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23 Best Blog Posts of 2015 for Solar Power – Tips for Survivalist

The history of our energy industry is quite interesting, going through several different phases, advancing at a rapid rate.

Our ability to generate power literally knows no bounds.

There was a time, when human civilizations would entirely rely on coal, the dirtiest sources of energy production.

Fossil fuel served as the foundation for the industrial revolution around the late 18th and early 19th century and shaped the world as we know it.

When the internal combustion engine was invented, it played a huge role in giving prominence to crude oil, which went to replace much of the emphasis on coal.

Humanity was collectively progressing, inventing newer ways to fuel progress, that is, until we discovered the impact we were having on the atmosphere, i.e. global warming.

By the time degradation of our environment became mainstream knowledge, significant amounts of damage had already been done.

Although, hydropower was already a popular way to produce energy, we realized the importance of producing energy through clean and sustainable sources, paving the way for renewable energy as an industry.

Today, we are making exciting discoveries in the field of renewable energy, as resources are being continuously being poured into the technology.

Among the various different ways to produce renewable energy is solar power, the ability to harness power from one of a mighty source.

In fact, NBC recently reported that utility scale solar production has grown around 100% in the previous year alone, an evidence of the amazing rate at which the solar industry is progressing and even changing the world as we speak.

So if you are interested in the solar power industry and wish to keep up with the how the industry is constantly evolving, we have a treat in store for you.

We understand with so much happening globally, it isn’t easy to keep up with everything, hence, we present to you 23 best blog posts of 2015 for solar power.

Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can’t Stop Renewables Now – Bloomberg

Oil is cheap. So is gas. Neither matters!

The Way Humans Get Electricity is About to Change Forever – Bloomberg

These six shifts will transform markets over the next twenty five years.

The Solar Price Revolution – Project Syndicate

A silent revolution is underway.

The World Needs Post Silicon Solar Technologies – Council on Foreign Relations

A survey conducted by Caltech professor, Nate Lewis, on renewable energies, concluded that out of all the renewable options we have, only solar power could meaningfully displace our consumption of fossil fuels.

Five Things I Learned About the Future of Solar Power and the Electricity Grid – Council on Foreign Relations

The future is nigh and it includes solar.

Germany Solar PV Report — A Must-Read For Any Energy Reporter – Clean Technica

The beautiful aspect of renewable sources is that is completes each other.

Let’s Talk About Solar Power and Equity – Environmental Defense Fund

An encouraging piece for those inclined towards off grid living.

Nuclear will die. Solar will live – Noahpinion

An educated take on the countless possibilities held by solar.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan A Good First Step – Renewable Energy World

Legislating the way for a cleaner and greener America.

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best Design – Renewable Energy World

In this blog we take brief look into the greatest solar program in America.

Solar power propaganda vs. the real world – Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

A realist’s perspective on the solar industry – a highly informative piece, assessing both, the industry’s limitations and advantages without all of the biasness surrounding the industry.

Project Sunroof: mapping the planet’s solar energy potential, one rooftop at a time – Google Green Blog

A quick peak into an ambitious project by one of the most prominent greenest companies, Google.

How Wind and Solar Will Blow Up Power Markets – Green Tech Media

It is no longer a question of “if” but rather when.

Solar and Storage: Better Together? – Green Tech Media

A look into solar production and storage and how it impacts the commercial consumers such as you and I.

Barack Obama’s quiet war on oil – Politico

There is a war going on and oil is silently being targeted, an administrative agenda to make renewables more competitive.

Solar is having a great year, except on Wall Street – Reuters

Despite what is seen on the financial markets, solar, as a means of producing electricity has been thriving.

Super-charge the solar power boom – CNN

Did you know? There is a solar power boom in the United States.

Solar creates hope for our health and future – Reno Gazette-Journal

How solar power can positively affect our health.

Making the business case for solar in NC – The News & Observer

Despite the general perspective that renewables are bad business, solar offers incredible economic benefits for all, including the investors.

Opening The Door To Solar Power For All – Huffington Post

For the longest time, there was a notion that solar panels are only for the wealthy, well, think again.

Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar – Washington Post

We need to stand up for solar. Nation’s leading utilities seem to be waging a war against solar panels.

Greening the Tea Party – The New Yorker

Solar is booming. Time to green the politicians.

Power to the People – The New Yorker

Power to the people! A battle that transcends the living. Fighting for the generations that are yet to come.

Although, we have tried our best to include a diverse set of blogs all focused on solar power, but with all that’s happening in the world, it is difficult to make sure everything is included in the list.

Therefore, if you think we missed out a great piece, please do share it all of us by posting in the comments sections.

Let’s inform.

Create awareness.

Our future belongs to no one but us, so let’s wake up and march towards prosperity and sustainability.

8 Things I Wish I Knew About Renewable Energy When I First Started

Although the Renewable Energy deed is praised upon, there are many things to consider before we even think about installing one of them to power our home or any other facility.

Which one to use?

How much will it cost?

Will it be worth it?

Unanswered can cause a lot of problems in the long run, so before trying it out, here are some facts that you might want to know about renewable energy and the burdens that come with it.

1):Tax

People go renewable, primarily, to save money, and if you’re one of these people, you might want to re-think the whole thing over after you’re done with this paragraph.

If you want to build a solar powered house or even want to install a wind turbine, you will need to pay the taxes that your government imposes along with it.

The property tax that you pay annually will rise after you have solar or wind power working for you.

Check your area and its taxes for renewable energy resources, calculate them and see if it still fits the notion you had of your house on renewable.

Renewable Energy

Image Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7003/6757831463_0103c636e7_b.jpg

2):Grid Connections or no Grid Connections

Grid connected systems consist of your system providing the energy along with a grid as well, and all the extra power is sold back to your electricity provider.

The benefit of having a grid connection is that if one day your system doesn’t work; let’s say because of less windy or cloudy days, the grid will have your back.

The disadvantage is that to make this possible, you would need to buy more equipment to connect both the systems.

One more point is that if you’re doing all of this to go green, then it’s better to have you system handle the load alone, because if you’re still going to use the grid system, then it doesn’t make much of a difference.

Most people don’t know about this when they start out, and find out later on that the other option would have been better.

3):Analyzing your Home’s Power Consumption

Before you set up a renewable energy system, you will need to analyze the power consumptions of your house and figure out what household items contribute the most to those consumptions, better yet, have an energy audit of your house to get a holistic picture.

Once you’ve done that, the next thing you should do is to minimize the load from your future renewable energy system by cutting off some of those energy consumers, like having the house insulated rather than having a heating system.

This will have a long term effect on your system as well as your bill.

Renewable Energy

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/Livermore_Centennial_Light_Bulb.jpg

4):Wind Turbines Make a lot of Noise

Only people who have visited wind farms usually know about this. I know, this seems like a trivial thing, but in the end, the consistent noise could be the reason behind you putting a gun on your head and letting it rip.

They have now made wind turbines that make less noise but even the noise of the fan cutting air is enough to drive a person insane.

So if you don’t like the noise, I wouldn’t suggest you to use wind turbines for powering your house.

Moreover, noise pollution contributes majorly to global warming, so in the long run, the noise is also a deteriorative product of wind energy.

 

5):Solar Power

When it comes to solar power, there are a million things to consider.

One mistake and all the money goes down the drain.

You need to think of the cloudy days, the nights, the angle of the sun, etc.

Those solar panels along with the equipment and whatnot aren’t cheap.

Also, since you have to drill the whole system on your roof, it can form cracks in your ceiling that leak in the rainy season.

I wouldn’t want my attic to be full of water while there’s no electricity because of the thunder clouds. That’s would be a recipe for disaster.

6):Small Dams

This technique is used by many northern farmers, and if farmers can afford it, so can we.

What they do is build a small hydro power station to turn turbines from a stream to light up their homes.

But one difference between those farmers and us is that they don’t use as much electricity as we do, but in all fairness, they don’t have the tech that we have either.

If you live around a river with a good amount of water current, you can have your neighbors chip in as well and build your own dam.

You’ll need the license and there are many things to keep in mind but, it’s the most sufficient way there is to go renewable.

Smaller dams have smaller problems too, the maintenance would be easier and the expenditures would be a lot lesser that they used to be.

