Practical Self Sufficiency

Advice on essential skills for  self-sufficient living



Practical Self-Sufficiency

There is no getting away from it, a self-sufficient lifestyle requires you to be practical and hands on. There is no getting ‘a man who does’ , it’s down to you and your own skills and ingenuity, which if you have only ever changed a light bulb before can be a little scary. There are numerous books available, some better than others and of course if you have sorted your energy options then there is always the internet! again some sites are better than others, Not to mention attending a self-sufficiency course! The important thing to remember, we have all made mistakes! We just try not to repeat them too often!

There are a number of Self-Sufficiency projects that can improve your level of comfort, make life easier , increase productivity , reduce costs and improve biodiversity. Some require basic woodworking, plumbing or building skills, others require that you can understand simple instructions.

Solar Oven

solar-oven

A solar oven uses the direct heat of sunlight to cook and heat food, or liquids. Solar ovens are widely used in developing countries, for the very obvious reasons, no power is required and they are relatively cheap low-tech devices. Additional benefits are that they reduce the need to gather wood for fires, reduce the risk from fires, as well as reducing air pollution. There are many variations available, some more sophisticated than others, some made from using parabolic mirrors with tracking systems. However, a simple well insulated box, with a reflective interior and a glass lid will usually suffice.

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How to Reduce your Energy Bills

With some traditional and innovative ideas to wrap up you and your house this winter

Do you know how much heat you are losing from your house? If not, it might be an idea to conduct an energy audit or get a thermal image of your house to find out how much and where from you could be losing heat and therefore money!

House Insulation

is the first line of defense when it comes to reducing bills and keeping you warm and toasty.

Start at the top ,we all know that heat rises and that up to 25 % of your household heat can be lost through the roof. However, the recommended depth of insulation in the UK is 270mm, but some 500mm is the standard depth in Scandinavia where the winters can get a bit chilly. So have a look at your roof insulation, check the depth and the condition as after a few years it can deteriorate and you may benefit from an additional layer of insulation.There are now a number of alternative natural types of insulation: a cellulose fibre made from recycled newspapers produced in South Africa ( www.ecoinsulation.co.za) and one made from 100% virgin New Zealand Sheep to be found at www.ecoinsulation.co.nz . Always ensure that any insulating material does NOT contain formaldehyde as this give off poisonous gases.

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