Long Range Wireless Charging Could Be On The Horizon!

While we all know that wireless charging is already a thing, so far the devices available still require you to basically “dock” your device to a pad, that itself is plugged in, and they tend to require you have specific phones designed with glass backed cases for their wireless charging to work. It is certainly still more handy at times than having to use cords, though, you can’t use your phone and charge it at the same time with wireless charging unless you leave it on the charging pad.

With Wi-Charge, they are taking a different approach altogether by using infrared beams that can be sent to dongles, cases, or other attachments to work with any phone, tablet, or even other wireless devices like blue tooth speakers, and as long as you don’t block the beam, your device will charge anywhere there is line of sight connection. In just the last few years they have gone from a pretty basic working prototype to a more advanced model that was one of the big hits at the recent CES technology event. They are currently accepting orders sign ups for Beta Testing at their website for a few different models, so it looks like this could be close to being a real consumer product. For more information check them out HERE

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Aquaponics Can Provide A Variety Of Food In Limited Space

Aquaponics is a great way to make use of limited space to grow a variety of food, including raising fresh fish. The beauty of it is that any vegetable where the edible portion grows above ground can be grown this way, with the root systems underneath in the tanks that are then used to raise a variety of edible fish, the most popular being tilapia, but you can use other varieties, though those that grow quickly are probably your best choices. The plants help filter the tank, and the waste and water from the tank helps nourish the plants above. This means that in one closed system you can raise a variety of fresh vegetables and fish to give you more variety in food choices for living off the grid. It can also just be a fun family project that can help teach children how the cycle of life works, and teach them a valuable skill for use in the future.

You aren’t limited to just fish, as you can raise any aquatic animal in your system, including snails, prawns, and crayfish, so there is a lot of room to use your imagination if you have enough resources to make sure you have the proper system setup for a more diverse system of life in your tanks. Keep in mind though, the more complex your system is, the more care it will require, though it will still be less than trying to raise both separately. Also, some plants do better after your system is more established and you have a higher density of fish and other aquatic life as they will require more nutrients from the waste in the water below. There is a wide variety of information available online, from small starter kits made more for small fish and some herbs to much larger systems with a more complex system of plant and aquatic life.

For more information you can start here https://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/aquaponics

Quaking Aspen Are Among The Oldest Living Organisms On The Planet!

The Quaking Aspen is pretty unique among trees, in fact, some say it may be best not to even think of them as trees at all. The reason for this is that while we see what looks like an entire forest above ground, in reality they are all part of the same single organism with one single root system beneath the ground that actually sprouts hundreds or even thousands of trunks. Each “tree” in the system is genetically identical to one another and they can grow in a pretty wide variety of climates with almost the only real requirement being plenty of sunshine, which means that they can even grow in desert climates near areas with intermittent springs.

They are among some of the oldest living organisms on the planet, with one clone patch located in Bryce Canyon in Utah estimated to be around 80,000 years old! Even younger clone patches are often dated to be around 5,000 to 10,000 years old! Even if the trunks do die off, the root system can remain dormant for a hundred years or more and start producing new trunks once conditions are favorable again. They are one of the most fascinating species out there!

https://www.facebook.com/natgeo/videos/10155095892903951/

 

Tesla is Hiring! Work for a Sustainable World!

Back in 2014 Tesla began construction on a brand new factory that would be the main production center of their power supply products, from their Powerwalls and Powerpacks to their batteries and drivetrains for their model 3’s. Now the company is looking to hire as they get ready to start producing these products in order to meet the growing demand for battery storage and their popular model 3 consumer vehicles. The Gigafactory itself will run on renewable energy with the goal of being a zero emissions production center. So if you live near, or are willing to relocate to the Sparks Nevada area to work at the forefront of a growing industry with one of the most innovative companies on the planet, then you’ll want to take a serious look at the available positions below. You could be part of making the world more sustainable for your children and future generations.