7):Dependence on Weather

Even a dam is dependent on rain and the density of the river, like solar power systems are dependent on the number of sunny days in your area and the wind turbines are dependent on the wind speed.

You’ll need to keep all of this in mind when you try your hand at alternative energy resources.

8):High Capital Investment

I’m sure you know about this already, and to top it all off, I made it worse with the energy audit thing too, didn’t I?

But the good thing is that the renewable system is for long term usage and it will start to save you money immediately after being installed.

Plus such systems have warrantees if anything does go wrong so it would be tough to pay for it initially either.

Renewable energy has the potential for reshaping our future, and we haven’t even started properly exploring how many ways it can be used in.

as a people that dwell on the resources of this planet, it’s about time we start to take care of it so that it may sustain itself for a longer period of time.

9 Reasons Society Still Needs Solar Power – Tips for Survivalist

We all know what solar power means, it’s the power that’s obtained by harnessing the energy of the sun’s light rays.

In other words, solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity through two methods.

This can be done either directly through photovoltaics (PV) or indirectly through concentrated solar power (CSP).

If we talk about the benefits of solar power for our society, there are countless, but the following are some of the most important reasons why solar power is so important and in how many ways it can be implemented:

Reasons Society Still Needs Solar Power

Image Source: http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/architecture/house/cabin-with-solar-panels

It’s a lot Cheaper

The initial installation of solar panels costs quite a bit.

But do not think of it as an expense, but rather an investment.

Once operational, you will have lifetime savings on your electricity bills.

In addition, it will also provide a way to pay back on your initial investment.

 

Prevents Global Warming

The only pollution that will occur will be during the manufacturing process of the solar panels, and other than that, solar panels do not contribute to pollution in any way.

Hence, solar power proves to be a prevention method for both air pollution and global warming.

 

Can be a Big Source of Power for Remote Locations

You know how you always hear about the power shortages and fluctuations of electricity in remote areas because it’s like almost impossible, impractical and uneconomical to install a mains electricity supply?

Solar power is ideal for such areas as it’s cheap and of course due to the fact that sunlight touches every inch on earth is enough to tell you that there won’t be a problem if you install a solar panel in remote locations.

Sunlight is there, Right? That’s all you’re ever going to need.

So unless doomsday finally does arrive, you will have constant access to electricity.

 

It’s Renewable

You wouldn’t be surprised to know this but solar power is power generated by the sun and the sun goes down at night and comes back up in the day so that’s why its renewable. And it will go on like this as long as life can be supported on earth.

As long as you are sure that the sun will rise again tomorrow, you don’t need to sweat.

 

No Noise Pollution:

Electricity panels cause a lot of noise and that’s why people try to find homes far away from them, which causes a lot of domestic issues.

Installing solar panels guarantees that there will be no noise or pollution, which means that you can build or purchase a set of solar panels so that you don’t have to face excessive noise, and in the long run, do not contribute to the deterioration of the ozone layer.

Furthermore, noise pollution is also one of the biggest reasons behind global warming, so solar power proves to be an effective preventive method for both noise pollution and global warming.

 

Maintenance, No maintenance:

Solar panels require very little maintenance since there are no motive parts in solar panels, there are very fewer chances of things to go wrong with a system that’s been installed professionally with the best components.

They are maintained by being cleaned annually which can be easily done by the property owner depending on where they have been installed.

 

Say Goodbye to Depending on Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are non-renewable fuels so you can guarantee that they are going to run out one day and that’s where solar energy proves that it’s a more suitable sort of energy for off-grid living and long-term survival.

But just for the sake of debate, we can also install many technologies to prolong the lifetime of fossil fuels on earth, though it can get very time to consume and tedious.

So Alternative energy sources really are the future, you just need to start tapping into their resourceful properties effectively.

 

Long Lasting:

Solar panels are long-lasting and durable, which means that getting them installed for once will serve a lifelong purpose.

With proper maintenance and care, the panels won’t need a lot of upkeep, which is very helpful if you have a busy lifestyle.

 

It Comes from a Natural Source

The fact that it comes from a natural source tells us enough about that it’s not going to be harmful.

We are human beings and we know that life of any sort is not possible without sunlight. And being able to obtain electricity from a natural source and knowing that it’s unlimited is a blessing from God.

The burning of fossil fuels is a threat the environment in two ways:

  1. It causes global warming and,
  2. It’s non-renewable like we mentioned earlier.

And this should make you rethink your survivalist capabilities objectively. Solar power can benefit us in more ways than we can imagine or that have been mentioned above.

As the world quickly keeps running out of resources and power needed to sustain our lives, we need to start rethinking our disaster survival strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Survival Skills All Successful Preppers Have In Common

All preppers can perform these essential tasks, can you?

Off grid living requires a certain level of survival skills in order to be able to sustain yourself in a survivalist situation.

Those that are new to disaster preparedness, emergency planning, prepping, or any of the other titles that adorn survival skill preparedness will find that preppers have 7 stills in common.

Ensuring that you can perform these 7 skills is essential to your success.

1): You must be able to find water

Water is the number one element factoring into your survival. Without water you will die very quickly.

However, just having water in your bag is not enough. Nor is a knowledge of where the closest river or stream is located.

In the event that a natural disaster occurs and that water source is made unusable, say from chemicals spilling into the water or from carcasses, then you will need to now the places to go or the methods to implement in order to get drinkable water.

Some common places where  water can be found include:

  • Puddles which have not been sitting for long
  • Water found after digging in a muddy area
  • Dew accumulation
  • Snow
  • Rainwater accumulation

In the above examples, you will want to purify the water from puddles and from dug sources. Dew, snow, and rain do not need purification unless the water has sat for a prolonged period of time.

2): Non-Compass navigation

Your survival skills need to have non-compass navigation.

What does this mean? This means that if the compass which is in your emergency supplies gets broke that you can still find the basic navigational marks to get you to where you need to go.

During the day, use the location of the sun.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Therefore North should have the sun on your right in the morning and on your left in the afternoon.

At night, use the North Star and Orion’s belt to navigate. Orion’s belt leans up from East to West.

Kompas_Sofia

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Kompas_Sofia.JPG

3): Be able to run

Yes, you are surviving, and yes you are planning on being able to stay in your bug out spot or campsite.

However, you will have to run from time to time and if you are out of shape or get weary quickly, then you will not be effective as a survivalist.

You need to be able to run (not only without your gear but with it as well) through various terrain without becoming tired or getting muscle cramps.

This requires that you do a bit of physical training prior to any survivalist situation.

You should consider this part of your disaster preparedness plan.

If you cannot get to where you need to be quickly, especially in a man-made disaster situation then what use is the plan?

4): use an axe and a knife

Your axe and your knife are going to be your primary tools when off grid living.

Your axe will be used for larger items and to do the preliminary work on your bushcrafts.

For example: If you are making a bowl, the axe will be used to cut the wood to the approximate height and then make the initial shape of the bowl.

Your knife will then be used to add the detail and to cut the elements which the axe cannot do effectively.

Your axe and your knife skills will be critical when it comes to your food survival skills as well.

If you cannot use a knife, then you cannot clean your game and get the meat.

If you cannot use an axe, you will not be able to cut the bone properly or split the ribcage of a deer or other larger game.

Know how to use an axe and a knife or pack a shovel to dig your grave.

5):  Be able to identify editable and poisonous plants

This is a must.

You have to be able to distinguish what can help you and what can kill you in the wild.

True, most preppers can identify poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

Yet, does that prepper know that eating the wrong mushroom will kill you and that there are mushrooms which can be eaten?

Which berries can be eaten without worry and which berries are toxic.

Apart from food, you need to know which leaves cause skin irritation and rashes.

Where they may not be lethal, you would not want to wipe your rump with a leaf that is known to cause hives and swelling.

More seriously, you would not want to cover a wound with a compound of a plant which could enter the blood stream and kill you.

Packing a survivalist herb and plant book is a great way to avoid misunderstanding a plant.

True, you will want to expound upon your already existent knowledge of plants and herbs.

However, until you are an expert a book is a great way to help you along (make sure there are pictures).

Mushrooms - poison

Mushrooms – poison

Image Source: http://www.torange.us/photo/6/16/Mushrooms-poison-1285585751_59.jpg

6): Any prepper knows how to make a shelter

Even if your survival gear comes with a tarp, you should be able to create a shelter from scratch.

