The Daily Green asks: "Energy-Efficient Homes: Cheaper to Own, More Expensive to Buy. Why?"

The Los Angeles Times dons an umbrella and pushes rain barrels to their limits. "Realist Idealist" Susan Carpenter reflects on how hers held up during the recent storms in Southern California. 
Slate understands that what can and what cannot go in the recycling bin can be a confusing matter. The Green Lantern tries to clear things up. 

The New York Times heads to the garden and chats with several choosey gardeners to see what their preferred seeds for springtime planting are. 

Re-Nest digs a new line of eco-friendly cleaning products with cheeky packaging called B_E_E (Beauty Engineered forEver). 

Michelle Kaufmann announces that her fabulous book, Prefab Green, is now available for the Kindle. 

The Daily Mail gawks at the plans for Manchester United star Gary Neville's bizarro, subterranean abode in the British countryside. It's solar and wind -owered and apparently draws architectural inspiration from the Teletubbies. That's the eco-bunker in question pictured above. 

The Wall Street Journal documents "The Great American Soap Overdose." How can overdoing it with laundry detergent be stopped?

Inhabitat examines designer Xavier Calluaud's Urb Garden, a mini vertical garden with modular cubby holes, built-in worm farm, and a water-saving drip irrigation system. 

Dwell analyzes contractors. Yes, contractors. Writes Dan Maginn: "They are fundamentally different from other people. They have their own language of sorts and their own curious customs and mannerisms, like Klingons, or French people. They have cool belts and cool stuff (multitools, wee little anodized flashlights, and other things that would be handy to have) fastened to their cool belts."

Designboom reveals the plans for a student housing complex in France that's constructed from 100 stacked recycled shipping containers. 

Design Milk checks out three fetching modern planters. 

Image: Make Architects; Thumbnail: Tavoado

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

Playing catch up: Not of the garden variety
Green home news is an anything-but-ordinary affair. Read on for stories about Teletubby-inspired eco-bunkers, soap overdoses and a curious species known as the