certified organic, does that mean the same thing that we imagine it to mean — that the food was raised without pesticides, was grown responsibly and in a non-destructive manner? Well…. maybe not. In a can-o’-worms-openin’ article for Scientific American, Christie Wilcox […] More

  • Damn! 400+ High Temperature Records Broken in US

    It’s still mid-summer, and already over 400 individual maximum recorded temperature records have been broken in the US. Are you starting to sweat? Or were you already? Readers can use a handy feature on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) website to check out just how hot this country is, and how many heat […] More

  • Dive! Film Explores Dumpster Diving and Food Waste

    Despite the title, Dive! is not a movie about graceful Olympic divers. Nothing could be further from that image. Instead, it’s a new film about the massive food waste in America, and those who choose to dive into dumpsters to save food from going to the landfill. In his film, Jeremy Siefert takes on Trader […] More

  • Awesome Books Document Folks Who Build Their Own Awesome Eco Homes

    In preparation for building my own straw bale home, I have been spending a lot of time flipping through a few specific books for inspiration. Lloyd Kahn‘s series of titles, Shelter, Home Work, and Builders of the Pacific Coast (affiliate links)Β are three great books that document folks all over the globe who build their own […] More

  • The Easiest Way to Grow Your Own Potatoes

    I gotta admit, I’m something of a lazy gardener. I will always seek out the easiest way to plant vegetables and grow my own food. But I have some good excuses, too: I don’t like tilling soil because it disrupts the soil life, and why would I spend all that time weeding when I can […] More

  • man sitting next to small wood stove

    Small Wood-Burning Stoves For Small Homes: A Review

    Wood stoves are a highly economical way to provide heat for your home if you have access to a woodlot or live in a remote or rural area. To get the most bang for your buck, you should invest in a clean(er)-burning, efficient model. Last year, I spent a fair amount of time researching small, […] More

  • garlic

    How To Make Delicious Fermented Garlic

    Fermentation is a great way to take ordinary foods and make them even more delectable, and nutritious. Common fermentation favorites include foods like sauerkraut, pickles, cheeses, sourdough bread, and many more. Almost every food has its fermented counterpart, and garlic is no exception. Here’s a simple way to make delicious fermented garlic with nothing more […] More

  • Natural Alternatives to Rock Salt For Walkway Ice

    We love quick fixes. On oh-so many levels, we try to quickly and easily fix something without thinking ahead to the potential longer term problems that often result from the quick fix solution. You can throw rock salt into that very broad category, since it is the number one preferred quick solution for melting ice […] More

  • living

    I Heart Wool Socks: Why Wool Clothing is So Lovely & Warm

    These recent winter days, temperatures are hovering in the low teens, and nighttime temperatures plummet to 0ΒΊ or below. This is the first winter I got a hold of some wool socks, and boy oh boy, I can easily claim they have revolutionized my winter comfort. I will never go back to wearing socks other […] More

  • living

    Catastrophic Snow Storm Has Positive Impact on Ecovillage

    Last week, a gigantic snow storm swept across the country, affecting many millions of people, with snow falling on a whopping 30 states, and record-setting snowfalls in many cities, countless stranded drivers and commuters with no way to make their way to work, and deadly cold blowing in and making recovery a difficult and sometimes […] More

  • tomatoes

    Know Your Vegetable Seeds: The Lowdown on Heirloom, Hybrid, and Organic Seeds

    Now’s the time of year when prudent green thumbs curl up with their favorite seed catalogs and plan their springtime gardens, selecting from a huge variety of vegetable seeds for sale from an equally large number of seed companies. Many companies commonly offer heirloom and organic seeds, but what sets these varieties apart from the […] More

  • backyard chickens

    Are There Laws against Backyard Chickens?

    Many people curious about keeping chickens for eggs and meat want to know: can I raise chickens in my backyard? There is a lot of confusion about whether or not one can actually keep chickens on their suburban lot, since the ordinances vary from town to town in individual states. However, you may be happy […] More

  • Organic Gardening and Natural Building Internships at Dancing Rabbit

    Do you want to learn how to live more sustainably? Interested in getting some hands-on experience with organic gardening, building with natural materials, and living in an off-the-grid community? Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage of northeastern Missouri has several work exchange (or internship) opportunities for folks looking to learn some valuable skills growing food and building homes! […] More

  • Holy Shit! Can Manure Management Save Us?

    “Holy Shit!” is damned right. Here’s a book about just that — manure. Precious, plentiful, misunderstood manure. Cow manure, horse poop, human feces, dog shit, you name it, Gene Logsdon writes about it. In this recent book (affiliate link) from good ol’ contrary farmer Gene Logsdon, the wonder and mystery and amazing fertilizing power of […] More

  • Swedish City Fuels Up On Waste, Not Fossils

    Ten years ago, Kristianstad, Sweden made a pledge to wean itself from its use of fossil fuels, and currently the city can claim to have eliminated oil, natural gas, and coal in heating homes. Compare that to twenty years ago, when all of the city’s energy for home heating came from imported fossil fuels. The […] More

  • Keep Houseplants To Improve Indoor Air Quality

    Unfortunately, many conventional homes, office spaces, and all sorts of everyday indoor environments are making us sick, resulting in asthma, allergies, and other illnesses, all due to poor indoor air quality. Synthetic building materials, carpeting, paints, cleaning products, mattresses — dozens of seemingly innocuous substances and objects can emit formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, and a […] More

  • living

    The Art and Beauty of Minimizing Personal Possessions

    Whereas many Americans simply can’t get enough shopping and continue to accumulate piles of material possessions, I simply love to scrounge through the things I already have to do just the very opposite – get rid of stuff. It’s incredibly refreshing! Many people live in overly large homes with spaces brimming with personal belongings. Material […] More

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