You may find that your tarp is needed for more important use (such as collecting rainwater).

The easiest shelters are lean-tos and existing spaces (such as caves).

Practice making these structures prior to venturing out into wilderness survival mode.

Where they are relatively easy to make, they do require a bit of practice to get them perfect.

3117635_a273b2f5

Image Source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/11/76/3117635_a273b2f5.jpg

7): You must be able to improvise

Do not be so prepared that you become dumb.

Any great prepper or survivalist will tell you that you must be able to improvise.

Situations will occur where you will have to use your survival skills alongside creativity and whit in order to get a task done.

This is why your survival gear should be equipped with various tools and you should practice using what you have now in inventive ways.

You may find that your ingenious water system is just the thing that saves your life later on in a disaster situation.

1

3 Bushcraft Instincts to Master – And 2 to Ditch – Tips for Survivalist

Outdoor survival skills that every prepper needs to know

If you are preparing for off-grid living or for a survivalist situation then there are a few essentials that you need to know in order to survive.

Apart from the basics of food, water, shelter, and heat, your outdoor survival greatly depends on being able to instinctively hone skills which will find and utilize these needs.

Here are 3 Bushcraft Instincts to master and 2 instincts to ditch.

1): Find a place to camp / find your bug out spot

You do not want to wait until a disaster occurs to find a suitable place for you to survive.

When in need of a place to camp, it is human nature to just go for the first one that looks good.

However, this is not necessarily the best case scenario.

In fact, the odds of you finding that idealistic spot on the first try are slim to none.

Therefore, you need to have a disaster plan which has already been scouted with two or more locations.

Why two or more?

In the event of a disaster (whether that is a natural disaster or a man-made disaster) you will need to be able to have somewhere to go.

Now, if the first area becomes inaccessible due to debris, quarantine, government blockage, etc. you need to have an alternative.

Look for a spot that has:

  • Easy access to water
  • Game trails
  • Natural Shelters (such as caves and large trees)
  • A good visual advantage while at the same time not too much exposure
  • Plenty of resources that you can gather for your survival

You do not want to set your camp directly beside a stream or in a large open flat area.

These areas are very vulnerable.

Instead you should pick a spot that can work both offensively and defensively.

Once you have established your routes, practice getting to your spot from various locations during various times of the day.

It should come to you as instinct of where you need to go.

This way in a survival situation your instincts will lead you to a well-defined area which increases your chances of living past your 3 day survival gear.

Bushcraft

DCF 1.0

Image Source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/34/75/347555_fdf1e5cf.jpg

2): Build a fire

Fire is going to be one of the essential skills of your survival.

You need heat to survive as well as to cook food and as a sanitizing method.

If you are relying on the firecraft element in your survival gear to do all of the work, then you have greatly minimized your chances of survival.

The bushcraft of building a fire is one of the simplest things to master, but one of the most overlooked skills for beginners.

To be able to effectively build a fire you will need to:

  • Master finding flint and other level 7 hardness stones to create sparks. If you do not know what level 7 hardness is then you are already at a disadvantage, but so that you are caught up to speed, level 7 stones are those which have a very hard density. They do not chip very easily and the edges tend to be rather rough. The hard stones are usually that of flint or quartz but can involve other hard rocks.
  • Master using the flint and steel as well as how to create a bowdrill (so that you have two methodologies to building your fire)
  • Understand the difference between green and dry wood
  • Know where to look for kindle
  • Know how to make an effective A frame/ tripod fire

As you can see, it goes a bit beyond just lighting the sparks to something dry.

Mastering your firecraft should be a priority.

Bushcraft

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Magnesium_Sparks.jpg

3): Determine Suitable water sources

There is this thought that any water that is found in the wild is ok for off grid living.

This is a complete fabrication.

Where it is true that most of the water that you find will be able to be made into drinkable water, a great deal of the water is not by itself ready for consumption.

For example:

if you go to a river or a stream and you find water you should boil it.

Water found in puddles should be examined to see if there is any alga or other bacterium in it (or mosquito larva).

Should you find bug infestation or algae on the surface, then even the best filtration system may not remove all the contaminants.

However, if you can collect rain, dew, or snow you do not need to purify the water (unless of course it has been sitting for a while).

Understanding what water is good to drink and what water will kill you (or at minimum make you sick and wish you were dead) is a critical instinct that you must master if you want to be able to survive off grid living.

Bushcraft

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Pond_in_a_forest_clearing_bgiu.jpg

What you should NEVER do:

  • If your instinct in a critical situation is to panic, you need to quickly ditch this habit. Panic leads to quick and irrational decisions which oftentimes result in injury or death. One way to avoid panic is to have a disaster preparedness plan and to practice that plan until it becomes routine. As the plan becomes instinct, you become less apt to wondering what to do and more apt to follow what you know to do.
  • Think that you have all the answers. On the other end of the spectrum are those survivalists that believe that they have all the answers. Where you can get a great deal of training, you need to realize there are some things you will learn as you go. Does this make you ill-prepared? No, it does not. Be prepared for these situations by overcompensating your bag with things that you think you have “under control”. This way if you come to find you are not in control of a situation, you still have the survival gear to fall back on.

 

6 Things Nobody Tells You About Alternative Energy Sources

Switching from fossil fuels to alternative energy resources such as wind and solar power as dominant forms of energy producing resources has become more of a necessity than a choice in modern but trying times.

Clean air and healthy lungs are not the only desire that switching to solar and wind energy will fulfill.

The survival of our species now depends on reducing the levels of carbon emission as a result of burning these fuels due to the disastrous effects, which it has on Earth’s atmosphere.

None of us would like to witness a ‘The Day after Tomorrow’ like scenario now would we?

For those still skeptical about the exact consequences of burning fossil fuels, the simple reason that fossil fuel reserves are diminishing should suffice.

Forget the environmental factors, for now, even the sustainability of our economy depends on renewable energy resources.

If you still think that power generation from something as simple as sunlight or wind or water is still in experimental stages and only viable in the very long run due to variability in weather conditions, keep reading for some more perspective.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Schneebergerhof_01.jpg

1): Tapping wind- 4 times more electricity

Not the entire flow of wind.

Just the resource potential of the winds above coastal waters of United States can provide up to 4,000 GW of electricity.

This is equivalent to four times the power generation capacity that we currently have.

Not that all of this wind potential can be tapped but imagine the amount we can tap above the mainland and along the coast even with the current level of technology which is sufficient to provide electricity to over 17 million homes at the moment.

While achieving economic sustainability, tapping wind energy would also allow us to prevent the emission of above 12.3 gigatonnes of greenhouse gases in the next 30-35 years.

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Image Source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/14/61/3146136_5b73271e.jpg

2): Myths about solar panels

Solar panels are perhaps the most widely recognized symbol of renewable energy and the most frequently used for creating off grid-independent power systems.

For most of the people in huge urban settings, however, solar panels remain a farfetched idea.

The irony is that people in urban areas who are ‘connected to the grid’ have the highest incentive to install solar power systems due to the availability of conventional utility systems whenever the sun remains hidden for a long period of time.

Couple this with the low cost of maintenance and you have an alternative clean energy resource, which primarily reduces your bills while also keeping the city clean.

The only maintenance required is an occasional cleaning of the panels which then last for a minimum of thirty years.

solar-panels-384165_640

Image Source: https://pixabay.com/p-384165/?no_redirect

3): Solar warranties

Don’t let the element of uncertainty hold you back.

Companies nowadays offer warranties on the panels you buy from them, which is divided into two categories.

The first one covers the longevity of the panels installed and the inverters that accompany them.

The time period insured for panels is 25-30 years while for inverters it around is 8 to 10 years.

Likewise, the company also ensures the quality of services they provide.

For example, a warranty for leakages in your roof, which is covered from 2 to 10 years after the installation, would be considered the company’s fault and will be dealt with.

4): Renewable energy creates jobs

It doesn’t just create jobs. When compared to the oil and gas exploration and refining sector, every dollar invested in renewable energy creates three times more jobs.

This does not imply that constructing renewable energy systems is a labor-intensive industry, rather it is knowledge intensive.

This is due to the fact that renewable energy creates twice as many high-credentialed jobs as the fossil fuels sector.

