It’s been an active week in the news: President Obama addressed a beleaguered nation (and Michelle hints at the incoming First Pup's breed); the Oscars wowed with questionable fashions, heartfelt speeches, and a healthy dose of song and dance; and Captain Planet returned to save the day (exclusively at MNN).

Take a breather to peruse these green home-centric news items that you may have missed. See you next week with the 411 on mulching ... it's the first post in a month-long series of lawn and garden tips and tidbits. I'll also be profiling Brooklyn-based sustainable furniture designer Scott Raffaele and picking my favorite flameless LED candles to provide illumination during next month's Earth Hour celebration. 

Ecorazzi fetches an item about the incoming Obama pooch: Sustainable Pet Design’s “Summa Canum” dog house will be delivered to the White House by none other than Neil Young who will personally transport it in his all-electric 1959 Lincoln.

HuffPo Green tackles a growing national concern over potentially toxic Chinese drywall. 

TreeHugger answers a burning question: What exactly is a zero carbon home? Architecture and design guru Lloyd Alter explains that the UK-specific term refers to a home “that generates as much power as it uses over the course of a year and therefore has net zero carbon dioxide emissions.”

The Wall Street Journal flips the channel to a discussion on eco-friendly televisions.

GreenBiz reports from Compostmodern 09, a sustainable design conference where the phrase “the planet is your client” got a lot of play.

The Economist reveals that not everything is super-sized in Texas with a profile of Brad Kittel and his building pint-sized building operation, Tiny Texas Houses.

Ideal Bite lets the good times roll with tips on how to have a green Mardi Gras fete.

The Los Angeles Times checks-in to the laid-back Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs. The Ace features numerous stylish green décor touches like cork tile flooring, vintage furnishings, and galvanized pipe fittings repurposed as towel hangers. 

Design*Sponge instructs on how to create your very own felt door organizer. 

The New York Times chats with the EPA's Clive Davies about the least environmentally irresponsible household detergents. 

Re-Nest spots a newbie on the green cleaning product shelf: Nature's Source by SC Johnson. The plant-based, biodegradable line include a bathroom cleaner, a glass and surface cleaner, an all-purpose cleaner, and a toilet bowl cleaner. 

Jetson Green gets the scoop from green building consultant Mark LaLiberte on the five most common green building mistakes. Among them are wasted resources and poorly selected and installed insulation.  

PSFK is on the scene as the Dutch return to New York City. Amsterdam's iconic design collective, droog, opened a shop/exhibition space in SoHo yesterday. The store is the third and largest droog outlet. 

Designboom gives us a sneak peek at a new line of stylin' sustainable products — furniture, fixtures, wall hangings, and the like — from IKEA. Hella Jongerius and Front are two of the designers involved. Check out the quirktastic promo video, below.


 Photo: spiderponey

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

Playing catch up: Super-powered linkage
Have a busy week acting out eco-superhero fantasies? Check out these green home news items that you may have missed.