Must have products for an off the grid lifestyle

Must have products for an off the grid lifestyle

Energy

Must have products for an off the grid lifestyle

 

Living off the grid is more than having renewable sources of energy. It is more than harvesting rainwater. It is, above all, an eco-friendly lifestyle.

 

As we explored in our article on energy efficiency, living off-grid takes certain products. You should not just buy new appliances or gadgets without considering how much energy they use. Some products such as the solar refrigerator listed below are made to run exclusively on solar power.

You may be looking to ease into solar or wind power. We have you covered with a great solar kit that is easy to install and has a great value.

 

Off the Grid Cooking

Cooking always takes some forethought when living off the grid. Electric stoves take too much power and are not easily supported by a wind turbine or solar panels.

One product we love is the solar oven. You may think a solar oven is just for camping or a cool kids science fair experiment. And they are – however, they are so much more.

Solar ovens are very popular all over the world. In underdeveloped countries, they are lifesavers because they lessen the exposure to dangerous kerosene fumes often used for cooking. A solar oven can be used anywhere on a nice sunny day. They heat up extremely fast. Solar ovens are appropriate for all types of cooking including roasting meats, baking bread and making soups or stews.

A quality solar oven such as the All American Sun Oven- The Ultimate Solar Appliance will be up to any baking task. This sturdy solar oven will reach temperatures of 360 to 400 Fahrenheit (approximately 180 to 205 Celsius) and can even be used to roast meats.

This model is great because its larger size can accommodate standard size pans. You want to avoid models that can only take a small pan as they will limit what you can cook.

 

Off the Grid Refrigeration

Refrigeration may be the most necessary appliance you need when moving off grid. After all, you can always cook on a grill or open fire. But keeping foods cold is essential to our safety and health. That’s why we recommend investing in a quality refrigerator.

Along with baking, refrigeration takes up a lot of energy. For most off griders that leaves two options: using propane or solar refrigerators.

There are pros and cons to each system as you can see below.

 

Propane RefrigerationP600

A propane refrigerator is very energy efficient and can easily keep food frozen. This Smad Gas Refrigerator Freezer Propane Fridge with Freezer is 9.3 Cu.Ft is very energy efficient and requires no electricity to run. However, it can run on 110 electric, but that would not be as efficient.

At a cost of $1549, it averages $167 per cubic foot. Propane or natural gas refrigerators have a lower upfront cost then do straight solar ones.

This model uses approximately 20 pounds of propane every two weeks. Propane refrigerators are quiet, self-contained and do not cause indoor air pollution. They also use no freon which is an environmental pollutant. Most propane fridges are duo usage and can also run on electric which gives you some flexibility.

Propane refrigerators have few moving parts and last for a long time. It is common to see older models that are thirty plus years old.

The biggest con of a propane refrigerator is that you are still using fossil fuel making it a not so eco-friendly solution. Although the initial cost of a propane refrigerator is lower than the solar ones, you still have to deal with the fuel cost over time. 

Last but not least, they do weigh a great deal which can make shipping and transportation more difficult.

 

Solar Refrigeration

For comparison, we can look at a Solar Refrigerator. The Smad DC/AC Solar Refrigerator Double Doors with Freezer is 6.2 Cu ft (so slightly smaller than the propane model). At a cost of $1299, it averages @ $210 per cubic foot.

Solar fridges are highly efficient. They are typically well insulated with quiet compressors. This model can be powered via solar or wind power directly (DC) or off battery power (AC).

The catch with the solar refrigerator is that you must have solar panels already installed to run it. This model uses 65 watts so would need a comparable solar panel rising the initial cost. Now, the big advantage of the solar model is no monthly bill or fossil fuel usage. They also have good warranties and are very long lasting.

 

Off the Grid Solar Lights

No matter if you are starting out small or adding a few solar products to your home in case there is a power outage. These hanging solar lights are perfect for such use.

These are great for providing light where and when you need a little extra: nature Power 21030 Hanging Solar Powered LED Shed Light with Remote Control, and a Black Finish. They are made for use in a shed or garage but are adequate to use in the home as well.

The High-Quality Amorphous solar panel recharges using an included battery. These lights are easy to install by mounting the solar panel in a sunny location and drilling a hole to run the wiring through.

These lights are not very bright but give enough quality light to cook a meal or see around the house. They can be comforting if you have a child who is afraid of the dark. Not recommended for reading unless you sit directly below the light.

 

Off the Grid Small Solar Kits

If you are looking for a system to get you started in solar energy but is easy to install. A solar kit can help you get started with solar energy and can power a tremendous amount of things.

The KISAE Technology HS400-00 Is a complete Home Solar 400 Watt kit. It is self-contained, so the inverter and the battery are all in a box together. This plug and play system makes it easy to install and easy to use.

You could easily power lights and the weather radio during a storm or power outage. It would also charge your cell phone and laptop. This kit also makes an accessible introduction to solar power.

