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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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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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