Archive for August, 2010

What renewable energy can you use when living off grid?

Let us continue to explore the science project which involves preparing ourselves to live off grid. To live green we need to stop living the wasteful lifestyle we live on the grid. However living needs some basic chores to be completed. All chores need some energy to be completed.

Naturally some forms of energy will have to be used by us. Since non renewable energy sources are not an option consider what renewable energy sources you can use. There are a number of types of energy for off grid homes. Living green does not mean that you will be totally starved of all types of energy sources. After all you will still need to cook food and heat up your home in the winter.

I am sure you can think of using Solar Power and Wind Power. You can also burn Wood to create heat. Other more advanced but renewable energy sources that you can use include Propane, Water (micro-hydro), and Geothermal energy sources. These take a while to set up, and can be more costly initially as well.

However once you have your green home ready, you can live off grid successfully for many years. Of course this type of a drastic change in lifestyle is not possible for the majority of the population. This means that you need to do what you can at a smaller scale in your own homes.

Use solar powered heaters, or harness wind power to run a water pump. Your electric bills will come down and you will also have the pleasure of contributing to a greener environment. All the best with this go green science project.

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How to get off the Grid and live Green

We spoke of making  a science project out of getting ready to live off grid in the last blog post. Here we will try and answer a few crucial questions to see how we can make a success of it. When you go off grid are you going to do it in your current home? Most homes have built in conveniences and getting rid of them all will not be easy. It may be necessary for you to move to another home.

If you need to move, will you choose to build a new home or restore an old one? Think about what is more affordable here. What part of the country will you choose? The more temperate the easier for y0u to live without heating or cooling. You also need to consider if you will continue to work at a job?This will involve more problems to solve.

Such as how long will your commute be? Remember you will be walking or cycling to your place of work. No petrol cars or buses. How far can you afford to live from the place that you work? Usually ten minutes walking distance should be acceptable. Is the location you are looking at economically sound? There should be access to groceries, church, schools, and medical care. Think of as many questions you can answer in this science project.

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Living Green and off the Grid is tough

If you want to really make a difference you could consider living off grid to be really green. Unfortunately there will be many things that you will need to give up to make that possible.Can you even imagine just what all you will have to do without if you were to live your life without electricity?

You will have to do without heating or cooling appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners.  There will be no television and no microwaves. Electrical tools are out and so are hair dryers. No washing machines to do the clothes and no dishwashers to do the dishes. There is no coffee maker to get your morning cup ready.

Are you realizing just what all you will have to give up if you were to live truly green and off grid? Think about it, how will you manage without clock radios, mobile phones, battery operated can openers, PDAs and a million such small conveniences?  It is such small gadgets that we don’t even think about which use a lot of power.

Don’t think that it is not possible to live without these things. These are not essentials that help us to stay alive, these are conveniences which make our lives easier. If generations of human beings could do without them for so long, so can we. Try working out the logistics of living off grid as a science project. See how you can do it.

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Get Green with your Clothes

Ever wonder how much it cost to put together the clothes that you are wearing? Think of it as a science project. Work out the material that has been used in the clothes. Is it natural or synthetic? If it’s natural it was grown as a crop or on the back of an animal. If it is synthetic it was manufactured chemically.

Why stop at clothes think about accessories like shoes, purses, socks and panty hose. That little black dress with the beads on the yolk which you love to wear. Ever wonder how eco-friendly it was to make? Or was it a large consumer of non renewable energy? Those permanent pressed pants that don’t ever wrinkle? How many chemicals polluted the ground to make them that way?

I’m not saying that being well dressed is a bad thing. Certainly you can’t be expected to go everywhere in your pajamas or a sweater that grandma knitted for you. However you can do a good deed by educating yourself on what clothes take a great deal of energy to be manufactured and so are not very green.

In case you missed my drift, the green has got nothing to do with the color of the garment you have on your back. Think of it as one of those wayward science projects which may not get you credits in school but will earn you brownie points with mother earth.

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Leisure Activities that are not Green!

With so many science experiments on how to get alternative sources of energy it is amazing how something as simple as conservation can take a back step. If you conserve what you have it will last you a longer time. Yet we go out of the way to act in a wasteful manner and its not just driving a petrol car to work that I’m talking about.

Think of all the leisure activities we do which waste non renewable energy. Yes racing cars form part of the activities which waste a good deal of fuel on a non productive task.Think about the liters of fuel which can be saved each year if we did away with racing cars. I have nothing against the  formula one people.

In fact I quite enjoy races. Specially when they are powered by the human being. Think of the 100 meter dash or the marathon, isn’t it a celebration of human spirit and speed? And they are definitely a far more eco-friendly way of entertainment.  Not that racing cars is going to go out of fashion soon.

Despite all the efforts to curb our excesses, there is always a new way being found to be careless with the natural resources that we share on this planet. Maybe the next generation can do a better job of managing the planet than we did. If their science fair projects are anything to go by, they just might.

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What can I do to go green?

With the dependence on petroleum products being targeted for environmental degradation there is a huge hue and cry about going green. People are trying out new science projects to become less polluting. Not making a mess of the non renewable resources that are left and actually trying to live an eco-friendly lifestyle have become a priority again.

So if you decide to become more environment friendly what is it that you need to do? You need to make a firm commitment to not wasting natural resources. You need to reduce the Toys and Dolls you buy. Try avoid using those toys which need rubber such as Balloons, and Roller skate wheels.

Also avoid those toys which use a lot of plastic like Model cars, airplanes and wading pools. Not to mention Crayons. Avoid using packaging which can not be recycled such as tetra packs and instead use glass Milk jugs. In fact avoid using paper napkins and use regular cloth napkins on the dining table.

Don’t take print outs of all emails to keep your records. Burn a couple of back up CDs instead. The paper saved will be a huge help and you will find storing the CDs easier. You will save the trees and help go more green.

There are a million small things that you can do to help the environment.Why not list a set of ten things that you can use as a science experiment to live a greener life. All you need is a little love and a lot of commitment in this project.

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