Unplug for the day
Jeannie Nguyen
April 14, 2014 in Design Dilemma
Would you ever be able to go throughout your entire day without using any electricity in your home? What would you miss the most? What would be the most difficult for you?

I challenge you to try this at home and report back to let me know how it went for you. Or, if you've already done this, share your stories below! Photos are welcomed.

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Nance Lee
I think what I would miss the most is the digital clock on the microwave! Sad but true :)
0 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 10:51AM
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We did that, for a three day fast, a couple years ago. It is not so bad if you have time to prepare for if. You get your water for flushing and washing ahead of time. You get your food planned. You get he candles and oil lamps ready.
The largest inconvenience is not having a refrigerator. Our lives have evolved past having a readily available local products. If our supermarkets were to loose power, we would really be out of luck. From the field to our tables, our food usually goes trough some sort of refrigeration process. It is scary to think that we have changed our infrastructure so much electricity can jeopardize our survival.
3 Likes   Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen    April 14, 2014 at 11:12AM
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Been there many times, we live in rural England, power cuts, long ones are a fact of life in our area.
This is why we have a gas hob with a butane lighter for when the electric ignition isn't available and an open fire in the lounge area with a supply of logs stacked in the driveway.
Water supply isnt affected during power cuts. The biggest pain is the fridge and freezer, we try not to open them more than absolutely necessary. So far we have been lucky, the freezer is fine for at least 30 hours!
Lighting is provided by battery powered camping lanterns with a couple of wind up ones in reserve. And of course a few candles, we have a large mirror over the mantle and the reflected candles increase the light considerably.
Since the advent of backlit ereaders reading is a lot easier too.We have discussed buying a generator as some of our neighbours have but so far havnt bothered.
It may be because we are keen campers but apart from being colder than I like in the winter it's not to big a deal.
3 Likes   Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen    April 14, 2014 at 11:35AM
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When I was in the Peace Corps, I lived without electricity for a few years. You really got to appreciate the changes of the moon. Then, I missed a good fridge (I had a propane fridge part of the time, but it was a half-day trip to the nearest city to get a replacement canister and the fridge barely made ice).

