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Off grid living: The movement

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What is off grid living?

Off grid living – A lifestyle choice, which causes one to pull away from the modern, industrial manner of living by any or all of the following actions:

  • The deliberate non-use of grid power, water and/or temperature control.
  • Providing one’s own food by trade/barter with local growers/producers, or by the use of gardening, field crops, the keeping of livestock, and a general re-embrace of a simpler, homestead way of living.
  • A steady, purposeful movement toward complete sustainability of the necessities of living such as food, waste control, water, and electricity.

This life decision is usually partnered with a desire to move to a more rural location, for obvious reasons. There are many, many reasons that can move somebody to crave a more simple existence. What follows is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • A food choice; to disillusion oneself of the ‘grocery store complex’, wherein one believes, basely, that ‘food comes from the store’. It can also be an attempt to eat healthier, wiser, closer to the source and more sustainably.
  • A financial decision. The eradication of the need of grid power, water and temperature control can substantially down grade the long-term, month-to-month cost of living.
  • A religious, or spiritually belief-based result of an evaluation of the world’s current economic and social downgrade, coupled with a belief system that encourages separation and purity, to truly be ‘in the world but not of it’. Groups such as the Amish and Mennonites can serve as examples of this reason for varying stages of off-grid living.

Off grid living does not always require a move, or a lifestyle change. Sometimes it is as easy as a preference to buy local and organic produce. Or to install a composting toilet. Or to recycle. Or to simply do your laundry in the sink every once in awhile. These are not lifestyle choices, merely decisions to conserve and manage resources, to eat healthier and closer to the garden, and to be aware of your impact on the environment.

Off grid living can come softly – start a few seeds in a windowsill. Put your coffee grounds on the rosebushes. Mulch your petunias with grass clippings. Little experiments here and there with sustainability can sometimes lead to small revelations involving what it really takes to live, or how easy it is to make a difference. Maybe someday these revelations will lead to a desire to do more, to grow more, to produce more.

Off grid living is not something you just wake up one morning and do. It is a process, a thought trail, a little here and a little there. There are so many options, levels and ways to be more sustainable. There are stacks of books, forums, classes and groups dedicated to helping you with those first steps. Off grid living is now a movement in our country, a steady force of individuals and families who are simply saying no, and finding ways to do it better.

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