 

Gigafactory Jobs

 

From the Brink of Extinction to Bottles Across the Nation. Jimmy Red is a Corn With a Rich History

Corn has long been the staple of an underground economy, mainly moonshine, and with that, each moonshiner has their own recipe, technique, and various other habits that go into making their own personal variety of “whiskey”. While most use the more common types of corn available at almost any farm or store, there was a time when a strain called “Jimmy Red” was favored among a select few, but it became less and less common, and it was actually on the verge of extinction just a few years ago.

This strain of corn was in danger of dying out in the early 2000’s when the last bootlegger to use it passed away, but as luck would have it, two ears of Jimmy Red were saved from his last crop and given to a seed collector to preserve this heirloom breed. Since then it has taken off once again, being grown by more and more farmers, often especially for whiskey, but also to be used for unique flavored grits, cornbread, and other speciality dishes. Still, it is the unique flavor that it gives to whiskey, without the need for rye or other grains typically used, that has really spread the gospel of Jimmy Red.



From just two ears saved by Ted Chewning, Jimmy Red can now be found at university farms, high end restaurants, and in an ever increasing variety of bottles of whiskey in liquor stores across the nation. Each will have have their own distinct flavor depending on the soil the corn is grown in, and the typical ageing process is around 2 years. At first bottles were selling out quickly, and can still be hard to find, but after realizing that there was a demand for this unique, and historical breed of corn whiskey, more acres are planted each year, which means that more bottles are available as the years go on. If you’re looking to try something with a great deal of history to it, then search out a bottle of Jimmy Red, or see about obtaining some of your own, but be careful as it has a tendency to easily cross breed with other strains that happen to have their pollen blow into the fields, but if you are willing to put in the work, you could produce a hearty breed of corn that is a part of American history.

 

 

Go Back To Basics With The Barefoot Carvan

There is always a bit of nostalgia in the world, a longing for a when times seemed better, or simply something that reminds of us childhood memories. One thing that has benefited from this nostalgia in recent years have been two behind trailers and Air-stream campers. They do have a classic design that reminds people of the 50’s and 60’s, but the originals were meant for short term camping trips, or maybe a summer road trip, and certainly didn’t have the technology that we have available to us today and while some people can invest a small fortune refurbishing, restoring, and upgrading those original trailers, the cost of an original alone can be prohibitive for many.

This is where a company in England has stepped in and created a modern version with that classic look called Barefoot Caravan, but with a lot of the current technology that allows their trailers to be used for those who are looking for tiny home living with mobility. Their trailers are shaped a bit like an egg, with the design that is reminiscent of the classics, but with much lighter weight fiberglass bodies, and just over 100 sq feet of living space that includes a bathroom with shower, a stove, heating system, LED lighting, and seating that converts to beds for sleeping.

https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/barefoot-caravan-makes-cool-curved-campers/

While they are still more suitable for camping than full blown tiny living, the modern touches would allow for a couple to at least test drive the tiny home concept while also allowing them to travel and see their country, and at roughly $34,000 they aren’t cheap as far as campers go, but for that price, it would be a more affordable mobile tiny home option for the more adventurous.

New Battery Lasts 10 Years, Costs Less & Better For Environment

A new breakthrough in battery technology could allow flow batteries to last up to a decade with minimal upkeep. By using neutral PH water as one of the primary components, these newer batteries would also be virtually nontoxic, which means that if they leak, there is no concern about acid burning your skin or damaging any property.

What is a Flow Battery?

Flow Batteries

A flow battery is a type of rechargeable battery where rechargeability is provided by two chemical components dissolved in liquids contained within the system and most commonly separated by a membrane. This technology is akin to both a fuel cell and a battery – where liquid energy sources are tapped to create electricity and are able to be recharged within the same system.

