Posts from — November 2009

A few stocking fillers
by VEG-HEAD on NOVEMBER 29, 2009 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY

SO much pointless stuff gets passed around at Christmas. We’ve tried to suggest a handful of gifts which are both useful and unlikely to be things you have seen before

The Energenie Automatic standby shutdown is a clever little device (sold in the UK only) that powers down your flatscreen TV or any other annoying, badly designed, unecological electronic goods that have been supplied without a proper on/off switch.

You plug it in between the unit and the wall socket, and it does the rest.  Once the TV is switched to standby, the Energenie detects it, and switches it off properly.   (more…)

Grid pollution kills 24,000 Americans a year”
by ALEXBENADY on NOVEMBER 27, 2009 - 2 Comments in SPIRIT
 Governor Perry of dirty ole Texas

Governor Perry of dirty ole Texas

The coal-fuelled grid is the US’ biggest polluter pumping out three times as much CO2 as all the nation’s cars put together, says a new report.

The study by environmental lobby group Environment America details the full extent of environmental damage caused by power plants in the US. It lists the country’s dirtiest 100 power plants and identifies Texas as the dirtiest state by far.

Released this week, the report examines carbon dioxide emissions from power plants across the country using 2007 data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Don’t get frustrated – be inspired
by NICK ROSEN on NOVEMBER 27, 2009 - 1 Comment in EVENTS, OFF-GRID 101

We are honored to welcome a serving member of the US Armed forces as our newest regular contributer.

Private Laurie Grayson

Private Laurie Grayson

Laurie Tamminen is currently in a theater of war that is featured in the media every day.  Her dream over the next two years is to build herself a new home off the grid.  Here is her first dispatch from the frontline of the off-grid learning curve:

Thinking about building your new home off the grid?

Anyone will tell you that the first time you try something new, it can be frustrating or a flat out failure.  This doesn’t have to be the case when decided to build your new home off-grid.  The first correct decision you made was deciding to build a home that is energy efficient and environmentally friendly. (more…)

Real-life Canute fights coast ruling
by ALEXBENADY on NOVEMBER 26, 2009 - 2 Comments in PEOPLE
Boggis: Here comes the ocean

Boggis: Here comes the ocean

A retired engineer who built his own sea defences is trying to reverse a legal judgement which would result in his home being washed into the sea.

78 year old Peter Boggis has spent seven years and over fifty thousand pounds of his own money constructing a kilometre long sea wall from 25,000 tonnes of compacted clay.  He is trying to stop the sea eroding cliffs just a hundred yards away from his home at Easton Bavents, north of Southwold in Suffolk, UK. Mr Boggis started the work without planning permission. (more…)

Wish we thought of that!
by VEG-HEAD on NOVEMBER 23, 2009 - 10 Comments in WATER

"Keg of rainwater, please"

"Keg of rainwater, please"

The rainbeers are coming! An Atlanta Brewery which was making beer from rainwater has been told to stop gathering  the water by city officials.  Probably encouraged by Miller lite and other big brewers, the EPA and officials at the local and State level have been persecuting the tiny indie brewery.


Sanyo’s packaged life off-grid
by ALEXBENADY on NOVEMBER 23, 2009 - 3 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101
New Noah-san

New Noah-san

Once upon a time off-grid living was about existing on your own terms, independent of ‘the system’.  But one of the great strengths of capitalism is its ability to absorb new, even threatening ideas and turn them into a business opportunity.  So it is no great surprise to learn that Sanyo, the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer, says it has begun selling onventional homes that can be taken off-grid at the flick of a switch. (more…)

Senators back mini-nuke
by TECHSTAR on NOVEMBER 22, 2009 - 3 Comments in ENERGY
Murkowski: nukes not minks

Murkowski: nukes not minks

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee issued the following news release:
Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mark Udall (D-CO) today introduced legislation to direct the Department of Energy to develop innovative, low-cost nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Power 2021 Act (S.2812) proposes a program to design and certify small modular reactors (< 300 megawatts) which can be built and operated in combination with similar reactors at a single site. (more…)

Possum Living-How To Live Well With (Almost) No Money

possum-livingI wish I could say that I had read this book way back when, and that was what inspired me to live my off grid life… but my earliest inspiration was the Grizzly Adams series. If I had come across Possum Living before now, I know it would have also been a great inspiration for me. It  was written in the 70s by a very smart young lady, Dolly Freed. She and her father lived in a regular house, on a large lot by today’s standard, though small compared to homesteading standards. Neither one worked a regular job, yet they lived a full and enjoyable life.

Dolly wrote the book to document their lives and teach other people how to live a more simple life, unfettered by a 9-5 work week. I was re-inspired and excited to find this video about their life on YouTube. It’s a 3 part video, the second and third should play right after the first.

The book and video are dated, it was written and filmed in the late 70s, but I’m here to tell you that this type of life CAN still be achieved, I’m living proof of that. I was thrilled to find out that a revised version of her book is coming out, it apparently has updated info about Dolly, she is still alive and well. I will say that if you look hard enough, you can find a digital version of her original book to download (it’s out of print) , I have read this, but I look forward to getting the new and improved version coming out this January.

Even if you don’t want to go all the way and live like she did (and like I do now), it’s still good information to have, with today’s uncertainty,  unemployment and underemployment, these are good skills to have to help get you through lean times.

Here is her original book, it’s a bit pricey Possum living: How to live well without a job and with almost no money

Here is a  link for the new revised book, at a much better price Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and with (Almost) No Money

Australian Eco gifts
by LISA on NOVEMBER 16, 2009 - 0 Comments in EVENTS

Here are a few ideas that will help, or at least not hinder the Australian environment

Oregon Scientific Solar Weather Clock


THIS tidy unit is as practical as it is sleek and is ideal for campers and caravanners. Best of all, it’s green friendly. After fully charging the solar panel in the sun (takes about six hours) it’s right to operate for two months. Its main game is displaying the time and weather (inside and out), but it also forecasts the weather 12 hours ahead. (more…)

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