Thursday, 23 February 2012

Would you, if you could?

 Hello Dear Reader,

I was reading a blog tonight and it made me have a good think about what I need and what I could do without. Could I live off grid? I could, but I can't guarantee how long I would last. I'd need to cook, which would be great in the winter as I could keep the wood stove burning. What would I do in the summer?
 I love chopping and stacking wood, then moving the wood stack somewhere else.
 I would miss mains electricity! Not sure if a wind turbine wouldn't blow away where we live - it would need to be really tough on top of my hill!
 The trendy look where I live! is to have a roof covered in PV. Some have bought theirs and some get free day time electricity. I wasn't convinced. If I owned the house out right and I was staying, then I would buy it myself.
This 'beauty' is a solar central heating system! Surely, when the sun is out, I wouldn't need the heating on? I'm not sure if I would want to live 'off grid'. I could do it but I like being able to switch it on if I want. Mostly, I keep everything off and grope around in the gloom. I like the glow of one lamp and my wood stove keeping one room warm. Our bedroom and son's bedroom are either side of the chimney upstairs so those rooms are warm too.
Mind you, if I had a compost loo, I want a posh one like this! I already don't flush unless I have to. I then use the water I've saved from my shower. I could cope with this if I had to.

So, would you, if you could, live off grid? What would you miss? Mine would be light whenever I want it.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xx

19 comments:

  1. If I could, I would. I'd miss nothing,but it would force me to think about priorities.
    Jane x

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  2. I watched the Pennypincher Programme, and the mother would only let the boys shower when there had been enough sun to heat the water. That concerned me a little [the thought of teaching a classful of unwashed stinky children...]

    Yes, like you, I would miss LIGHT too

    blessings x

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  3. I'd love to live off grid, I think it would be so liberating! - although I would miss the washing machine not being avaliable whenever I wanted it to be with the 3 kids, and having hot water whenever I wanted it. Having had the boiler break down on more than one occasion over the past few years I know just how horrid it can be having to shower in freezing cold water.

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  4. I've often said: I want to go live in the woods, in a rough hewn cabin, with the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder. But...I'll be honest. I think it's more of a romantic lens I'm wearing. I know some blogs I've come across that are living that way. God bless them. I'll have to admire from afar....

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  5. No I would nt live off the grid. Nice fantasy but not practical. The payback time for solar is long; would nt get my money back and the last thing in the world I would give up is indoor plumbing (although like you I only flush when I need to and my water bills are very low.)
    I am more into conservation and efficiency. I have added some more insulation, have double glazing and passive solar heating. If I was building a house from scratch I would go as green as possible
    but would never retrofit what I have (way too expensive)

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  6. Yes, I definitely would.
    One problem with all the 'magic' that's needed is blummin' expensive to install.
    In one of our previous houses we had solar panels that served underfloor heating and hot water. You don't need full fierce sunlight at all for solar panels, that is a general misconception.
    I don't think we (as in OH and I) will ever be off grid totally, but in future we plan to be for a good part. You really don't have to miss anything if you think it through properly. :)

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  7. I would not but it is because I dont have an engineer for a husband and many of the systems either require so much more work or money. However, I applaud those who can get them working and keep them working.

    Saw an off grid house in Alaska that needed a PHD in engineering to keep working but it was a marvel.

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  8. I would not but it is because I dont have an engineer for a husband and many of the systems either require so much more work or money. However, I applaud those who can get them working and keep them working.

    Saw an off grid house in Alaska that needed a PHD in engineering to keep working but it was a marvel.

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  9. I would miss a bit of electricity to power the laptop and for the DVD player - but I'd happily compost our own sh-1-t as being vegans it's brilliant for the garden!!
    My little dream is to have a cheapy house in a quietish space with room for a polytunnel and a handful of chickens. A woodburning stove like yours would be the icing on the cake, but until then I'm afraid I'm going to have to keep coming over to knit in front of yours! :)

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  10. I grew up with an old fashioned out house and our holiday place was "off grid". In the Australian summer I could not live off grid. It is so hot. When we lose electricity even the heat from a candle is too much for me. As for those old loos they are most unpleasant in summer. I know there are better systems now but I would nto want one in the main part of my home.