As a result, the average wages in the renewable energy sector is 13 percent higher than the oil and gas sector.

This is especially beneficial in the case of countries including the US where most of the solar panels along with wind energy systems are produced locally and are expected to have high an import demand in the future.

Investing in renewable energy, therefore, would be a crucial driver of economic growth in the future.

5): Smarter Investment

The process of tapping renewable energy resources is a never-ending one, which would have to be improved from time to time as global population increases and weather patterns change.

While a permanent switch to clean energy is a foregone conclusion, the pace with which we achieve it will determine how much of the environment we are able to salvage and how many wars we are able to avoid.

In this regard, the US government instituted a loan back guarantee program whereby companies in the renewable energy sector were encouraged to invest in cutting-edge technologies with the guarantee that a failure of the technology or system would be recompensed by the government.

The loan back guarantee program, however, is expected to cost 2 billion dollars less than was expected.

This is a good omen for two reasons.

This implies that technological development with regards to tapping renewable resources is on track from the beginning and is expected to continue unless a major obstacle appears.

Secondly, investments in renewable energy projects offer higher and more fixed returns due to the initial one-time cost being the only major cause of investment.

 

6): 100% clean energy is possible

Is it? Considering the cost-effectiveness of investments in clean energy along with the reasonably sound levels of technology and an unlimited supply of resources available to us, it is a not a question for scientists to answer.

Rather this question belongs to the policymakers.

When can they overcome the powerful oil and gas lobbies?

How soon can they take larger calculated risks so clean energy could be supplied to larger metropolitan and industrial areas?

How soon can they deduce a sound pricing mechanism so on the one hand cheap electricity is made available to the consumers while on the other, producers have enough funds left over to pursue future projects?

The onus, therefore, lies with our policymakers, which in the free world means that it lies on us.

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5 Bug Out Bag Items That Changed My Life – Tips for Survivalist

Bug out bags are pretty close in their contents. You have your dehydrated meat, your MREs, and your first aid kit.

Sure, you may get a bit or variation to the water packages (they may be pouches or they may be bottled waters) but the fact remains that most of the content bags that you will find have the same stuff in them under different brand names.

However, here are 5 bug out bag essentials that I believe many people overlook which could change and indeed save your life in a survivalist situation.

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Image Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5131/5406424296_98c7480d8a_b.jpg

1): Pack a toothbrush

I know that it sounds a bit crazy, but a toothbrush can actually save your life.

Now, you do not have to have an official toothbrush, but just something that you can use to get the dirt and grim off of your teeth.

It has been stated that a great deal of the diseases which we contract start around the gum line.

Furthermore, the bacteria which can accumulate underneath the gums can travel directly to the heart.

I personally know of a man who had to get open heart surgery due to a bacterium that formed in his artery due to an untreated cavity on the lower side of a molar.

Being as hospitals, doctors, and dentists will not be readily available in a survivalist setting, one survival tip I can offer is to pack a toothbrush and try to brush often.

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Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/61/Caravan_Trading_Co._Ready-to-Go_3_day_emergency_rations_kit_1.JPG/1280px-Caravan_Trading_Co._Ready-to-Go_3_day_emergency_rations_kit_1.JPG

2): have a stich needle

Where we do not want to envision ourselves cut open and bleeding, the probability that there will be a situation in which you will have more than just a cut on you is probable, especially if you are having to bug out in an area which has seen a substantial amount of natural and structural debris.

Think about it.

If you have to leave you house after a major earthquake then you will have to navigate through that structure where there is rebar and concrete and metal.

Then you will have to navigate through the neighborhood, past fallen trees, and to your bug out site.

If you can do all this without a scratch on you, I tip my hat.

For the rest of us, you should have a stitching needle and thread.

Granted, you can make a needle if necessary, but do you really want to have to stop the bleeding, craft a needle, and then sew yourself up?

Get a stitch needle, put it in your emergency first aid kit (or better yet find a tactical emergency first aid kit that includes one) and learn the proper way to sew a wound.

Altoids survival kit

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/p8/16344702554

3): Pack a book or a chess set

Everything in your bag should be oriented to keeping your survival chances at the highest level, and where you may not think that a chess set or a book would do this, it is critical that you pack one or the other.

In a survivalist situation, your stress level will go through the roof, regardless of how much emergency preparedness you have.

You will need to have a release, something to relax by.

A book or a chess set keeps your mind active, but at the same time allows for you to get away briefly from the “I have to do this to survive” mode.

Yes, the majority of the time will be spent in performing bushcrafts, firecrafts, and in just ensuring you live another day.

However, if you wind up your tension too much you will simply have a stroke or an aneurism and die anyway.

Pack something of leisure in your bug out bag.

Refrain from packing any electronic device that makes noise or that will cause you to spend too much time focused on the leisure and not enough time in your own survival.

Never pack a cellphone in your bug out bag.

They are useless when the battery dies and very traceable.

4): Sunscreen and Bug Spray

You may have the skills to create your own natural repellants and sunblock (mud does wonders), but there will be times in which you will be in a spot that does not provide the resources in which to make these things.

In these times it is paramount that you have something to shield yourself from the sun and from getting infection from multiple bug bites.

At the same time, you should not be dependent upon your sunscreen and your bug spray but have the survival skills necessary to keep the sun from burning you and bugs from biting you (the cans will run out eventually and if you are dependent upon them, then where does that leave you?).

Your sunscreen and bug spray should be used sparingly but should also be kept in ready access.

bug out bag essentials click here

5): Use a belt

A belt is about (in my opinion) as useful as your multi-tool pillars.

I would recommend that you have a nice thick leather belt so that you can use it for various tasks as needed.

A braided belt is not preferred as it does not have the durability needed to carry out such tasks effectively.

For example: If you have a large enough belt you can use it to sharpen your knife.

Of course, you can also use the belt to hang a pot over a fire, secure the joint on a shelter, hook around the legs of game so you can drag it (if the game is too large or you are too tired to lift it), and as an emergency strap to your survival gear.

These are but five additions to your survival gear that you should add.

Again, focus on the essentials first such as water purification straws, flint and steel, a tarp for a shelter, and dehydrated meats or MREs.

Once you have the basics down, think of how you can improve your bug out bag so that you can survive any situation.

5 Renewable Energy Rules You Gotta Break

While renewable energy is the talk of the town these days with Barack Obama speaking in support of its expansion, the key still lies with us to ensure that our representatives practice what they preach and leave us with cleaner air to breathe and lesser bills to pay.

In pursuit of accomplishing that, a correct mindset is more important than scientific research, due to mankind’s ability to reject scientific proof if it does not sit well with some pre conceived notions.

That sort of mindset involves trimming and wholly changing some widely accepted beliefs and attitudes towards renewable energy. Keep reading to know which ones.

5) Dependence on the Government

It is not national defense.

Neither is it a federal subject nor even a local one. Environmental protection is something all of us need to pitch in to leave our future generations with a thriving earth.

Ignore activist demands for more funding of renewable energy projects and start being a part of the difference.

Recent emphasis on renewable energy production has created a highly competitive market for buying and selling of solar and wind power kits which have reduced costs of such products to such an extent that most renewable energy ventures in a number of countries including Germany, are now owned and controlled by local communities with voluntary non-existent support from governments.

Disconnect from the grid and invest in a stand-alone power system being built by companies like SolarCity and CREE for a more hustling and bustling environment.

You never know, this might even help you find better ways to show the government what’s what.

4) Hydroelectricity Still Rules

Despite solar energy being considered as the way forward due to its availability in almost all regions of the world, hydroelectric power is, if not more, then at least as beneficial as solar energy.

A number of reasons can be put forth in support of this argument, first of which would be our ability to manage and predict the amount of electricity that we could produce from a hydroelectric power generation setup.

Likewise, the cost of building a dam is a one-time cost with reliable production levels for 3 to 5 decades while solar power systems have high maintenance costs that, due to low levels of technological progress, could jump to unpredictable levels in the future.

Lastly, imagine a terrorist attack.

What would be easier to blow up, a solar furnace or a dam? Yup, you guessed it right.

3) It’s Better because it’s Cheaper

As soon as our technological levels reached a stage where we could bring the dream to reality and actually start producing a few watts with solar power, parks and rooftops were the first places to be fitted with solar panels.

