Sauna Update

Better Farm's sauna gets a roof and floor.
We back in July broke ground on a sauna constructed entirely out of local and reused materials. In this instance, "green building" refers to the long list of items we're upcycling for the project, and our commitment to purchase everything else hyper-local (like locally sourced lumber from our next-door neighbor).

Here's our list of building materials so far:
  • Rigid insulation gleaned from a construction project that had pulled it out of an old house
  • A cast-iron wood stove pulled off a job site as garbage
  • A stump fro a fallen tree that's being incorporated as seating inside the sauna
  • Wood beams from a house demolition
  • Pallet boards from packing crates and shipping materials
  • Rough-cut lumber from Redwood Lumber Company
Of course, we had to buy our nails and screws new (except for a few we gleaned from Better Farm's tool shed). Since breaking ground last month, we've added most of the roof (will have to pick up more lumber and cover with metal) and floor (we need only two more pallets to get that job done). Next up are the walls, wood stove, and lining the interior walls, floor, and benches in cedar. Lastly, we'll pack the wood stove with rocks from the Adirondacks to allow for radiant heat (and steam potential)! Here are some more photos from the project's progress:

Many special thanks go out to Bob Laisdell for spearheading this project! Want to get involved on this project, or another one like it? Email us at

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.