March 7, 2012

Living off the Grid: Not Easy But Possible. ~ Whitney Reed


We have been brainwashed (especially in the United States) to believe that life would be non-existent without electricity and other forms of energy.

In America, there is a television show called “The Colony” about a group of people struggling to learn how to survive without electricity and other modern luxuries in a post-apocalyptic world, and it speaks to the silent fear we have of a life without the power grid.

It is sad to see the reality of life. We have become prisoners to this thing called energy. We blow up mountains for coal, pollute our water for oil and gas and dirty our air for “progression.” Humans are well on their way to destroying the very environment they rely on for life. But we can stop this destruction by choosing to live greener lives that no longer need dirty forms of energy.

This lifestyle is known as “living off the grid,” and there are people who are making it their reality. These people know the great value of living free from the power grid; a simpler life that no longer supports the greedy energy corporations that imprison the world. Slowly converting to life off the grid is not easy, but it is an opportunity to get back to our roots as human beings and re-discover the world and life as it should be.

Jens Rost

Are you interested in learning more about how to transition to a life off the grid? Listed below are six common starting points:

•    Switch to solar power: Depending on where you live, solar power may not be feasible (apartment living or areas that receive little sunlight), but if you cannot fathom living completely free of light bulbs, appliances (especially a refrigerator) and electronics, you will need to switch to a more sustainable energy source. Solar power is a way to provide energy to your home or business without connection to the grid. Solar power panels are not cheap, however, so if you are considering them, make sure that you can first afford the necessary number of panels for your home size.

•    Ride a bike or walk: How close do you live to where you work, shop for groceries, go to school, etc? Living off the grid means no longer driving a car, so you will need to make sure that your work and other resources are close enough to reach by bike or walking. If they are not, you may need to move closer. If moving is not possible, you may need to reconsider where you work and shop. Depending on how disconnected you want to be from gasoline use, you could consider using public transportation to reach your place of employment.

•    Use a wood-heated stove: If you live in a wooded area, consider purchasing a wood heated stove to heat your home and cook your food. Gather your own wood or purchase it from another wood gatherer.

•    Hand wash and use a clothes line: Separate yourself from the washing machine and dryer by hand washing your clothes and using a clothes line to dry them. If you have solar power, you can still use these appliances while remaining off the grid.

•    Get rid of all electronics: Many of the tools we use today are electronic; alarm clocks, cell phones, computers, televisions. If you want to free yourself from the grid, you will have to free yourself from all these electronics. Again, solar power can make using these tools a possibility, but you want to use as little solar energy as possible (when you run out, you have to wait for the panel to re-charge). If you can’t separate yourself from your laptop, use a nearby cafe or library that offers free Wi-Fi access.

•    Eat local foods: If you have access to land, grow your own food. If not, search for a local farmer or neighbor gardener who can supply you with local, fresh food.
Yes, living off the grid requires a lot of sacrifice and change in lifestyle. There are several degrees of living off the grid (complete freedom, moderate freedom or minimal freedom). Some people will actually move far from home to pursue this lifestyle. However, if you aren’t ready for such an extreme change, start with one of the above tips.

Rejecting the use of electricity is a great way for the masses to send a message to the energy powerhouses; a way to prove that life can go on without the grid.


This guest post was written by Whitney Reed, owner of www.ChristianColleges.org. In her spare time, Reed enjoys reading, writing and spending time with her family.

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