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Home Forums General Discussion Define OFF THE GRID Reply To: Define OFF THE GRID


This is from    from another thread;

“Documentarian and journalist Nick Rosen discussed living off-the-grid, typically in alternative communities. This means living independently of the utility companies, and providing your own power, “but it does not mean living in the Stone Age,” he explained. “It’s about being more self reliant, being less dependent on the system, and realizing we have to look after ourselves,” he added.”

I certainly agree with him.

Our off-grid odyssey started with reading “The Solar Living Sourcebook” and “Earthship” from the Public Library, in 1993.  More reading followed.   In 1997 I bought the land on a loan with construction loan for small frame cabin quickly self built and totally on solar power with deep well and septic system, and small mortgage after refinance.   Followed by rammed earth tire/frame addition and then full 2 module Earthship(TM) as an outbuilding 6 ft. at the closest and uphill 3′.  The addition has its own solar electric system, backup wood stove,  and so does the Earthship which also has a compost toilet.  The gardens in there have both red and earth worms, and an exterior large composter is also used with seasonal exterior gardens.   All done on weekends, holidays and after work from 1997 to the early spring of 2001.  Move in to the solar cabin was 1998, with official Certificate of Occupancy.

The small mortgage was paid off with multiple payments and large payments, as finances permitted, with it being low, and no electric bills.   We do have a 500 gallon LP tank  which gets filled from 30% to 80% less than twice a year(actual about 380-400 gal/yr).  Propane is for Cozy heater,  hot water, oven/stove and refrigerator.  With backup wood stove in garage on platform, and backup 5 cu. ft. electric  refer, plus coolers outside in winter, and some passive solar heat.  Climate does not need AC (8,876′ in the “Banana Belt of the Rockies”) and tire walls tend to help cool in summer and warm in winter.  House/addition R-21 walls, concrete slab floor under carpet, except kitchen and bath with linoleum on 1/2 sealed OSB glued and shot to concrete slab, R 30 ceilings, R-6 doors and R-4 double pane windows with 3/4″ double thick cleat 1×1 framed added barriers for BR windows in winter.  Earthship and other rammed earth tire walls are R-30-38,  rake and other exterior frame walls except timber frame window wall are R-26-30 and ceilings R-25-38.  280 ft. deep well with 1 hp pump (220VAC), and 425 gal. rainwater catchment tank in Earthship with purifier and 12VDC pump.

When we finally could afford it in 2009 we bought a Mercury Mariner 4WD Hybrid to complete the deep eco/off-grid independent lifestyle.  It is not totally self-sufficient, but we could last around 2 years if TSHTF.  Barter and trade, and hunting/fishing,  longer.