One of the biggest advantages of flow batteries is that they can be almost instantly recharged by replacing the electrolyte liquid, while simultaneously recovering the spent material for re-energization. SOURCE: EnergyStorage.org

While most batteries run into issues after a certain number of charges and discharges, these water based batteries have only a 1% of loss of efficiency after a decades worth of typical charge and discharge cycles. These could be a big advance for those who need to use battery storage for solar, wind, or other systems, especially while living off grid.

Another benefit is that if these types of batteries can be mass produced, they could help drive the cost of alternative energy even lower, and given that the cost of wind and solar are already reaching or even falling below the costs of more traditional forms of energy, it would make it more expensive to use fossil fuels in many power applications. Making off grid living more affordable, less toxic, and less corrosive with more advanced batteries is a hurdle that it appears we now have the technology to clear.

For more details, see the official press release here: Press release on new Flow Battery Technology

6 Simple Foods That Fight Inflammation

Foods that fight inflammation – Doctors are learning that one of the best ways to quell inflammation lies not in the medicine cabinet, but in the refrigerator.”Harvard.edu So, apparently all this skepticism that natural cures don’t work is just that. Oh, and before you go and say, “Preventative maintenance is not a cure.” You’re right. BUT. If you’re already sick, and you start eating right, and then you start feeling better. Um…is that a cure? Hmmm… I think that’s called a gray area.

I think skeptics should weigh ALL the evidence like they claim to do. They don’t do it though. They fall for the fallacy of appeal to authority from doctors and scientists that say “natural medicine”, “alternative medicine” and naturals cures don’t exist. Theses kinds of skeptics like to post links to sources (which is a good thing) and say “See, I told you it doesn’t work. I told you it’s bullshit.” But what they fail to realize is that they are appealing to authority. It’s hard not to appeal to science. i get it. I’m not saying discount the evidence.

I’m saying that people need to realize that there are gray areas here. Black and white does not exist. Everything is shades of gray. And no, I’m not referring to the movie or the novels. LOL Sorry. As much as food and sex go together, we’re talking about health here. Anyway. My point is this.

Foods that combat inflammation

Foods that fight inflammation
Foods that fight inflammation – SOURCE: Harvard Medical School

Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Olive oil
  3. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards
  4. Nuts like almonds and walnuts
  5. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines
  6. Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

    SOURCE: Foods that fight inflammation – Harvard Medical School

Healthy food is good for you. And I’ll go so far as to say yes, it’s preventative maintenance for your body, but it’s also medicine for when your body isn’t working right. Will it cure cancer? Nope. Maybe. The “truth” is I don’t know, and the studies are not conclusive.

I think the proper answer here is I don’t know. Quoting a scientific study doesn’t quite answer the question. I think the TRUTH the FACTS are in that gray area somewhere.

It’s foggy. It’s muddled and unclear. The world has never been black and white. Everything is a gray area.

I think food is medicine. Whether that food acts as preventative maintenance or makes you feel better, if you feel better then is that a cure?

I can’t answer that legally.

And maybe that’s part of the problem.

***

Tesla Goes Big (Rig)!

Tesla has been making waves in recent years, from their PowerWalls, to their solar roofs, they have pushed the technology for off grid living forward at a pace many thought was impossible. They have built some of the largest batteries in the world, opened up factories to produce solar panels to go with their solar roofing tiles, and of course, they are already famous for producing the most advanced electric vehicles on the market today, and recently, they have taken that concept a step further by announcing their all electric big rigs.

These aren’t a novelty item, companies are already putting in orders to at least get a small trial fleet up and running so they are likely to be something we are all going to see on the roads in the very near future. Many of the benefits are obvious. Less need for fuel (one very large expense for most trucking companies, large and small alike), a range that lasts the entire length of a legal driving day before needing to recharge, faster acceleration even under full legal limit loads and a host of other benefits that those of you who have driven truck can think of. However, there are also likely to be benefits to the general off grid community as well.

