Garden / Guides

Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

A Toronto Off-grid home 20 years later; how did it fare?

...garden, and hooking up to the city water main and sewers right in front of the house. The addition of a gas generator to power the home is the part we have the hardest time with. In a case like this, it can be argued that if you want to know if something is a good or bad idea, simply multiply it by a thousand. Now, i...

Earthship in Taos, New Mexico, shame they don't work in cold climates
Concept and design

Do Earthships work in cold climates?

...garden to make great use of it. 5. House Dimension: The shape of an Earthship is typically very narrow and very long. This is by no means an optimal shape for material conservation or energy conservation. Example - a 25 foot deep house by 80 feet long would be 2,000 square feet and would have a total of 210 f...

ProductiveHouse in Montreal
Choosing where to live

Green living in the city

...gardening, greening our streets, promoting alternatives to pesticides etc. Check local bulletin boards and community centres for groups in your area, and watch our events page for workshops on everything from rainwater harvesting and urban farming to installing renewable energy sources. 3. Eat local and get started...

Why basements flood and how to prevent that with a sump pump
Basements improvements

Why Basements Flood & How to Prevent Flooded Basements

...garden or changing the design, be certain that the land is graded away from the house where possible, away from stair and window wells, and that soil levels or mulching don't creep up in height and come over the top of dimpled membranes on basement walls - introducing humidity directly into the concrete or CMU. It's ...

White pine floors finished with Rubio Monocoat, a zero VOC durable oil
Flooring and stairs

Sanding your own wood floors

...garden. Once you've got all that on, you'll be too hot, and/or nature will call - so you'll probably end up doing the job without protection and suffer for weeks after with sinusitis. It's not big, and it's not clever to ignore safety warnings folks - and now you can't say I didn't warn you... so on your head's be it! ...

Dog strangling vine invasive species
Landscaping

Avoiding invasive species when landscaping

Invasive plants are defined as plants from other continents, countries or even other regions of Canada. Humans have been introducing foreign plants to new lands since the 17th century, for horticultural, agricultural or medicinal purposes. Due to a lack of natural competitors they can often propagate swiftly and compl...

What is a Free Home Energy Audit Canada?
Grants and incentives

Free home energy audits in Canada

...garden variety home energy audit will likely include an inspection of your home insulation, including finished and unfinished basements, seeing how it is insulated, the level of attic insulation, the quality of your windows, and a blower door test to see how much heat loss there is from air leaks . A blower door te...

Climate change impact of diet
Lifestyle and environment

how your diet affects climate change

How does diet affect climate change? Dwindling water is the next big global resource crisis looming over us, and soil depletion isn't far behind. Living in a green home doesn't instantly equate to a low-impact lifestyle, if for example you have a long gas-powered daily commute and you eat a 12 ounce steak every nigh...

Patio stones with very low greenhouse gas emissions
Concrete and masonry

Reducing emissions with CO² cured-concrete

A new cement block manufacturing process developed by an American company named Solidia Technologies® produces 40% fewer emissions during manufacturing than conventional concrete, resulting in a dramatically lower environmental footprint. Solidia’s concrete is formulated with less lime and is cured at lower temperatur...

Cedar deck and stairs under construction cedar naturally the most durable wood
Decks, porches and gazebos

Tips for building a deck - 10 Tips to make your deck last longer

...garden in cold climate zones and your home has a basement, is how to prevent spring thaw basement flooding - so be sure to carefully grade surfaces under decks and the deck itself away from your property to direct snow melt away from the home and basement. The Choice for Deck Surfaces - How to Choose Wood or Composit...

Sorting home recyclable materials at a recycling center
Lifestyle and environment

Why recycling is important, and how to recycle correctly at home

...garden How to dispose of construction waste responsibly Where to buy and sell used building materials online Find more about green home construction in the Ecohome Green Building Guide pages - also, learn more about the benefits of a free Ecohome Network Membership here .