Living off grid, I get questions from time to time, mainly about how we live, some even think we must live in a cave and eat dirt and wear skins… I said I live off grid, but we don’t live that primitively! :) I do enjoy some of the modern conveniences of life, including having a place to keep perishable foods, aka a refrigerator.
When we first moved off grid, in Dec ’07, we brought with us a small, dorm sized fridge, but honestly we didn’t use it much, only plugging it up on the occasions when I brought home a gallon of milk or a pound of ground beef, once the perishable food was gone, we unplugged the fridge. What I quickly found out was the standard type of fridge used up a LOT of power and they tend to be very inefficient. (more…)
The current system of generating electricity centrally and distributing it through the grid wastes as much as sixty per cent of energy -and it ain’t about to get any better, a leading UK academic has told Off-Grid.
He estimated that energy losses in the power grid during generation of electricity are between 45 per cent and 55 per cent, depending on the technology used. The transmission system run by National Grid which does the bulk shipping of electricity in the UK, loses a further two or three per cent. Local distribution networks run by big power companies have losses of between five and seven per cent.
The UK is in the grips of a power cartel, says an insider from the governing UK Labour Party.
That cartel actively hinders the fight against global warming by lobbying for its own narrow commercial interests at the cost of local democracy and the future health of the planet. It’s an argument that off-gridders and anti-capitalist campaigners will be familiar with. It’s not really what you expect to hear from an advisor to Her Majesty’s Government. Yet it is precisely the belief of Alan Simpson, who occupies a place close to the heart of political power in Britain as energy advisor to the Secretary of Energy and Climate Change, Ed Miliband and Member of Parliament for Nottingham South. (more…)
Nice place but pricey A multimillion-dollar house on the back of Aspen Mountain went on the market this summer. Is there such a thing as an Eco McMansion?
The 3,600 square feet house on the New York Lode patented mining claim is completely off the grid, with a geothermal system providing hot water for heating and domestic use, and a five-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system providing the electricity. (more…)
Family-friendly festival This August sees the first Off-Grid Sunrise Festival somewhere in Somerset (location to be revealed). The three night event will be entirely powered by renewable energy. This new camp is a deep exploration of community living, creativity and consciousness, with hands-on activities, talks, workshops, performance, music, art and celebration.
Its a spin-off from the annual Sunrise Celebration which is held in Somerset May 28th-30th this year. Off-Grid Editor Nick Rosen will be speaking at 3pm on May 29th, and again in the evening, in the Big Yurt.
The Off-Grid event in August will be participatory and family focused, exploring the emergent culture of environmental awareness and the ways in which everyone can create a sustainable future together. ”We welcome this new addition to the annual Off-Grid Calendar” said Nick Rosen. Times are changing and knowledge is growing of the human impact on the natural world and upon each other. Off-grid will explore humanities potential to improve the lives of everyone on this planet.
“Creating a festival is like building and servicing a small town,” said Dan Hurring from Sunrise. “In the process we can explore solutions that can be applied in our everyday lives and throughout the world. For this event we will be moving away from using bio diesel generators, and working on micro generation of power from solar, wind, cycle and possibly hydro power.”
The Off-Grid festival is about creating a space for empowerment, where festival goers will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience on the steps that need to be taken to increase energy efficiency. There will be lots of practical information, from how to make a boiler use less fuel to installing a wind generator. Whether the dream is an inner city vegetable patch or living on the land, Off Grid will be a showcase of what is possible and available to everyone, no matter what their lifestyles.
As a family focused event Off Grid will have loads of activities for children, with a kids’ village and fun workshops especially tailored for them on how they can help their families help the environment.
So bring the family to eat from nature, sit in ceremony, design the future, walk on hot coals and move beyond your perceived limits.
Off-Grid will be powered by clean, renewable energy, with site wide organic food and drink, compostable packaging, plates and cutlery, and numerous other initiatives making this the Greenest event of the year. Sunrise Off Grid is run by a Community Interest Company, CIC’s invest their profits back into the community, building a world beyond monetary profit.
OK, you are sitting in your home, you have replaced all of your incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient bulbs, you have added more insulation to your home, you have double pane windows, you have caulked up every crack and crevice, you lower the thermostat in the winter and raise it in the summer, you have purchased energy efficient appliances, so now, is there anything else you can do to use less energy and save money? Yes there is!
Mayor Johnson – eco geekBuilding Services Journal reports lobby group London First saying decentralised energy generation could reduce the UK capital’s carbon emissions by 3.5 million tonnes pa.
In its latest report, researched by respected structural engineers Buro Happold, London First called for a collaboration between central government, the Mayor of London and his agencies, energy companies, developers and boroughs towards decentralising a quarter of London’s energy supplies.
Locally placed combined heat and power plants linked to housing estates, as well as surrounding local amenities and hospitals would, the report claims, make for higher levels of energy efficiency as opposed to centralised power. (more…)
Super Good Cents log home, Idaho .Pioneers living in log cabins were part of American frontier times. Now its part of the new frontier — living a healthy and self-sustaining lifestyle.
The choices available to those wishing to build a log home range from factory pre-cut to handmade on-site. Pre-cut kits are nothing new and have been available since 1923. Most manufactures will allow homeowners to customize their design to make it almost as one-of-a-kind as those handmade on-site.
A plus of log homes is that since most log homes are produced from local renewable wood sources they use much less energy (more…)
Have you decided to go off the grid and looking to make the move?
We can help you find the ideal off-grid community and want to film you as you make the transition.
If you’re interested, submit a short video (3 minutes) .here: http://www.off-grid.net/videos/ - in the video give answers to the questions below:
Can you tell us about yourself - work, home etc?
Where you live now – city and country – and where you want to live? Why you want to make this move now?
What will be hardest to leave behind?
What you most look forward to leaving behind?
Who will be making the move – just you/ friends/ family etc?
What could you offer your off the grid community i.e. special skills/ resources?
If you are already off the grid, would you like to host a family of newbies as we film them beginning their off-grid life? Can you write up your own experiences and contact us? Or can you handle a video camera?Please send us your videos and photos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com. Anonymity guaranteed
Can you handle a video camera? Or a cellphone camera that can upload to our youtube channel?
We are looking for people who currently live off-grid anywhere in the world, and for people who want to live off-grid and are about to do so. This might be in a community or an individual situation
Please send us your videos and photos - you can upload videos on off-grid.net/videos - or feel free to write about yourself for the web site. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
An interactive map showing who wants to go off-grid , and where they are, and who has land on offer.
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