New Book Review: The Carbon Free Home

I found a great new book at the library last week -  The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil -Fuel Habit by Stephen & Rebekah Hren.


I’m not all the way through this book yet, but already I can tell you it’s worth far more than the $23 it’ll cost you. (Awesome price!). Of course you can always be like me and get this book at the library, but if you own your house, it’d be a good bookshelf book.

What’s inside: 

This book covers 36 remodeling projects that can help you go greener at home (as if you didn’t guess that from the title). The huge benefit of this book is how super user friendly it is. Here are some main points…

  • Handy chart at the start which shows general costs and time involved in said project, the skills you need to pull the project off, energy saved if you do the project, and the chart even points out if the project is renter friendly (rare in green project books).
  • In the actual project guides throughout the book, all the background is explained (i.e. why you should consider the project), and there’s a more in-depth discussion of tools, time, and skills needed.
  • Great how-to diagrams, photos, and illustrations. Even if you don’t consider yourself particularly handy or crafty, there are projects you can do in this book.
  • Plenty of listed resources for other green building books, websites, and DVDs.

Examples of projects included:

  • Batch solar water heater
  • Outdoor cob oven
  • Install a 5-V metal roof
  • Storm windows
  • Insulation of existing fridge
  • Simple box cooker
  • And of course many more

I really like this book so far and think it’s a great green home manual no matter your building or green skill level.  Learn more at the Chelsea Green Bookstore

[image via Chelsea Green]

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    • Tinker 12

      The title of this grabs me and I love the easy breezy writing style. But, and isn’t there always a but, the sample projects sound kinda hard and big. Are these the easiest projects? You lose the non-DIY with that list.

    • Rogbog4299

      The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil -Fuel Habit. When you mentioned the book, I thought it was referring to some type of piosoning in the home or something like that. But this is an interesting take.

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    • Jennifer Chait

      @Tinker 12 these aren’t the easiest projects – just a sampling. Although a box cooker is easy – many of the projects in this book only require basic carpentry skills, and some projects require no skills. On the other side about half require basic to moderate know how of things like plumbing, electrical and so on. I’d say about half the projects in the book are aimed at people with minimal skills and the other half are more advanced. It depends on how willing you are to try new things I think too. I never thought I could help build a house, yet I did. You learn.