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Home » Energy saving

How to live off grid with 21st century technology

Submitted by on Tuesday, 17 May 2011 Loading Add to favourites  7 Comments

puddingcottageI’ve been a bit of a grumpy, overwhelmed Mrs Green lately. I think it’s an early middle age crisis where I’m evaluating everything in my life, but feel like I’m chasing my tail.

What better way to find some ‘me’ space than an off grid cottage in the middle of Wales?

Mrs Green booked us a few days away at Little Pudding Cottage and it was sensational. The location was stunning, the cottage just as you would imagine and the ‘green’ features were fit for *this* Green Goddess!

We didn’t take computers, I couldn’t get a mobile signal unless I tried really hard (I didn’t) and ipods were left at home – this was a real ‘unplugged’ holiday. I have to admit, we were worried we’d find it hard without the computer for company, but nothing could be further from the truth. When I got back home I procrastinated at turning the computer on again for a full 24 hours. Ever since the holiday I’ve been getting up at 6am to start my day with yoga, chanting and acupressure…

Here’s the cottage:

little-pudding-cottage

Here’s Little Miss Green running free and you can just see the back of the cottage roof in the distance – this show you how remote this fantastic location is.

little-pudding-cottage-view

There was a wood burner for heating the cottage:

wood-burner-stove

Solar panels for the water:

solar-panel-hot-water

And a gas bottle for cooking on (although we used the woodburner a lot of the time)

gas-bottle-cooking

cooking-with-bottled-gas-off-grid

There was a generator which you put on for an hour a day:

off-grid-diesel-generator

Which powered these babies for running the lights and plug sockets:

batteries-powered-by-generator

Finally, there were recycling bins and compost heaps provided which you were encouraged to use.

Now you *could* lead a 21st century life with all the mod cons if you wished – there was a satellite in the garden for picking up television, telephone and wifi and some mobile phone signals available; but hey, who wants that when you have this:

holiday-1holiday-2

What about you – does a place like this inspire you, terrify you or is it home from home?

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7 Comments »

  • Alicia C. says:

    This is EXACTLY what I want! My husband and I have made the decision to stay in our very crowded 625 sq. ft. one bedroom apartment for the next couple of years (there are FOUR of us!) so we can save the money to get ourselves enough land in the middle of nowhere to build or fix a home that is completely off-the-grid. We have been studying up on how to do this and we’re even practicing with a small garden, building small solar appliances (we’re doing an oven this year!), and lots of other things. It IS possible to do this and I can’t wait to have a home where we can live in peace (both literally and figuratively.)

  • Sarah Dean says:

    As the very proud owner of this wonderful cottage, can I just thank you for leaving it so beautifully on your departure, we take it as the highest compliment when our guests respect the cottage so well. Reading such lovely comments and feedback really inspires us to try to get even greener. We hope to install PVs to trickle charge those batteries soon and build a little greenhouse for guests to pick their own salad in summer – oh and we’ve promised Tom (our two year old) that he and his brother Harry (age 7 months) can help build a tree house next summer, so we are already putting bits to one side to get the project started!

  • Steve says:

    What a fab looking place. I’m interested in your experience with the solar water panels. They look exactly the same as we have installed at our off grid campsite – i.e. they work on thermo convection so no pumps to power. I can’t enthuse about this system enough – ours have been excellent. Our 400 litre water tank has been kept at around 85 degrees C for the last month using two panels of similar size to those pictured. However we have had plenty of sunshine. Even during the gloomiest winter months we had water at around 25 degrees. How did they perform in the Welsh climate? Some of the pictures look a little overcast so your experience is probably a good indicator. Do you know how big the hot water tank was for this installation? I’m also very envious of the generator set-up. We run directly off a much smaller 2.7 kw genny for a couple of hours during the day and the rest of the time make do as best we can. No real hardship, it is a campsite after all so no expectation on the part of our visitors for any mod-cons or heavy power use. We also use bottled gas for cooking and that works a treat. Anyway – thanks for the posts and anytime you need another off grid break we’d love to welcome you at Camp Full Monte 🙂

  • Seonaid says:

    It looks so beautiful that I will be sending the info to my friend. We’re going to Wales on a trip in a couple of years, and I’ll be suggesting spending a few days at this (most spectacular looking) cottage.

  • Kelly says:

    Gorgeous! I am very envious… 🙂

    A friend of ours owns a cottage in Muskoka that was built by his grandfather – you have to canoe across a small river to get to it. We love spending days there in the summer – no electricity in sight and you’d never even notice. We also love going camping.

    I do really like my computer and value the community it gives me as a SAHM, but it’s important to get away from it all every once in awhile.

  • Arvid Linde says:

    It’s amazing to see something like this… and inspiring too.
    Are any of those hills within the territory of the cottage? A wind turbine would replace that gas-guzzling generator and make the whole thing even greener.

  • Mrs Green says:

    @Alicia C.: wow, how exciting – I can’t wait to hear how everything works out for you – best of luck!
    @Sarah Dean: what a lovely idea for the treehouse; our DD has one and she loved it for many years :)@Steve: to be honest, you’d have to ask the owners – we certainly had everything we needed, but we did use the generator and the woodburner as it was quite chilly weather (not in the cottage, that was VERY warm) But yes it was pretty overcast and everything was warm so I’m assuming the output was good??
    @Seonaid: gorgeous – I love the thought of some of my blogging friends staying in the same place as we have [email protected]Kelly: I agree – I wouldn’t want to be completely unplugged all the time but I think my soul craves it from time to time – the cottage across the river sounds [email protected]Arvid Linde: I thought that too – it’s incredibly windy up there and would be the perfect way to generate power.