Posts from — June 2005

BBC radio seeks Off-Grid Brits
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 30, 2005 - 0 Comments in COMMUNITY, OFF-GRID 101

Radio 4 report
You can do it anywhere

We want to interview some of you for a Radio 4 report in July. We are looking for Brits living off-grid anywhere in the world, who are willing to let Radio 4 into your home or camper van, for a chat about why you do it, how you do it, and what you get out of it.

If you live off-grid, especially in the UK, please get in touch. Please send details about your off-grid life and situation, plus contact numbers to Nick Rosen,, or ring 07971 543703. Thanks!

Eton FR200 Wind Up Rechargeable RadioPerfect for off-grid listening, the Eton FR200 Wind Up Rechargeable Radio – buy it from Amazon – 5% of your purchase benefits this site (more…)

Home Exchange Holidays
by SALLY BUCHAN on JUNE 28, 2005 - 0 Comments in MOBILE, OFF-GRID 101
life swap
Life swap

House exchange offer a cost-effective vacation choice, and you can use this site to advertise your off-grid home or even your normal old on-grid home and seek a swap. But remember – be very careful whenletting strangers into your home and your life. Better to say no than regret it later.

Looking on the bright side, while you’re making the most of someone’s beachfront apartment buildings in Sydney, Australia, they could be enjoying your home in La Jolla, thanks to the increasing popularity of this type of break. Just go to our Classifieds section and place a free ad. The link is at the top of this page.

The idea is simple: you swap your home with someone who lives in a place you want to go to. It could be the other side of the world, or just around the corner. You each complete an exchange agreement, then you swap; you feed each other’s pets, if you have pets, look after the house as if it were your own, water each others plants; and you get a vacation on the cheap.

We have found from experience that it is hard to swap if you are looking for a specific locationj at a very specific time. your best bet is to have a general time period you are interestedin , and be open to the places you go – rmemebr you are looking for very like-minded people who you get on with via email at first and then proba bly on the phone – that’s not easy.

Next page – Guidelines for a Successful Home Exchange Holiday (more…)

Morgan Spurlock’s off-grid TV show
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 15, 2005 - 1 Comment in COMMUNITY, OFF-GRID 101

International Space Station
by SALLY BUCHAN on JUNE 14, 2005 - 1 Comment in LAND, OFF-GRID 101
International Space Station
So big out there, yet so small

The ultimate off-grid home environments are ones that allow humans space living or underwater – places that may be centuries away but which still offer insight into the way we might live in the future, albeit disappointing, at least for now.

At 356ft in length, the International Space Station (ISS) is four times larger than its predecessor, Russia’s Mir space station. But the living and working quarters are still cramped and challenging for its inhabitants. Two beds like murphy beds serve three people. There are no lavatory facilities. And the sun rises every 90 minutes.

“In zero gravity body fluids accumulate in your head area, which can give you both a headache and a chipmunk-face appearance,” says astronaut Pam Melroy, a pilot on two missions to the ISS. “But, generally, your body adjusts after a few days and the sensation eases.” Weightlessness losing weight is also a problems for human muscles, bones, kidneys and other vital organs. (more…)

The Green Dream
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 13, 2005 - 0 Comments in EVENTS, LAND
Alex Shirley-Smith and artist’s impression

The Arboratory, is a proposed architectural, engineering community. It is the brainchild of Alex Shirley-Smith from London, who will update us regularly as he designs and prototypes new methods of Arboreal Construction or treehouse technology. The completed space will accommodate up to twenty full time staff and students with fields of expertise ranging from agricultural geneticists to carpenters and construction engineers.

The site lies at the heart of Thetford Forest in East Anglia, a cultivated landscape of recreation and farming. Trees are grown here under a 50 year crop rotation cycle. (more…)

Electric bikes, cars, buggies
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 11, 2005 - 1 Comment in MOBILE
Electric biker
…and Scooters too….

One day, all garages will sell electricity like they do petrol.
Electric vehicles, especially electric single-person vehicles, are the wave of the future whether you are on-grid or off. Money-saving and clean burning, they can be charged from solar or wind-powered batteries, from a friend’s house when you are visiting, or even a pub or cafe, in return for a small payment.

On the next page is another electric buggy for sale (in the US only). For now, here are 136, carefully-researched links to sites specialising in electric cars, buggies and bikes for you to buy, rent or to discuss your electric powered vehicular options:

Electro Automotive
SolarSailor Benelux
EVT Mobil
e-Traction Europe
Open Source Velomobiles
Green Speed
Electric Bikes Northwest
Dahon Folding Electric Bikes
BionX Intelligent Bike
Solar Mobility (more…)

Ollie, row the boat ashore
by NICK ROSEN on JUNE 11, 2005 - 0 Comments in MOBILE

Ollie Hicks, Allelujah

With three sets of oars, two months’ worth of provisions and one seriously tricked-out rowboat, a 23-year-old British adventurer is behind schedule in his solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.

Ollie Hicks pushed off from a marina dock about 20 miles south of Manhattan May 27th in a 24-foot open rowboat, hoping to become the youngest rower ever to make the 3,000-mile trip alone. His destination: Falmouth, England, an estimated 400,000 strokes away.

Hicks’ red boat is no fishermen’s dinghy. Equipped with a satellite telephone and a computer, it is a self-righting vessel with watertight cabins at the bow and the stern.

And he has packed its cargo holds with creature comforts, including a desalinator that makes seawater drinkable, an iPod music player, a small gas stove, a cache of dehydrated food and a six-pack of Yuengling beer. And of course, he figures he’ll have a chance to fish, so he brought along a pole. (more…)

Sites to help eat cheap
by VEG-HEAD on JUNE 10, 2005 - 0 Comments in FOOD, OFF-GRID 101

Eat cheaper – grow your own
Here are some links to groups that can help you grow food off-grid:


Green Thumb Community Gardens

Am. Community Garden Assc.

Neem Foundation

Trees for Life

Living Nutrition (more…)

Cheap laundry – eco-balls
by CASANDRA on JUNE 9, 2005 - 3 Comments in OFF-GRID 101, WATER

Eco-balls reduce laundry cost by 75% Eco-balls are a way of doing the washing without using detergent or soap. If you live off-grid that means you can reuse water more easily, and if you live on the grid, it means you are adding less to the world’s pollution especially water pollution, while saving a bit of money. And yes, they do really work. We were sent a free sample by Insight EcoStore in Brighton, and so far have used them in 30 washes with no ill effects on the clothes or the machine. The clothes come out softer than with fabric softeners and there’s none of that yucky sludge to clear out of our washing machine. They are less sparklingly white, but we are not worried about that. No more hassle and expense of carting bulky powders and liquids home from the market! (more…)

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