Do you want to switch over one area of your house? Depending on your equipment you could power your home office with this product. Laptop, printer and desk lamp can all run on under 40 watts as long as you have energy efficient models.

 

 

Products mentioned in this post

Did you like this post? Please leave us a comment below and take a look at other great articles that we have selected for you! 

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Lets Live a Green Life!

Energy

Let’s live a green life!

Why we should aim to live a green life and influence others to do the same

 

First, let’s look at things from a much higher perspective

How many times per day do you remind yourself that you are alive? And that you are a life, living on a tiny planet that orbits a small star in a galaxy with approx 200 billion stars in an observable universe that contains at least 2 trillion galaxies?

We are so fortunate to be here! We should remind ourselves of this more often. It helps us to put everything into the right perspective and tells us that life has to be treasured.

Life on Earth is the consequence of the combination of several factors such as having liquid water, minerals, atmosphere, magnetic field, the ozone layer, among many others.

The steep populational growth that we have seen, which drives an ever-increasing hunger for consumption of natural resources, is directly impacting our little blue planet’s fragile balance.

Our environment allowed life to be here, and we must take good care of it so that our environment can continue to take good care of us. We must do all we can to leave, for the future generations, a better planet than the one we found.  It is our responsibility to live a green life!

 

What is going on with our reserves of natural resources

According to recent reports from the United Nations, the way we are using our natural resources is unsustainable and is increasing at a fast pace that may cause irreversible damages to our planet. The extraction of primary materials has more than tripled in 40 years, fueled by a rapidly growing middle class.

Reports from the World Trade Organization show what we all know, but many refuse to understand: the way we consume our “economically viable” natural resources is unsustainable, and many of those resources are at risk of being entirely consumed sooner or later.

Critical resources like water, petroleum, gas, charcoal, foods, metals among several others are at risk and we may be moving sooner or later towards a mass extinction of up to 75% of all the species, a phenomenon that has happened 5 times in the past 540 million years, which for the first time will be caused by us, humans.

Let’s clarify what is going on with some of those resources:

Food

The UN estimates that by 2050 (when human population shall surpass the mark of 9 billion people), the amount of food produced on our planet will need to increase by 70%. To accomplish this, we will need to deal with relevant obstacles like global warming that impacts agricultural production in many countries. Recent data shows that currently, one out of every six inhabitants of our planet suffers from hunger. What will this look like 50, 100, 500 years down the road?

Water

The UN alerts that 2.1 billion people don’t have access to potable water at home. If we keep the current pace with regards to the consumption and devastation of nature as a whole, by 2050, 75% of the global population may have difficulties to access potable water.

Petroleum

What we know for sure is that one day we will finish consuming all our reserve of oil. There are many different estimations and opinions about when it will happen, but they all agree that it will happen. The way we produce energy is still highly dependent on the petroleum chain, but inevitably we will need to learn how to live without it, which may not be that bad of an idea after all.

Copper

Copper is one of the most utilized metals by humans. We use it in electric wires, all sort of electronic equipment, jewelry, to mention a few only. We may entirely consume our reserves by 2100. Fortunately, copper, as well as several other metals, can be recycled.

Those are just a few examples and should be enough to make us reflect on what each one of us can do to help. The short answer is live green!

 

What can we do about it? Decide to embrace a green life!

We can’t change everyone, but we can improve ourselves toward living an eco-friendly and sustainable green life and influence others to do the same by becoming a role model to be followed.

Our attitudes are a lot more persuasive than our words. So, live your life as green as you can because this is the best way to promote the real changes that our planet needs.

What can we do to live green? What can we do to live a more sustainable and eco-friendly life? We have some suggestions to start with:

Reduce

Try to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources. Ride a bicycle to work, use public transportation, share a car drive to work, stop buying things that you don’t need.

Reuse

Replace that “disposable” plastic bag by reusable ones, reuse as many bottles and cans as you can, donate things that you don’t use.

Recycle

Recycle as much as possible. Try to understand where the final destination of everything you throw away will be. Learn how to recycle things at home by yourself.

Make your home more sustainable

Have you considered generating solar energy at your own home? Wind energy? Rain harvesting? Composting? There are so many things that are under our reach that will make your home and your life more sustainable. We have written several articles on these subjects. You can find the links at the end of this article.

Buy eco-friendly products

Buy products that will not harm the environment and even prioritize products whose manufacturing processes were environmentally responsible.

You can check our “eco-friendly products section” where we review and suggest products that we like and that somehow will help us on the mission of preserving our planet for the future generations. We continually search eco-friendly products and fair prices to recommend to our visitors.

Are you living a green life yet? Do you care about the conservation of our planet and our future generations? What are you doing about it? Please leave a comment below! 

The beautiful illustration on this post was created by Karina Busquets, who gently conceded ecofriendly.solutions the right of use on our website. Please click here to visit her website and get to see some of her beautiful illustrations and her unique style. 

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