https://electrek.co/guides/tesla-semi/

These advances are going to need more power stations installed to meet the demand to charge these vehicles, which, with corporate America on board, is almost certainly going to happen sooner rather than later. The reduction in fuel costs will also mean lower prices for goods transported by truck, which, quite frankly, is essentially everything, which means that buying the materials for your off grid dream cabin should cost you less in the future as well. The lack of emissions means cleaner air and water for all of us, which means more land that is suitable for off grid living with less pollution to worry about. In fact, while some of the benefits to the off grid community will be pretty obvious (if you need to haul your supplies to your out of the way location, there will be no fuel costs associated with it, so that will save you money), others may not be apparent as of yet, but it is almost certain that the technology involved will end up with significant applications that will benefit not only the off grid community, but the world at large as it makes living more sustainable.

 

For more info and specs check out https://www.tesla.com/semi

Should Children Be Taught How To Grow Food As Part of Their Schooling?

Do you think children should be taught how to grow food as part of their schooling? That is a very good question this day and age. It’s really something I think we should be thinking about as parents. Modern times bring with it wonderful new innovative technology and exciting new inventions. Modern technology has advanced exponentially over the past century and a half, we’ve come so far with regards to increasing our ability to survive the harsh reality of the real world. Technology has created abundance and comfort the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Yet somehow, along the way, we’ve lost part of our former selves. We’ve lost some very valuable real-world knowledge and the skills we need to take care of our families. I guess it’s because modern technology and conveniences like grocery stores, delivery services, modern agriculture and farming techniques and the advent of the factory farm have all contributed to the loss of this knowledge and in some ways have made us complacent.

No longer do most people teach their children the basics of life and survival. What would happen if the current system collapsed? No that it would or to be alarmist or fearmongering, but it’s an honest hard question to ask without being negative or conspiratorial. This isn’t about that, it’s about the real possibility of “what if”? natural disasters happen all the time and that’s just one reason why teaching our children how to grow their own food is such a valuable lesson.

It’s a priceless skill to learn. You can’t put a price on that kind of knowledge.

So tell me…why are we not teaching our children to grow their own food in school? Why is it not part of the curriculum? Is there a reason?

What do you think?

Do you think children should be taught how to grow their own food as part of their schooling?

***

Ugly Duckling Shipping Container Home Built by Artist Is a Beautiful Swan on the Inside

This shipping container home might be the ugly duckling on the outside, but the inside screams beautiful swan. Design meets function meets artistic style. It may not look spectacular on the outside, but what it lacks in appeal on the exterior, it more than makes up for inside. It’s not really ugly on the outside, and in fact it’s actually rather quaint, and slightly appealing in a recycled kind of way. The “Wow Factor” factor strikes you when you view the interior. It just goes to show you that you should never judge a book by it’s cover. In this case don’t let the outside fool you. This is a home worth a second look.

Ugly Duckling Shipping Container Home Built by Artist Is a Beautiful Swan on the Inside

shipping containe home savannah project2

shipping containe home savannah project2

 

101 Reasons To Live Off Grid

101 Reasons to Live Off The Grid – People go off grid for all kinds of reasons, the biggest one I think is that people seem to think life will be easier, less stressful and perhaps even make them happier. Well, it’s WORK, and work is a four letter word. It’s not easy, it’s not luxury and it takes time and effort and determination. Having said that, these are some of the more uplifting and positive aspects of living off the grid. This list touches on the basic and fundamental reasons why we do what we do. This article was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Off Grid Living magazine, our premiere issue of our flagship publication. We hope you enjoy the article.

Off Grid Garden & Farm

1. Self sufficiency 

Living off grid is all about living a self sufficient lifestyle, one not dependent on outside resources because you create your own resources thereby reducing or totally eliminating your dependence on a system that could collapse at any moment.

2. Sustainable living 

It’s about living more sustainably. Without constantly consuming resources, you will actually be producing more than you consume. This has the added benefit of not only providing for your family, but contributing to your local community.

