off grid communities

Going off the grid: Why more people are choosing to live life unplugged

For people who want to get away from today’s consumerist society, living off-grid can be an attractive option.

Imagine living off the land, producing your own food and energy and getting away from the consumption economy that drives so many of our decisions. For more and more people, off-grid living has become the way to go. Although statistics on Americans who choose to take this route are hard to come by, trends suggest that the number is increasing. Some people do it to be self-reliant or more in touch with nature. Many go off-grid to step away from society. Still others do it because it is the most financially viable option available to them.

“Going off the grid is not a game,” says Nick Rosen, founder of the Off-Grid website and author of “Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America” (Penguin Books). “It is real life and a real choice for real people.”

Rosen says people go off the grid for a variety of reasons, and they vary how deeply they go off-grid. “You can’t get off all of the grids all the time,” he says. “It’s a question of which grids you choose to get off of and in what way and for how long.” Some people live off the grid part of the year for leisure purposes, taking a few months off from their jobs so they can live in a more relaxed manner. Others get themselves off the public electrical or water systems but still participate in what Rosen calls the “car grid” or the “supermarket grid” or “bank grid.”

Off-grid is green
Book cover for Off the Grid by Nick RosenAlthough a desire to go green isn’t usually the primary driver for people going off-grid, the lifestyle has many environmental benefits. For one thing, most off-grid homes or communities are in places where nature plays an important part of their everyday lives. “You become much more aware of the sun and the wind because you need it to power yourself,” Rosen says. For another, people who are living off-grid do not tend to fill their lives with the same amount of stuff as your average consumer. “We’re all consuming too much. One of the big motivations for off-grid living is a weariness of the consumer society. It’s not necessarily anti-consumer, but post-consumer.”

Off-grid homes also eschew the American tendency toward overly large residences. “We’re over-housing ourselves,” Rosen says. “That’s been very big feature of American society since the ‘50s: The overly large house with the big heating and cooling bills, storing vast amounts of unnecessary possessions.” Although off-grid housing varies in size and scope and energy needs, Rosen estimates that the average off-grid residence uses about 20 percent of the energy consumed by a typical American home.

Another green factor is a lowered reliance on transportation. Although people living off the grid still own vehicles, they use them much less frequently. “You may only need it once a week or once a month,” Rosen says.

Other motivations: Fear and finances
Some off-grid people do it to get away. “Perhaps the biggest motivation at the moment is a loss of trust in the government and the ability of social networks to look after us,” Rosen says. These are people who feel as if society no longer provides the sense of safety that they require.

For others, going off-grid is an economic necessity brought about by hard times. “A lot of the people I met when I was traveling around the States writing my book were people who had to hand back the keys to their properties and find a new lifestyle. In one case they bought some land on eBay and moved themselves into a trailer. And they find themselves living a more ecological lifestyle just by the fact that they’re generating their own electricity and growing their own food, but they were motivated by financial matters rather than by more pure desire to tread more lightly on the planet.”

How much do you really need?
Rosen says most families could go off the grid with as little as a half an acre, “as long as it’s the right half-acre.” Ideal locations would have some woodland, an area for agriculture, enough light for solar power and a good source of water, either a well or a stream. “The era of 40 acres and a mule has been replaced by the era of a half an acre and a laptop and a solar panel,” he says.

But even a half an acre can be a lot of work — too much for most people, Rosen says. “You’re giving yourself a lot to do if you’re running your own power plant, dealing with your own water supply, disposing of your own waste and pulling your own food.”

Instead of going it alone, many people form off-grid communities. “The best way to get off-grid is to go off with others in a group of families, so each have half an acre and share resources and skills,” Rosen says. “One is tending livestock and one is growing vegetables, while a third is looking after the power supply for everybody else.”

The next generation?
Going off the grid today doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel. “The existence of the Internet that has made living off the grid a real choice and a real possibility for so many people,” Rosen says. Websites like his own provide lessons and plans and advice for off-grid living, as well as a sense of community for people who might otherwise be physically isolated from each other.

In addition, some off-the-grid communities are ready for new people to join them. “There’s a huge generation of 1970s back-to-the-land movement people who are now getting pretty old and they’re sitting on these huge tracks of land that can’t be broken up,” Rosen says. These communities are looking for young people to buy their way in. “The idea of land trusts is being used as a way these older people can get some new residents to help look after them and then work on the land or take over part of the land as the older generation dies out.”

