Going off the grid seems romantic at first, but unfortunately, women are often the first to encounter the worst realities of homesteading.
New York City and the rest of the tri-state area are getting their first wave of "passive houses," a type of construction in which a building is so well-insulated that it doesn't require heating in the winter.
"Katrina cottages," alternatives to FEMA trailers used after Hurricane Katrina, find new life around the country as housing and educational facilities.
Thomas Edison's great-grandson, David Edison Sloane, is not mincing words when it comes to the GOP wanting to repeal energy-efficiency standards for light bulbs: As an inventor, Edison would have no interest in turning back the legislative clock. The wizard of Menlo Park dedicated himself to advancing human comfort, not freeze life as we knew it in 1879. Oh snap! Edison's great-grandson just called you retrogressive.
The economy sucks, housing prices have yet to hit bottom, and your biggest fixed expense is almost certainly rent, unless it's summertime, in which case it's your electricity bill. Sounds like it's time to lead a richer life by reducing your dependence on worldly goods and wasted energy, no?
The green movement doesn't have much use for lawns. Yeah, they make suburban enclaves look tidy and uniform, but really, would it be so effing bad if your house had something useful -- say, a vegetable garden -- instead of a high-maintenance water-hog outdoor carpet? What's the worst that could happen? Well, as Michigan woman Julie Bass discovered, if your city planner is certifiably power-crazy, you could be looking at 93 days in jail.
There's been a small vogue for houses and buildings made of shipping containers, which are cheap, plentiful, and often end up tossed in the sea (either on purpose or otherwise). This airy two-container dwelling is one of the prettiest we've seen, and it only cost $40,000 to build.