Need a pump? the simple pump is a great choice and here’s why
A Portable Water Filter
What would you do if you woke up one day and your access to clean drinking water was gone?
We have 3 portable, microbiological water filters. They are called LifeStraws. We have one for each of us in the family. That means we can access clean drinking water anytime and anywhere. We can even drink dirty water from the streets if we need to.
Great for disaster and emergency situations where clean is scarce, it is the most important tool in our earthquake preparedness kit.
I consider this invention to be one of the most important of our time.
Sustainability is the only way our world can survive far into the future. Please take a moment to watch this simple explanation by Jacques Fresco, about how we can all be part of that change … we need to go beyond politics, poverty and war before it’s too late.
As we travel together so far away from where we came from, this song seems more significant than ever … because we know home is where ever we are together. It’s not a place, it’s not a building – it’s us.
Together we are home, at home and are better stronger and happier than ever … Enjoy this beautiful song and moment shared between a dad and daughter … We love it and hope you do too.
Thanks to the dad and daughter team Jorge & Alexa Narvaez, for sharing their talent in this cover song …
Life is work. If you work for yourself to take care of your actual needs, how much extra do we need to survive?
We need food, water, shelter, our health to be good and our children to be educated.
We have been taught to want what we don’t need, even to the point of disregarding what we need to get what we want … so we’re turning the tables.
Time well spent is defined by each of us as individuals and with that in mind I feel that we’ve worked for everyone else long enough. We’ve had our fair share of getting what we want; it’s time for us to create what we need.
It’s taken us a long time to be able to gather ourselves together enough to realize we are in a place where we can take care of our needs. We have the confidence we need to go forward; we believe in ourselves enough to know we can make this change successfully or at least we can try.
Much of our choice to go to a warm climate is based on weather. We are hoping to locate in a farming village where we can grow our own produce and herbs and perhaps become part of the weekly market scene. Our imagination goes wild when we start thinking of the experiences, services and knowledge we have and can share, trade, barter or sell; it gets kind of exciting to imagine how we can contribute.
It also is exciting to move in a direction of educating our daughter with practical hands on experience that is based on doing it; solving problems as a team, building, figuring out what we need together, creating an environment from our imaginations and making it a reality. She is going to learn lessons we can’t even imagine and it will help her become a well-rounded person.
Martin and I are hard workers by nature, we love challenges and are ready for change. So going off the grid, although will be hard, is going to be fun at the same time. It’s already fun. We have loved doing the research and every time we find information and tools that bring us closer to our goal it’s exhilarating.
We have spent several years of our careers gathering content related to natural, healthy living and it seems that our past interests are right in line with our future direction. We didn’t even realize it until we started putting this website together.
We love the fact that we can share the knowledge and the research we have done and continue to do, so everyone can realize self-sufficiency is possible in so many ways.
It can start with our food, health, home … by recycling and making thoughtful purchases. If everyone is sustainable in small ways it will make a big difference.
The dream of going off the grid isn’t too much work, I guess we’re all going to see if in reality it will be too much work … we’re willing to roll the dice and let you all watch how we do.
I’m betting on it being like any other new job; a challenge to set up but once you get systems in place and have a rhythm going, the rewards will out-weigh the workload.
As always, Comments and Questions are welcome!
Learning a new language at any age can be a challenge. We’re going to need to become fluent in Spanish. Learn Spanish during your Coffee Break is an article I wrote detailing how I’m preparing at home to travel abroad. I feel that if I use this on my mp3 player while I’m traveling, I will very quickly begin to communicate with locals at least at a basic level.
Although it won’t be our only method of learning it will get me going. We are hoping to find an immersion situation in Ecuador; that is to live in someone’s home and have them teach us Spanish daily. This method forces us to quickly learn the language and is apparently quite successful. It is said that if you go into immersion for 6 weeks you will be fluent enough to communicate comfortably.
We’ll let you know how that goes!
As I look online for a definition that describes what I mean when I say we are “becoming sustainable” I see that ‘sustainable’ has several meanings.
Our goal is to create an organic living environment while taking care of most of our needs, balancing nature with technology. Taking responsibility for our impact on the land that we will be taking care of and will be taking care of us.
We are on a path to becoming self-sufficient and are trying to be thoughtful about how we do it. There are several fundamental needs to be considered and we have found some very good solutions. Having said that, we haven’t found our land yet so our plan is still very flexible, but at least we have solutions in mind and we are certainly open to new creative ideas (hint!)
The areas of greatest consideration are the land, the water availability and quality, food and health, shelter, power, waste and everything that is included with running a home.
A combination of existing products and do it yourself projects is how we plan on reaching our goals, along with help from local workers. We are both in our 50’s and have an 11-year-old child, and as we forge ahead we don’t need to do it alone, we just need to do it.
It has been an amazing process to research the path and break down our needs and wants and start to consider how much it will cost to fulfill our requirements and give us the lifestyle that we want.
I have no doubt we can make an off grid system work. More detailed posts will be added at the bottom of this post in the future, which give the details involved in our decisions as well as the solutions we are looking at so far.
Here I am giving you a breakdown of our basic needs as we perceive them to be before we leave.
Location of the land. We are looking for a year round warm, sunny, climate, near a small village, a one hour drive to a hospital.
Water. We want land with running water all year round. Ideally a waterfall, but a good flow will do. Water plays such an important part in taking care of our needs, I never really realized that until I broke down the uses in our daily life. Water will be used for drinking, as part of our food creation plan, power and cleansing.
Fertile soil. We need enough fertile land to grow for ourselves plus more. A vital part of being self-sufficient is feeding ourselves and the garden the number one place to do it. Eating fresh is the number one way to be healthy, it tastes outstanding and it is cost-effective. We are locating in an area where food production happens 12 months of the year. We will have tropical fruits and vegetables as well as our traditional ones.
Shelter. An existing shelter on the land that we can live in until we build our own shelter would be ideal. If there is no shelter we will build a small house to sleep in while we build a permanent one. Our plan is to build a home using materials from the land and local sources, including recycled materials with the help of locals.
Power. We hope power will come from a micro-hydro system attached to our source of running water. Solar power will also be used for small systems such as the simple pump (our drinking water). Wind power is an option we have just toyed with, but may become a real option depending on the lay of our land.
Energy. Bio-gas created using animal and human waste, will be used for cooking and hopefully on-demand hot water.
Waste Reduction. Bio-gas, composting, burnables are dealt with. The idea is to be responsible for our waste.
Recycling Challenge. This is by far the hardest part of the equation. How do we reuse instead of trash the stuff and packaging that becomes our garbage? We are going to reduce the packaging we bring home. We are going bring our own bags and packaging everywhere. Potentially glass bottles and cans may become part of the walls of our house, but this is a challenge when you look at a lifetime of material to come; the bigger recycling picture is an interesting conundrum and one that we’re still perplexed with at this point.
Questions, comments and ideas are welcome
I’ve been listening to Jacques Fresco creator of the Venus Project for a few years and he echos exactly how I feel. He has a plan that is respectful of the earth and the people; our 2 most important resources. The solutions Jacques is proposing will work when the world realizes that the monetary based system doesn’t work.
If you haven’t heard him before in this TED talk he gives a very good explanation of his ideas. Thanks to TED talks for making these creative thinkers of our world available to everyone.