Author Topic: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!  (Read 12250 times)

Offline Cedar

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Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« on: December 30, 2011, 03:05:26 PM »
I just came across this:

The average family in the United States spends $2,200 each year on utilities like electricity, heating and cooling. The vast majority of this energy comes from fossil fuels like coal and oil, which produce harmful byproducts as they burn. If you've had enough of increasing electricity prices, or if you're looking to switch to a more sustainable way of life, maybe it's time to cut the cord. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the creative and eco-friendly techniques that people use to survive while living off the grid!

http://curiosity.discovery.com/topic/energy-conservation/survive-off-grid-quiz.htm#mkcpgn=otbn1

I got 15 out of 20, but hey, I bet I can live without electric better than the guys who made this quiz! LOL, but it does have some goods stats in there.

Cedar

Offline archer

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2011, 04:00:19 PM »
some of the questions do not apply to how well you can survive off grid.  what does knowing that XXXXX lived off grid have anything to do with actually off grid yourself?

Offline Cedar

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2011, 04:01:26 PM »
I know, which is why I failed the number ones.

Cedar

Offline archer

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2011, 04:04:06 PM »
some of the questions do not apply to how well you can survive off grid.  what does knowing that XXXXX lived off grid have anything to do with actually off grid yourself?
I had 14 correct out of 20.
A disappointing quiz

edit: i'm grouchy at work today, dont mean to be grouchy to you Cedar

Offline ghsebldr

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 04:14:00 PM »
I hate tests! I have two separate solar setups and 3 generators,you would think I would have gotten at least those right. Stupid test. Nothing fixes stupid but at least I'll be warm and have light if it's ever needed. Thanks for the test.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2011, 04:18:41 PM »
I was hoping it was better too.. but some of the stats on it were interesting I thought.

You need some sunshine Archer

Cedar

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2011, 07:50:06 PM »
I got 12 correct. I'm decent with the nomenclature and technology, but most of the numbers I was way off on.

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 08:48:52 PM »
Very disappointing test.  But then I should have expected it would be today's version of being off the grid vs what it was like when I was growing up. When I was a child we actually lived without electricity for a time. Almost an entire year with no electricity...no solar power, no wind turbine, no generator...we had no electricity what-so-ever when my parents purchased raw forested land and decided to move to it before there was even windows or doors (just plastic sheeting over big gaping holes) on the earth berm house that they were building by hand. Nor was there any running water.  Our water was hauled in 5 gallon water jugs from a nearby spring. Clothes were hand washed, rung out with a hand wringer, and hung up to dry.  Water was heated on the stove and baths were in taken while standing in a wash tub, with a couple of bed sheets tacked to the rafters to provide privacy.  A traditional bathroom, complete with walls, was added about a year later, although it would be almost a decade before the last remaining interior wall was finally up.  And through this all, I was going to public school.  But since I didn't talk about how we were living at the time, no one there was any the wiser. :) 

Having lived it, I know (and have) what is needed to run a household/farm 100% without power. So could my family and I survive being 100% off the grid? Absolutely. And not just survive, but flourish! I doubt the makers of that quiz would be able to fare as well.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 09:01:47 PM »
I doubt the makers of that quiz would be able to fare as well.

I bet I can live without electric better than the guys who made this quiz! LOL, but it does have some goods stats in there.
Cedar

That is what I said too...

Cedar

Offline technicalanarchy

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 09:58:19 PM »
I think it should have been named more correctly like, "How much do you know about alternative energy sources?".

I figured Cedar's score something was wrong with the test. It was just miss named and had nothing to do with survival.

BTW I did terribly.

Offline fratermus

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2011, 10:20:34 PM »
I think it should have been named more correctly like, "How much do you know about alternative energy sources?".

Exactly.

I lucked into 14/20.  Not a great test, but maybe it will get a little discussion going amongst the Normals. 


Offline TexasGirl

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2011, 10:34:49 PM »
I think it should have been named more correctly like, "How much do you know about alternative energy sources?".

I figured Cedar's score something was wrong with the test. It was just miss named and had nothing to do with survival.

BTW I did terribly.

Ditto!

