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Why Mylar Bags Are Your Food Storage’s Secret Weapon

Why Mylar Bags Are Your Food Storage’s Secret Weapon
image – BisonRMA

There are six enemies of food storage; oxygen, temperature, moisture, light, time, and pests. Each of them or any combination could cause food spoilage. There is a solution for long-term food storage – mylar bags – which can help keep your food safe from the five of the six nemeses of storing food items. These bags are ideal for off-grid survival, backpacking, or camping in the woods.

Mylar was a type of plastic product developed by DuPont Chemical Co. in the 1950s. Made from a polyester film, mylar bags are extremely light, flexible, and thin. The strength and durability of mylar bags are perfect for high atmospheric helium balloons, solar filters, emergency space blankets, and insulators. Mylar bags allow you to keep things such as rice and pasta for long-term storage if you are planning to build a stockpile for emergency preparedness. These bags could help you keep your dry goods fresh and safe from rodents and spoilage for years.

Mylar locks moisture both in and out – and you need an oxygen absorber or a desiccant packet when using your mylar bags for storing dry goods such as flour, rice, coffee, tea, spices, sugar, or bread. It is imperative to research which foods need an oxygen absorber or a desiccant packet. Desiccant packets are good for sugar and salt since they are natural preservatives. Pasta and flour need oxygen absorbers to extend their shelf life.

There are several benefits offered by mylar bags. Some of them are outlined below:

• Mylar bags are airtight, moisture proof, and resistant to puncture (except by the pesky rodents – so you will need to place them inside rodent-proof containers if this is a potential problem, which it generally is).

• They are specifically designed for food and contain no chemicals or toxins which could be released into your food.

• The bags do not allow any light to get into the foods stored in them.

• Sealing mylar bags is easy using a heating element such as iron.

• Mylar bags ensure that you have a long shelf life of survival food.

• They are simple to use – just cut them to size and seal up with an iron.

There are several sizes of mylar bags. Spices, baking powders, and dehydrated meats and fruits are the smaller food items that can be stored in one-gallon mylar bags. The five-gallon size is perfect for larger bulk grains such as rice, beans, wheat, etc.

Thickness is essential to the quality of mylar bags. The typical range of options is between 3.5 and 7 mils. The thicker the mylar bag, the better it is to keep out moisture, oxygen, and light. Moisture can lead to microbial growth while oxygen is an important factor in the quality deterioration of foods.

There are mylar bags that have a zipper on the top and a gusset on the bottom. The most common used is the plain open top bag that is sealed with heat. The zip top bags come handy when using a food item for a short-term seal. Do not use the zip top as an option for long-term storage.

Notes on desiccants and oxygen absorbers:

• Absorbers that are used up are brittle inside and feel more like they are filled with coarse sand.

• Fresh absorbers feel like they are filled with soft powder.

• Oxygen absorbers only remove oxygen from the air; not all air.

• Do not expect absorbers to “vacuum pack” your mylar bags.

• Do not use a desiccant along with oxygen absorbers. The former can keep the latter from working properly.

OK, here is a video:

Startup 3D Prints Smart Homes That Run Off-Grid On Solar Power

Startup 3D Prints Smart Homes That Run Off-Grid On Solar Power
image – Space4living

PassivDom is a Ukrainian startup that is taking house construction to a new level. The company is the maker of the world’s first autonomously manufactured house. It is also a mobile and transportable house that runs off-grid on solar power.

The innovators set out to manufacture portable, off-grid homes that come fully equipped and furnished with smart home features. As 3D printing continues to make headway in housing, PassivDom posits itself as a creator of small, modular homes that can be easily transported and installed anywhere.

This smart home runs completely on solar energy and features a water storage system that will allow its denizens to live completely off-grid, with zero utility bills. Its designers chose advanced materials such as carbon and fiberglass for the frame, in order to deliver a high thermal performance. The frame is six times stronger than steel and is as sturdy as traditional brick walls!

