Posts Tagged "green ideas"

Freezer to fridge conversion
by WRETHAOFFGRID on OCTOBER 3, 2012 - 26 Comments in FOOD, OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

Freezer-fridge conversion

Living off grid, I get questions from time to time, mainly about how we live, some even think we must live in a cave and eat dirt and wear skins…  I said I live off grid, but we don’t live that primitively! :) I do enjoy some of the modern conveniences of life, including having a place to keep perishable foods, aka a refrigerator.

When we first moved off grid, in Dec ’07, we brought with us a small, dorm sized fridge, but honestly we didn’t use it much, only plugging it up on the occasions when I brought home a gallon of milk or a pound of ground beef, once the perishable food was gone, we unplugged the fridge. What I quickly found out was the standard type of fridge used up a LOT of power and they tend to be very inefficient. (more…)

Tough Times Survival Guide vol 1 – book review
by WRETHAOFFGRID on OCTOBER 8, 2009 - 4 Comments in FOOD, PEOPLE, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, URBAN, WORK, WRETHA

1192_1459_largeReading, learning, it’s what I enjoy doing. Before the internet, I would go to the three local libraries in my hometown, I would check out as many books as each on would allow, take them all home, read-read-read until I had gotten through all of them, then I return the books to their respective homes and start all over again. I tended to read non-fiction, I preferred them over fiction most of the time. With the exception of a few notable authors such as Stephen King, Jean M. Auel, and such…

With the advent of the internet and ebooks, I mostly read what I can get in digital format, including audiobooks. So these last couple of books I’ve read, I have held in my hand, turned pages, it was quite old-school for me. J I love it. Now, on to the book review. (more…)

Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance book review
by WRETHAOFFGRID on OCTOBER 3, 2009 - 6 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

I typically do reviews on eBooks, but a while back I was contacted by James Ballou to do a review of a hard copy, Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance, published by Paladin Press. Of course I was thrilled to review his book; honestly I had seen it previously and had been interested in reading it, so I jumped at the chance. It turns out that my instincts were correct, this is a great and useful book! (more…)

More “as seen on TV”
by WRETHAOFFGRID on JUNE 9, 2009 - 8 Comments in FOOD, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

pumpThe other day I was talking to a friend and we touched on the subject of the Pump-n-Seal gadget , I have had mine for a while, but I must admit that I haven’t been using it as much as I should. So I pulled it out and waited for an opportunity to use it.  I didn’t have to wait long.

Yesterday, I was cutting up an apple and only ate half of it, I needed a way to store the other half. You know what happens to apples, without chemical intervention (an acid, lemon juice, vitamin C…), apples quickly begin to turn brown, they oxidize. (more…)

DIY laundry soap – video
by WRETHAOFFGRID on MAY 28, 2009 - 6 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101, PEOPLE, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

DIY Laundry SoapToday I made another batch of laundry soap. I had ran out about a month ago, I was using the leftover powdered store bought soap, wow is there a difference! When I use the commercial soap, I often need to run a second rinse cycle, especially if I look at the rinse water, it’s nearly as soapy as the wash cycle, I know that is just being dried into my clothes, that can’t be good for my skin. When I use my homemade laundry soap, I use so much less, and it gets my clothes just as clean if not cleaner, and I don’t see that residue of suds in the rinse water. (more…)

Rocket Stove Video
by WRETHAOFFGRID on MAY 4, 2009 - 13 Comments in FOOD, LAND, OFF-GRID 101, WRETHA

Vavrek rocket stoveRocket stoves, have you heard about them? If you have then I’m preaching to the choir, if you haven’t, then it’s high time you learned about how great these little (and sometimes big) stoves can be.

Basically a rocket stove is a very efficient heater that can be used to cook/heat food, heat water, heat spaces… It typically uses much less fuel (wood) to create heat, and it’s often made from recycled materials. (more…)

Find the energy thief in your home
by WRETHAOFFGRID on APRIL 20, 2009 - 2 Comments in SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

Wall Wart
Wall Wart

OK, you are sitting in your home, you have replaced all of your incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs, you have added more insulation to your home, you have double pane windows, you have caulked up every crack and crevice, you lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer, you have purchased energy efficient appliances, so now, is there anything else you can do to use less energy and save money? Yes there is!

(more…)

Off Grid – On The Cheap
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 15, 2008 - 12 Comments in LAND, OFF-GRID 101, SELF-SUFFICIENCY, WRETHA

It seems that the “green” (or brown) movement is growing faster and faster. It used to be the realm of unwashed hippies, tree huggers and other so called “degenerates” who lived off the grid, in the wild, on the fringes of society.

Lately, I keep reading about how more mainstream people are jumping in, purchasing solar panels, adding passive solar rooms, collecting rain water. I read about people who build $300,000+ green homes, that price doesn’t include the price of the land it sits upon! It’s all fine and dandy for those who have lots of readily available cash sitting around, or worse, they get loans to bankroll their ubergreen homes. (more…)

REGREEN when you ReModel
by KELLY MEAD on APRIL 11, 2008 - 0 Comments in LAND

Starting in March 2008 those of us who wish to remodel, rehab, or gut either part or our entire existing homes now have a program and guidelines to help us make them as green as possible. New construction has the LEED program to help guide and find products needed to make them green. Now the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Foundation have developed the REGREEN program and guidelines.

REGREEN is a collection of resources and tools that are designed to help make your home remodeling project turn your home green. These guidelines are for residential home renovation that can be as simple as replacing an appliance, like a dishwasher, to redoing the bathroom, to remodeling your entire interior living space. The major elements of any project in remodeling are addressed. These include such things as the actual home site, water efficiency, material/resources, energy, atmosphere, and the quality of your indoor environment. These guidelines seek to integrate building systems and proven technologies into green strategies and case studies for homeowners, builders and design professionals. These guidelines are for even u do-it-yourself types. Though knowing them is also great if you are seeking professional help in either the design or building part of your project. Since this then enables you to have a reference to how what you want and to make sure it;s what is planned or done.

REGREEN has organized it’s guidelines by the 10 most common remodeling project types and are divided into three distinct areas. These areas are:

  1. remodeling projects described by scope, integrated pre-design issues, and environmental strategies for each of the home’s systems, including plumbing, HVAC and electrical workings;
  2. a library of strategies by environmental topic;
  3. case studies of successful green home renovations.

To get the guidelines or lean more you can visit REGREEN at www.regreenprogram.org


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