~TG

Offline Oil Lady

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2011, 12:34:24 AM »
Allow me to briefly mention how annoyed I am that the only frigging drawback to fossil fuels that this article from the OP chooses to mention is that they produce harmful byproducts as they burn. No mention is made in that web link of the very notion that fossil fuels are capable of growing suddenly and irredeemably scarce in our lifetime.

Quote

The average family in the United States spends $2,200 each year on utilities like electricity, heating and cooling. The vast majority of this energy comes from fossil fuels like coal and oil, which produce harmful byproducts as they burn. If you've had enough of increasing electricity prices, or if you're looking to switch to a more sustainable way of life, maybe it's time to cut the cord. Take our quiz to see how much you know about the creative and eco-friendly techniques that people use to survive while living off the grid!



Offline Perfesser

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2011, 11:57:48 AM »
13/20 but don't give it a second thought folks. This quiz has damn little to do with living off grid for real. It's about little tricks that have nature working with you, not beating it into submission with technology.

Do you know how to move heat from the woodstove to the bedroom so you don't freeze your butt?
Do you know how to select wood so you don't get up 3 times in the night to stoke the fire?
Do you know how to keep food cold without freezing solid in -10 temps?
Do you know how to keep food cold in the summer heat?
Do you know how to provide light without heat gain?
Do you know how to naturally cool your place in the summer?

Etc, etc.
 

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2011, 12:19:42 PM »
13/20 but don't give it a second thought folks. This quiz has damn little to do with living off grid for real. It's about little tricks that have nature working with you, not beating it into submission with technology.

Do you know how to move heat from the woodstove to the bedroom so you don't freeze your butt?
Do you know how to select wood so you don't get up 3 times in the night to stoke the fire?
Do you know how to keep food cold without freezing solid in -10 temps?
Do you know how to keep food cold in the summer heat?
Do you know how to provide light without heat gain?
Do you know how to naturally cool your place in the summer?

Etc, etc.

Exactly!!!!

Offline ghsebldr

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2011, 04:18:29 PM »
Question #21
 Getting a passing score (10 or above) on this test will help you live how much longer?

  o not one second longer
  o slightly more than 7 seconds longer
  o 2812 years longer
  o  just long enough

 but it did start us talking so it served some purpose.

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2011, 04:34:57 PM »
As others said, the test is misnamed. We've been off-grid for 15 years and I only got a 13 and some of those were guesses on the statistics.

Offline mvrck

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2011, 07:25:16 PM »
I took the quiz and got a 15 / 20. Biut I do this (Solar Installations) for a living.

The questions I got wrong have to do with national average numbers, like how much it cost, use, or other stats.

What I am most interested in is:

Quote
1. Do you know how to move heat from the woodstove to the bedroom so you don't freeze your butt?
2. Do you know how to select wood so you don't get up 3 times in the night to stoke the fire?
3. Do you know how to keep food cold without freezing solid in -10 temps?
4. Do you know how to keep food cold in the summer heat?
5. Do you know how to provide light without heat gain?
6. Do you know how to naturally cool your place in the summer??

Here's my my 2 cents after having grown up poor...
1. Have an extra quilt on the bed.
2. Build a nice fire and then throw in a couple green pieces and close down the damper.
3. Live near a snow melt stream or have a natural spring near by or use an Engle fridge
4. See 3.
5. LED or Oil Lamp
6. Sleep in basement or ICF home.

Enjoy the New Year!


Offline Perfesser

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2012, 12:46:18 AM »
My methods:
1. Low tech, not too effective-warm concrete blocks on the stove and put under the bed.
     High tech, works great- make a chimney that lays along the wood stove, in direct contact so it heats up. The cold end is attached to a pipe that goes under the bed - sucks cold air from under the bed to the stove and the entire room is warmed by drawing warm air in to replace the cold you're sucking out.