The problem is that they are still the only places being used for this purpose. Physical exercise, being a merit in itself, should be cheaply available to the masses due to its positive side effects on society.

Parks being a hotspot for members of a society making an effort to live a healthy lifestyle, should have been one of the first places to have renewable energy sources.

The primary reason being, that it would reduce maintenance costs of such a facility which would help in making it available to the masses on bigger levels.

However, the same motivation that caused local governments to make renewable energy the rule of the day for public places should also force them and the people to think of the benefits that could accrue from large scale power generation using renewable resources.

If something requiring as little electricity as a park, or as little power as a small heating system could reduce costs to such considerable extent, we can’t even begin to imagine what such a project could do to a whole town.

The billing eventually could be as high as that of fossil fuels, keeping in mind our ability to mismanage earth’s resources.

We need to increase renewable energy production because it is necessary for our lungs and in turn, our lives.

Emphasize and pressurize yourselves to think of renewable energy being supplied on a national rather than local levels and being supplied to parks, recreational and industrial facilities alike.

Such an attitude could possibly motivate the government to make changes considerably quicker. 

2) Don’t Invest in something Experimental

Another common mistake we often make is to regard renewable energy as an experimental endeavor much like the space program.

This is true for both, the major oil and electricity producing companies in the world and the uninformed masses. What we should remember in this regard is that the quest for fossil fuels took decades to materialize even though furnace oil in its current form was being used for a millennia.

Come to think of it, same is the case with wind and hydroelectric power. Wind was used to power ships from the time of civilizations as ancient as Mesopotamia and Egypt while biomass is still used by communities in third world countries as a source of primitive fuel.

Not all that experimental now was it.

The key is to invest at least as much into refining renewable energy producing processes as was invested in fossil fuels to bring production levels to current requirements.    

1) Not in my Backyard

Whereas the term refers specifically to people who decried wind turbines due to an affront to their aesthetic sense, the larger issue at stake is the fear of ecological damage and uprooting of communities due to building of dams or large scale wind power projects.

Whereas the adverse effects of both events would be massive and problematic to the conscience of any society, they are largely outweighed by the economic and environmental benefits accrued.

Look at it this way, air pollution kills 500,000 people in China on a yearly basis.

Multiply that with 50 assuming current carbon emission levels and it comes to around 25 million deaths in China alone.

The number of people displaced globally and then largely resettled in model villages is put at around 40 to 50 million while the deaths that have occurred from manmade disasters are estimated at around 50, 000.

See the difference? We do.

7 Things I Dislike About ‘Done for You’ Bug Out Bags

What we like to call such a thing is a bug out bag, a variation of a survival kit with the sole requirement of getting you through a few days of natural calamity.

A misnomer derived from bail out emergency kits military aviators used to carry, a bug out bag contains items desperately required for survival in a time of crises: food, water and shelter along with other necessities such as clothes and first aid kits, tools that can keep you on the move until eventual evacuation.

You can find a brand new, readymade bug out bag at most convenience stores these days with all the items necessary for survival.

The problem with that however is that such bags are not designed for ‘your’ survival the same way that Big Macs are not cooked according to your health status.

Want to know why you should prepare one on your own? Take a look.

7) To Drink or not to Drink

Let’s start with the bare essentials.

The average amount of water recommended for daily consumption, varies from country to country and region to region.

Europe places it at an exact three liters while the US prescribes a gallon or 3.78 liters of water.

This quantity of water is recommended for an average person and not a particular individual.

Depending on age, physique and level of activity, the amount of water required would vary from person to person.

Imagine being stuck in a wildfire and ruing the additional liter of water you did not bring because the company selling ‘made for you’ bug out bags did not think it appropriate.

My recommendation?

You know yourself best, fill up your aqua reserves based on your individual requirements.

6) Suit Up 

Remember that time our soldiers went to Vietnam with a spare jacket instead of an extra pair of socks?

No? That’s because they didn’t.

Do you know why? Because the Army didn’t rely on Marks and Spencer to decide what suited the soldiers best.

The lack of a windbreaker wouldn’t do as much damage as the lack of spare socks might, even during a snowstorm when snow starts to enter the shoes and melts to leave ones feet wet.

Even a tiny rot in the foot, especially in the case of people with sensitive skin would hamper their mobility thereby increasing the time they will take to reach the evacuation sight.

Accessorizing your own bag would allow you to pack whatever you feel is necessary to cope with the challenges nature throws before you.

5) Standardized First Aid Kits

A first aid kit too is one of the most essential items to be packed in a bug out bag. A typical kit consists of bandages, antibiotics, and antiseptics.

Important medical aids no doubt but not more important than insulin injections or blood pressure tablets.

A bug out bag would not be a complete survival kit if a person suffering from diabetes or high blood pressure has to look for his medicines at the last moment especially since shortage of time for is the primary reason why a bug out bag is necessary in the first place.    

4) Survival Skills

As was the case with medical conditions, every prepper’s level of survival skills is not the same either.

Whereas your neighbor might be an expert in lighting huge fires with nothing more than a bunch of matchsticks and dry bushes, you might be in need of hexamine fuel tablets.

The cardinal rule of emergency preparedness is to pick survival tools that you are comfortable with, not the vast majority of people.

The apocalyptic conditions that natural or technological hazards create do not leave room for experimenting whether the company guessed your requirements right or not.

3) Head of the Family vs the Lone Guy

Having a family of your own implies you not only have to carry food and shelter for yourself but also for the rest of the household.

This might mean a bigger tent instead of a sleeping bag which would replace the extra can of food you had planned to keep.

The can of food now goes into the daughter’s backpack due to its lighter weight and the cycle continues.

Preparing your own bug out bag means collective instead of individual survival can be insured.

2) Room for Sentiments

Once you have prepared your own bug out bag, you then have allowance to stuff in things of sentimental value.

Not that they would play a major role in your quest for survival but they surely would be a solid source of motivation for you to keep on going.

1) Weight Lifting Competition – Not

According to FEMA, a bug out bag should not weigh more than 25% of an individual’s body weight. For a 150 pound guy that’s around 38 pounds on the back, something he is not used to doing every day.

Skip the readymade bag with 9 liters of water for three days for someplace as cold as Minnesota, replace it with food if necessary when preparing your own, or better yet travel light. The goal after all is to come out alive and not proves your physical fitness.

Yes, I agree bug out bags are an important piece of survival equipment, but then again, I it’s not perfect and those seven things mentioned above are the things I dislike about them.

Whether you agree or disagree, tell us about your opinions and thoughts about the bug out bad, we would all love to hear what you think.

10 Ways to Immediately Improve your Emergency Essentials

The ironic thing about being prepared is that you can never be truly and completely prepared. Well, at least that’s the general perspective of any serious prepper.

At most, you can hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

And of course pray that it never really comes to that.

But you know, even if the world doesn’t end, natural disasters have increased in the frequency.

We’ve got tornadoes causing destruction, flash floods that leave everything submerged, heavy snow fall that can bring a city to a complete halt and earth quakes that can leave you without electricity.

Luckily most of these are not catastrophic, with a few exceptions of course.

That is why disaster preparation is so important. And its importance is further magnified as several federal agencies provide clear disaster preparation guidelines and emergency essentials.

So here we have a simple guide that will help you determine if you can improve your family’s disaster preparedness.

The following are you 10 ways to immediately improve your emergency essentials, which make sure you have the right emergency items to help you survive a natural disaster without worrying too much.

10) Medical Supplies

I am sure everyone has an emergency first aid kit in their homes. But if you are looking to boost your emergency preparedness and make sure your family is adequately prepared for any unforeseeable event, you will want to boost your medical supplies up a notch from the basic first aid kit lying around in your home.

Click here for a great emergency first aid kit.

9) Fortify Your Food and Water Supplies

The rule of thumb is to keep at least three days’ worth of food and water supplies.

But it recommended that you slowly and overtime increase the quantities of your food and water supplies.

A two week of supplies provides greater safety in the case of a natural disaster. But remember, to keep an eye on the expiration dates of both, the water and the food.

You don’t want to find your emergency supplies expired when disaster actually strikes.

8) Lighting

Usually disasters are complemented by power outages, enhancing the disruptive effect of such events.

