Tea-Party Tree Trunk

What's a girl to do when National Grid swoops through the yard and takes down a dead tree blocking the power line?

Stack that wood for next winter, turn that trunk into a table, and start planning an epic tea party.

Not every trunk has to be removed from its place in your yard—a simple plywood circle attached to the trunk with galvanized decking screws and a coat of exterior paint is enough to equip you with the most perfect table for an outdoor checkers match, picnic, or Mad Hatter tea party complete with log seats.

Do you not LOVE this?! Stay tuned for pics from the obviously impending matches of bocce ball and croquet with sides of tea and cucumber sandwiches in all the seersucker, linen, and party-dress fare we can get our hands on.
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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.

DIY Pallet Benches

I stumbled last year upon a DIY webpage that had plans for a bunch of different furniture all made from wood pallets. I instantly decided that I would start making things. Right before I came to Better Farm I constructed a poorly designed bed frame from pallets because I had no idea what I was doing and didn’t have the right tools. After learning a few things here at Better Farm, I was ready to try again; this time, with benches. I found the perfect pallet and grabbed some extra 2x4s that had been pulled off of other pallets that we were using for the sauna.

I took a circular saw and cut the pallet at the edge of the middle board so that I now had two separate pieces. From there I took a 2x4 and reconnected the boards that had just been cut with nails so I had two skinny pallets which would be used for the seat of the bench. I filled in the ends of each pallet with a 2x4 that had been cut to size so that I had a rectangular frame on the bottom.

The 2x4s were all roughly 36 inches in length so I cut 8 legs from them that measured roughly 18 inches. Each bench has four legs, which I attached in the corners after making sure they were square. I then attached a scrap piece at the ends of the benches on the legs for a little bit of extra support. The benches were made in about 2 hours and it was pretty simple.
To keep them looking rustic I gave them a light sanding and put some polyurethane on them. The first bench was more of a prototype so I just put it together without taking note of the writing that was on the pallets. The second time around I made a point to put the writing on the outside to give the bench more of a handmade look. It was a great project that anyone can do and I can’t wait to make more.     

DIY Hinged Bench from Old Doors

This bench, made from old, discarded doors, has a hinged top for huge amounts of storage space.

We kept busy last Saturday building the frame for a sauna, installing a lot of lights and new sound equipment in the Art Barn, and increasing storage in the barn's studio space. For that, Greg and I made a hinged bench that doubles as seating and storage.

For the sides of the bench, Greg cut one side of pocket door in half, using the other half as the front of the bench. He reinforced the walls and front by nailing the pieces together and screwing them into a small wood frame running along the floor and wall.  

When the base was all put together, we started on the top. We realized pretty quickly that we'd need a support beam running along the length of its center; and we had to put a piece of wood into the wall so the whole thing wouldn't move. 


We hinged the top door to a piece of wood screwed into the back of the frame so that the entire top of the bench can lift up for storage. We plan to make another one of these so we have two long benches underneath the bank of windows on the second floor. In total, this project cost us $0, the only expenses being hinges (which we had), and the correct screws for the job (we used 2.5").



Got a great DIY project you'd like to share? Email us at info@beterfarm.org.

Progress on Frame Ceiling


We blogged recently about a ceiling design for Better Farm's Art Barn that will utilize donated, discarded frames. We "broke ground" on the project a couple of weeks ago, and have already used up the frames given to us by Fort Drum and Focal Point Frames. Here's how we went about the work:

Firstly, it's important to always keep your end-goal in sight:
This photo from the New York Times is of a ceiling created out of discarded picture frames by Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion.
1. Line up all matched frames in a row.
 2. Using a power nailer, connect corner pieces.
3. Use a chop saw to shorten sides to fit between ceiling beams.

4. Begin the laborious task of power-nailing the frames to the ceiling...





Got some frames you can donate to the cause? Email info@betterarts.org to help out!
Comment

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.

DIY Rustic Log Benches

A chainsaw, log, drill, and lag bolts are all you need to make your own rustic, outdoor bench.
Our friend Jamie Parker stopped in at Better Farm on Sunday with a truck bed filled with logs and a chainsaw. Two hours later, we had four benches perfect for campfire-sitting or enjoying music from the top of the hill behind the Art Barn. Here's a great spring project for those of you who are comfortable wielding a chainsaw.



Supplies
Logs
Chainsaw
Lag Bolts (at least 6 inches long)
Drill with 3/4 inch drill bit
Socket set

Directions

1. Cut legs for your benches. Our legs are 20 inches high, but make yours as high as you like. First cut the logs at the length, then halve the chunks.
2. Cut the length of your bench by halving a longer log.




