Posts Tagged "websites"

DIY inspirations

Ever wonder what websites I enjoy visiting (besides this one of course!)? There are quite a few, but I have to tell you about a couple of websites I have recently discovered, the first one is all about dehydrating, EVERYTHING! If it’s possible (or even questionable) to dehydrate it, you will find it here! The second site is all about everything DIY, from homemade cleaning supplies to recipes and lots more. Whether you are living off grid, or just want to save some $$$s by being frugal, these two sites have the information and instructions you need. (more…)

Food storage 101 – milk
by WRETHAOFFGRID on DECEMBER 29, 2010 - 9 Comments in FOOD, WRETHA

This was an incredibly hard, yet interesting topic to research. Because milk (in it’s many forms) is so important to us, there is a LOT of info on the internet about it. History fact: the first person to use powdered milk (that we know of) was Marco Polo for his trips around the world. Amazing to think how far we have come since his first trials of a home dried paste like substance. Imagine how that must have tasted after a year at sea! (more…)

DIY laundry soap – video

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…)

DIY build your own solar panels video
by WRETHAOFFGRID on MAY 11, 2009 - 10 Comments in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101, SOLAR, WRETHA

solar-cellYou’ve seen the advertisements, “Build your own solar panels”, you’ve seen the kits, now you wonder, just how hard is it to do?  Well, that depends, mostly on your skills and patience. It would seem that the solar cells that are sold for this purpose is very delicate, they break very easily. I always see on eBay, lots of listings for broken solar cells, they still work, but they obviously do not put out as much juice as it did when it was unbroken. It is possible to piece together broken cells and get a perfectly good working solar panel, again, it takes skills and patience. (more…)

3rd Annual Bike for Peace and New Energies
by KELLY MEAD on JUNE 6, 2008 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY

From June 12 through August 16, 2008 bike riders will be going from Paris to Moscow and then on to Peking. All in an effort to raise awareness that peace and facing the looming energy crisis is not just a local but international issue.
In 2006 and 2007 this ride was only from Paris to Moscow, this year it has been expanded to Peking after their success. This ride is also open to any solar electric rides as this is also a way to promote the use of alternative and renewable energies. Another of the unique aspects of this ride is that everyone is expected to pitch in and help one another. That means helping with meals, cleaning up th dishes, putting tents up, giving a helping hand to your fellow riders, etc. This event hope to pull riders from all nationalities and walks of life who all wish to promote peace and the use of renewable energies instead of the standard oil.

The stated goals of the organization are :

  • Renewable energies instead of wars for oil
  • Disarmament and social reconciliation
  • Peace policy instead of Milty violence
  • War must not be any more a means of policy
  • Create sustainable and peaceful Europe
  • Abashment of all nuclear weapons until 2020
  • Sporty meetings in the Olympic Spirit

They go in depth for each goal on the site, you can click here to take a look. This event is just an example of how the energy crisis that is looming, if not actually here, is being felt not just here in the USA but as the world as a whole. That being said the solutions we are more concerned with are those that touch us close4r to home. That is likely the case with most people, and luckily for us using alternative energy is not something only for certain demographics or locations.

What should be realized by those of us going to alternative and renewable energy, especially used on a personal scale, is that a hundred years ago that was the norm. Even in many countries around the world it still is the norm for the average person. Yes, we love our technology but technology does not mean we have to be plugged into the grid to enjoy it. Those living off the grid who love technology still can play with the same toys, though they are more responsible in making sure that phantom power is not being drained when not in use.

Looking around you right now what is plugged in but not on, what is on but not being actively used, what can be turned of because their is a free source for the same resource (lights on during the day)? These are questions you should ask yourself everytime you enter a room or walk through your home/office. You will be amazed at what you find. Habits are hard to break (like my husband still likes the lights on during the day) but they can be broken (sometimes with a frying pan). Sometimes outside reminders help, sometimes realizing the cost of the habit helps more, and sometimes you just need to have someone else to help. The real magic is being able to realize which is right for you.

Most of us adults were brought up in a consumer lifestyle from diapers on up. That is something that needs to be retrained in us. Not saying that you don’t need to buy things new or replace old things, just saying that we need to look at all stuff a valuable even if it’s first use is no longer valid to us. Always remember the saying “One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure”. That is as true today in the age of disposable everything as it was for my grandparents growing up in the Great Depression. You see all types of ideas when surfing the net of people finding interesting things to do with what most of us view as trash. RecyleCindy has a blog about bags that she has crocheted from those plastic grocery bags most people throw away or just use for holding their recyclables. She not only shows the pictures of these wonderful creations but gives the directions so others can do it themselves.