Some of the innovative features of the PassivDom house include Zero Carbon emission, 3D-printed prefabricated frame, autonomous off-grid power, self-learning smart home system, and mobile modular house. Household appliances only use electricity generated by photovoltaic cells. The solar panels are installed to satisfy the house’s needs, which include heating and cooling, air purification, water and carbon dioxide control.

The off-grid house’s engineering systems are listed below:

• air recuperation system
• heat pump for heating and cooling with a remote-controlled thermostat
• air quality medic HEPA system
• photovoltaic off-grid system powered by batteries
• gray water filtration system with heat recovery
• heat energy storage
• boiler
• water tank

Occupants of the off-grid house can use devices that are connected to the Internet of Things network. They will be able to manage these devices remotely via mobile an iPhone and Android device. An online service system allows for distance monitoring and fault prevention.

As of this writing, PassivDom only builds 36-square-meter and 72-square-meter units. If you want a bare-bones small (36m) version of the house which has no furniture, kitchen, and bathroom, you need to shell out $33,000, according to the company’s website. It will cost you $44,000 and $67,000 if you go for the standard and full-featured versions, respectively. The latter requires connection to power, water, and sewage line. The larger, double options (72m) sell for $108,000 for the off-grid and $85,300 for the standard and bare-bones versions.

The company’s team of engineers and designers use 3D-printing to create the house frame, walls, roof, and ceiling, and floor. When compared to traditional construction techniques, 3D printing is cheaper and more efficient, says CEO Maxim Gerbut. Assembly of the house – astonishingly – only takes a day so that the owners can move in the evening! The company also boasts that every part of the house is recyclable. And since the house does not need fixed foundations, building permits could potentially be bypassed in some locations.

The PassivDom house is an ideal alternative to would-be homeowners who prefer to live in a private residence or secluded cottage. Its modularity allows easy installation on a piece of land without the usual hassles of house construction.

Here’s a video:

Man Builds Stunning Off Grid Shipping Container Home On Mountain Top

Man Builds Stunning Off Grid Shipping Container Home On Mountain Top
image – Exploring Alternatives

There is a hot new trend in the construction industry: shipping container homes – which use steel as a structural element. Shipping container architecture has grown in popularity over the past several years because it is more eco-friendly than traditional homebuilding architecture. Other advantages offered include inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense.

The popularity of container homes did not go unnoticed in the off-grid community. A second-hand shipping container has become an ideal building block for off-grid living space. One comfy looking shipping container cabin built on top of a mountain in British Columbia, Canada went viral last month after its owner published a YouTube video about his peculiar abode.

Built with three 20-foot shipping containers, the stunning off-grid shipping container home was designed by Adam Hellicar of Honeybox, Inc., a Canadian company that specializes in container box architecture. Adam used twists and locks to bolt the middle container to a cement block. Lashing rods enabled the two other containers to be cantilevered.

Adam’s project has a single goal, which is to showcase the potential of shipping containers as material for creating unique living spaces. According to Adam, the structure is 100-percent off-grid. His container home is equipped with 800-watt solar panels which generate electricity for lights, outlets, and a water pump. He uses a wood stove for heat while propane provides the energy for the home’s hot water heater, refrigerator and range/oven. A composting toilet is also available. A gutter and downspout system was installed by Hellicar to divert water off the roof. Any leaks from the top gutter are saved by a second gutter. The rainwater catchment system fills two large water tanks for showering and washing dishes. Adam elects to purchase his drinking water because he doesn’t have a filter yet and the well water is ferrous.

Hellicar’s home is mobile so taking it apart and reassembling it to another location is not an issue. It takes three to four hours to disconnect the sections.

Shipping containers are perfect for off-grid living. Outlined below are the benefits of shipping container homes:

• Shipping containers are cost-effective, and (depending on fittings) you may only need a few thousand dollars to build one.

• Shipping containers have a smaller footprint on the ground and it is possible to stack up to nine containers when fully loaded.

• Shipping containers are widely available.

• Shipping containers’ modular design allows easy construction using multiple “building blocks”.

• Shipping containers are sustainable because you are recycling something that could end up as a waste material if not reused, and can be recycled again when finished with!

OK, here’s a video: