Trent Johnson

Is DIY Spray Foam Insulation a Bad Idea?
While I’d love to stick denim insulation in my walls, it’s just not possible without ripping off all the sheet rock. So while the debate goes on for petroleum based insulation products that claim zero VOCs, R-values up to 7.4 per inch, and CFCs and Formaldehyde free, I’d argue that the one-time environmental cost would provide years of environmental savings.
May 9, 2019
How to Grow 100 Pounds of Potatoes in 4 Square Feet
On many occasions, we’ve been tempted to grow our own potatoes. They’re fairly low maintenance, can be grown in a pot or in the ground, last a fairly long time if stored properly, and can be very nutritious (high in potassium and vitamin C). Here’s more incentive: according to this article, you can grow 100 pounds of potatoes in 4 sq. feet.
May 9, 2019
How To: Insulate with Bubble Wrap
We’ve blogged about a bubble wrap “stained glass window” before, but bubble wrap also works as a great insulator when it’s cold. See how to use leftover packaging to decrease your heating bill, after the jump…According to Build it Solar, bubble wrap is often used to insulate greenhouses during the winter — so why not use it at home, too!
May 8, 2019
How To: Paint with Milk Paint
Milk Paint was used before the sale of commercially made paints. It comes in rich colors that don’t fade, and can be used on furniture and walls. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, versatile and environmentally-friendly. Wondering how to use it? See how after the jump.We’ve seen this beautiful kitchen done with Milk Paint, but what do you need to know before trying it out?
May 8, 2019
How To Make A Wine Bottle Tiki Torch for Under $4.00
Inspired by the this Recycled Wine Bottle Torch post and annoyed by mosquitoes this week (how is it that they’re already out and there’s been only a few weeks of spring?), we hit up the hardware store and threw together a $3.48 recycled wine bottle torch filled with citronella. While it’s not as classy as the real thing (nor as safe), it keeps the bugs at bay and looks pretty good. And it was quick and cheap.
May 8, 2019
Creative Reuse: Five Cork Trivets that You Can Make
For those of us who save our wine corks, here’s a great way to put them to use: easy to make trivets to protect your counters and tabletops from hot dishes! Here are five ideas that are easy to recreate.Cork is naturally heat and moisture resistant, the makings for a great trivet. It’s also incredibly green. Pictured above from left to right, here are some DIY trivet ideas for your home: Picture Frame Cork Trivet: Have an old picture frame lying around?
Jan 6, 2012
How To Make a Hanging Lace Lamp
It’s hard to believe that this beautiful hanging lace lamp can be made at home with little more than some creativity, a few doilies, and a balloon. Want to learn more?While I haven’t done paper mâché since third grade, Isabelle from Dos Family created this amazing lace lamps using the basic paper mâché technique, doilies and balloons.
Dec 16, 2011
Why Cork is So Incredibly Green
Most people have a hard time associating cork with anything other than wine. While bottle stoppers account for roughly 70% of cork production worldwide, cork can also be in musical instruments, insulation, and a tremendous variety of flooring products. But the amazing thing about cork is how sustainable the production is, from cradle to grave. It’s almost too green to be true.
Jul 19, 2011
Storing Your Tools
They live in my kitchen, fill my shed, line my drawers, overwhelm my closets, and get stashed in my guest room. Tools are the necessary baggage of my DIY lifestyle, yet a hindrance when entertaining, cleaning or trying to please the wife. Here are some ideas on where they should live instead. Sure, if I had a garage, storage would be as simple as getting a workbench.
Aug 25, 2010
How To Make Homemade 3-Ingredient Lip Balm
When I posted about Eight Products You Think You Need—But Don’t, an overwhelming number of readers responded that they just couldn’t go without lip balm. Well, if you can’t give it up, at least consider making it at home, which also allows you to reuse tubes!There are a few ingredients out there that will protect your lips from wind and temperature. While petroleum jelly will work, natural products like beeswax are a better choice for the obvious environmental reasons.
Aug 24, 2010
5 Hideaway Desks from Chain Stores
Hideaway desks can’t be beat when it comes to small spaces, and chain stores are recognizing this demand. The inclusion of computer enhancements makes many of these slim packages even more appealing, with cable management, data ports and USB hubs for your clutter free computing convenience.Incognito Ebony Compact Office by Crate and Barrel ($999)This dark ash cabinet is my favorite of the bunch, with trunk styling and plenty of hidden compartments.
Mar 31, 2010
What’s Inside Palmolive Ultra: Ingredients Decoded
To most non-scientists, the ingredients listed on the back of non-natural cleaning products or personal products are completely foreign. Wired Magazine’s series “What’s Inside” deconstructs the ingredients in Palmolive Ultra with some interesting finds.From Wired Magazine’s “What’s Inside” series, here’s What’s Inside Palmolive Ultra Concentrated Antibacterial Dish Liquid (With Orange Extracts).