3. Renewable energy 

The use of renewable energy only makes sense. Using an energy source that is not renewable is absurd. Fossil fuels are not renewable, at least at the rate we are consuming them. So it makes sense to use sources of energy that are completely renewable, and that can be shared. Renewable energy is also more sustainable long term, and that’s just smart living.

 4. Environmentally responsible 

When one realizes their own responsibility is just as valuable as the next person’s and that no one person’s responsibility is less than another’s to make this world a better place, then we come to a crossroads where we must, as responsible human beings, and for the future of our children and their children, be more environmentally responsible, or there may not be an environment left for them.

5. Practical living

Living off the grid is more practical because we reuse, recycle, and stretch the use of our resources to their maximum purpose.

6. Smaller footprint 

Living off grid means you don’t use as many resources as most people, and it cuts down on waste.

7. Less impact on the planet 

When you’re off grid, you live your life more in tune with nature, and as such, have less of a negative impact on the planet.

8. Healthier lifestyle 

It’s just plain healthier because you’re more active. The benefits of physical activity and exercise on your life, overall, are innumerable.

9. Rewarding

Living off the grid is more rewarding for all the reasons listed on this page. When you factor in all the benefits of the off grid lifestyle, you realize there’s really no other way to live that’s more rewarding.

10. Happiness 

It makes you happy. Less stress and more activity creates a feeling of contentment, and this creates happiness.

Planting a vegetable garden

11. Getting back to our roots

Living off the grid is getting back to our roots, and where we come from. Our ancestors lived this way for tens of thousands of years. The story is the same all over the world. Looking back throughout human history there’s one commonality that is universal. Save the fact we’re all human beings, we all lived off the land as hunter-gatherers. We built things and made stuff, created shelter, grew food, and tapped natural water sources to provide for our families and the village. Our tribe is humanity, and we’ve all done things the same way. Now, in modern times, with the advent of modern technology, things are done much more easily, and we’re in a time of unprecedented advancement. Living off grid with high technology. Solar panels, wind turbines, hydro electricity, geothermal, and renewable biofuels power our world, while at the same time, we can connect back to our roots and enjoy nature.

12. Preserves knowledge

When we live sustainably it preserves the knowledge through the ages for generations to come. If we all lived in a consumer world we’d lose this precious knowledge and it would be lost forever. What would we do if we didn’t preserve that knowledge by sharing it with our kids, and the world? The advent of the internet and high technology allows us to share with the entire world, with the click of a mouse, the knowledge of our ancestors, forever preserving the knowledge for humanity.

13. Teaches future generations  

Teaching others brings its own rewards, both for the student and the teacher. The beauty of it is that being off grid allows us to teach a new (old) way of living that everyone should know. The reward of the good feeling of teaching is just a bonus.

14. Shares experience 

Sharing the experience we have with others is part of life. It’s deeply fulfilling to share your experience with others, adds to your sense of purpose, and helps them at the same time. They will, in turn, share that experience with others and so on. It’s self perpetuating, and furthers the advancement of knowledge.

15. Advances humanity

The knowledge of course advances humanity – everyone’s knowledge base build atop the last. Like building blocks of sustainable living, it creates a foundation to build a better life, and that we can all benefit from.

16. Uses less resources 

Living off grid consumes fewer resources. Simple as that. When we live off the grid we actually create more resources than we use, and this benefits the local community.

17. Avoids consumerism & waste

Consumption of resources is running rampant, and needless waste is at an all time high. To reduce waste and consumerism it’s much better to create and produce resources. When you live a sustainable and renewable lifestyle you become a boon to society and create more than you use. This helps keep consumption to a minimum and sets a great example for others.

18. Leads by example

Because you’re doing it, you’re living the lifestyle, you’re leading by example. When you walk the talk, and live this lifestyle, it shows others there is another way to do things. That it doesn’t have to be all about consuming, that you can give back, and still live a fulfilling and rich life.

19. Better for our kids

It also goes without saying that it’s better for our kids to see us live this way because it will help propagate awareness for the responsibility we have to live smarter lives.

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Off Grid Living