Rosen says his own ambition is to create an off-grid village of 300 or so homes in his native England, provided he can find a local zoning board willing to allow it. “I think there’s a huge demand for off-grid living that can’t be satisfied because the places where you’d want to live off the grid are the places you can’t get permission to do so,” he says.

Written by: John Platt

terrasunshine  asked:

primitive skills question: I want to take wilderness survival courses but holy gods they're so expensive!! do you have any recommendations on books that can teach me the theories? also, do you know how you would go about finding legally if it's okay to light primitive fires in your backyard? thank you so much!!

Woohoo! This is exactly the kind of question I love getting. And bear with me because this warrants something of a long answer, as I think it’s important for folks to know more about (that’s also why I’m answering this here instead of making it part of the Secret Side Blog Patreon thing). 

To start: I’m located in the Pacific Northwest, so most of the locations I’ll be talking about are also based around this region. However, you can still apply the notions to other areas of the USA, and use some of the following links to get connected with people in the wilderness skills and primitive survival industries; I’m sure that many would be happy to help folks find programs closer to home!

If you want to get involved with primitive skills in a hands-on capacity, nothing beats learning from those with experience. There are good books on the subject, and YouTube is a wealth of information, as well! But if you’ve got the time for taking courses, you may also have the time to do a work away or WWOOF with farms that have a specific focus in this particular field. 

Prime example: We attend Okanogan Barter Faire each year with our friends from the Wilderbabes primitive school in Washington State. They offer classes for all age groups, but also have programs available for folks who wish to live and stay on the property in exchange for manual labor. You get to learn new skills, help out around the farm, and they provide room and board. Katie is fantastic (and totally adorable), so if you’re in the area and have the time, jump contact her ASAP! 

Another option which does admittedly cost money, but which is still far less expensive than taking full immersion classes, is to attend primitive skills festivals and gatherings. In Oregon, our most well-known event is called Echoes in Time. My partner, Danny, has attended two years in a row now and always returns with a wealth of information! His specific focus is always medicinal plants and wild harvesting, but last year, he took a class from friends of ours who build primitive longbows. Here’s a website which lists all similar events across the country! 

Going back to the Workaway suggestion, I found multiple awesome opportunities around the world by using the keyword “wilderness” for search results. Everything from building off-grid communities in Switzerland to helping restore historic hunting lodges in Quebec. These Workaway experiences are fantastic ways to get hands-on experience while also travelling the world and learning how to exist outside your daily bubble. We even have a Workaway program for the Mini-Farm, but the space is currently occupied, and likely will be until we finalize our move. 

WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) is a cool program that’s similar to Workaway, except that it puts a focus on organic farming. Danny just spent three months WOOFFing at different establishments across the West Coast, and previously spent half a year in Australia doing the same. While organic farming isn’t quite the same thing as wilderness survival or primitive skills, elements of the latter certainly play heavily into the experience of WWOOFing. Some farms teach tanning, firebuilding, primitive shelters, and offer basic courses on wilderness first aid. It’s another great way to get out there and experience new things while remaining relatively low-cost. 

Lastly, in regards to building backyard fires - Each city likely has a different ordinance in regards to this topic. Ours, for example, doesn’t allow people to burn anything outside of certain times of the year unless we’re outside of city limits, at which point it’s dependent upon county regulations instead. Your best bet would be contact your local city hall and try to get in contact with someone who has the pertinent information. 

Hope this helps! 

Sleep On the Floor

A/N: Request for anon. Juice imagine based on the song “Sleep On the Floor” by The Lumineers. In season seven, after Juice confesses to Nero, except he didn’t try to OD.