    We do have a solar electricity system on our roof. It feeds to the main grid. It has been here for one billing period and we saved 66%. This was not the main aim, however. We have plentiful sun and should use the passive system rather than burn coal.

    For the few cold weeks a wood stove would be great. But usually we just add more layers. I like the idea of a stove to warm water, cook and warm the house. OUr homes are built to be cool and do not heat well.

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  11. I think I could have done in my younger days.

    I kept a log fire burning for many years with driftwood and windfall.

    Bottled gas will provide cooking in summer, and run a fridge, even provide lights. I can remember electric being installed in my parents house, before that we had gas mantles.

    Drinking water would be the biggest problem unless there's a private supply.

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  12. My parents live off the grid in Mexico in the winter. They have solar and then they have a propane tanks, so I think that counts, right? They buy their water every month, get their tank filled and I have to ask where the waste water goes. They have light at night from the solar power stored in batteries but in emergency can run propane lights. The fridge is propane powered too. I am planning to get solar panels as soon as I get a new roof on my house as our power company will buy back any extra. I would love to live totally off grid in the country and be more self sufficient. Someday I will do it. I have a dream. ;)

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  13. I have no intentions of living off the grid but I do have a roof full of photovoltaic panels which generate electricity for me. We have had them for a year now and the income from our generated electricity has covered the cost of water, gas and electricity so we sort of feel that we are living for free.

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  14. I would love to live off grid. and I would have a generator/ solar energy stored to use if I needed to . it would force me to be more responsible then I am trying to be no. I would also invest in the underground heating that you can get from the earth(cant think of the proper name for it) a wind up radio would keep me tuned to radio 4 and I would use my treadle sewing machine that’s sadly idling in the corner. in the summer I would use a solar shower , in the winter well things could get interesting lol.I know i have come a long way and (still have a ways to go) but I have a very kind and sweet neighbour who spends like no tomorrow and saves NOTHING for any reason. she a good mum and her kids are a credit to her skills but the frugal side of me would love her to embrace a more financially cautious way. but she cant live my life and I cant live hers. :-)
    my next goal is to source an adult tricycle and use that for getting about on. not fond of bicycles.
    as my nanna said to me once when we were chatting about a similar topic. you would need to to work smart in order not to work too hard. she should know she was from the generation who saw the heralding of telecommunications ,advancement of trains refrigerator i the home washing machines instead of a copper and a mangle. I in my childhood lived in a house with an outside loo and coal bunker combined we had a bath in front of the coal fire once a week and strip washed in the kitchen sink the rest of the time. i NEVER felt hard done by. lovely post frugs
    Rachel
    plymouth

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  15. Firstly what a lovely wood burning stove, is that yours? Secondly what a wonderful idea to live offgrid, no more horrid gas/elec bills. But I agree with you, there's nothing nicer than switchin on a cosy table lamp on a winter's evening, especially if it was next to that wood burning stove :-)

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  16. I would give it a go, but would miss your blog, and as for washing my cloths in the stream, I dont think so. too many sheep around here. I would like the chance to try. x

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  17. To a degree I do live off grid, or at least do when I want to. My family lives in an rv and we have 2 solar panels on the roof that provide electricity. The science behind solar and wind is not rocket science. With the right system and enough batteries you can have all the electricity you need. Maybe not all you WANT but all you need. I use the internet, the tv and dvd, fans etc. I need a generator for the microwave and the a/c but not for anything else. It is doable and not as expensive or hard as you may think.

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  18. I would love to live off grid and hope I am able to do so one day. If I could combine it with a flushing loo and a hot shower then I'd be happy :o) x

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