As a prepper, I am sure you already have an emergency flashlight and some spare batteries.

But to improve your emergency essentials you will also want crankable flashlights, some candles and even lanterns that you can use without electricity.

7) Maps

Maps are considered as emergency essentials, but unfortunately, they are often overlooked. Luckily you will never have to use them.

However, in the case of a major disaster, the government will likely issue directives for people to head for areas deemed as safe and since, we cannot rely on our electronic gadgets, maps will prove to be our biggest asset.

You can easily find inexpensive maps, but make sure you chose one that is light weight and easy to manage. Remember, maps are an essential part of a survival kit.

6) Emergency Communication

In the case of an actual disaster you will not want to be left without any means of communication, should your cell phone fails.

To prepare for emergency communication you will want a crankable radio, but more importantly a special emergency radio, which will allow you get emergency alerts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which a normal radio will not catch.

You will also want to keep cheap extra cell phones and chargers just in case and walkie-talkies for short range communication.

5) A Dedicated Grab and Go Kit

In times of emergency, you are required to immediately rush out of your home, as time is of the essence.

For such cases, it is advisable to keep a dedicated grab and go kit, along with your more comprehensive survival kit.

As the name suggests, this is your emergency kit that you will simply grab without thinking when leaving your home.

It will have all of the bare essentials and will make sure you are not forced out of your home completely empty handed.

4) Training and Lessons

It is easier to spend money and stock up on supplies but when an actual emergency presents itself, you must be able to hand it with confidence while remaining calm.

If you as an adult of the family start to panic, imagine what would go through the rest of your family.

So while you are trying to improve your emergency preparedness, why not take a few lessons and learn how to respond in emergency situations for example, first responder training.

3) Emergency Tool Kit

An emergency tool kit is an essential that you simply must have in your home.

In the case that a natural disaster occurs, it wouldn’t be surprising to find your home or property damaged.

Your emergency tool kit will allow you to take temporary measures, which will help you prevent further damage before permanent repairs can be made.

2) A Way to Keep Warm

If you live in a cold area, you will need to take precautions for fighting off the cold.

This means you should have more than enough warm clothes but more importantly, you will want emergency blankets for the entire family.

Emergency blankets are considered as must haves, as they stop cold air and moisture from entering the blanket and reflects most of your body heat back to you.

1) Personal Hygiene and Bathroom Supplies

Can you imagine finding yourself in a bathroom with not a single roll of toilet paper in the entire home?

Well, I certainly cannot.

You will want to stock up on your bathroom supplies and personal hygiene. This is even more important for women, when it comes to tampons.

Proper hygiene in difficult and emergency times will ensure that your health is not compromised.

Incorporating the aforementioned ten things, will help improve your emergency essentials and make sure you are better prepared for an emergency or disaster.

If you think we’ve missed on any essentials feel free to comment and share your thoughts with us. 

3 Disaster Management Instincts to Master – and 2 to Ditch

The advent of the World Wide Web has done wonders to proliferate knowledge and information.

With a single search on our favorite search engine, we can literally find any kind of information we need.

Whether we want to learn how about an academic field or understand how to perform electrical work safely, all we need is an internet connection and a medium that will allow us to surf the internet.

But the problem with such access to information is the possibility of disinformation. Since, literally anyone with an internet connection can add their two cents to a subject, the issue of authenticity automatically magnifies.

When it comes to disaster management, we really cannot afford to make mistakes or bad decisions based on incorrect information, as even the minutest of error in judgments or preparation can lead to grave consequences.

That’s why we don’t just focus on the dos of survival tips but also the don’ts.

This way, not only do we understand the correct way to prepare for an emergency or disaster, but also identify anything that might jeopardize our chances of survival in the case that an unforeseeable event does occur.

Hence, here are our 3 disaster management instincts to master and 2 to ditch.

Disaster Management Instincts to Master

3) Train Yourself for Emergencies

You can be a millionaire and invest in every possible thing you could need in the case of an emergency, but if you don’t know how to properly give first aid treatment, then what good would the state-of-the-art first aid equipment do? Nothing! The equipment you invest in or the supplies you stock will be as useful as the person using them and their knowledge to make good decisions.

In the case of an emergency or disaster, the first thing you are supposed to do is remain calm. If you start to panic, then there is no way you can help others around you, especially the people who will be relying on you for leadership and support. So the best possible thing you can do to optimize your emergency preparedness is to get the necessary training to get acquainted with the proper way to deal with such situations and then focus on other aspects of disaster planning.

2) Focus on Basic Necessities

A lot of people focus on the things we would consider to be as luxuries rather than necessities. In the case of a disaster you will want to have all your necessities such as food, water, medications, communication, etc., in abundance. You will want to stock up on food that has a long storage life and requires less preparation before it can be consumed. If there are people in your households with specific nutritional needs, take that into consideration. Opt for foods that are not too salty or spicy as they can increase our need for drinking water, which will also be limited.

When storing water, take the climate of your region into consideration, also if there are any pregnant women in the household their need should also be accounted for. Store at least one gallon of water per day for each member of the family, including pets. It is recommended to store at least two weeks supply of water based on the number of people in the household. And most importantly, create alerts for the expiration of the consumables. Keep NOAA compatible emergency radios in the house. Getting prompt information can mean the difference between life and death. Hopefully it will never come to that.

1) Quality Survival Kit

Before you even think about investing in a comprehensive survival gear, you need to first get a grab and go kit for your family.

This is the emergency kit that you can simply grab without a thought and rush out of the home.

It is an essential contingency measure that will make sure if you have to rush out of the home you wouldn’t be left completely empty handed.

Once you are set with the bare essentials, you will want to invest in a comprehensive survival kit and survival gear.

You will want sources of light that are not dependent on electricity. Maps of your area in the case that you have leave for communal shelters.

A good quality survival knife and multi-tool is a must for any survival kit.

A water purifying kit will ensure that if you run out of your water reserves, you will have a backup plan. Invest in the best quality ropes you can find, you cannot imagine how useful they are.

Lastly, get a portable tent and sleeping bags. If you are forced to camp out in the open you won’t be left at the mercy of weather or natural elements.

Disaster Management Instincts to Ditch

2) Arms and Ammunition

Television and movies are a huge influence in our lives.

Watch any movie about disaster situations and you will see the protagonist carrying a huge firearm, looking rather impressive.

I think this is the primary reason so many people advocate investments in arms for disaster planning.

However, there is a huge difference between make-believe entertainment and reality. Rather than wasting money on something you will never use, invest that money in things that help you survive.

Your chances of survival increase when you cooperate with other people and you don’t really need weapons for that.

While guns can be an extremely valuable resource to have, without proper training they will be useless for you. If you are properly trained and educated about arms and ammunition it can be one of the most important things to master.

1) Storing Fuel

There has been talk about storing fuel for emergency preparedness.

At first thought it might make sense, considering how a disaster will prevent you from getting fuel for your vehicle.

However, I need you to think what will happen if such an unfortunate event does occur.

Everyone will want to evacuate and escape at the same time, causing major traffic jams and rendering it impossible to leave in your car.

Not only would your money be wasted on purchasing and storing all that fuel, but also expose your family to needless risk.

Gasoline is a highly flammable substance and the last thing you would want in your home would be something as dangerous as gasoline, that too in large quantities.

Hopefully this helps you focus on the things that are actually important for the safety of your family and stop wasting precious resources on the things that do nothing for your household’s disaster management and emergency preparedness.

If you think we have missed out on anything that can be considered as an essential for surviving in a disaster, please feel free to leave a comment and help us all better prepare for the safety of our families.

6 Reasons Thousands Now Are Self-Sufficient Who Never Thought They Could Be

Even if you do not currently have the skills that can help you survive on the toughest of days and extreme situations doesn’t mean you can’t learn now.

Here are ten good reasons why self-sufficiency is the most amazing thing you can adapt to.

6) Freedom from Manipulation of Industrialized Markets

The conventional market driven vehicles of investment are controlled by banking institutions and traders most of the times.

On top of that, we have the debacle of Private Federal Reserve Banking as sweet icing on top of the ugly cake.

The market is full of schemes and ponzi-type scams and this has happened over decades of planning, their next move is institutionally looting the retirement funds that have been allotted for workers.

