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Sungevity and Lowe's Join Forces to Boost Solar Sales

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Home improvement giant buys stake in rooftop solar start-up

Lowe's, the second largest home improvement retailer in the U.S., has purchased minority a stake in Sungevity and will offer the solar leasing company's services in its stores.  The deal, announced Monday, will give Lowe's customers in-store access to Sungevity's web-based iQuote system, which uses satellite imagery to provide rooftop solar installation estimates. The program is set......read more

Homemade Marshmallows

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A sticky and cozy Christmastime treat, from Jennifer Reese

Known to web foodies as The Tipsy Baker, Jennifer Reese brings a fresh and funny perspective to cooking with Make the Bed, Buy the Butter, a chronicle of her food odyssey to figuring out which foods are worth the effort of making yourself, and which you should buy from the grocery. Marshmallows are one of the foods we'd never consider making ourselves, but Reese told NPR's All Things......read more

Karri Loop House by Morq Architecture

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An H-shaped home near Perth, Australia built in harmony with its setting

Located just south of Perth in the town of Margaret River in Western Australia, Karri Loop House is a beautiful example of a building designed in harmony with its natural surroundings. Designed by MORQ architects, the H-shaped building plan wraps around three large existing trees, while at the same time framing a pair of assymetrical courtyards.  “These trees, their root......read more

Urban Homesteading

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Self-sufficiency in the city.

Homesteading is broadly defined as a lifestyle of simple, agrarian self-sufficiency. The sustainable, back-to-the-land movement is gaining popularity in urban areas, where applicable rural homesteading elements are being applied to city living. In theory, most people are into the idea of producing everything needed for survival on one's own land. While this isn't realistic for most of......read more

Frugal Elegance in Maine

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With some help from the landfill, a creative couple lives in rustic style

The most advanced practitioners of frugal living understand that the pursuit requires patience, commitment and, most of all, a willingness to resurrect other people's trash. Jennifer Wurst and partner Michael Fleming, who live in a 200-year old home on 20 remote acres near Phippsburg, Maine, have honed their thrift skills to a finely tuned artform. Their home's rustic decor owes a debt of......read more

Efficient Home by Mathieu Lehanneur

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Home energy monitoring just got better looking.

French designer Mathieu Lehanneur has set a new design standard for home energy monitoring systems. Created for Schneider Electric, Efficient Home debuted at the St-Etienne Design Biennale last week. The quirky collection is conceived as a series of symbols that act like an energy alphabet, complementing each other in various combinations. The objects, which include a temperature sensor,......read more

MeterPlug Measures Home Energy Use

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New Bluetooth monitoring device tracks power usage and sends the stats to your smartphone

We can't predict the future, but this much is certain: energy costs will keep rising. So it's increasingly important that we find ways to bring those costs -- and home energy emissions -- down. Here is the slickest device we've seen for measuring electricity use from home appliances. Plugged between any appliance and an AC outlet, MeterPlug uses your handset's GPS to find local electricity rates,......read more

Home Energy Score

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The Department of Energy unveils its new home energy ratings tool.

Cars have miles-per-gallon ratings, neighborhoods have walkability rankings, and people have carbon footprint calculators. What's up with homes then? Why isn't there be a comparable, affordable way to size up your home's energy performance? Well, now there is. The Department of Energy just released a program called the Home Energy Score that shows the energy efficency of a home on......read more

I’m not really against food coloring, but I’ll happily go the natural route when possible. There are so many amazing colors in food — so why not use them? There are some brands that are now selling natural food colorings, but I love to DIY. There are a few points to keep in mind if you want to try it yourself at home. 1. Choose the source of color Sources for natural......read more

After-Party Pondering

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David Vega dishes up some food and drink ideas for the morning after.

As I write this I think back on the past few days’ efforts to make small daily changes to my eating habits. Believe me, I’m not one to deny myself the things I enjoy; I’m more likely to find something that both satisfies my cravings and that I can feel good about eating. Applying it has actually been much easier than I expected. If I stick to satisfying the senses, I find myself wanting to......read more

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