All the tings that were discussed in today’s post were to give you a sampling of the innovative things people are doing to change the way we see and respond to our world. Some are not as grand as others but with each tiny or large effort they are bringing change. So this article was to inspire all to take those little steps and be proud of what you have accomplished to whatever your bigger goal is. Changing your lifestyle is an extreme change and as such should be taken at the pace you are comfortable with and can handle. You didn’t get to where you are overnight and you won’t accomplish your goals overnight either.

An Alliance and A Campaign
by KELLY MEAD on JUNE 2, 2008 - 0 Comments in EVENTS

logo for Alliance for climate protection

Since it’s a political year, not that every year isn’t one, we looked around to see who is taking advantage of our politticans being a little more open to listening to going green, being self-sufficient, and/or environmental issues. So of course we checked out the We Can Solve It website.

The We Can Solve It campaign is a project of the Allliance for Climate Protection. The Alliance single purpose is to get the pulic involved and active in solving the climate crisis we are facing. Yes this is the foundation that Former Vice President Al Gore started in 2006. That is not a reason to like or dislike this campaign/organization but it helps to have a big name attached ask any foundation that has celeberties as part of their organization. The idea behind this website looks like a good one. A place to find events, list or (as we did) start groups, blog about your experience or read someone’s blog, and get recent news from the organization.

The organization believes that since public awareness of the climate changes is high then so should the understanding that solutions are needed too. Unfortunately for those of us in the USA climate change (or what ever you wish to call it) has become so entrenched in people political views that getting past the politics and dealing with the reality that our climate is changing, no matter the how or why. Idealogy and sterotypes are rampt in America’s culture and that can be a good thing, who doesn’t love apple pie, but when dealing with reality it doesn’t leave much room for preconcieved ideas. Helping people beak down partisan lines and changing the issue from being politics as usual is a main goal or them.

“What has consistently been missing, however, is a massive and sustained national effort to catalyze a broad culture shift on the issue, raising the climate crisis out of a partisan framework and unlocking the potential for real solutions. Our leaders will take the bold actions needed to solve the climate crisis only when the American people demand that change.” from The Alliance for Climate Protection and the We Campaign: Fact Sheet

If they can accomplish their goals then maybe dealing with the changes in our climate will no longer be a “who/what is at fault” but a “how to deal with it”. So with that thought we added a group to their site called “Off Grid USA” and we are looking into putting together a real world club that can be a place for those of us going off the grid, green or already there to get together to discuss, share, and help one another.

Interestingly enough listening to the congressional committee on Climate Change and Alternate Energy (may not be the official name) on Cspan the other day it was noticed that the most opening statements were not about where to start looking for answers but who’s fault Republicina (Bush) or Democrat (Pelosi). It’s was amazing that with most of the congressmen expressing that they have trouble explaining how gas prices and energy cost have gotten so high to their voters they are still playing the blame game. If all they can see is that they don’t want to be blamed and not that they can actually make a difference then it’s easy to see why us as everyday Americans need to demand that enough politics as usual. If they spent even half the time and energy they have at their disposal to work on the problems we face instead of finding fault and assigning blame who knows how our country and world could be improved.

Sundance has The Green Idea
by KELLY MEAD on APRIL 14, 2008 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, SPIRIT

Sundance channel has started it’s second season of their regular programming called The Green. The Green is both on TV and interactive by way of the web. Programming for this Tuesday includes one of our old favorites It’s Not Easy Being Green, Big Ideas for a Small Planet, The Sierra Club Chronicles, as well as shorts about being an “ecoist” and eco-business.

The Greenis the first programming that is prime time (9 pm) to showcase shows, documentaries, movies that all have the environment as their main concern. This is a wonderful place to catch up on the latest in the environment, going green, living green, or being responsible for your environment. This is also supported by an online community effort to help connect those interested in being eco-friendly and to do business with those who also promote a more responsible and/or self-sustainable way of life. Their online community, called the Eco-mmunity, has an interactive map where you can locate others in your local area and even mark your place in the world. Making it easier for you to connect with others that share your interest or has a product or service you’re looking for.

Seeing the environment and being self-sustaining becoming more of a concern for everyday Americans is very refreshing. Now when people are discussing the environment and going green they no longer seem to have that “look”, you know the one where they think your missing a few marbles, when I speak up and give them pointers or answer questions they have been wondering about. Telling people that how much we lowered our gas & electric bill this winter by just becoming efficient and insulating everywhere we could think of inspired them to start doing it to. Talking about using alternative energy, whether as an individual or by purchasing from alternative power companies, gave people a pause and for some the incentive to look more into it.