Makes you wonder whether they care about what we eat and our health, doesn’t it?

5) Inflation has become an Epidemic!

Have you ever noticed how the prices of goods have been going upwards by leaps and bounds?

Even chains like Wal-Mart have been raising all their prices, but pretty silently. People may have choices when it comes to buying stocks or assets, but they have no choice but to eat in order to survive.

The fact that inflation keeps accelerating and turning into hyperinflation, and food shortages may even cause further problems really doesn’t gel well with self-sufficient individuals.

We came alone in this world, and our governments and industries played no part in that, why should they have a part in deciding how much we pay for food that is essentially grown from mother Earth.

We got our own pieces of Mother Earth!

4) The Rise of Health and Wellness

It was very recently reveled that a lot of ‘organic’ items are falsely labeled and a huge number of GMO-free products and brands present in the market have been recently exposed for their deceptive practices. 

GMO food actually lacks most of the nutritional value that normally grown plants that have been home-grown in the comforts of your backyard.

The mega-corporation that boasts of being GMO-free – Mosanto has continually trampled the trust of so many consumers.

It’s about time people started to realize they need start working for themselves.

I say thanks but no thanks to all these mega corporations fueled by monopoly.

3) Builds Strength in a Community

You must have heard many people say “I don’t even know who my neighbors are”.

Well, of course you don’t know them. When you have to go through 80 hours of work in a week and have to grab go-to-meals almost all the time, you don’t get much time for community interactions do you?

With such hectic lifestyles that we now have to endure in order to keep moving forward in a highly structured world, we cannot interact with the immediate community that we have and that can obviously make some people feel disconnected.

A local community is the best form of support during trying times, and you need to interact out of work in order to grow.

2) Working for Yourself

Our work hours keep increasing and the pay decreases with that, you are left wondering what you are doing wrong when corporate executives are taking bonuses home that are larger than twice your entire salary.

This leads to a prevalent disgust among people where they start to realize that their lives have become a constant process of indentured servitude.

Even people who are working for people tend to feel incapable at times but that’s just because you need to be working for yourself!

Having something that is completely yours is what is truly precious, and we all want precious and sustainable things for our future.

1) More Spare Time

We have all grown up to believe that life spent farming is tedious and very hard, and this can be simply termed as a blatant lie for the modern times.

Yes, setting up any self-sufficient source of living essentials will require a lot of labor and time, but newer technologies that are now offering people with efficient ways of growing food like Aquaponics are now becoming common these days because they require little investments and efforts.

You get to create symbiotic self-governing systems that you don’t have to manage but can avail benefits form. Sweet!

All of this makes you feel like only the self-sufficient ones are living life to its maximum potential, doesn’t it.

8 Ways you’ll Fall in Love with Aquaponics

Sustainable living, be it in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or whether out of a moral duty, in the 21st century it is definitely not easy.

In a world where resources are shrinking by the minute, the needs of man, and his ever growing population are constantly multiplying.

For the majority of us living in urban centers, even those, heavily inclined to reduce their carbon footprint, proves to be extremely difficult, if not downright impossible.

Just to take some time from the hustle and bustle of the city and traditionally farm our own foods proves to be impossible for many.

Even those of us who venture out, trying to live off the grid and attempt to make a clean sustainable living, the question remains, what can we do if pollution has systematically infested itself in not just the air we breathe but in the water we drink and the in the soil we grow our food in?

How healthy is this really?

The solution to our problem might lie in aquaponics or in simpler terms, the successful marriage between fish farming and hydroponics.

To the eco-hermit who is trying to live off the grid, the recent popularization of the aqua-based engineering is probably the best thing to happen them.

To give you a taste, here are 8 ways why you would fall in love with aquaponics.

8) Conservation of Water 

Water just so happens to be the simple most important resource for all life on the planet. A toxic combination of pollution and global warming has made access to fresh water increasingly difficult, evidence of which can be seen in the alarming rise in the number of droughts that the world has suffered in the past year alone.

Aquaponic systems require less than 10% of the water that would be used if traditional farming methods were employed. In fact, water usage and wastage is even lower than the amounts used by simple hydroponic systems, as the later needs to have its water replaced at intervals.

The water in aquaponic systems is filtered constantly by a process called nitrification and can thus, be reused again and again by both, the fish and the plants.

7) Independence from Land Pollution

Most crops need a particular amount of nutrients in the soil in order to produce a hearty yield.

However, land pollution has corrupted the pH balance of our soil, thus, limiting the variety of plants that we can grow.

An aquaponic system automatically bypasses the issue of nutrient deficient soil. Since the plants are quintessentially grown without soil, the water in which the plants are grown is filled with all the necessary nutrients needed by the plant to produce a healthy crop.

This is done by the fish, whose waste acts as a natural fertilizer for the plant.

6) Usage of Land

Growth in the population not only marks the need for more places to live but also more mouths to feed and ergo, following tradition, more land is needed to grow food.

The impact of this on our community has been catastrophic; resulting in deforestation, which has affected not just our ecosystem but also in those of all the animals that inhabited it.

Through the use of aquaponics, huge amounts of food can be grown in small spaces.

Moreover, studies have is shown that plants grown in an aquaponic medium tend to be healthier in appearance., hence, a viable alternative to growing food the traditional but ineffective way.

5) It can be done at Home

Though, it may be expensive to purchase a pre-made ready to use kit, the science behind an aquaponic system is fairly simple.

Thus, a fantastic DIY project for those interested in setting up an inexpensive aquaponic system – a system that will work just as well as any other.

Using readily available items like a fish tank, an old bathtub, a water pump and an air pump, one can readily build their own system in the confines of their own garage.

A completely indoor setup is also possible with the help of artificial lighting. This is particularly useful in areas where sunlight is not in abundance.

These systems offer opportunities to produce healthy, local food in an economically and environmentally sustainable fashion.

4) Safety from Pesticides

The sheer amount of toxicity in the pesticides used to protect the plants, results in not only killing the insects but also depriving the crop of most, if not all, of its nutrients.

These chemicals of death cannot be used in aquaponics as they would result in killing the fish.

Thus, alternative methods have to be employed, while sustenance famers use home-based recipes in an attempt to ensure 100% organic, whereas, commercial farmers use integrated systems, which use pests to fight other pests.

Kind of like the same way the human body uses certain bacterium to fight off other harmful infections caused by a harmful strain of bacteria.

3) Healthy lifestyle

To all of us who treat our bodies like a shrine, trying to lead a clean lifestyle, aquaponics proves to be the way to go about it.

Organic fish and vegetables, it doesn’t get any more wholesome than that.

It can help those looking to make a healthy change to their eating habits without worry about the usual problems faced in the city.

2) Independence from seasons

Since various crops have their own unique geographical and climatic needs. A careful amalgamation of weather conditions is needed for a specific crop to grow naturally from the ground.

Mangoes cannot be grown in the winters, the same way rice cannot be grown in the dry season, a fact that is true for all crops.

Growing your own food year round is no longer a dream of the past but a very real reality.

With the help of artificial lighting, controlled indoor systems can grow multiple plants independent of the type of weather outside.

1) Cost saving

While aquaponic systems may require a bit more attention than your average farm, the system offers a cost effective way for farmers to cultivate their crops.

Its cost benefits are not just restricted to the short term like the amounts saved on fertilizers and pesticides but also in long term cost such as energy costs. 

With the sheer simplicity of accomplishing two tasks at once, fish farming and cultivating crops, the aquaponic system ensures conservation via efficiency, as electricity and fish food are the only real costs the aquaponic farmer must bear.

With all of these benefits, especially at a time like ours, when we need to make some fundamental changes if we are to leave a habitable world the coming generations, who could possibly resist falling in love this amazing technique.

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If you have had experience with aquaponic systems why not share some with us?

7 Bushcraft Habits That Hold You Back

Almost everyone at some point feels like a slave to this technology driven life that we have all grown accustomed to, and are taken over by the sudden urge to rekindle with Mother Earth and the nature that it beholds; to discover its naturally resourceful elements and try to live off of them without the constant buzzing of your daily life.

To feel free, and independent; shackled by nothing and no one.

Living off the grid is adventurous and fun only until you realize you forgot an essential part of your survival kit, or, that you don’t know anything about the basics of disaster survival or even survival only on natural means.

