Happy Friday everyone. I'll be in Washington, D.C., this weekend clutching an umbrella and checking out 20 collegiate entrants in the Solar Decathlon 2009 (that's the home of the big winner, Team Germany, pictured below). Keep an eye out for my behind-the-scenes posts next week. In the meantime, check out MNN's photo slideshow of all the competing homes and my special preview posts from a couple weeks back. And, of course, take a few minutes to peruse the below great green home news links carefully collected by yours truly. 

 

The New Ecologist picks the "Top 10 Natural, Eco-Friendly and Anti-Pollutant Houseplants." What's numero uno? The beautiful and fragrant feston rose plant. 

The Daily Green gets its slideshow on with a roundup of 26 unusual pieces of recycled and upcycled home decor. On the list: bean bag chairs made from recycled highway signs, chandeliers made from CD jewel cases, and bowls made from bike chains. 

The Washington Post picks the brains of four interior design pros — Janet Morales, Stu Eli, Amy Rutherford, and Sally Steponkus  — to see how they make the best out of flea market, craiglist, and thrift store finds. 

Re-Nest cuddles up with five organic cotton blankets perfect for chilly fall evenings. 

The Guardian lists 10 good, U.K.-based alternatives to the popular recycle/reuse website Freecycle. The U.S. and U.K. arms of Freecycle recently split over management squabbles. 

The Wall Street Journal takes a look into the not-so-distant future where "smart" trash can identify its contents and, in turn, do all the sorting of recyclables for you. Looks like Rosie Jetson may be out of work. 

TreeHugger invites readers to send in photos of their own green home improvements. Interested? Snap away this weekend since the deadline is this coming Monday at 11:59 p.m. 

ReadyMade ventures into uncharted territory — the  Des Moines landfill — as part of blogger Caitlin Thornton's "A Week Without Garbage" series.

Greenopia has a few suggestions on what to plant this fall so that when spring rolls around your garden will be in beautiful, full bloom. 

The Chicago Tribune recommends that Chicagoans stop by the Merchandise Mart this weekend to check out the Historic Chicago Bungalow and Green Home Expo. This free expo features over 140 exhibitors showcasing eco-friendly home renovation products geared towards older homes in need of green revamping. 

Photo: Dept. of Energy Solar Decathlon 

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