When I'm at the dacha, the electricity often goes out. In Russia, it's the electric teapot we miss, when the electricity is out (or more precisely is too low to do much). It's a long time from hauling in the logs for the stove to boiling water in the tea kettle.
2 Likes   Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen    April 14, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Gerry Kearney
We lost electricity due to Hurricane Sandy for six days. Luckily our gas stove worked so we ate all of the food from the freezer. Before the storm, I froze lot of containers of water and they kept the perishables cold. My husband had the brilliant idea to bring in the solar lights from around the property each night and put them in big vases. Those provided enough light to read by and supplemented the light from the candles and fireplace. What I missed the most was the phone and all the electronic gadgets. Bought a generator for next time, although I'm hoping this will be our "insurance" against losing power again for that long.
3 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 12:25PM
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Went through this about 2 months ago with one of the worst ice storms to ever hit our area. My husband and I had 3 days and nights without power. We used the FP to keep warm and cook. We shared a lot of scrambled egg sandwiches with our 85 year old neighbor. I really missed the electric lights. Having to carry a flashlight everywhere, even to the bathroom was a little too much. I like comfort, but when hard times hit, I " buck up"
and bulldoze my way through. I attribute it to my parents and my profession, nursing, where you learn to do what's necessary and improvise when needed.
0 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 6:17PM
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I love it! We lost power for five days a few years ago. I missed a hot shower most but I'd boil up a big pot of water and bring it in the tub with me. So peaceful!
0 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 6:28PM
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My computer. Because I would not be able to go on Houzz :)
0 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 9:06PM
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That's easy I go camping for 3 and a half weeks in August and I don't use electricity unless handheld flashlights count
1 Like   April 14, 2014 at 9:41PM
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I've done it a number of times in various locations, owing to overloads, storms, etc., and was visiting the US during the grid failure of 2003. Cooking is no problem with a gas stove, and candles and flashlights work fine for light. But I'm an ice-a-holic and suffer from severe withdrawal if I run out. And yes, I miss my internet!
0 Likes   April 14, 2014 at 10:42PM
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I have done it and do not like it. We bought a generator because we live where in the Winter there are ice storms.
0 Likes   April 16, 2014 at 2:16AM
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We had some localized power outages a few years ago. Within four hours it made me crazy!!!!!! enough to call the best/nearest hotel at midnight. "Do you have power and a room?" Yes! Threw myself and the LL Bean tote in the car along with lap top and a few personals, traveling so lightly I am sure they thought I was a lady of the evening. Checked in, checked e-mail, climbed into snowy sheets, clicked the movie on, and promptly fell asleep. Checked out at seven am the following morning with a three hundred dollar tab. This is why.......I do not camp.
3 Likes   April 16, 2014 at 3:37AM
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Thru power outages, certainly. Thank goodness our neighbor shares his generator. We just plug in! Don't mind no TV/computer, not doing laundry, using candles, et al...but the refrigerator/freezer is paramount.
0 Likes   April 16, 2014 at 7:44AM
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Many times during hurricanes in Florida, or blizzards in New Jersey, storm outages in North Carolina, typhoons in Japan power is off for a week to 10 days. If you prep properly, it's not a huge problem. Having babies in the house in the home during a blizzard is not fun or easy, but we survived & this was in the pre pamper days. Having a gas stove or BBQ ;is key to snow melting snow & cooking. I have even warmed food over gas fireplace logs, tho NOT recommended. If you think smart & logical along with being $$frugal, you can do it. In june I start saving plastic milk jugs for water if a hurricane hits. If you don't need the water to drink, use it to force flush, put it in the washing machine when power returns, or just plain use it to bathe in during the storm. This costs nothing and is better than buying little bottles of water.
I also pre cook ;much of the meat in t;he freezer, pack in serving sizes to be eaten in a sandwich., depending on time the power is off.
0 Likes   April 16, 2014 at 8:46AM
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The longest I can recall being without power was after the June 2012 Durecho. My home was without power for a week. Other outages have only lasted up to 3 days at the longest. I got lucky when Hurricane Katrina hit - my ex and I managed to buy the 2nd to last generator in Tupelo the day before the hurricane arrived. I think the worst power I had among my many moves was when I lived in rural Mississippi. They don't get much snow down there - you get ice storms. Mix the ice with the many farms growing pine for pulp and you get trees bent over the lines like the photo I took with my ex-sister-in-law below. Trees over lines cause outages and when you're out in the boonies they have to check miles of line to find where the problem is. Of course everyone makes fun of me for being a Civil War reenactor until the power goes out and they realize I'm doing just fine without it. :)
1 Like   April 16, 2014 at 9:31AM
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I would rather be without electricity in cold than heat. I miss my A/C more than anything! Was without electricity during a 5 day ice storm. Used a space heater with a flat top & small butane tank to cook and heat food (just happened to have a lot cooked) and the fireplace for heat. Was not too bad, read and slept. BUT, Hurricane Rita was something else! Had to leave home for this. Went to our son's home about 45 miles north. No electricity there either, cold showers are tough, but did have a gas stove & grill. Stayed there a few days, came home and cleaned up yard some. We did have hot water at our home, but electric cooktop. Left again and went to a city farther north and stayed in a friend's garage apartment for a week, Came home, still no electricity, so went back to the farm where our son lives. Stayed there for about a week again without electricity. Came home a couple of days before the electricity was on in our home. But we were out of television 29 days. Finally got to missing that after that long. But not that quickly. But I need my A/C, south LA gets very hot during September!
0 Likes   April 16, 2014 at 7:23PM
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Impossible for me.
0 Likes   April 17, 2014 at 7:10PM
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Jan Moyer - I loved your post! You and I think alike. I would have been a terrible pioneer woman.
0 Likes   April 17, 2014 at 10:02PM
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I do fine without electricity, except for the loss of refrigeration.

Wood stove for heat.
Propane for stove top and oven.
Propane water heater.
Community water system is gravity fed so I have water.
Plenty of candles and flashlights.

I would miss my toaster oven. I haven't used my main oven since I got it. Baked a nice picnic ham in it yesterday.

Gerry - the idea of freezing water ahead of time is so clever, as is the use of the solar lights.
1 Like   Thanked by Jeannie Nguyen    April 21, 2014 at 8:17AM
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