West Virginia Family Living Well Off The Grid.

Living off the grid in West Virginia - Sonny and Linda Jobe's Solar Powered Pothole FarmEntering retirement age, Sonny and Linda Jobe decided to make a change and live entirely off the grid by purchasing and outfitting a farm house in Doddridge County West Virginia with 20 solar panels. The solar panels produce most of the power they use – 18 panels for electricity and 2 panels dedicated to powering their hot water heater. How do they do it? By owning a small home and adapting their lifestyle. From Sonny Jobe:

“If it’s gonna be sunny, it’s when we’ll do most of the cleaning and things – between vacuuming and 3 or 4 loads of laundry.”

Check out the full story to find out how the Jobes are further adapting during the winter months. [MNN]


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Upcycling A Pizza Box.

The Buzzfeed article states differently but I’m pretty sure these upcycled pizza box ideas assume you don’t have the cheese-grease stain that kept you from recycling the pizza box in the first place.

Pizza box cat bed

Pizza box cat bed (click on the image for instructions)

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven.

Pizza box solar-powered s'mores oven. (click on image for instructions)

Pizza box birds nest.

Pizza box birds nest. (click on the image for instructions)

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game.

Upcycled pizza box Battleship game. (click on the image for instructions)

What can you do with a cheese-grease stained pizza box? Rip-off and recycle the unstained lid and then save the lower cheese-greased section as a fire starter. Additional upcycled pizza box ideas are posted on Buzzfeed.


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How To Build A Hand Cranked Mobile Phone Charger Out Of A Drill, Wooden Spoon And Mixing Beater.

Hand Cranked and MacGyver'd Emergency Mobile Phone ChargerSimple? Sort of.
MacGyver? Definitely.

If your power is out and you’re not sure when it’s coming back, maybe following the instructions and collecting the required materials (wooden spoon, drill, string, aluminum foil etc.) to “Make an Emergency Phone Charger – MacGyver Style!” isn’t that crazy. [Instructables via Neatorama]


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Pablo Fernandez Is Creating Useful Products From Trash At His ReBorn Recraft Atelier In Barcelona.

ReBorn Recraft Atelier in BarcelonaFair Companies’ lastest post, “Tinkerers’ workshop: slow furniture recrafted from trash,” is about Pablo Fernandez and his efforts to recraft stuff people throw out into useful products at his Reborn Recraft Atelier in Barcelona. Pablo points out in the video that he can not find as many useful things to work with on the streets in his native Columbia as he can in Barcelona. In his shop, he has drinking glasses made from bottles, pallets turned into wine racks / glass holders and much more. [*faircompanies]


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Repurposing And Upcycling Wood Pallets Into Furniture And Shelving.

DIY Wood Pallet Coffee Table

Wood Pallet Coffee Table

We wrote about repurposing wood pallets for wedding tables in our post “And I Pronounce You Jubbling” back in 2011. Here are so more ideas from RenewPurpose that don’t require instructions; viewing the final repurposed pallet-product and adding a little stain or paint is all you need to duplicate these ideas. If you get a chance, check out their iDevice cases and handbags made from repurposed tire rubber. Pretty cool stuff. [RenewPurpose via Good]


DIY Wood Pallet Couch

DIY Wood Pallet Couch

DIY Pallet Home Theater Seating

DIY Pallet Home Theater Seating

DIY Wood Pallet Shelving

DIY Wood Pallet Shelving

DIY Wood Pallet Shelving

DIY Wood Pallet Shelving 2

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Solarclave Sterilizes Medical Equipment In Remote Areas Using Sunlight.

Solarclave from MIT's Little Devices groupIn hospitals, an autoclave is an electric-powered device that is used to sterilize medical equipment and supplies. The Solarclave, designed by MIT’s Little Devices group, is an autoclave that is solar-powered and can be used cheaply and repaired easily by remote clinics in developing countries. Here’s a description of the Solarclave from the Little Devices group:

“With a bucket, a pressure cooker, and 140 pocket-sized mirrors, IIH researchers have invented a device that uses sunshine to sterilize surgical tools. Solarclave provides reliable surgical sterilization for rural clinics outside of the grid – enabling healthcare workers to provide basic, life-saving services for patients.”

And here’s how it works (SmartPlanet):

“Under a clear sky, the system takes 45 to 60 minutes to heat up to a sterilizing temperature (250 degrees Fahrenheit) and then 20 minutes to carry out the sterilization cycle.”

The final design of the Solarclave was modified based on feedback from rural users in Nicaragua. [SmartPlanet]

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