Posts from — September 2010

Notes from Off the Grid – a poem
by NICK ROSEN on SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 - 3 Comments in SPIRIT

A gentle life

Angela Long is a poet and writer who has lived off the grid for the past three years. Visit her blog.

“I wrote Notes from Off the Grid here, last summer, in the cabin where I’m sitting right now. We live in an area of Naikoon Provincial Park that’s off-the-grid. There aren’t many of us here–about a dozen others officially off-grid. We’re not an intentional community–just a bunch of people who ended up out here (some have been here since the 70s), who like this lifestyle (and living in a forest along a magnificent beach). There’s a wind turbine on the property where I live that provides enough power to fuel my laptop, internet connection, and a few other low-voltage luxuries.”

Notes from Off the Grid

i.) The road

First there’s a sign:

Proceed with Caution: Narrow, Winding Road. (more…)

Foreclosures grinding to a halt – for now
by NICK ROSEN on SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 - 0 Comments in LAND

Still lurking

One common reason why Americans are going off the grid is home foreclosure or short sale. Left without a roof over their heads, some choose to spend their last cash on a patch of land and the materials to build a cabin.

But that may change as JP Morgan Chase, described in news reports as one of America’s leading banks says it will freeze foreclosures in 23 States because of dishonest paperwork, a move that Wall Street analysts said will pressure the rest of the industry to follow suit. (more…)

Off-Grid Living in FIji, Koro Island

A short video of a reconstruction of a 300-year old home that was built in Fiji in an off-grid development on Koro Island, Fiji – 1 acre lots here sell for $25,000 and we have the most fertile soil for planting. Go off-grid in Fiji!

Bloom Box rolls out second wave
by NICK ROSEN on SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 - 0 Comments in ENERGY

John Doerr - Bloom backer

Bloom Energy has maintained a low profile since its highly orchestrated news conference, chaired by John Doerr,  raising the curtain on its fuel cell technology this year.

Now Adobe Systems announced it has chosen Bloom Energy’s technology to power its corporate headquarters in downtown San Jose, making it Bloom’s largest single-site installation to date.

Adobe installed 20 vertically shaped wind turbines, made by Windspire Energy of Reno, at its headquarters in January. But with 2,500 employees and about a million square feet of office space, the company is eager to do even more to reduce its energy footprint.

Student looking for somewhere off grid
by RAKA13 on SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 - 1 Comment in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

I’m a student at Kingston university, and I have a strong interest in environmental issues.

I’d like to find somewhere off grid to live.

If there’s anywhere in or around London that exists, please tell me.



Looking for land to live on
by DESIGNDAYS on SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 - 1 Comment in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

Im looking for land in which to site my Shepherds hut for 18 months. Im hoping to be self-sufficient with solar power, chemical toilet & firepit for cooking.
I have my own dog walking/pet sitting business but can also do some work in return for the lodging.

Who is Interested?

I am interested in finding out, the interest there is, in living somewhere:
1)without electricity (unless it is of your own invention)
2)without plastics or oil
3)without government

Would anybody desire this? Does anyone believe the true alternative fuel is not using any fuel at all, but fire and trees in a responsible, sensible fashion??

Biomimics help us off the grid

Could Cicida wings help save our species?

When scientists at U. Florida developed a new anti-reflective, water-repellent coating based on moths’ eyeballs and cicada wings, they hoped to  improve solar cell efficiency  by 30% – and make the panels self-cleaning into the bargain.

Moths’ eyes have thousands of rows of tiny protrusions each measuring less than 300 billionths of a meter. When a light is shone on them these orderly arrays interfere with its reflection, rendering the light nearly invisible. The same principle applied to solar panels increased their efficiency.  Biologists believe the trait evolved in moths because it prevents their eyes from reflecting moon or starlight, which would make them easier targets for predators. Similar features on Cicada wings deflect not light but water, to help them fly in humid environments.

“Nature is an amazing innovator,” explained Peng Jiang the assistant professor of chemical engineering at University of Florida who is leading the research. “What I’m interested in doing is mimicking the structure of some remarkable biological systems for real-world use.”

He’s not alone. Biomimicry or biomimetics is a red hot discipline these days. Defined as ‘the study of biological systems in nature to help solve human problems’, it is being touted by many as the holy grail of future sustainable development. And it’s not hard to see why. (more…)

Low-tech Biomimetics – wag the dog
by ALEXBENADY on SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 - 0 Comments in EVENTS, WATER

Biomimic Nick Brown

In early 1990 Nick Brown, the British entrepreneur behind the Paramo clothing brand, was struggling with the problem of how to make waterproof, outdoor activity clothing last longer. Sweat and condensation tends to rot conventional gear at the seams and once that happens the jacket usually has to be scrapped. As he already sold a water-repellent wax for clothing, he was particularly interested in the idea that more could be done to prolong the life of outdoor clothing using  water-repellency.

He grappled with the problem for three years before turning to nature for the answer. But he didn’t have a team of physicist and biologists on hand. He had no expensive analytical equipment to help him. He finally found it with the help of a wet dog. And it cost him nothing. (more…)

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