3. Notch out for your seat to sit flat on the legs.
4. Pre-drill two holes over each leg and use your socket set to screw in your lag bolts. You're all done! A coat of poly will protect your benches against inclement weather and rot.

Got a DIY project you'd like to share? E-mail us at info@betterfarm.org.
Comment

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.

Gallery Ceiling Will be Picture-Perfect

This photo from the New York Times is of a ceiling created out of discarded picture frames by Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion. The image became our inspiration for the gallery ceiling in Better Farm's Art Barn.
Thanks to donations from Focal Point Custom Framing and Fort Drum, Better Farm's Art Barn is about to have a gallery ceiling fittingly made entirely out of upcycled picture frames. It's a lesson in upcycling, but more than that we like to think of it as a very literal intersection between art and sustainability. In return for keeping hundreds of old picture frames out of burn pits or landfills, we get to use them to create a thing of beauty—and a thought-provoking thing at that.

The gallery space in Better Farm's Art Barn.

Since I moved to Better Farm in 2009, the Art Barn overhaul has been one of our biggest and ongoing projects. We've cleared out years' worth of hay from the second story, added bank after bank of windows, rented dumpsters to haul out all the old and broken stuff that had been piled up over the course of decades, added track lighting and gallery walls, and turned the whole space into a studio and art and performance gallery. In the fall of 2011 we added recycled soy sprayfoam insulation on the first level, and in the spring of 2012 added a second-story deck overlooking a natural amphitheater (to check out the unreal sound quality for yourself, be sure to visit us at this year's betterArts/Better Farm Open House & Fundraiser.

I've been kicking around a bunch of ideas for the ceiling on the first floor of the Art Barn, which betterArts uses as its gallery space:
I considered using old barn wood, then wondered about using some old siding we have in the wood shed. Many people suggested sheet-rocking it, or zipping down some slab wood to use. Then, Fort Drum donated a bunch of old, broken picture frames to us. I recalled an article in the New York Times about Dan Phillips of Phoenix Commotion, a man who builds recycled houses—which is to say, he takes building materials destined for the dump and builds homes with them for next-to-nothing.

In one of the images from that article (see above), he took picture frame corners to create a zig-zag pattern across the ceiling of a house. This was the perfect solution for our Art Barn ceiling! I set about finding a frame shop locally that might be willing to donate more frames to betterArts to use in the non-profit's gallery space.

Tracy Spencer from Focal Point Custom Framing in Watertown was extremely gracious and said that while the company seldom has broken frames, they do have some small frames with defects and discarded moulding. I met with Tracy Saturday morning and picked up the bounty—we're hoping to continue working with Focal Point in the future to get the project completed (many frame pieces are required!). Tracy also through in some beautiful suede matboard that we can use for arts & crafts projects in the community.

Here's Focal Point's display wall, also indicative of what our ceiling will look like:

 My car, stuffed to the gills:

Back at the Farm, I got the Ryobi chop saw out and ready to make 45-degree cuts on the frames:

Then began the extremely tedious process of piecing all the frames together:

We will get chopping this week and should be able to get a quarter to a full half of the ceiling completed before the open house in May. Stay tuned for updates!
Comment

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.

Whet Your Pallet

This pallet adirondack chair was featured on Green Upgrader.

Building with pallets is a great starter upcycling venture. They're made of solid hard wood, they're readily available (just track down some friends who work construction), and they're oft-abandoned after they serve their purpose. Here are just a few wonderful ideas we tracked down online over the last few months.

For compost bins:

...For tables...

...For shelving...

...For storage...
 ...For seating (or sleeping!)...

...For outside bars:

...For work-room stairs...

...For bringing in-house forts to a whole new level...
 ...for plants...


...for storage...

Got a great upcycling idea you'd like to share? E-mail us at info@betterfarm.org.
Comment

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.

Barn Wood Carpentry

Master Bath hook rack and shelf unit made with old barn wood.
Old barn wood is one of the most fun and aesthetically pleasing mediums to work with; as imperfections become assets and applications are almost infinite. When we cut holes in the barn across the street for windows two years ago and swapped out older doors for new, we stashed the wood in a shed for later use. Well, the future is now. Circular and table saws provided all the cuts necessary to make the following rustic pieces:


Sliding barn-style door used for master bath.
Dining alcove wall (done several years ago, utilizing different barn wood).