2. Reserve the biggest logs that will fit in the stove without splitting, cut as long as will just fit in the stove. Wood in the round burns slowest.
3. Bury a box under the snow(right down to the ground) or in the spring water.
4. Spring water is usually cold enough
5. Reflected light doesn't carry nearly the heat that direct sun does. My windows are shaded by overhang or awning but one has a white concrete patio in front and the others have aluminum reflectors, plus the double boxed, vented skylight. Hard to explain the skylight but it's very long and narrow, reflects the light a few times before entering the house. Those tube skylights do a good job too.
6. BOL has a very large 4ft x 8ft brick fireplace in the center. As it's sitting on a 4x8 foundation the entire mass of brick is attached to the earth and becomes about 60f in the summer, cooling the whole mass of brick. Huge thermal mass can act as a cooler as well as a heater. Have a ton of ventilation in the attic to release heat buildup. No black shingles, lightest colour you can find. When the roof is old, don't strip it off. Add some furring strips and put a steel roof on top of the shingle(extra air gap and a reflective layer). Add in the wind I've channeled through a canopy cedar forest(shade) with some hedge planting for a cool breeze and it's not too bad at all.

All of this above takes zero electricity.
Now a couple of small PV panels is all you need for a few luxuries.
I know it's not explained that clearly but I've already hijacked this thread too far for an overly long post.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2012, 12:56:49 AM by Perfesser »

Offline Cedar

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2012, 11:59:57 AM »
Do you know how to move heat from the woodstove to the bedroom so you don't freeze your butt?

Yes.. and I won't have the bricks so hot the next time I wake up smelling smoke at 2 am.  ;)

Do you know how to select wood so you don't get up 3 times in the night to stoke the fire?

When I was in Canada.. I had NO choice. Pine. Ok, I had a choice, but the birch smell wanted you to sleep outside at -40F.

Do you know how to keep food cold without freezing solid in -10 temps?

Put it back into the refrigerator. No.. I am not kidding on that. I had no power for 9 days or so and I put the food on the porch in a cardboard box, just short of freezing, and then put it back into the fridge.

Do you know how to keep food cold in the summer heat?

Root cellar and/or drop a milk crate into the creek. I like rabbit cages as then you can lock the door and the food wont accidently float away.

Do you know how to provide light without heat gain?

You are talking to the chick who refuses to put curtains on her windows for the last 25 yrs. At night here,  I am like a mushroom and only work by computer light. (I am also back into running my computer off solar as of 3 days ago).

Do you know how to naturally cool your place in the summer?

In Canada.. who cared.. warm? But I had THICK insulated wall and in the attic. In my 102 yr old house in Oregon. I open the windows all night and during the day shut the bottom ones and shut SP's bedroom door which is the ONLY south facing window and open the upstairs windows. At 100F outside my house will stay at 70F.

Cedar

Offline Cianaodh

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2012, 12:13:39 PM »
Wow, I kinda suck at this I guess! I only got 13 correct answers out of 20. Still, I am pretty handy with setting up and installing solar arrays so I don't know if knowing things like what famous author lived offgrid (One that I actually got correct BTW) will determine my survivability off the grid. ;-)

Offline archer

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2012, 12:31:56 PM »
Wow, I kinda suck at this I guess! I only got 13 correct answers out of 20. Still, I am pretty handy with setting up and installing solar arrays so I don't know if knowing things like what famous author lived offgrid (One that I actually got correct BTW) will determine my survivability off the grid. ;-)
Bingo!!!

Offline Griz

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2012, 06:26:14 PM »
Only got 13/20   :-[

Offline FrugalFannie

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #23 on: January 01, 2012, 08:02:44 PM »
I agree - dumb test. My family lived " off grid" for at least 5 years but that was because we couldnt afford to pay for power lines to be put in when we moved to Maine.

Maybe I should learn some more stuff though.

Offline Louisiana Suvivor

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2012, 01:53:38 PM »
i stopped the test on question 4. stupid questions for the indoctrination of 5th graders. fail test.

Offline LJH

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #25 on: February 22, 2012, 02:35:20 PM »
i stopped the test on question 4. stupid questions for the indoctrination of 5th graders. fail test.

I finished it just for shits & giggles but yeah, this ^.

Scored an 11, and I've also done pretty well off-grid for extended periods of time, all the while not knowing how many KWH the "average" family uses.  ::)

Offline Hootie

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Re: Could you survive off the grid? Take the quiz!
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2012, 10:43:16 AM »
15/20, but wish they did more then just focus on electricity.