Treading lightly

Rural People and Issues : Treading lightly

This section contains articles on treading lightly on the earth by consuming less. There are hundreds of other useful articles in our lifestyle file. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you. If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

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windturbineYou live on a windy ridge. Sunshine is unreliable (imagine the west coast of the South Island), and you're a long way from the nearest power pole. The simple solution to your energy requirements is a micro wind generator, isn't it? The answer is "well, maybe."

baking sodaCommon household baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, bicarbonate of soda, or sodium hydrogen carbonate, has been used in many ways for a very long time – right back to when the Egyptians used it to preserve corpses. You probably don’t have any corpses you need to preserve right now, but sodium bicarbonate is useful for many other things, particularly cleaning, and provides a good alternative to a number of harsher chemicals

waterAnyone living in a remote area without an existing connection to the national grid faces potentially expensive solutions to their power requirements. Previous articles have looked at solar and wind options, and the likely costs involved relative to bringing in a line from the nearest existing power pole.

lavender1wConcern for the environment means that we are less inclined to fill our cupboards with proprietary brands of household cleaner.

A bottle of something blue for one purpose, green for another, lurid pink for cleaning the shower, acid yellow for something else, and you see how the problem multiplies.

solarSolar energy means different things to different people: is it solar water heating, or is it the use of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity? Is the aim to reduce dependence on the national grid or remove involvement with it altogether?

green cleanersWhen you live with a septic tank, and are concerned for the environment, the use of modern cleaning compounds may be something that worries you. But are the alternatives safe, and do they work? The uses of baking soda alone as a cleaner have been discussed in a previous article, but there are a number of other possibilities as well. One standard “non-toxic cleaning kit” is: baking soda (sodium bicarbonate); washing soda (sodium carbonate); white vinegar; liquid soap or a detergent if you have one you are happy with; and tea tree oil.

facecreamWe have been told many times that cosmetics are a rip-off, and that a $150 pot of beautifully packaged, expensively marketed  anti-wrinkle cream may be no better than a $15 jar from the supermarket. So there might be a lot to be gained from making your own, not only financially, but also from the fact that at least you know what you've put in it. In many respects, that's true. But as with almost everything, it's never quite as simple as you think.

solarpanelFor most of us approaching the idea of solar power as novices, there are some daunting matters to get our heads around.  What are the components? How hard are they to get and how much do they cost? Out of the vast range available, what really is the best and most suitable for my particular needs?

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