Master Bath hook rack and shelf unit made with old barn wood.
Built-in bathroom shelf.
Kitchen phone shelf.
Got a great upcycling idea you'd like to share? E-mail us at info@betterfarm.org.
Comment

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.

Cheap (or Free!) Sustainable Housing Options

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Cheap (potentially free) to build & free to run houses 

Mark Boyle takes us through some of the most cost-effective, environmentally sound options for housing

Mark Boyle
Originally published by Permaculture Magazine

Theoretically, you could build any house for free, especially in a model such as the resource-based economy that participants in the Zeitgeist Movement propose. But realistically, a dwelling may only be built for free to the degree that it was made from local materials. Therefore any design that involves imported materials will very likely have some level of financial (and ecological) cost attached to it in most instances, though as we will see this is not necessarily so, as we can often use the detritus of industrialized society to produce the sustainable homes of the future.

For the purposes of this article, I will look at houses that could be built for free but are likely to cost something, even if it is a fraction of what you would spend on a modern brick-and-mortar house. To keep costs to the absolute minimum, use your imagination and try to use what you have at hand, as much as you possibly can, in the construction process. In all cases, once they are up they can easily be free to run on an ongoing basis. For inspiration, Lloyd Kahn's books Shelter, Home Work and Tiny Homes are excellent sources.

 

Passive solar designs

If you want to eliminate heating bills, and your corresponding ecological footprint into the bargain, then one of the best things you can do is build using a passive solar design, ideally using a locally sourced material such as cob, which has high thermal mass, as a means of storing the energy created. Designing in a greenhouse, where you propagate and grow whateverplants you want to eat or use, onto the south facing side of your house is one of the best methods of doing so.

The sun shines in through these windows throughout the day, heating up the dwelling behind the greenhouse. If you want a house that heats up quickly in the morning, but are happy for it to cool down in the late evening, then fitting your interiors with wood may be a good option within such a design. However, if you would prefer to have a house that takes a little longer to warm up in the morning (for example, if you are out of the house until evening) but which then stays warm throughout the evening until the following morning, then cob may be a much better alternative, as it slowly radiates the sun's warmth that it stored throughout the day.

 

Earthships

This is one version of a passive solar house, developed in the US by pioneering architect Michael Reynolds, for parts of the country that can get as cold as -20ºC. Passive solar homes can be made using a variety of materials, and usually are. Earthships are a specific variety that are made out of recycled and natural local materials. Rainwater harvesting methods, used car tyres rammed with earth, glass panes (which you can pick up for free from your local double glazer, who often are burdened with glass that they've cut wrong or that a customer no longer wants), wind turbines, solar water heating systems, photovoltaic panels, even beer cans and glass bottles (used to create wonderful lighting effects inside), all constructed using methods that very much chime with permaculture principles.

The result is that you have a model of home that will enable you to be self-sufficient for energy and water, and with a little bit of elbow grease, food also. Given that 40 million tyres are disposed of every year in the UK, the Earthship is a solution that simultaneously solves two problems: what to do with all these tyres, and the ecological impact of importing all the building materials that we currently use to build our homes, materials these otherwise useless tyres could come to replace. The fact that this untapped resource would provide high levels of thermal mass just adds to the notion that the Earthship design, adapted to use less complex equipment than they currently are designed with, really could be the model of a sustainable, moneyless future.

 

Earth bag construction

As an alternative to the rammed earth tyres of the Earthship model above, which pay great long-term dividends but which require a massive amount of time and human energy to begin with (each tyre can take approximately 40 minutes to an hour to fill, though numerous friends and acquaintances have told me that the weeks they spent ramming the tyres had a powerful bonding effect on their group), there is the option of using earth bags instead, which only take a few minutes to tamp depending on how strong and energetic you are feeling.

For this purpose you could reuse the rice and grain sacks that your local wholefoods and organic retailers and/or wholesalers may have. Depending on how simply you want to build these, they could be done without money, but it is more likely that they will be low cost in their construction. In the wake of the earthquake, the Haiti Christian Development Project built around a dozen such dwellings at the cost of £1,400 each, which included wage costs.

To bring that figure as close as you can to zero, and as a transitional strategy, you could instead employ a bunch of volunteers to help, whom you'll find are often enthusiastic about getting involved, whether to learn some new building technique or apply those skills they already have to help others build the sustainable homes of the future. With such a model of working, the volunteers get to learn all the skills which they can then pass onto others or use to build their own dwelling, whilst you get some much needed labour and morale boosting support, without any financial cost.

