Simple Living in the Southwest

I never thought I’d ask my children this question, but here it was: “Would you rather have a house with land or indoor plumbing?”

My children, ages 9, 11 and 13, didn’t hesitate: “Land,” they said. That settled it. After months of combing the internet for houses in northern New Mexico, I had finally found one with everything we’d said we wanted. It was near the mountains; it had trees; it was only 30 minutes from Taos; and even though it sat on five acres, it was still within my meager budget. The house was also located in a gorgeous spot, with one set of mountains looming large to the east, and a charming valley stretching away to the west, bordered by ethereal ranges of mountains beyond. More

Town Runs on Pig Poop

BioTown: The tiny burg of Reynolds, Indiana, is working to free itself from the power grid (and from foreign oil) and to fuel its homes and businesses entirely on converted local waste. More

Greater World Earthship Community

It’s hard to pinpoint the coolest thing about the Greater World Earthship Community outside of Taos, New Mexico. More

Green Insulation: Best Choices for Your Home

Installing insulation is one of the most environmentally friendly things a homeowner can do. About 65 percent of U.S. houses are poorly insulated, a 2005 Harvard study estimates. Fortunately, you can cut heating and cooling bills by about 30 percent with proper insulation.

These days, insulation is made with everything from newspaper and sheep’s wool to cotton and chemical foams. Many are far more “green” than their predecessors-including formaldehyde-free and recycled-content insulation. Even fiberglass, that old standard, has improved environmentally. More

Walking Trails Create Community

Pound Ridge, a beautiful wooded area 40 miles from New York City, is a place people go to get away from other people. Some past and present residents have included Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Glenn Close, Chevy Chase and Richard Gere. Mostly they buy large tracts of land to insulate themselves from others — including neighbors. That’s one reason Paul Zofnass, president of Environmental Financial Consulting Group, had such trouble rallying his illustrious neighbors to action. more