Get Off The Grid

Garbage warrior-Michael Reynolds
Garbage warrior-Michael Reynolds

Off-the-grid living, typically in alternative communities means living independently of council amenities such as water, electricity and providing your own power. It’s about being more self-reliant, being less dependent on the system, and providing a less toxic food supply. Anyone is able to go off-the-grid using such things as solar panels, wind turbines and techniques in rainwater harvesting. Many third world countries encourage people to help each other go off-grid in their local regions. Making accessible the latest research in various alternate energy production. These techniques need not be expensive, difficult to manufacture or maintain. Nature is the best guide it operates simply and it wastes nothing.

Typical Earth-ship Bathroom
Typical Earth-ship Bathroom

Some 750,000 households in America have gone off-the-grid, and this trend is growing at 10-15% a year, this is not confined to one country however, various communities around the World have successfully become independent. Despite, interestingly enough, Power groups like the Bilderbergers and Trilateral Commission who vie to keep the old inefficient energy systems in place to protect their investments, but the numerous off-the-grid movements sprouting up all over the planet serve as an alternative to this kind of centralized power and control.

The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national transmission grid in electricity. In electricity off-grid can be stand-alone systems (SHS) or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity. Off-grid electrification is an approach to access electricity used in countries and areas with little access to electricity, due to scattered or distant population. More and more these remote communities are turning to alternate energy means for their supply. This includes the local production of Bio-fuel, Solar power production, Mini-hydro-power and Wind power generation. An off-the-grid home may also incorporate a small animal farm,  vegetable garden, grey water, black water reclamation system and rain water harvesting.

Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A

Rain Harvesting
Rain Harvesting

true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services. The idea has been popularized and made accessible to the general public through the work and research of pioneers including Jean Pain who developed the technique of generating electricity through compost, Designer and Architect of the Earth-ship Michael Reynolds, Paul Gautschi of the Back to Eden Wood chip gardening method and survival experts Les Stroud and Cody Lundin who promote off-grid living by having constructed their own homes according to those principles and living off the land.

There are many different ways to generate energy, from simple passive solar power systems that utilize the natural path of the sun, to self perpetuating magnetic motors. Electrical power can be generated on-site with renewable energy sources such as solar, wind or geothermal; with a generator and adequate fuel reserves; or simply done without, as in Amish and Old Order Mennonite communities. Such a system is called a stand-alone power system.
On-site water sources can include a well, stream, or lake that can encompass a paddle wheel to generate electricity as well as distribute water for irrigation. Depending on the water source, this may include pumps and/or filtration. Rainwater can also be harvested with rainwater tanks, mesh screens that collect early morning dew, and natural filtration systems such as limestone.

Eco Ark Building in Taiwan is made of Recycled Plastic bottles
Eco Ark Building in Taiwan is made of Recycled Plastic bottles

Survivalism is a movement of individuals or groups called survivalists or Preppers who are actively preparing for emergencies as well as possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales ranging from local to international. Survivalists often have emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare for self-sufficiency, and build structures that will help them survive or “disappear” (e.g. a survival retreat or underground shelter). Survivalists, sometimes associated with militia groups generally distrust government authority and ‘gear-up’ in anticipation of both local and global catastrophe, some of these Anticipated disruptions include but are not restricted to the following:

Detail of Polli-Brick System
Detail of Polli-Brick System

Clusters of natural disasters, patterns of apocalyptic planetary crises, or Earth Changes (tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, blizzards, solar storms, severe thunderstorms). A disaster caused by the activities of humankind (chemical spills, release of radioactive materials, nuclear or conventional war, oppressive governments). The general collapse of society caused by the shortage or unavailability of resources such as electricity, fuel, food, or water. Financial disruption or economic collapse (caused by monetary manipulation, hyperinflation, deflation, or depression). A global pandemic. Widespread chaos or some other unexplained apocalyptic event.

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