This journey we are on has led both my hubby and I to consider alternative energy we both know that we have lots to do before we actually DO anything so I will post about some of our thoughts on this so far
Reduce in order to go "off the grid" you either need to produce a great DEAL of energy using a combination of different types of energy sources
OR you can reduce the amount you use either way using alternative energy means that one needs to rethink energy (this was covered very well in a neat article in Mother Earth news magazine)
SO I looked around my house and thought
what do I need to do without ?
I look in my kitchen first
Microwave? Toaster Oven? my mixer? fridge/freezer stove? Dishwasher?
While I like the microwave I did not have one growing up so I know I can do without this
my mixer is fantastic and I really LOVE that mixer I have wanted one for years and well I love my mixer but yes I could do without it I only use it for really large loaves of bread
I would need the fridge and freezer sorry folks I am not going to an icebox I could do without it during winter time but I NEED my fridge and freezer
Stove I could go for a wood fired one over the electric if absolutely nessisary
I might have to harm someone if I have to give up my dishwasher OR things would need to drastically change with my family I would have to go to the one plate one cup one set of utensils per person PERIOD (I may do that anyways because I hate dishes and the messes we are left with it is SOOOO much)
One neat way to reduce without noticing or "suffering" is to alter things you can around the house
I happen to like line drying clothes for me it is fun I like getting outside in the sunshine and drying my clothes they smell better and it is free and I get some excersise
Changing light bulbs if you dont like the CFLs I am likng the LED bulbs so far I have only found them equal to 40watts of light but they are pretty and light well but expensive however they are 90% more efficent than Incadescent bulbs and for those who are afraid of the mercury inside CFLs these have NONE (that is my mother in laws big sticking point on CFLs)
I do not recommend doing it all at once I paid over $5.00 for one bulb I bought two this paycheck next paycheck I will buy a couple more and see how it goes
I shut down appliances when not in use it helps so much we use the windows for light during the day and I force the boys to turn off the TV it helps
So slowly but surely things are changing here
I want Dave to build a wind turbine I actually got him to read some articles I found on Wind power he was intrigued but he has little confidence in himself and his abilities I will get him to build a small model and he will feel better about it I bet !!
OH and ANOTHER neat thing I saw The reuse of old shirts a stained work shirt getting dyed a different color to reuse it instead of tossing it
I say donate some stained ones to the local kindergarten I bet they could use some paint smocks! there are so many things that can be done to reuse old clothes
dont get me started!
OH and the garden is going great
and the chickens are all in on big house together
AND the best news ever
Monday we get pigs yup Monday we get pigs ...we better Dave has pens in the back of his truck and everything he better show up with piggies for me!!