I titled this with a ‘Part 1’ because I have a feeling more examples of how we do everyday things will come to me as time goes on.
I think I’ll start with things that fall into the ‘usually require electricity’ and ‘electronics’ categories. I say ‘usually’ because obviously, we have either found ways around it or do with out them.
*We keep our food in our Yeti Cooler. It’s a Yeti Tundra 50 Series, and if you haven’t heard of Yeti coolers, and you are an active outdoors person, I would highly suggest doing some research on these beasts. They are costly, but worth it and it was a huge upgrade from our way too big of a Coleman cooler which melted ice much quicker, and took up too much space. One feature I really love is the basket that sits in the top part of the cooler to hold more fragile things like bread, things that are packaged with paper (like our creamer container), or softer veggies. Currently, we buy one block of ice and one bag of ice about once a week and we also add another bag of ice about mid week. I have definitely noticed that we have stopped buying as much groceries that require refrigeration, and if I buy things like lettuce or fresh veggies, we try to use those as soon as possible so they don’t go bad or get soggy if the ice melts. Right now in our cooler we have bread, garlic cloves, soy creamer, ketchup, a salad dressing, jam, apple butter spread (thanks mom!), a small block of almond cheese, one beer, a large yogurt container, a Tupperware container with bell peppers and carrots, a container of tofu, and a Siracha sauce. We could still fit a few more things in here too, by the way.
*On the after model addition roof of our van, we have two fans, and four lights; 2 red (for night vision) and 2 white. We keep one fan on during the day for our doggie while we’re in classes and it keeps the van pretty cool. At night if we are hot, we’ll turn one on low and it actually makes me really cold most of the time-better than AC! We make sure to turn it off before going to bed though; the fans and lights do run off of our vans’ battery power after all .
*In addition to the overhead lights, we strung up battery powered Christmas lights which have both choices; the colored or the white lights. The switch is conveniently located right by the head end of the bed, so before getting into bed were turn off the overhead lights and switch on the Christmas lights for a dimmer, less noticeable light. We also rely on this light if we are in a parking lot or certain places and we don’t really want to draw attention to the fact that we have lights in our van, or risk anyone seeing in because of the light. (We are currently working on figuring out a way to light-proof all the windows so no one will even know that we’re in there and there are lights on!) Read on to see a photo of the Christmas lights!
*Because we don’t have any kitchen appliances, a TV, a telephone, or really much of anything that requires electricity, we only need to charge our phones, the iPad, and the macbook. Our van luckily charges using the cigarette lighter even while it’s not running, so we charge our phones overnight. Hoapili usually charges his iPad during the day either in the van or at the library. I also try to charge my laptop while I’m on campus-either in my work office or also at the library. If I happen to forget, or we are watching a movie with my computer and it dies, we do have the ability to charge my laptop with a power strip that plugs into the cigarette lighter which extends about 2 feet. When we use the plug that is behind the drivers seat, and plug in my laptop cord, it ends up reaching right where we lay down to watch movies! You may also be wondering how we watch movies with no electricity, because yes, no electricity equals no wifi! Answer=Hoapili has this crazy external hard drive with is FILLED with movies. We’ve been watching different movies on there for at least 6 months and still have plenty to go. I just plug it into my lap top and we get to choose what we want to watch that night! I do miss my Netflix sometimes, so I catch up on some shows in the library if I ever have free time. I have noticed that not having it (or anything online like Facebook) available at home has prevented binge watching or scrolling, and therefore we stay more focused and on top of school work.
*As I mentioned before, we have no kitchen appliances. So how do we cook, one may ask! We have a good ol’ camping stove that uses a small bottle of propane, which replacement time differs, between 2 and 4 weeks. Obviously, the longer meals take, the quicker it goes out. Sometimes its a pain to get out, set up, and then put away… But in all reality, there are harder things in life and it doesn’t bother us all that much.
Now that we have covered electricity and electronic issues, I’ll dive into some ‘Water issues’.
*Luckily, we live in a County that provides free, fresh, clean, and drinkable water for the residents. We fill up a 6 gallon tall rectangular shaped (good for fitting in the van) container with water at the Transfer Stations who have this feature. We also fill up a glass 1 gallon jug which is what we actually use and just refill from the bigger container every few days or so. It may come to a surprise to many but we only refill that 6 gallons about every week and a half to two weeks. I find this surprising myself because we use this for almost all our daily drinking water (I say almost because we have tons of water refill stations and water fountains around campus that we often fill our Hydroflasks with), our dogs drinking water, the water we heat up on the kettle to make our coffee in our french press, and often to rinse or wash our dishes. I feel like we save and conserve a lot more water, sometimes out of laziness of refilling our glass jug and of refilling the 6 gallon container!
*I mentioned dishes above…. If you’re wondering, we wash them like I said with the water from the jug (we use soap too) usually just outside our van, or we bring them inside to friends’ houses and do them in their sinks (thanks guys!) and these visits are maybe a couple times a week. I keep our dirty dishes in a BIG bag that zips up to keep the stink out until we get around to washing them!
That’s all for now folks!
Mahalo for reading,