“We gotta go.” Juice said, walking into your bedroom.
“Club in lockdown or something, babe?” You asked, watching as he frantically pulled out his backpack.
He didn’t reply, just grabbed the absolute necessities from his draws and the bathroom.
“Juice, if we gotta go to the clubhouse, it’s fi-.”
“You need to get your toothbrush, that shirt you like, whatever you’re going to need. Just pack. We gotta go.”
You walked over to Juice, gently grabbing his arm, turning him to face you.
“Juan Carlos, I don’t care the reason for suddenly having to up and leave in the night, but I do need to know why you won’t tell me that this is just a routine lockdown.”
Juice sighed, and you could see the exhaustion on his face.
“I messed up. Jax wants me dead, thinks I’m a rat. Remember when I went to Diosa the other day, for club stuff?” Juice waited for you to respond.
“Yeah, I remember, you had to go see Nero about some things.”
“I spilled. Told him about Darvany. Jax knows, and if we don’t leave now, I’m dead. I don’t know what he’ll do to you, so I want you to come with me.”
You nodded, stepping away slowly, beginning to collect your things.
“I’m… I’m so sorry, that I brought this on you.”
“No, Juice. This is on Jax. And if we gotta run, then that’s what we’ll do.”
“What money do you have? I have a little, but most of mine is tied up in Clear Passages.”
“We’ll get as far as we can tonight, I’ll take out my savings in the morning. I got some cash here as well, we can use that.”
A small, weak smile flashed on Juice’s face, and he turned to finish his packing.

You took your car, aiming to get as far away from Charming as you could that night before you needed sleep. The plan was to get there, sleep, wake early, get your money and then find another car and head back in the direction you came, bypassing Charming and driving until it was safe.
You knew the dangers of club life, and you knew how dangerous Jax had become. But what you believed in the most was Juice’s innocence. 
Glancing over at Juice, his face was set in deep concentration, one hand on the wheel and one on the gear stick.
Reaching over, you covered his hand with your own. It broke him out of his revery, and he smiled at you, being the most at ease that he’d been in a long time.
“It’s all gonna work out. We’ll get safe, and we’ll start over.” You reassured him, as you settled into the cheap motel room.
Panic set in on Juice, and he slumped down to the floor, tears welling in his eyes.
“I can’t die, I don’t want to die. I didn’t do anything he didn’t ask.”
Sitting next to him, you eased his head into your lap, stroking your nails over his scalp.
“Baby, I don’t care if I gotta sleep on the floor in the shittiest motels, or if I gotta live in a cave until all this blows over.”
Juice left out a huffed chuckled, and you felt his tears spill onto your leg.
“You and I are gonna get out of this.”
After a little while, Juice had calmed, and he sat up. He looked around the room, and you wondered what he was thinking.
“You know how you said you’d sleep on the floor?”
You nodded.
“Looks like we’re gonna have to. I can see mould on the bed and on the roof.”
You looked around, noticing the fungus that was spreading from the corner of the ceiling. Investigating the bed, you saw the mould on the blankets and the sheets.
“Next time, we choose a motel based on cleanliness, not value for money.” You joked.
You had a picnic rug and a small blanket in the trunk of your car, and you laid the rug on the floor, rolling the blanket up as a makeshift pillow. Laying down together, you were entangled, legs and arms wrapped around each other.
Juice started to laugh quietly, turning his face into the blanket to muffle the growing noise.
“What are you laughing at?” You asked, amused.
“I just can’t believe we are actually sleeping on the floor, running for our lives.”
You began to giggle, laughing and wincing as the hard floor dug into your body.
“I think we had too much sugar.” You said, glancing over at the wastebasket full of wrappers and cans you’d scavenged for the vending machines in the hallway.
You both laughed until you’d settled, Juice edging back over to you, stroking your hair like you had done for him.
“I love you. I’m so thankful that I have you with me. You don’t deserve this, but thank you.”
“I love you. I meant what I said. I’d go anywhere with you.”


5 years later

You and Juice had made it away from Charming and The Sons, and you’d been able to work and find a place semi-off grid. There was a community that you had been introduced to by your neighbour when you’d first arrived in Canada.
They were fans of the minimalist lifestyle, and after many conversations, you had both decided that it was the lifestyle that suited you best.
Your set up was basic, as you had just gotten started, but you were already both in love with being self-sufficient. You had started a small vegetable patch, and you lived near a town that you frequented for everything you couldn’t make or grow yourself.
It didn’t matter that your house was small, it didn’t matter that Netflix cut out more often that worked, and most nights you sat by the fire, talking about what you would do next. All that mattered was that The Sons hadn’t found you, and you were happy.
When you felt like things were too good to be true, you’d both lie on the floor, blanket rolled up underneath your heads. Looking around your home, you reminisced about that first night in the motel room, and how far you’d come since then.
There were no regrets, you were thankful. Juice’s mental health had improved dramatically, and you were so glad to be out of Charming and away from danger.

