BuildDirect Blog: Life at Home

Author Description

Nan Fischer

Nan Fischer has been living and building green for over 35 years. She writes from personal experience and backs it up through her extensive resource library. Nan’s emphasis on the BuildDirect blog is about how to make your dollar stretch further, while also moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle. She is a major contributor to the BuildDirect green blog. Nan also blogs on the website of her seed business, sweetly seeds.

color trends blocks bar graph
  Inspiration for the 2015 colors come from nature – earth, plants and flowers. What are the colors in question? Read on! *** I am not trendy. I don’t follow the latest incarnation of anything. My one-of-a-kind mother taught...
American flag tomato salad plate
Boomers and Millennials drive the trends, and high tech seriously moves into the food industry. Here are some food trends for 2015 and beyond. *** For several months, food analysts, and restaurant and grocery store owners have been looking...
indoor herb garden window winter
Don’t let snow and 0º temperatures stop you from gardening! It is possible to grow herbs and vegetables inside for yummy, nutritious organic food all winter. The price of produce always shoots up in cold weather, but you can...
succulent houseplant top view
Think twice before turning your thermostat up as winter encroaches. Lowering the temperature in your house is an effective way to save natural resources, cut your heating bills, lower CO2 emissions, and reduce your carbon footprint. If you are...
plug
With the cost of solar plummeting, it is more and more tempting to go off-grid. It certainly is more economical than before, and people want to live cheaply and with the planet, maybe as rebels, maybe as environmental stewards....
kitchen waste
  It’s the peak of harvest season, which means lots of vegetable washing, chopping, cooking, freezing and canning. That means lots of food scraps, water usage, stock making, recycling and composting. I am by nature a frugal person trying...
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I was saddened to read about the community gardens along the Arbutus corridor in Vancouver being bulldozed. The article stated that gardens tended by families, some for 20 years, on an unused railroad track right-of-way had to be removed....
alternative housing yurt
When you hear the phrase ‘alternative housing’, what do you think of? Energy efficient? Solar? Water catchment? Green building and energy saving properties should be mainstream, but what else constitutes ‘alternative’? Out-of-the-box thinkers, rebels, recyclers, frugalistas and those who...
When I read this article about using farmland for large solar arrays, well, I was speechless! I was shocked, angry, appalled, and thought how can anyone be so stupid to use friable land for solar arrays? The only point...
Building green is not new. The back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and the Earth Day era of the 1970s showed that we could build more energy efficient houses to have a lighter impact on the environment. In more recent...
The first Earth Day was in 1970 as a way to bring awareness to environmental issues. Senator Gaylord Nelson wanted to create mandates to address air and water pollution, habitat loss for wildlife, and resource conservation. Twenty years later,...
Green living is not new. Before the Industrial Revolution brought us many ‘conveniences’, life was simpler, more natural, more sustainable, less expensive, friendlier and healthier. My grandfather immigrated to the US from Lithuania. He squeezed his own orange juice,...
With economies shrinking and urban populations dwindling, cities are ripe for change. To rebuild in this era for the benefit of remaining residents and to attract new ones is the only way to go. Because city governments move slowly,...
Did you ever Google ‘crazy alternative energy sources’? There are a lot of creative, forward-thinking, backward-thinking, out-of-the-box thinking, crazy, rational, inventive, boring, crude and fearless people out there! I spent an afternoon reading their ideas, exploring their websites and...
It’s the time of year to wonder what the next 12 months will bring. What are the trends in cars, fashion and construction? What will be sustainable? Is it really sustainable?! I found some far-out trends in my research!...
Each month here at BuildDirect, I write between eight and twelve blog posts. That’s a lot of reading to put out that much material! Sometimes I do all the research then never write about the topic for a variety...