Learning the art of bushcraft can be very tricky, and especially so when you have habits that can act like great obstacles when you are trying to make your way through the wilderness.

Here are a few bad bushcraft habits and mistakes that you should avoid:

7) Staying Dehydrated

Always keep yourself properly hydrated and keep extra bottles of water handy.

You never know where or when you might need water, and from washing off a wound to basically just consumption, water can be used in many helpful ways.

Imagine being dehydrated in the middle of nowhere and with no sign of life to been seen around, doesn’t sound fun does it?!

Running dehydrated when you are climbing or hiking through treacherous terrains or wild landscapes is very strenuous, and it can actually become a great hazard to your health.

Not just that, making sure that the water you consume is clean is also very necessary; you never know what it has floating around in there! Feces, chemicals, chlorine, you name it!

6) Building a Fire is a Necessary Skill

Learn how to build a fire, it as easy as they show it on the television (we’re kidding).

Although learning to build a fire from wood or stone can be tricky and may require a lot of practice, it is a very helpful device which lets cook, stay war, light your way in the dark, and so on.

It is also very essential for purifying water by boiling, so realize that there’s no running away from it.

However, if you’re not careful about where you build your fires or whether you put them out or not, you could end up destroying the wilderness and yourself in the process.

Forest fires are massive forces which are hard to control, so try not risking hundreds of animal and plant life because you’re lazy.

Get off your butt and try to get some wood top practice with. 

5) Don’t forget the First Aid-Kit

Forgetting things is another habit you will probably have to completely say farewell to.

Disaster and wilderness survival involves remembering many little things that can make a huge difference, so if you lack on the memory, you’ll either be making many trips to the same place, or realize that this is not your game.

The most necessary thing that you cannot afford forgetting is a first aid kit.

Make sure to keep a lot of band aids and anti-septic, because you never know where or when you might hurt yourself and when you do happen to face a slight injury or cuts, which are very normal, you should have anti-septic to keep them from getting infected.

Sometimes, even mosquito bites can be fatal, so make sure you pack along some repellant that you can just rub on to stay safe from any kind of harmful insect bites (you can get honey bee repellants too! *LIFESAVER*

4) Learn How to Identify Plants

Try reading about and identifying as many plants and fruits as you can to avoid poisoning yourself when you’re off in the wilderness trying to locate some food.

Plants can also serve as great medicine, so make sure you know which plant you should be using for what purpose.

You can find a variety of edible plants in the wilderness, but you have to be careful, lack of knowledge can actually kill you.

Imagine lying paralyzed on the forest floor, foam bubbling out of your mouth. Scary isn’t it?

Now go start searching online for the kinds of plants you can come across where you’re headed.

You’re welcome!

3) Know About Hypothermia

Again, we come to the basic lack of knowledge.

Nights in wooded areas surrounded by a lot of large trees that engulf the forest can get rather cold and sometimes there might be heavy rain, which can make it really cold.

Keep spare blankets and warm clothes to avoid conditions like hypothermia, and stay close to the fire to prevent any kind of sickness. Always check the weather predictions when you are planning to go off in to the wilderness, because just a little bit of extra rain can get you trapped, wet and cold.

2) Always Mark your Tracks

To avoid getting lost in the mighty woods, keep marking your tracks with anything that will help you remember the way through which you came.

Tie a piece of cloth from tree branches, and use a bright color, or use markers to make arrows, have it any way you like.

1) Keep a Survival guide

For all the preppers who are just beginning, there are many brief guides that can offer some very helpful survival tips.

It could be very handy and doesn’t occupy much space, plus, you have something to read along the way.

10 Reasons why it Rocks to Have a Home Aquaponics System

Aquaponics is a re-circulating system that involves the concept of aqua-culture and hydroponics in one process.

The waste material of the fish are first broken down by denitrifying bacteria and then is used to fertilize the plants, which have their roots underwater, and the plants in return provide oxygen to the fishes.

Imagine a “You scratch my back, I scratch yours” kind of a situation, if you will. Below are just a few of the reasons it rocks to have a home aquaponics system:

10) Growth Doesn’t Depend on the Weather

In places where it is hard to find water, this is a big step up. Acres of land ruined because of droughts or the water available scarcely in remote locations is also another huge problem that land farmers have to deal with.

This is not a problem when it comes to Aquaponics since there is no such thing as over watering the plant.

Just fill a tank full of fishes and you’re good.

That water isn’t going to be drained by the thirsty soil, so it isn’t going anywhere.

And then, you can start growing plants that can be used for food.

9) Self Sufficiency

The one biggest advantage that you have is that you can make your own food from the ground up, literally.

With aquaponics, it’s even better because the result is eminent; there is no chance that the plants are going to go bad. 

Its fool proof, you can put food on the table for your family with a guarantee.  Isn’t that a load off? The most basic need that we have is food and water, which we inherently need in order to survive. Aquaponics helps you tick food off that list.

8) No Weeding

Weed can take most of the nutrition of the soil for itself, leaving not enough for the plant to grow healthy in, that’s why you need to take it out.

If you have an aquaponics system in your garden, then don’t sweat about weeding, since weeds can only grow on soil. There’s no soil here, only water and fish. Checkmate.

7) Faster Growth

No weeding means that the plant gets all the nutrients that the soil provides which means that the plant will grow faster.

Not even normal fast, up to 50% faster (depending on which plant you used).

Just imagine, in one season, you can double the output and reduce your input too. I haven’t studied business, but I am sure that that is some good news.

6) No Fertilizing Required

If you would have read the first paragraph thoroughly, you’ll remember that plants are fertilized by the waste product of the fishes in an Aquaponics system.

That would mean that no precious money will be wasted in buying expensive fertilizers and you will still be availing the benefits of home-grown and healthy edible plants. Not just fertilizers, no pesticides, no insecticides, no nothing. Just the water along with some fishes will be fully responsible for the growth of the plant.

5) Healthy Eating

Ever heard of the expression “watch what you’re eating”?

Well that is what’s happening here.

You hear all kinds of stuff on the television about how they have dropped the quality of food production, and that news teams are raiding on areas that produce food under disgusting hygiene conditions.

Well here in aquaponics, you eat what you make, and most of it is vegetables, so how can you go wrong? No more food poisoning, no lies, and no industrialized chemicals.

The only person you can truly trust is you, and if nutrition is what matters to you, Aquaponics is possibly the best way for you to grow food. 

4) Sustainability

The resources in this system do not deplete, as I said earlier, this is a re-circulating system and you don’t need to care much for it.

Keep the fishes alive and the water full of poop and you’re good.

The tank will maintain itself and correct itself.

This mechanism takes place in swamps, lakes and oceans, and they don’t have anyone looking after them now do they?

This is God’s work, enjoy the majesty of it.

3) Eat the Fish If You Wish

I’m sure that you’ll get sick and tired of all the vegetables and you’ll need some meat.

You don’t need to buy it, if you have enough of them, just eat the fish that is available to you in your aquaponic.

Yes, you can do that. I’m sure that the fact that one of them was eaten by their owner will make them poop more; I say it’s better for the plants.

You can populate your tank with multiple varieties of fish too, so that you have access to healthily fed multiple varieties if seafood.

2) Save Space

Aquaponics allow the plants to be more packed together. That saves up a lot of space and spares some for more plants.

Even small fish tanks with plants installed on their roof can work for you, which makes it easy to drain and move around, like when you’re shifting or if you’re going on a vacation.

You can just give it to your friend to keep an eye on it for you.

1) Less Energy, Less Time

No weeds, no pest control, you can save a lot of energy by installing an aquaponic in your house. It is calculated to be up to 70% save energy in comparison to typical ways of growing plants.

An Aquaponics system is the cheapest way to grow your own food and fish, and that too, without much hassle.

Other than energy, you can save time too.

Long hours of weeding and fertilizing, watering, all saved. You can finally catch up on that book you always wanted to read.

Aquaponics is our future if you only think of all the potential it has to offer. All the countries dying of thirst wouldn’t need to waste precious water on farming.

The UAE knows what I’m talking about, they’ve already succeeded in making the world’s largest aquaponic industry, and for the first time in a LONG time, they have started to make their own food. This is a great way to bring in desert areas and dry regions into the fold of food producers too.

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