The Wall Street Journal considers an alternative method of clearing out weed-ridden, overgrown lawns and gardens: goat rentals. Wendy Bounds investigates. 

Dwell visits Stacey Hill's repurposed shipping container garden shed/guesthouse in a San Antonio artists' commune. With the help of architect Jim Poteet, the container was modified to include a green roof, composting toilet, bamboo flooring and other homey features.  

NPR travels to Japan to learn more about the country's kyosho jutaku (ultra-small homes) movement. Reads the  article: " ... the term 'house' doesn't really do justice to these eye-catching architectural gems, fashioned from a high-tech palate of materials like glittering glass cubes, fiber-reinforced plastic and super-thin membranes of steel."

EcoHome chats with Michael Chandler of Chapel Hill, N.C.-based green building firm Chandler Design-Build. 

Re-Nest suggests three summer reads that aren't exactly sexy, riveting page-turners but will be appreciated by those interested in green construction: "Green From the Ground Up", "Green Building from A to Z", and "Green Roof Systems". 

Planet Green scours the globe for the world's "Top 5 Trees Houses."

CNN talks trees with (and gets serenaded by) MNN's very own Chuck Leavell at his home on Charlane Plantation in Georgia.  

The Independent touchesdown on a hot topic, air conditioning, in a chat with Stan Cox, author of "Losing Our Cool: Uncomfortable Truths About Our Air-Conditioned World".

Jetson Green admires Fortino, a gorgeous green prefab from Ideabox that was designed especially for Portland's NW Natural Street of Dreams. 

TreeHugger eyes the Combox, a modular, expandable compost bin that can grow vegetables, store garden tools, and is made from recycled/recyclable post-consumer plastic. Sadly, it's only available in Europe at the moment. 

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.