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6 Things You Need To Make Your Home Self-Sufficient

6 Things You Need To Make Your Home Self-Sufficient

The drive to get off the grid and reach full or partial self-sufficiency is getting stronger and stronger every year. What has once been a prerogative of crazy-prepared survivalists is now a viable solution for everyday life, cutting your expenses and allowing you to get complete control over your life. In this article, we’ve gathered 5 things that can help you reach this ideal – or at least get a bit closer to it!

1. Solar Panels

The popularity of solar panels has been on the rise over the last decade due to their growing availability to average users. They are not as expensive as they used to be, and if your location has good enough conditions for capturing the necessary amount of sunlight, solar panels can become a viable solution as the only energy source for your entire household. Panels can be either be located on a rooftop or standalone, depending on your particular conditions. Just make sure to consult a professional before you even try arranging something of this kind – solar panels are quite a finicky device and won’t work properly unless ideally placed and configured.

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2. Tesla Powerwall

While they are not yet present on the market, this article would be incomplete without mentioning Tesla Powerwall. They won’t be mass produced until 2017, but when they appear, they have a potential of drastically altering the world energy consumption patterns. In short, it is a rechargeable lithium battery powerful enough to store and provide energy for an entire household for extended periods of time. In conjunction with solar panels or other alternative energy sources, it can completely eliminate your need for buying electricity.

3. Chicken Coop

Your own chicken coop not only allows you to get fresh meat and eggs all year round at a much lower price than you will find in any store, its main attraction is that you always know what you’ve been feeding your chickens – which is something you can never say when you buy them. Poultry meat bought in stores and supermarkets is filled to the brim with hormones and antibiotics to make them grow larger and faster – if you don’t want that, you have no other way but to grow your own chickens.

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4. Alternative Water Sources

Getting your hands on an alternative water source is one of the most difficult tasks for those aspiring to get off the grid, because there are not so many solutions to this problem. Drilling a well may seem like an obvious choice, but it is a much less available solution than it may seem – not all locales have sufficient groundwater aquifers. Probably the only other way out is to collect rainwater in barrels and water storage tanks. Unfortunately, no matter how much effort you put into purifying it, rainwater isn’t safe for drinking and cooking – yet it can still be used for other purposes, decreasing your dependence on the municipal water supply.

5. Vertical Hydroponic Garden

Just like it is with meat, there is just no comparison between the agricultural produce you’ve grown with your own hands and something bought in a supermarket. Having a vertical hydroponic garden allows you to enjoy all the benefits of such a lifestyle – and in addition to being highly efficient, this approach can be used even in urban environments. You may either buy a ready-made aeroponic gardening kit or build your own system if you believe in your abilities – either way, there is nothing overly complicated about it.

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6. Geothermal Energy Systems

If you strive to be completely self-sufficient, a geothermal energy system can serve both for heating your home in winter and cooling it in summer. The ground temperature remains stable all year round by passing air through ductwork and over water coils will bring its temperature up or down depending on the season. The only problem is that these systems are quite expensive – don’t expect them to pay off in less than 10-15 years.

As you may see, through both the modern technology and your own ingenuity, you can either considerably reduce your dependence on the grid or cut it completely – at least in certain areas. Use these tips, and enjoy your new-found freedom!

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More by this author

Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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