Solar power has been called the only truly clean energy because using it emits no greenhouse gases. With a few sunny-day upgrades, you can use the power of the sun to create a bright, welcoming environment in your home – and save on energy bills at the same time.

Where’s the best place to start improving the environment? “Right in your own back yard,” says Den Gardner, executive director of Project EverGreen, “and don’t forget your front yard as well.”

With the current down economy and tight mortgage lending rules, building your dream home can be difficult. Finding an affordable home is often critical, and at the same time, more homebuyers are looking for ways to go green. Despite a common belief that green construction adds to home costs, new technologies can help provide an affordable, quality home you can feel good about owning. Home design and construction software plays a key role.

The peak driving season is upon us, and warm weather typically means the windows are rolled down, the radio is turned up and there’s nothing ahead but the open road. High fuel costs and the extra mileage on your vehicle, however, can hit your wallet – and the environment – harder than you’d like. Some small steps can help you increase fuel efficiency and miles per gallon.

Is your cleaning really as clean as you think it is? In the battle to keep your living space clean and healthy, are you using conventional cleaning products with caustic and toxic ingredients? They can be just as harmful as the grime and bacteria they’re meant to eliminate.

It’s never too early to get a jumpstart on planning a more beautiful backyard. Maybe you are looking forward to inhaling the perfume of flowers wafting through the air, clipping buds from your prize-winning rose bushes, or simply enjoying the beauty of a lusher, more verdant backyard oasis this year.

For homeowners, good news has been hard to come by in this bleak economy. So it may come as a happy surprise to many to learn that the two most compelling trends in home remodeling and maintenance -- pinching pennies and going “green” -- are quite compatible with each other.