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I meant to say that our toilet is in our bathroom which is in the house. The heating woodstove is right outside the door so it never gets cold in there. We basically use composted compost instead of sawdust, works much better.
LaMar, it sounds great. I can’t view videos or I would definitely go see your’s. I have heard about them before from one of my friends.
elnav, we have always used a composting toilet, even in cold weather. In the beginning we used a SunMar composter and then switched to a sawdust one my husband built. And we are still using that. As for the local health dept., in NY we are “grandfathered in” due to also having an outhouse that was all this house had when we moved here 11 years ago. As long as we keep it then it gives us the option of doing what we want in our own house. Though we are planning on putting in a flush toilet in the future when we get the running water inside.
solarfleck, nice system you have there!
A site where I got a lot of education was from https://backwoodssolar.com as we were growing our system They have some good info there and I bought most of my equipment there. I write a blog about my affordable small system and have a page with links to solar information at https://solarbaby.org/?page_id=229.
As far as financing I’d say that would have to do with your loan process. A good credit score does help and also many states as well as the federal government have assistance for putting in systems. I will research some and see what I can dig up and do a blog post about it. My system was small to start with so we have just paid as we added to it.
I believe that if you use electric appliances that generate heat that is an awful big draw on your system. We have a small, affordable system and I would never even consider that. Even a bread machine can only be used for mixing and kneading not baking. My wood cook stove is used all year long and I am not really so concerned about heating my house up, as it would heat it up about the same with an electric stove (which I personally do not like for cooking). Most everyone I know would never give up their microwaves. Possibly they would be efficient, but we don’t use them due to the fact that we feel they are not safe from a health standpoint.
Now electric refrigerators is another matter. We are going to be adding the Sundanzers to our household within the next year.
Sorry, I cannot view videos on my computer. Only get dial-up where I live.
katlupeOctober 24, 2008 at 12:00 am in reply to: The Story of Dick Proenneke – off grid the old way #64124
I love that dvd! We watch it all the time. The book is good too. Yes, he had a good way of doing things didn’t he?
I do! I have lived off the grid for over 9 years now. We work at home on our computers and have a online business. I am a distributor for Curt Mangan guitar strings and also sell a few other things.
So what do you want to know about it?
I cook and heat with wood. I don’t feel that living off the grid is a hardship in any way even though my system is small compared to the systems you usually read about. Right now we are living without refrigeration so that instead of paying for propane for the gas refrigerator, we are saving that money to buy another panel and the SunDanzer refrigerator and the freezer.
katlupeOctober 6, 2008 at 12:00 am in reply to: Most efficient and inexpensive way to do sufficient solar #64087
We have 185 watts of solar and as the poster above said, conserve. We add little by little to our system. When we first started out we were charging our batteries with an old car. Now we have more componets and have spent maybe $3000. so far. Now we have a good charge controller, a meter, 24 locomotive batteries (used….traded a website design for them) and an excellent DC generator.
But……we do not have all the conveniences that most people cannot live without. Our 2 laptops and some lights (which we use VERY conservedly!!!) are the only things we use every day. When we buy an appliance it will be only very energy efficient one. Someday, our house will have all the normal conveniences, but not all at once.
Ok. I am checking it out and may refer people to your site if I like it.
Ok. I went to your site and it is very nice. I will spend some time there reading. Will post your link at some of my homesteading boards and on some of my articles.
I know you are making a joke. I run a business from my off the grid home so how could I possibly do that? Then I’d probably have to drive to a job 35 miles away and buy my food in a store. Yuck! I like my way better….lights and computers.
Before you purchase anything look at the packaging. Too much packaging materials or plastic? Think before you purchase it. Do you really need it or is there another brand without all that packaging?
Puchase reusable shopping bags and refuse to take the plastic ones. Check these out https://www.ecobags.com/
If you do add to the population, give up the disposable diapers and buy the cloth ones…..they are better for the baby too.
Like it was said above, grow your own garden, then preserve your harvest. I can, dry and store much produce. I stock up what we need for the winter. Canning is my favorite thing to do. Then you have all your food in glass containers instead of plastic (which in my opinion is horrible to use for anything with food…..smell it.), and if you do have power outages (which I NEVER have, as I generate my own power) the food won’t be lost as it would if it was in a freezer. Last longer too.
Within 5 years my husband and I have the goal of not using any fuels that we have to pay for such as gas, kerosene, propane, etc. This year we started by puchasing the Neuton electric lawn mower, which is wonderful. He loves it! No toxic smells to inhale. Makes that job much more pleasant.
I live off the grid using solar panels and most of the information I got was from these sources.
Check out the Homesteading Today forum at https://www.homesteadingtoday.com. They have an alternative energy board there and a good share of the members are living with different forms of power.
Another is https://www.backwoodssolar.com. They will send you a free catalog if you are going off the grid as they do not do grid tied systems. It you buy from them, you can call them anytime with questions and they will walk you through your problems.
Also at Backwoods Home Magazine they have some very good articles on alternative energy systems written by Jeffrey Yago and that is at https://www.backwoodshome.com/energy.html#ajy.
Even Mother Earth Magazine has some really good alternative energy articles. The best writers are the ones who live with it…….not just talk about it.