Wean: To slowly stop a dependency on something.
“Weaning” is a process and it takes time. For some, it takes more time than others.
This is possibly the most important point that I want to make in this “How to Wean Yourself from Electricity” series. The reason is this….what we’re looking for is “change”, permanent “change” in our lives. Old habits need time to change.
Old habits also need to be replaced by new habits, which take learning and skills.
If any of you have ever tried to lose a few pounds, you know that the way you were eating wasn’t working for you anymore. Excessive calories added on unwanted pounds and inches.
You know that you’re not supposed to eat donuts for breakfast, that’s simple enough. The question becomes “What should I eat for breakfast?”
Educating yourself about what your body needs at your age and level of health will take a little effort and time. Once you have a chance to practice and put a few new habits into place, your chances of long-term success skyrocket!
That’s my goal for you with this series!
Another thought that some will find challenging is that you must realize that…
Non-electric lighting will not cater to our 24/7 American lifestyle!
Remember what I just said about “new habits“? New habits come in the form of the ways we choose to light our lives but also in the times we choose to stay lit. More on that later….
This “Light” section of the “How to Wean Yourself from Electricity” series will encompass several parts, so bear with me. There’s a lot to share.
Candles – Oil Lamps – Gas Lights – Kerosene Lamps – Solar
Electricity has only been around for a tiny fraction of the entire history of artificial lighting! You may not realize this, but 75% of the world’s population still lights by fire.
The candle, in all it’s forms, is the primary way most of the world stays lit. Lighting with flames, however, does pose certain risks that you need to be reminded of. Here’s the release of liability part…
ALWAYS be present in the same room with ANY flame!
Be EXTREMELY cautious with children in the home, keeping any flame far out of their reach.
Always make sure you have adequate ventilation, especially when lighting with fuel.
Never fall asleep when a candle or other flame is lit.
Always use a fire-proof plate below candles and don’t burn on wood.
Don’t do anything else stupid, and it’s not my fault if you do.
Most people have a few candles in the home in case of emergency. Why not find ways to use your candles in practical ways as part of your “off-grid” program?
We use candles as part of our repitoire of lighting options in our home. With children in the house, I keep them far out of reach, but at the same time, teaching our children about how to behave around them.
Many folks think of candles to only be used when the power goes out, what a shame! Candlelight is beautiful, as well as sustainable and warming.
As I write, I have my Mason Jar candle burning over on the kitchen island, so that the kitchen maintains some light while final chores are finished up. Lighting the entire kitchen isn’t necessary, just enough light to see is adequate. I’ll blow it out before we turn in. This is a small step towards creating a habit. By keeping the candle in plain view, I am more likely to find ways to use it! Isn’t that easy?
You might even consider making your own candles, although from what I’ve seen, it’s not really cost effective at this point. However, that said, the skill of learning how to make candles will lend to their sustainability and is a worthy pursuit.
Beeswax makes the very best quality candles, but can be cost prohibitive. Here’s a recipe that incorporates beeswax with paraffin to make a quality candle.
Candle Recipe from “The Book of Non-Electric Lighting”
1 1/2 lbs. paraffin
3 small chunks of beeswax (about helf-thumb size; this is a minimum. One can certainly add more. I add beeswax because a little give it a better consistency, a better look, and a better feel.)
3 tbsp. stearic acid
Liquid scent and color
Melt paraffin and beeswax in a double broiler, add stearic acid, and color/scent as desired. We use three to six two-stick tin molds for 10-inch candles. Pour in mold, let cool and remove. Makes about 36 candles.