For users seeking a toilet for an off-grid site rather than one which will clean itself and lower its own seat, a composting toilet could be just the ticket.
Modern composting toilets – also called waterless toilets – originated in Sweden in 1939. Engineer Rikard Lindstrom was looking for a toilet that wouldn’t pollute the Baltic Sea near his home in Sweden. He launched Clivus Multrum in 1962, and the company and others like it would eventually spread to the United States in the early 1970s. Today, composting toilets are used in a variety of home situations. (more…)
The off-grid life is about to go mainstream — in a new network TV series called “Revolution” on NBC. Produced by the creator of Lost and other hit series, Revolution is set 15 years in the future, after electricity ceases to exist on earth because of a solar flare.
The series stars Tracy Spiridakos as Charlie, a teenager who tries to rescue her brother after he’s taken by a local militia in this post-apocalyptic future where all technology has been disabled.
The show launches Monday Nov 17th, so be grateful your TV still works – if it does. “Revolution” mixes a terrific cast, breathtaking visuals, sharp action sequences and brave twists into a low-tech “Mad Max” where cars don’t work anymore.
Survivors refer to that fateful day as the Blackout, but no one knows what caused it until well into series 1.
Director Eric Kripke says: “Its saying what would happen if we all lived without electricity in this very incredibly technologically overextended little world of ours and how would we survive. (more…)
He calls it his “Grandest Design yet,” but its a bit of a vanity project. This Sunday (Sept 23rd) in the UK, Channel 4 viewers will be able to view every aspect of Kevin McCloud’s self-built, off-grid cabin in the Mendips.
But McCloud, host of the long running TV show “Grand Designs” is strangely silent on one detail – how did he get planning permission for his creation? Planning is the biggest obstacle preventing thousands of others, perhaps tens of of thousands, who are desperate to do what McCloud has done, but cannot get the permission (assuming they are able to get their hands on the land). (more…)
Time was, the phrase ‘water powered’ meant driven by the force of a river or torrent. Lately, it acquired a new resonance with the launch of a pocket-sized charger that needs just a few drops of the stuff to make it work.
The Powertrekk from Swedish company myFC was launched at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona, with the slogan ‘Instant Power Anywhere’.
On the down side, the Powertrekk only works with devices that use a USB, but it has the potential to make being off-grid easier. The company says it needs just a tablespoon of water to work. (more…)
In the centre of town, the biggest and most well-attended show is a historical one: Gypsies by Josef Koudelka. The book, first published in France in 1975, is one of the defining photobooks of the 20th century. Koudelka’s brand of poetic sadness is more powerful today given that the world he photographed has all but vanished in the intervening years to be replaced by a new Gypsy generation which prefers concrete and mains power to caravans and wood fires.
The most haunting image in the collection shows a beautiful, bewildered young man in handcuffs. He stands in the foreground as if mesmerised by Koudelka’s camera while, behind him, a string of onlookers and a pair of uncertain policemen await their parts in this mysterious drama. (more…)
The conquest of space may one day become man’s salvation. Mars is our species most likely second home. This picture, taken over a period of several months, is the most detailed ever seen of the surface of the red planet. The view is presented in false color to make some differences between materials easier to see. Download the high-res version here.
From fresh rover tracks to an impact crater blasted billions of years ago, the scene, recorded from the Opportunity’s mast-mounted color camera includes the rover’s own solar arrays and deck in the foreground, gives a sense of sitting on the rover and taking in the view. (more…)
Local generation the answer, if you ask the right question
WASHINGTON (AP) – In the aftermath of violent storms that knocked out power to millions from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic , sweltering residents and elected officials are demanding to know why it’s taking so long to restring power lines and why they’re not more resilient in the first place.
The answer, it turns out, is complicated: Above-ground lines are vulnerable to lashing winds and falling trees, but relocating them underground involves huge costs – as much as $15 million per mile of buried line – and that gets passed onto consumers. Off-Grid: Strange how the debate is framed as two unrealistic alternativ es – leave things as they are or bury power lines – something which will never happen. At this point nobody in the mainstream media ever asks whether it would be more intelligent to generate power in local areas so that a fallen pole down the line would have little if any effect. (more…)
*Using the new Localism Act to create a proof of concept
Off-grid settlements – historically a fringe interest in the UK, although they have a long history in other countries, including the US – offer an important new alternative — important because they help solve three problems:
– Cheap housing – how to enable it
– Energy security – how to improve it
– Rural regeneration – how to kickstart it (more…)
We are preparing a TV series for possible broadcast next year. Can you write up your experiences ? Or handle a video camera?
We are looking for people who currently live off-grid anywhere in the world, and for people who want to live off-grid but do not yet do so. This might be in a community or an individual situation. Please send us your videos and photos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you rely on your own healing powers when you are ill? Or is there an unqualified nurse in your local community?
We want to hear from people who do their own doctoring - using their own herbs and remedies, setting their own broken bones, dealing with their own bodies.
Why do you do it? How do you do it? Contact email@example.com
Off-Grid.net is investigating the Utility companies --power, water and waste.
Do the water companies conceal their knowledge of the pollution of the water supply? Do the power companies conceal the wasted energy inside the system, and their excessive profits?
We need help to find the smoking guns: memos, SEC filings,confidential legal advice internal emails..... send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymity guaranteed
An interactive map showing who wants to go off-grid , and where they are, and who has land on offer.
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