CAROL VENOLIA has been internationally recognized for decades as a thought leader in the ecological design movement. She was recently honored by The Green Economy Post as one of ten pioneering women in green design, and named a Green Design Trailblazer by Natural Home Magazine.

An inspiring speaker, Carol has presented keynote speeches, lectures, and workshops throughout North America. As an architect, she has designed homes of straw, earth, and “good wood,” and consulted on greening schools, healing centers, camps, and eco-villages.

Carol has written two books: Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Being (Tenspeed/Celestial Arts, 1988) and Natural Remodeling for the Not-So-Green House (with Kelly Lerner, Sterling/Lark, 2006).

Carol also directed the EcoDwelling program at New College of California and Dominican University of California; published Building with Nature Newsletter; and penned the “Design for Life” column in Natural Home Magazine for over nine years.

“Come Home to Nature” is the culmination of Carol’s decades of research and experience, condensed into practical, personal guidelines that help shift people’s habits and surroundings, bringing them greater vitality and a deeper sense of belonging in nature.




For general audiences:

  • GET BACK TO NATURE WITHOUT LEAVING HOME: Ten things you need from your surroundings in order to thrive
  • MOTHER NATURE’S GOT YOUR HOME REMEDY: How to sleep better, be more productive, and feel happier and healthier
  • SATISFY YOUR WILD SOUL: What your body craves from your surroundings, and how to get it
  • 10 WAYS TO WORK MORE PRODUCTIVELY—Starting with staring out the window

For environmentalist audiences:

  • DEEP GREEN LIVING: How to save yourself and the planet by getting your nature groove on
  • THE SENSUOUS ENVIRONMENTALIST: Heal yourself and the planet through sensory self-indulgence

For green building audiences:

  • THE HUMAN-NATURE CONNECTION: The missing link in green building
  • LIFE-CENTERED DESIGN: There’s more to green building than doing less harm




  • “Green Design: Empowering the Future” conference, Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA
  • California Straw Building Association Spring Conference, San Luis Obispo, CA
    Living Lightly Fair, Muncie, IN
  • Northwest EcoBuilding Guild Retreat, Pt. Orchard, WA

Selected lecture, workshop, and panel events:

  • US Green Building Council, Redwood Empire Chapter, Rohnert Park, CA
  • American Solar Energy Society Annual Conference, Cocoa Beach, FL
  • City of Scottsdale Green Building Program, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Third International Feng Shui Conference, Monterey, CA
  • Century 21 Top Agent Event, Chicago, IL
  • Health Care Interior Design Conference, Orlando, FL
  • Design~Build~Live, Austin, TX (two lectures and a workshop)
  • Build Well 2010, Sausalito, CA (opening panelist: “Green Pioneers”)
  • West Coast Green, San Francisco, CA (several times)
  • Prescott College, Prescott, AZ
  • Ecosa Institute, Prescott, AZ
  • HOPES Eco-Design Arts Conference, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
  • Building for Human Health Colloquium, Aspen, CO
  • Designing for Sustainable Communities Conference, Santa Barbara, CA


Carol Venolia Speaker One-Sheet (PDF)

Headshots of Carol Venolia:



“Carol Venolia is one of those rare finds for whom ‘green’ and ‘natural’ aren’t branding moves or business plans. It’s her soul. Carol doesn’t ‘deploy strategies’; she feels life and love and energy and gives those back to the world.

“I had the pleasure of hosting Carol for the first Living Lightly Fair in Muncie, Indiana. She was a delight to work with; everything came together quickly and easily. In her keynote presentation, Carol was completely engaging and energetic, charming the group with her light yet deeply-felt style and her sense of humor. We need more people like Carol!”
~Mark Darrall, AIA, LEED AP
Communications Committee, Living Lightly Fair

“Carol Venolia was the Keynote Speaker for a conference entitled ‘Green Design: Empowering the Future,’ at Santa Rosa Junior College in April, 2011. She was truly professional in working with me. Feedback from attendees of her talk included: ‘Thought provoking,’ ‘great speaker,’ ‘informative and entertaining,’ and ‘set a good tone for the day.’”
~Bonnie Panizzera, CHE, MA
Interior Design Program Coordinator, Santa Rosa Junior College

“Carol Venolia was the featured keynote speaker for the 2010 California Straw Building Association Spring Conference. Ms. Venolia’s presentation was timely, entertaining, and informative. Her comfortable delivery style and sense of humor immediately grabbed the audience’s attention, put them at ease, and ensured that they would not be bored.”
~Maurice Bennett, Director
California Straw Building Association

“Due to the enthusiastic response to Carol’s first talk for Design~Build~Live a few years ago, we invited her back to Austin to give two lectures and a workshop. Carol’s unique ability to integrate and communicate nuts and bolts, health, and heart-and-soul issues is rare and valuable. She engages her audience with lively stories, beautiful visual images, and useful words of wisdom. Few others capture this holistic nature of sustainable design.”
~Gayle Borst, LEED AP
Executive Director, Design~Build~Live