Mar 18, 2010
Paper Counters: Paperstone, Shetkastone, Richlite & EcoTop
Solid surface countertops, regardless of the material, are going to last longer since you can have them refinished. Recycled paper countertops are a solid surface material that we’ve featured before. The durable surface is created by saturating panels made from post-consumer waste paper with resin, and then heating and compressing the material into a material that is very stone-like in texture and appearance. And there are more options than ever.
Mar 11, 2010
How To Make a String Tree Wall Mural
This impressive mural (along with a few others) were made by artist Kathryn Anderson with nothing more than pushpins and yarn. We’ll show you how you can create your own, step by step and with tips from the artist.Kathryn Anderson of KAndeArt has made some great wall murals out of nothing more than string and push pins. Here are her steps to creating a beautiful and unique murals from string.MaterialsPushpinsBrown yarn or stringA piece of wood to use as a thimble 1.
Feb 24, 2010
HDTV Antennas You Don’t Have to Hide in the Closet
Between Hulu and Netflix, I have little need for cable. I rely on my local HDTV channels for coverage of the Olympics and news via a HDTV antenna I tossed up in the attic because it was so aesthetically unpleasing. Until recently, ugly antennas were the norm. More recently however, manufacturers have taken aesthetics into account, introducing antennas designed for those who care about looks and performance.For best performance, an antenna should be placed the attic.
Feb 24, 2010
How to Care for Wood Countertops
Wood countertops are beautiful, relatively affordable, and more sustainable than other options. The biggest catch is they require regular care. Follow these simple steps to keeping your wood counters looking their best for years to come. Tips to Longer Lasting Counters: Wash wood countertops immediately after using especially when it comes to moisture containing stains, scraps and spills. Oil wood countertops once a month with a high quality mineral oil.
Feb 10, 2010
How To Start Seeds in Egg Crates
Starting seeds inside is a great way to get a head start on your garden. While it’s still early in most places for many vegetables, growing season for cold weather vegetables like broccoli and lettuce is right around the corner (late February in some places).You can start the seeds in just about any kind of container, but egg cartons do double duty by not only recycling, but separating your seeds into little planting pods.
Feb 5, 2010
22 Ways to Mount Your New TV
Trying to figure out how to mount that new TV you’re getting this holiday season? Since the TV is the corner stone of many living spaces, it’s only natural we obsess about where and how to place it. From a 90 degree articulating arm TV mount to the typical over the fireplace look, here are some ideas from the pros.
Dec 9, 2009
Moss Bathmat Feels Good, Looks Great
We’ve always loved moss, so when we saw this bathmat made primarily from moss (that gets watered when you step out of the shower), we had to learn more…This bathroom mat starts with an imputrescible foam called plastazote. Several types of moss are implanted in the cells of foam (a total of 70 pieces measuring 2.4 in. each) and live happily there as long as you shower often enough to get keep it moist while you towel off.
Oct 5, 2009
Kebonization Turns Softwood into Hardwood
Softwood, which grows faster and is more sustainable than hardwood, is generally unsuitable for the outdoors. A new process called “kebonization” aims to turn softwood into something more durable for use outside…Most recently if you wanted a durable wood for any outdoor project, you had three choices: unsustainable hardwoods, wood substitutes, or pressure-treated wood.
Sep 22, 2009
Fiberglass Framing Material by Composite Building Structures
This new composite framing material by Composite Building Structures is said to be stronger and more sustainable than any framing material now being used. Made from fiberglass resin, this new material is also incredibly lightweight: a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home requires about one ton of composite material vs. approximately 17 tons of wood…We think it’s pretty impressive.
Aug 24, 2009
How To: Make Recycled Magazine Coasters
We’ve posted before about DIY Eco Friendly Coasters but didn’t include these made from recycled magazines. Jessica Jones, the artist behind these beautiful coasters, has also put together a great how-to on making them yourself…Jessica, the blogger behind How About Orange, not only makes great recycled objects but shares in photos and words the steps to doing it yourself. Visit the original blog for more detailed steps and photos.
Jun 24, 2009
How To: Make a Pillow from an Old Tee
I stopped purchasing souvenir shirts years ago because they never fit quite right.
Jun 10, 2009
Monte-Silo House made from Two Corrugated Grain Silos
This unique home was designed by Gigaplex Architects for a single person living in Woodland, Utah. The home is constructed of two linked corrugated-metal grain silos making for some great circular interior space.Measuring in at 1,800 square feet for one person, the Silo House doesn’t exactly start green.
Mar 17, 2009
Greener Carpet Made from Corn by Mohawk
There are a couple new lines of carpet from Mohawk are easier to clean (with just water and no harsh chemicals), require 30 percent less energy to make and last just as long. One is made from recycled bottles and the other from corn!Carpet made from recycled plastic bottles seems like a logical step (see these rugs made from recycled plastic bottles) in recycled materials but carpet made from corn?
Jan 27, 2009