long-term is essential when building a one-time power plant that will
outlive you and me.
Chances are likely that the next generation will not be
that keen on
how it all works, nor should they have to (you did all the work so
they won't need to). Consider your niece or grand-child coming
to your off-grid edifice, would you feel safe having her around your
power plant by herself? If not, fix it as if you were dying
Long-term, as in longer than just your existence, ought to
be the goal when off-gridding.
The title to this tip wavered between: Thinking in Terms of Longevity and
the alternate title: Never Throw
Anything Away unless
it's truly trash.
Since I generally am cash-poor, larger cables were not
feasible. However making the most of what I had ensured a
great savings in not needing to purchase more cabling to accomplish the
new cabling scheme (in other words, even though I threw away the old
simply because they had become unusable due to corrosion, the 40' bus,
temporary storage site, allowed for their easy retrieval and alteration
This would be a good time to clarify, my garbage is not
people's garbage. My garbage does not smell and attracts no
When seeking to live off-grid, garbage is a problem turned
into a solution.
Q: So if I don't have a regular
garbage pickup, where's my
A: Glad you asked. As it turns out, it's easy to make less
garbage. Firstly, let's define garbage in an on-grid
situation vs garbage in an off-grid application.
In an on-grid
situation, your trash is trash that could be recycled, however the
difficulty in finding the means to purpose it are limited (especially
if you live in the cities or apartments). And furthermore, even
if you were able to recycle your trash, it is for another entity that
you toil. The term recycle is defined as re-using a commodity or
other material for another purpose. Recycle is NOT defined as
making some other entity fat with your donation (that will later turn
around and raise their prices for their product with no thought to your
donations). Typically though, trash in an
cannot be separated for recycling, and therefore becomes
However, in an off
situation, your trash is a commodity.
Recycling is automatic, unless you are cash-flush.
Explained further, garbage basically
plant and animal by-products, glass,
metals, and styros.
Let's talk trash.
1.) Paper or cardboard.
cook with wood, that garbage is kindling
and a necessary commodity.
The stove generally stays on day and night in the winter time, but even in the
warmer months kindling is vital during the times when cooking is
So with the elimination of paper, wood, and
from the garbage, instantly transforms my garbage to be less garbage
than the next person.
2.) Table scraps.
processing scrap, etc., ends up in a sealed compost container (recycled
kitty-litter container), and
ultimately incorporated into the garden. Any meat products go to the neighbor's dog.
As it turns out the soil
is starving for nutrition (so likewise when
I die, I'd prefer NOT to be simply burned up so that you have to
breathe that crap, but I also would prefer NOT to be buried in a
box. It gets no more selfish even unto death when
your body has all the nutrients that could replenish your dying
planet...just a thought).
So that eliminates table scraps
other animal and plant-matter
from my garbage, which is usually where garbage odors originate
3.) Steel and other metals
re-used in all sorts of varied
When there is too much accumulated metals, one phone
call makes it all go away (search location: craigslist
; search term:
Donating also helps the community by giving
excess to the
4.) Glass products
in canning, storage, or used
Very little glass ends up in the
garbage until it results in breakage.
5.) Plastics and styros. You found MY
So the useless plastics
are garbage, and bagged up.
I'd say there's one bag per month that
is carried out to the sealed dumpster (a 40foot bus).
However, even styrofoams have come in handy this winter.
Temporarily insulating the
3-car garage openings shielded me from the bitter cold that is outside
now. (12degrees outside; 84 degrees inside! ";-)
are no odors because there's no
food-matter left in the garbage. No critters will find sustenance from
I state the long-winded aforementioned to
curtail the more judgmental among us, that
might just assume something incorrectly, and lose the message for the
wrongful assumption. Hello Codes Department.
In short, Think long-term in more than just your garbage, cables,
sustenance, energy, etc. Remember
you are going to get old; You
are going to get forgetful; You are going to get error-prone,
inevitable (if you even live that long).
And as luck would have it, there's not always a clear indication when
you begin to decompose while you still live; we can't necessarily
dictate to our minds that we would prefer to be the kind elderly person
and not the pervert....it just happens. A little forgetfulness
then another day it becomes a little frustration...and bam, before
you know it you're finding yourself talking to inanimate objects!
Whatsoever you do, do unto the next generation, your family tree, your
neighbor (not for yourself...the initial investment in solar rarely
sees a monetary return in an off-grid scenario. For the
next generation, it is nothing BUT profit!
REMEMBER, IT'S THE NEXT GENERATION that is important, BUY TESTED
TRUE PRODUCTS (and if you can't afford it, then
God probably didn't want you to have it yet anyway. What
God and get the plastic version instead?). Your death
leave something of substance that
will get you remembered, the artifacts of which may be used for
generations to come; as opposed to the useless idols and graven images
we may accumulate, commonly referred to as trinkets. Tools of
old, for instance, are able to be used to this very day. The cheaper
made modern-day tools will rarely survive even our own existence, let
alone the next.
Buying plastic crap leaves plastic
The owner of
whom left the following generation to pay to move the plastic crap to
or have a somewhat embarrassing garage sale in the hopes that someone
will buy the plastic crap.
What you choose to leave behind determines your character, your
foresight, and more. Getting
no new science.
Look around. No old people? Fewer old
people this year? Unless you're eyes are diminished by the
brought to you by others, It appears that death is ever-present with
the increase of capitalist crap. Prepare while you still have a
mind to. Perform your projects as if you will be aged and invalid
tomorrow. Automation and sensors are key.
Fluoride in "public" water supplies, genetically "modified" foods,
nuclear plants within 30 miles of your home and more contribute to the
increase in cancers and early termination of the humans and other wild
life. With this much working against you, and even age being
added to what's already against your sense of security, Motion Sensors, Light Sensors, and Timed Sensors
will remember to turn on and off
appliances so you can remember more important things, like what to do
to remove fluoride from our water, for one. p.s. Ingesting
fluoride will not make your teeth whiter, I believe fluoride was a slag
byproduct of a bomb-making industry. How does that make you feel,
my expendable countrymen?
Since we age, and are prone
to forgetfulness, better get some sensors to help you out.
The modern-day old people may be dying prematurely of heart attacks
In an on-grid scenario, the electric monopoly will require payment from
our elderly and penalize / profit from their
forgetfulness. Incorporating sensors tends
to the menial tasks and saves energy, even in an on-grid scenario.
Motion sensors are awesome.
If there's no movement for a specified period of
time, electrical connections are disconnected automatically (until
there's motion again). So lights and various other
automatically turn off when I leave the building or pass out for a few
hours. This may not seem like much until you try to live
off a battery in the Ohio wintertime!
And don't just buy one sensor, get a zillion of them! The
of my time out here was during the beginning months. Lighting was
bad and sensors were scarce. There are areas of your living area
that can not be seen by a solitary sensor, which could be
hazardous if you happen to be cooking and the lights go out. When
a sensor doesn't sense movement, imagine trying to see where to rest
the pan and plate you're holding, and then waving your arm around like
a madman trying to get the flipping light to come back on for another 5
minutes! Whew, glad I got that off my chest. Anyway,
this is the answer: place numerous sensors, each sensor
controlling lights of their own. The result will be much light
when motion is sensed, less light when barely moving, and off when you
walk away. LED's allow for more light with least
In short, Automation is key, but also allows for the long-term life of your