- Products for Wiser Living
An EcoNest is not just a home … it is a breathtakingly beautiful structure that nurtures health and embraces ecology. This unique approach to construction combines light straw clay, timber framing, earthen floors, natural plasters and other natural techniques with the principles of building biology to create a handcrafted living sanctuary. By bringing together time-honored traditions and modern innovations, owners of EcoNests enjoy living spaces that reflect the best of both worlds.
The EcoNest Home is an in-depth exploration of the benefits of choosing this technique over conventional alternatives, combined with a complete practical guide for prospective designers and builders. Authors Paula Baker-Laporte and Robert Laporte draw on their own extensive experience to provide:
The most comprehensive, North American resource on light straw clay construction, written by its leading proponents, The EcoNest Home is a must-read for anyone considering building their own healthy, affordable, environmentally friendly, natural home.
Christophe Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the south of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update and care for it—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms and funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse, vernis anglais and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch. Rounding out this comprehensive guide is care and maintenance information, including how to properly clean leather, polish hardware, fix a broken leg and replace felt pads, as well as recipes to make your own wax, shellac, varnish, stain, and more.
If you love camping, but you’re tired of sleeping on the ground (or you have a dream of simply checking out and hitting the road), then a teardrop trailer is the perfect DIY project for you. Sleek, nimble, and oh-so-comfortable, a custom-built teardrop trailer lets you escape in head-turning style. Covering everything from sketchbook ideas to the complete step-by-step know-how, The Handmade Teardrop Trailer trains you up like a pro on how to successfully build this iconic camper.
Are you looking for creative ways to lower your energy costs, generate more of your own power, or become less reliant on the grid? Energy expert Paul Scheckel offers practical advice for taking matters into your own hands. Understand the fundamentals of solar, wind, water and biofuel energy production as you make your home ready for renewables. Each chapter of The Homeowner's Energy Handbook provides a comprehensive discussion of renewable energy sources, along with "green guides" for building your own energy-saving (and energy-producing) equipment. Step-by-step instructions show you how to build a bicycle-powered generator, biodiesel processor, thermosiphon solar hot-water collector, biogas generator, smokeless wood-gas camp stove, and more. Whether you want to button up your house to be more energy-efficient, find deep energy savings or take your home entirely off the grid, this guide has the knowledge and skills you need to reduce your use, then produce!
Energy bills have skyrocketed in North America, and traditional energy sources can be as damaging to the environment as they are to your pocketbook. The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy will show you how to slash your home energy costs while dramatically reducing your carbon footprint.
Completely revised and updated, this new edition describes the most practical and affordable methods for making significant improvements in home energy efficiency and tapping into clean, affordable, renewable energy resources. If implemented, these measures will save the average homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the coming decades.
Focusing on the latest technological advances in residential renewable energy, this guide examines each alternative energy option available, including:
This well-illustrated and accessible guide is an essential resource for those wanting to enter the renewable energy field. Packed with practical tips and guidelines, it gives readers sufficient knowledge to hire and communicate effectively with contractors. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in saving money and achieving energy independence.
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.
Forget about chemical cleaners and pricey "green" products … all you need are a few simple kitchen staples to make your whole house sparkle! The Organically Clean Home features 150 easy-to-make recipes for cleaning products filled with all-natural ingredients you can trust (and actually pronounce!). America's favorite cleaning blogger, Becky Rapinchuk, guides you through the steps needed to make everyday necessities from dishwasher detergent to antibacterial wipes without spending a fortune.
Armed with simple instructions for packaging and storing your homemade cleaners, you'll enjoy turning each room into a beautiful and toxic-free space with fresh-scented products like:
With The Organically Clean Home, you'll save hundreds of dollars every month … and have a clean, healthy home that you and your family can feel good about.
Flush it and forget it is the plumbing mantra of the industrialized world. Most people just want sewage to go away, preferably without having to see, smell or, worse yet, touch it. But crap has a bad rap. Human waste is a valuable resource we can use to support food production. Blackwater, urine and solids are actually rich in organic matter, and alternative means of handling these "wastes" can conserve enormous quantities of fresh water for other uses.
The Scoop on Poop presents a wide range of ways to answer the call of nature, and in so doing maximize the benefits of existing wastewater. This book explores proven alternatives to Western wastewater disposal. Whether you're interested in composting toilets, outdoor greywater or blackwater planters, constructed wetlands, or other innovative solutions, author Dan Chiras will walk you through:
All system plans are relatively simple and straightforward — enough so that the average homeowner can build and install them. Intended for readers who live in cities, towns and rural environments, this is a practical guide to safe, ingenious ways to capture the nutrients from waste and recycle them back into your soil to grow fruit trees, vegetables and flowers — all without running afoul of the "ick" factor.
The Useful Book is a modern and energetically designed encyclopedia of DIY.with step-by-step instructions and illustrations, relevant charts, sidebars, lists, and handy toolboxes.Practice measuring, cutting, and nailing by building a birdhouse. Make a bookshelf or a riveted metal picture frame. The tools that everyone should have, and dozens of cool projects that teach fundamental techniques.
Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads: people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With more than 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these movable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.
There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays – many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter – seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home.
In this book are some 150 builders who have taken things into their own hands, creating tiny homes (under 500 sq. ft.). Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.
There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency.
At the heart of our 1973 book Shelter were drawings of five small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own home. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a growing tiny house movement all over the world – which we've been tracking over the past two years.
Many people have decided to scale back, to get by with less stuff, to live in smaller homes. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "inlaw" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous blogs and websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny homes, documented here.
If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration here. Here's a different approach, a 180º turn from increasing consumption. Here are builders, designers, architects (no less), dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.
About the Author
In 1968 Lloyd Kahn worked as Shelter editor for the Whole Earth Catalog. In 1971 he published Domebook 2. His shake-covered geodesic dome was featured in Life magazine. Ultimately disillusioned with domes, he took Domebook 2 out of print and in 1973 published the oversized book Shelter, which went on to sell more than 250,000 copies. In 2004, Kahn published HomeWork: Handbuilt Shelter – in many ways the sequel to Shelter – and Builders of the Pacific Coast in 2008. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter is the fourth book in this series. Kahn and his wife, Lesley live and work in a small coastal town in Northern California.
Take the first step to achieving your dream of building and living in your very own tiny house! The Tiny House Design & Construction Guide is your road map to the entire build process. This guide will help you to understand each step that needs to be taken and, more importantly, give you the confidence to start building your own tiny house. This is the expanded, 2nd edition of the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide. This latest edition contains over 50% more content and over 38 more images and illustrations. I listened to my reader's feedback and added much more information into the framing, electrical, and plumbing sections of the book.