Clean your bathroom without resorting to Poison

...need anything else. Prep: Fill one spray bottle halfway full of white vinegar. Fill it the rest of the way with water. This is your all purpose wipe down spray, aka the 50/50 spray Take another empty spray bottle and pour about a tablespoon of liquid soap into the bottom. Fill it up with water. This is called “soapy water.” Yep. This is why we make the big bucks. That’s it. You’ll find other recipes which are more involve...

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Tippy Tap, Beta Version

A tippy tap is a water-saving handwashing device developed for use in areas where there is no running water, usually fabricated out of simple found materials. Erik and I both love appropriate tech, and this is a really good example of the form. The tippy tap literally saves lives by allowing people to wash up after visiting the bathroom. Erik included a tippy-tap, a rather fancy version of one, it turns out, in one of our lin...

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Emergency water storage

...ergency preparedness, we were pretty well set in terms of food, light, fuel, etc., but we didn’t have much water. Just some jugs, a rain barrel that’s empty most of the year, and the water in our hot water tank. This lack made me nervous, so we finally did took the bull by the horns–or the bung hole…  How much water should you store?  1 gallon of water per person per day. This is the minimal amount necessary for drinking,...

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Water Conservation

...than it is to resort to the latest techno-eco-gadgetry. So let’s count down the major sources of domestic water use (according to percentages calculated by the American Water Works Association Research Foundation) and consider how to conserve: 58.7% Outdoor Water Clearly, the place to start with water conservation is outdoors, in designing a landscape that doesn’t need supplemental irrigation. Our rule around the SurviveLA compound...

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The Whip: A Homemade Moisturizer How-To from Making It

...top of your double boiler setup) and add the wax. Place the measuring cup in a small saucepan about half full of water. Heat over gently simmering water, stirring occasionally. until the wax melts and vanishes into the oil. Beeswax melts at about 160°F (71°C). Pay attention to temperature: Temperature is very important for the success of this recipe: the temperature of the water, and the temperature of the oil and wax mixture. The wax melts into...

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Essential System #9 – Hydration

As we’ve noted before you can go about three days without water, but you’ll be feeling mighty crabby after just a few hours without it. We’ve got a number of water sources around the homestead, with a few more back-ups in the works. First off it pays to have some plastic water jugs around – figure two liters a day per person minimum. There are stricter standards for tap water in this banana republic we call the USA than f...

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Pot o’ Goodness: Low, Low-Tech Water Conservation

...big cooking days, when I’m doing a lot of boiling, steaming, soaking and rinsing, I collect all that used water in a big pot and take it out to the garden to water the plants. It’s full of nutrients, and won’t cause any blackwater* problems as long as you: Use it immediately. It will turn foul if left to sit too long. Pour it straight into the soil–don’t splash it all over edible leaves. Remember, soil purifies wat...

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Barley Water

Being an American, barley water is not part of my mental landscape. Perhaps it was big in the U.S. back in the Victorian era, but it seems to have faded from our national consciousness. Indeed, if you’re one of our American readers, you may be asking now: what the heck is it? My fellow Americans, barley water is a drink made from barley, lemon and sugar, known to be cooling and refreshing in the summer and perhaps somewhat healthy. Meanw...

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Back on the Yogurt Train: How to Make Yogurt

...ng to describe here. We make two quarts at a time in a little six pack cooler. Very clean canning-type jars Hot water bottle (optional) Towel(s) for insulation Your last store bought container of yogurt. You need live yogurt to start the culture, only a few spoonfuls. The label should say something about containing live, active cultures. You’ll need 1 Tablespoon of live yogurt for every quart of milk you’re transforming. Milk, of cou...

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How to save tomato seed

Seeds fermenting in water. Not pretty, but pretty important! The jar got shaken up while walking it outside for its photo op., so it looks a little cloudy and messy. In your jar, you should see a layer of scum on top of the water. I can’t believe we haven’t posted about this before–it seems like we have, but I can’t find the post if this is so. Perhaps we wrote about it in one of our books…the old...

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