I truly believe that we can each live off the grid and still maintain, though improve is more like it, our current standard of living. You don’t have to sacrifice your computer, TV, satellite or cable, dishwasher, phone, iPod, or any other of the multitude of thing you just can’t see living without. Of course when you hear what it is to be quite, you just may wonder why all those things were so important. Especially when you hear the laughter of your children, the singing of the birds, the whisper of the wind, and the trickle of a stream. Those sounds that have been drowned out by today’s hectic lifestyle are still there waiting to be heard again.

Have a DSIRE for Finacial Help For Your Off Grid Dream?
by KELLY MEAD on APRIL 7, 2008 - 0 Comments in ENERGY, OFF-GRID 101

Getting off the grid or even using personal alternative/renewable energy while still attached to the grid is an expensive proposition. That is especially true when putting in a complete system at once. Here at The Off Grid Home we wanted to make a database of all the programs available across the United States but, found that it was more of a long term goal. So we have taken down the page we have completed until we can have more complete and up to date information.

Though we still feel that everyone who is interested in using alternative/renewable energy should have a starting point for their own research. So as we were working on our own state by state narratives we ran across a complete database run by North Carolina Solar Center and the IREC. We haven’t been able to check to see how up to date the database is but it is a great start for individuals or even companies wishing to delve into using these power sources and getting financial help. The database is called DSIRE, Database of State Incentives for Renewable & Efficiency,and is stated to last be updated on April 7, 2008. We will be adding links from our site to theirs in hope that those who are just waiting to make the big financial commitment can now have the help they need. Plus, incentives and grants have limited time windows for them to be available. As ours may not be finished till after some are no longer available or near the end of the time frame making it hard if not impossible for you to get the help needed.

The database was founded in 1995 and is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. It is also funded by the US Dept of Energy.

The North Carolina Solar Center was created in 1998 and promotes the use of renewable energy technologies and green building practices. They do this through the four main programs of technical training and assistance, policy research and analysis, outreach and education programs, and technology research, development and demonstrations. They seek to stabilize energy cost for the consumer, stimulate local economies, reduce dependence on foreign fuels, and mitigate impact on the environment by energy use. It is operated by the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council, IREC, has a mission to accelerate the use of renewable energy sources along with their needed technologies through both state and local government and community activities. It was formed in 1980 and supports market-oriented service that are targets at education, coordination, procurement, and both adoption and implementation of standards, guidelines and consumer protection. Members of IREC include state and local agencies, national labs, solar and renewable organization, companies as well as individuals.

Make a Difference in NOLA
by KELLY MEAD on MARCH 28, 2008 - 0 Comments in EVENTS

Make It Right 9 Eco Friendly Home

We are happy to announce that Make It Right9 in NOLA (New Orleans, LA) has given us our own home to promote. Once you follow the link go down the list till you see our home, we we’re second to last at the time of this post. We also welcome anyone who wishes to use the banner above to let other’s know about this wonderful opportunity.

The home is sponsored in the name all those who are dedicated to having a healthier and/or self-sufficient home of their own. Let all of us who truly believe in this way of life make a statement by helping to get some people back on their feet in a way that we believe in. Showing that not only is it important personally to us, but to everyone because of the reduce strain on our environment, reduce strain on ourselves and our families, better health, less stress, and even lower costs for running a home.

You can donate as little or as much as you are able. $5 can buy a CFL (Compact Fluorescent Bulb), $25 low VOC paint, $40 a low flow shower head, $100 for a programmable thermostat, $200 for a ceiling fan, $500 for energy efficient lighting, $1500 for a tankless water heater, $3000 for the heating and cooling system , $5000 for a rainwater harvester, or even $25,000 for rooftop solar panels. As you can see there is a wide range of donations needed. This list is just a partial what can be sponsored. When you click to donate to the home at Make it Right 9 get an interactive home that shows you where your funds will be put to use and why that product was chosen. So not only can you do a good deed but you can learn while you’re doing it.

We also encourage you to talk with friends and family about getting this project finished. They are over half way to meeting their goal of 150 homes. The count is 81 homes and almost a quarter of the next one sponsored. Showing that this a way of life not only for rural areas can have a big impact on showing the public at large that this is an attainable goal for the average Joe.

Of course they approved The Eco Friendly Home today because yesterday we did our updates. Sorry that you got two updates in a row but we thought this was important enough to post as soon as we found out about it.

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