My family and I are instituting a “collapse practice” game to our household: Electricity-free Thursdays. The goal is to accustom ourselves to living a somewhat lower-tech life; sort of an inoculation against long-term power outages, which I believe will likely be common in the event of a Long Collapse.
We’re starting slowly; the inaugural EFT was held the 22nd of September, and we merely went without electrical lighting. As the weeks go by, we’ll be adding more and more things to the mix, until eventually we’re doing Thursdays without any electricity in the home at all.
I have no real reservations about this; a pleasant side-effect of our hobbies in the historical reenactment field is that we’re already well-equipped to do without lights. We’ve got oil lamps, both commercial and homemade (the subject of a future post–cheap, effective, safe lighting!), and we have lots of candles–probably enough to light things comfortably for a month or two of dark evenings. In at least the first few EFTs, I’m sure the kids will enjoy the “game” of trying to do without. We’ll see how they adapt, as it goes on.
The first EFT went well; as can be expected with such things, there were some lessons to be learned. The best light (such as needed for reading) is produced by a concentration of low-output lights, which in my household limits the number of places for such things to be done. We ended up with a whole passel of lamps going in a central location, and small single lamps going in “important” areas, such as the bathroom. Beyond that, if one of us needed to go somewhere unlit, we merely grabbed one of the lamps from the central group and took it with us.
One thing to note is the amount of heat emitted by the lights. We had the A/C turned off–not for the purposes of the EFT (this time), but because the temperature was moderate–and the house temp rose probably eight to ten degrees F over where it would have been on a comparable night.
In all, the experiment was a success, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the Electricity-Free Thursdays.