Tag Archives: Off grid living

8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Here’s a few good tips to reduce your power usage. Solar power works fine, but often one has to adjust to the whims of nature, and on the cloudy days use less power.

=====================

Here are just a few of the changes that we made to our off-grid lives that helped us use less watts:

  1. We never took a shower before the sun was up.
  2.  Also, we never took a shower when the sun was down.
  3. Made sure we only did laundry between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and only one load per day.
  4. We went to bed early and got up early (this proved to be most productive).
  5. Always used battery-operated lanterns and book lights for evening reading.
  6. Made sure we unplugged everything — the coffee pot, the toaster, etc. – when not in use.
  7. We rarely used the microwave.
  8. Never left the TV on, and we used it sparingly.

Source: 8 Simple Ways To Live Off Grid On Less Watts – Off The Grid News

Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days

For a lot of people, the thought of summer squash brings to mind just a few varieties. The entire list probably consists of little yellow crooknecks and zucchini, with no more than one or two choices of each.

There is a bonanza of summer squash taste available to home gardeners. If you like squash even a tiny bit, you will want to grow your own. Fresh summer squash in your backyard provides daily fresh young produce throughout the season, the ability to eliminate food miles, and the opportunity to try dozens of unique varieties that are not available at stores or even farmer’s markets.

Source: Summer Squash: The Gardening Staple You Can Grow In 40 Days –

Save Your Seeds, Save Your Life

We are told that everything begins with seed. Everything ends with it, too. As a chef I can tell you that your meal will be incalculably more delicious if I’m cooking with good ingredients.

But until that afternoon I’d rarely considered how seed influences — determines, really — not only the beginning and the end of the food chain, but also every link in between. The tens of thousands of rows surrounding me owed their brigade-like uniformity to the operating instructions embedded in the seed.

That uniformity allows for large-scale monoculture, which in turn determines the size and model of the combine tractor needed to efficiently harvest such a load. (“Six hundred horsepower — needs a half-mile just to turn her around,” joked the farmer sitting next to me.)

Satellite information, beamed into the tractor’s computer, makes it possible to farm such an expanse with scientific precision.

The type of seed also dictates the fertilizer, pesticide and fungicide regimen, sold by the same company as part of the package, requiring a particular planter and sprayer (40 feet and 140 feet wide, respectively) and producing a per-acre yield that is startling, and startlingly easy to predict.

It is as if the seed is a toy that comes with a mile-long list of component parts you’re required to purchase to make it function properly.

We think that the behemoths of agribusiness known as Big Food control the food system from up high — distribution, processing and the marketplace muscling everything into position. But really it is the seed that determines the system, not the other way around.

The seeds in my palm optimized the farm for large-scale machinery and chemical regimens; they reduced the need for labor; they elbowed out the competition (formally known as biodiversity). In other words, seeds are a blueprint for how we eat.

We should be alarmed by the current architects. Just 50 years ago, some 1,000 small and family-owned seed companies were producing and distributing seeds in the United States; by 2009, there were fewer than 100. Thanks to a series of mergers and acquisitions over the last few years, four multinational agrochemical firms — Corteva, ChemChina, Bayer and BASF — now control over 60 percent of global seed sales.

Source: Opinion | Save Our Food. Free the Seed. – The New York Times

Tips for Tiny Houses (or any off grid living)

There are plenty of benefits that come with living the tiny lifestyle. Flexibility,  freedom, and ease are the advantages that usually come to mind, but reducing your environmental footprint is another big bonus. Reducing living quarters doesn’t automatically make your lifestyle more eco-friendly, though. There is plenty more to it. That’s why it’s important to develop some of these green habits while living life on the tiny side.

Source: Sustainability Tips and FAQs for Living Tiny – 84 Tiny Houses

Click the link for some common sense tips for off grid living

It’s especially important if one is to be off grid to learn to think in terms of power usage.  Solar power enables us to live far from the city, but one is now the power plant manager.

While using energy efficient appliances and lights is very important, it’s vital to pay good attention to which appliance use the most electricity. For example, one should generally stay away from anything electrical that produces heat. Those electric space heaters are death in an off grid system. Likewise, pumps, microwave ovens, toasters, electric coffee makers etc. will draw a lot of power and need to be used sparingly. Replace with propane whenever possible.

At home we have a propane/electric refrigerator. It’s not terribly efficient when on electric, so it will always stay on gas, unless we have power to spare. It’s a Godsend on those cloudy days though.