Grow house / Guides

Choosing the right firewood
Wood stove and biomass heat

Burning the right firewood for maximum heat output and minimum environmental impact

...grow best and support indigenous plant cover and wildlife.) It stands to reason that we shouldn't be cutting more than we are growing, and with the best hardwoods the problem is that they tend to be amongst the slowest growing trees. One common view about wood-burning across the USA & Canada is that using softwood is...

Tru Earth Eco strips laundry detergent reviews
Lifestyle and environment

Tru Earth Eco-Strip laundry soap reviewed as a liquid laundry detergent alternative, concentrated or not, tends to get just about the same size capful thrown in the machine... We're not overly-proud of that - but it's true and it grinds certain folks gears - especially as most of the contents of these huge, leaky and environmentally-disastrous jugs is water anyhow! (Ok, maybe the rant is done no...

CaGBC, LEED green building trends
LEED Homes

New report shows Canadian green building market growing steadily with owners seeing strong benefits from building green.

...growth over the next three years, with surveyed Canadian firms expecting to grow their green practices from one third in 2014, to one half by 2017. These findings are part of a new report prepared by McGraw Hill Construction and commissioned by the Canada Green Building Council. The report, titled Canada Green Building...

Is EPS foam eco-friendly? Exterior home insulation rigid foam panels
Insulation and soundproofing

Does plastic foam or Styrofoam insulation have a place in green building? insulated with foam. And I’m still open, so by all means please make your case for or against foam insulation in the comment section below and try to change my mind back. In 2002, when I started to design my own house, I bounced between various wall assemblies, but not based on any hard facts. I listened to the...

Saving Energy in Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs - Our Top Tips to Save Money
Natural swimming pools and ponds

Top tips for energy efficient swimming pools - reduce pool cleaning & running costs parties. We realize that swimming pools are pretty near the top of the wish-list for many people in North America and the warmer parts of the world, we get it - so let's please use as little energy as possible and keep them as eco friendly as possible. Interesting sidenote, Quebec in Canada is “pool central” of...

A Vancouver laneway house
Flexible house design

Flexible house design A note of caution; do not actually hook up water and electrical lines, simply have them ready. The same thing applies to water; run lines towards a main water feed ready for future installation and allow enough slack for them to be easily connected. Pre-framing rooms for future changes can also save material...

ProductiveHouse in Montreal
Choosing where to live

Green living in the city

...grow a bit of food. There are edibles that grow well in shaded areas, and investigate outdoor hydroponics to increase your yield. There is a small but growing movement towards urban agriculture, and replacing conventional landscaping and lawns with food production. And if you are a big egg eater, lobby for the return...