 

Straw bale homes and guest houses

For a localised (and hopefully moneyless) straw bale house, the type of straw you would use is country specific. In the UK that would be rye, oats or wheat. For more information on how to do this, I recommend Barbara Jones' book Building with Straw Bales: A Practical Guide for the UK and Ireland. A very useful take on the straw bale house is a mini-model which I stayed in whilst visiting a well-known self-sufficiency project in the UK.

The owners built a little straw bale guest house for visitors and volunteers,which was effectively a pimped up tent, but much warmer and cosier. It consisted of old wooden pallets on a base which they levelled out, covered in sheep's fleece (though any insulating material you can get your hands on for free could be used), with a recycled mattress on top, surrounded on three sides by load-bearing (and small) straw bales, with a south-facing wall of windows (constructed using waste glass and free reclaimed wood), with a green roof to help it blend into its landscape. Alternatively you could use the roof for water collection, depending on other factors in your unique situation.

 

Subterranean houses

This underground model was popularised by Mike Oehler in his book The $50 and Up Underground House Book, which shows you the basics you need to know in order to build one. The benefits of these include:
• Due to their subterranean nature, they do not impose on the landscape they exist within, a point that is especially advantageous if you do not have planning permission.
• They require no foundations and only half the building materials.They are energy efficient due to the fact they benefit from geothermal mass and heat exchange by their very nature; with good design they can stay warm in winter and cool in summer.
• Subterranean homes can also make best use of space if you are trying to be completely moneyless and your land is under an acre.
• The materials you gain from the excavation can be used in the building process.
• They are resistant to everything from earthquakes to the much more common threat of wind. The folk down at the building regulations department may have a few thoughts on it; that is, if you tell them about it!

 

Circular houses

Whenever a child draws a picture of a house, it always involves straight lines, such is the ubiquity of the rectangular or square house. Such dwellings haven't always dominated, however, and some circular models are still used as low impact and moneyless homes today. If round structure appeal to you, I'd recommend looking at Circle Houses: Yurts, Tipis and Benders by David Pearson or Simple Shelters: Tents, Tipis, Yurts, Domes and Other Ancient Homes by Jonathan Horning for more information and inspiration. Four main types of round dwellings spring to mind:

 

Roundhouses

These are regularly made from a number of locally sourced materials, including cob and cordwood, wooden posts, wattle and daub panels, all finished with either a thatched or reciprocal frame green roof.

A great example of one of these exists in Tinkers Bubble, an ecological community based in Somerset. Tony Wrench, who has built a well-known roundhouse, has written a very good book on the subject.

 

Yurts

A standard yurt is usually made up of a circular, wooden lattice frame covered in canvas. The roof is composed of a transparent crown, which allows light and heat in, held up by poles. You can add to their ability to retain heat by stuffing old rugs and duvets, or other insulating materials, in between the frame and the canvas. If this design appeals to you, I would recommend investigating geodesic domes first as a similar option, but one which you are more likely to be able to construct using zero money.

 

Tipis

These dwellings, traditionally used by Native American Indians and adopted by hippies worldwide, consist of wooden poles covered by some waterproofing material. Animal skins were traditionally used, though these days many people use canvas. The main difference between a tipi and other circular dwellings is its conical shape and opening at the top end, enabling the dweller to cook and heat themselves with an open fire. If you decide to use animal skins then tipis can be made 100% out of locally sourced materials and can easily be done without money. If you use canvas, they can still be made for free but you will need to mine the vast amounts of waste at our disposal.

If you live in the UK, all of these round structures will require planning permission; again that is if you inform the authorities. Due to their fairly mobile nature, many people just erect them and hope for the best, safe in the knowledge that they are easily moved if they get caught. In other countries such as Greece, which I spoke about earlier, many of these temporary structures do not require any permission, and given their climate and land prices, it can be a tempting place to go for anyone who wants to live outside of the absurd story of money and credit and debt without having to attempt to navigate the minefield of bureaucracy that exists in the UK.

The ideal home is one which makes the most of the best elements of all the above designs. As long as you have a sound understanding of the materials you are working with, and the landscape and climatic conditions you are working within, you can do a pick-and-mix with all the materials and designs above. A large part of your decision may simply come down to what materials grow locally to you and what you already have at hand.

For more information on building on non-development land see 'How To Get Planning Permission on Non-Development Land'
The Moneyless Manifesto by Mark Boyle is available at the special price of £11.20 (click here for e-book edition) from www.green-shopping.co.uk or call us on 01730 823 311.
Photo creditshttp://strawworks.co.uk

Further Reading:

DIY Wainscot Paneling

With a recent renovation project that added a bathroom and reinvented another, a doorway in the kitchen was moved. That left a wall only half-covered with tongue and groove wainscot panels:
Using discarded tongue and groove from the bathroom project and some other pieces we refined to make our top and bottom edges, we were able to create our own custom wainscot panels for free.