Tagged: @codenamekaraortiz @chaosmieu @soaimagines @a-daydreamers-stories @marvelatbarnes @dolphingoddess81 @khyharah @mrstellerwinston @lilthingforhiddles @my-bitch-the-tacoma-killer @homicidalteenagedream @keithmoonmoon slytherinxgryffindor321 


The Next Exclusive ComiXology Originals Digital Series

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New York, NY—December 13, 2017— Marvel Entertainment and comiXology, Amazon’s premier digital comic shopping & reading service, debut the next exclusive comiXology Originals digital comic series Black Panther: Long Live The King, a 6-issue bi-weekly series written by Nnedi Okorafor, winner of the World Fantasy, Hugo, and Nebula Awards (Binti, Who Fears Death), and illustrated by Andre Araujo (Spidey, The Wicked + Divine).

Black Panther is on sale now for $2.99 on comiXology and Kindle as part of the comiXology Originals line of exclusive digital content and available to current subscribers of the popular comiXology Unlimited service. New subscribers to comiXology Unlimited can also enjoy it for free as part of their 30-day free trial. Black Panther joins The Immortal Iron Fists and Thor Vs. Hulk: Champions of the Universe, as well as the recently announced The Avengers with more exclusive Marvel series to be announced.

“I had a lot of questions about Wakanda, so I brought the lens deep into it,” says Nnedi Okorafor. “You’ll see the Black Panther interacting with tech-hacking village kids, vibranium-affected wildlife, and off-grid communities in Wakanda known as “mute zones”. Not only is this a deeply personal story about T'Challa, you’ll also see a side of the African country of Wakanda that no one’s seen before. Oh and there’s a mysterious monster in the countryside causing problems for everyone.”

Keep reading

Whether architecture is beautiful or not, if it doesn’t take care of itself and the people in it, it’s as bad as a sinking ship

Michael Reynolds


As a kid, I remember being fascinated by a picture in an old National Geographic of eco-architect Michael Reynolds building a house out of soft drink cans and cement. This documentary follows his efforts to create a sustainable off-grid community, largely from recycled materials, and the incumbent battles with New Mexican government officials opposed to his unconventional approach. It also documents Reynolds’ successful use of sustainable building techniques to provide post-tsunami shelter in Indonesia.

after initially living in the city and then moving to an off-the-grid farming community in the middle of the jungle, i realized how little we need as humans to exist and thrive. but i’ve also realized how much i miss the city. the community. the people. the resources. i don’t think that living in the city without the experience i’ve gained here in the jungle would have prepared me nearly enough for the life i want to live; this experience in the jungle, while temporary, has provided me with invaluable experience and training that i hope i can bring to the urban jungle, so to speak. i am grateful for this experience as it has expanded me in more ways that i would have thought possible, and now it is my mission to bring what i have learned to the world around me, reconnecting people with their food. 

Activity- Worldbuilding! Here’s what ive built on it so far:

“A small, off the grid desert community, based on places like ‘Slab City’, set in something like Arizona.

Comprised of several small families or gangs, only just on the cusp of developing a structure; leaders are only just beginning to step up outside their gangs, community values are only just taking shape in the form of teamwork to stop the outside world invading. The closest ‘civilization’ is a roadhouse 6k in one direction and an established backwater town 6k in the other, residents from Cholla Junction will do basic shopping and stock water here.

Most residents earn money in illegal pursuits, many (such as the lead character) are bikers. The rules are usually simple but vary from gang to gang, don’t murder within the Junctions boundaries, don’t snitch, don’t clash with another gangs ‘enterprises’.

La Pain herself has taken a little too well to the lifestyle; a clear outsider in the beginning, she overcompensated for this by putting forth her most violent and reprehensible qualities, still keeping her somewhat alienated, as most in the Junction are actually quite level-headed. Luckily for her, they tolerate these qualities because of her size, her patient gang members/begrudging friends keeping her in check, her non-threatening appearance, and ability to get things done. Eats lizards and bugs even though there are plenty of other food sources available.”

beauty-with-n  asked:

I was considering doing something with finance as a career..what exactly are you going to do as an accountant? Just wondering..

Be a CPA - make a bunch of money - quit -  buy a bunch of land - start an off the grid community where the homeless and others who wish to live off the grid can thrive and feel like they are a part of something that matters.

*puts my phone on airplane mode so no one can reach me and I can have blessed off-the-grid time to commune with myself and nature like my ancestors*

*takes my phone off airplane mode every 15 minutes to see if someone has tried to reach me*