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Ways to go electricity-free this weekend

As people continue to try and cut back on their expenses the high cost of the electricity bill is one that gets revisited over and over again. In an attempt to lower that bill there are always the tried and true recommendations of turning off the lights when you leave the room, turning the furnace colder or the air conditioning warmer, and putting more efficient light bulbs and appliances in your house. But will those things actually help? Of course, but what if you could take it up a notch by going entirely electricity free for a whole weekend? Don’t think it can be done? Check out the following suggestions.
Go camping: Take your family, a tent, and enough food to last the weekend and hike over to the edge of a lake and pitch your tent. Your food will be in a cooler with ice, you’ll cook over an open fire, and you’ll tell ghost stories around the fire for entertainment. Think of the bonding you’ll do with your family and the fresh air you will get.
Camp in your back yard:
Put up the tent (borrow one if you need to) in the back yard. Use your grill or fire pit to cook your food. Putting all of your food for the weekend into a cooler is an option, but one you may want to skip since you are at home. Play games and tell stories to entertain the kids. Take a nature walk and see what cool things you can find.
Camp in your living room:
Pull out the sleeping bags and have everyone find a spot in the living or family room. Start a fire in the fireplace and use that for heat and to cook over. Other food that is not cooked over the fire is to be consumed cold or room temperature. If it’s cold outside you can keep your food outside for the weekend, just be sure to put it in a cooler so the animals don’t get into it.
Stay in a cabin:
There are plenty of rustic areas where you can go stay in a cabin. Bring a lot of candles since you will need them to see by. Make sure everyone brings a book to read and non-electronic games to play. Cook over a camp stove or open fire. Hiking in the woods, going swimming, exploring the area are all great things to do to unplug for the weekend. Make sure to bring plenty of water too.
Black out:
No TV, no computers, no electronics and no lights for the entire weekend. You eat by candlelight, you read by natural light or candlelight, and you play games the same way. Back in the old day’s people didn’t have electricity so just try to think of what kind of things they did. Do you need your soccer shorts washed? Put them in a bucket of water with some soap and wash them by hand and hang them out to dry. Remember you don’t have a washer and dryer for the weekend.
Solar power:
If you are looking into getting off the grid, or even just trying to save money, investing in solar panels will allow you to harness the power of the sun and store that energy into batteries. You can run your home off of those batteries for a long time if you conserve energy.
One of the main things to worry about if you lose electricity or want to stop using it is to have a source or sources of lighting. The cheapest source of light is candles. Then you can move up to kerosene lamps. They also have lanterns that you can charge the battery by cranking it by hand. If you buy the Aladdin lamp it runs on kerosene and has a much brighter light that would allow you to read or do handwork by it. Rechargeable batteries that can be charged with solar power are a great option for flashlights.
Another important thing when going without electricity is figuring out how to cook your food. Grilling, campfire, or propane camp stove are very easy methods and readily available. If you are really adventurous you can make your own solar oven. Paint a cardboard box black on the inside. Then cover the insides of the box with foil. Using a piece of glass on the front will allow the sunlight to come into the box. The black insides and the foil will keep the heat in the box. Make sure to keep turning the box every 30 minutes so that it’s faced toward the sun. You can make additional foil covered panels to attach above the sides to reflect more sunlight into the box. The inside temperature will reach over 325 degrees.
Unless you live by a lake, stream or river you need to make rain barrels to collect water. This allows you to capture the rain that runs off your house and store it. You can use this water to flush your toilets, water your garden, and even drink it if you filter and boil it.
Use the wind:
It’s also possible to harness the power of the wind with a windmill and store that energy in batteries. You can run your house on the battery power and have clean energy. This would allow you to go a lot longer than a weekend without electricity, but you’d still be able to do all the things you love.


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