Here's a simple step-by-step guide if you'd like to give this a go—it's a great way to dress up any room.

Wainscot Paneling

Materials
  • Basic hand tools
  • Circular saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Pneumatic finish nail gun to complete this project
  • Table saw
Step-By-Step Instructions
1. Allow your wood to acclimate. Stack the wood in your room about a week before you start installing it so it has time to adjust to the humidity level in your home.

2. Prep your space. We removed the existing panels so that all our boards would be uniform. Protect tile, wood and vinyl floors with two layers of heavy paper or cardboard taped down. Cover carpeted floors with canvas dropcloths.
 3. Install the baseboard. A radial arm saw or sliding miter saw works best for cutting baseboard, but you can make perfect cuts with a circular saw, too. Install a sharp blade and clamp a square to the board as a saw guide. A giant speed square also makes a great saw guide. For a great-looking job, arrange the boards for the best color and grain match before you make the final cuts, especially on boards that must be spliced to cover a long wall. If your floors are unusually wavy or out of level, trim the bottom of the boards to fit the contour of the floor. They don't have to fit perfectly. Base shoe molding will cover gaps up to 3/8 in. Arrange baseboard around the room so the grain pattern and color of adjoining pieces match as closely as possible. Rough-cut the boards a few inches longer than needed. Then cut the boards to exact length and nail them to each stud with two 2-1/2 in. nails.
4. Glue and nail the paneling. Figure out approximately how many full-length tongue-and-groove boards you'll need and cut them to your desired height. Don't assume the boards have a perfectly square mill-cut end. First trim one end square, then cut it to length. Use a level to make sure the first board is plumb before you glue and nail it. You may have to plane a bit from the top or bottom of the groove side to fit a board against out-of-plumb door or window trim. Apply glue to the back of each piece of wood, then drive nails into the drywall hold the boards firmly until the glue dries. If you run across a board that's bowed or crooked, save it for a spot where there's a stud mark so you can bend it straight and nail it to solid wood. In this situation, or at corners or other tight spots, it's OK to nail through the face of the board. Fill the nail holes with matching putty after the first coat of finish. Don't worry if the tops of the boards don't line up perfectly; you'll cover them later with the cap and shelf. Add new pieces of wainscot by pushing the grooved edge onto the tongue of piece already applied.



5. Notch around any electrical outlets. Notch the boards to fit around electrical boxes. Don't forget to make a small notch for the outlet screws—it's hard to do after the paneling is in place. The electrical code requires that electrical boxes be flush with wood paneling. You could move the boxes out, but this would be a big job. Instead, buy box extensions, available at hardware stores and home centers, and install them before you reinstall the switches and receptacles.
6. Space boards for an even corner fit. Measure from the corner to the edge of the board, excluding the tongue, to determine the width of the last board. Measure every 12 inches along the corner and mark these dimensions on the final board. Connect the marks to create a cutting line.
7. Install your wainscot chair rail. The Wainscot chair rail is applied by nailing on 16” centers. Nail into studs whenever possible for strength.

 8. Prime and paint. Remember to tape off your lines!


Got a great DIY idea you'd like to share? E-mail us at info@betterfarm.org.
Comment

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.

Slab Wood Furniture

Benches and end tables made from slab wood.
Whether you're short on cash and in need of some indoor/outdoor furniture or you just love the way rustic building looks, here's a simple and free way to deck out your patios, decks and interiors: slab wood.

With a table saw, some slab wood from your local lumber mill (often discarded by them, free for you!), a few wooden dowels, some screws, wood glue, and a little help from your friends, you'll have your guests guessing what boutique you went to in order to find this one-of-a-kind furniture.
Slab wood donated by Grisanti over at Redwood Lumber

Because all pieces of slab wood are different, and because your needs will be different, there's no sense in us offering sizes for cuts of wood. Just make sure your legs are even lengths, your seat or table top is wide enough, and you offer appropriate support for weight. We used a table saw to make all our cuts and trimmings.


Here are Greg and Elyna cutting down the boards:

And visualizing the finished product:

 Pre-drilled holes get screws, a dollop of wood glue, and some dowels:


 And voila:


Got a great DIY project to share? Itching to volunteer your time and expertise at Better Farm? E-mail us at info@betterfarm.org or call (315) 482-2536.
Comment

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.