Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Kim O'Hara » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:16 am

tomamundsen wrote:...The unique thing about this vs a house is its mobility.
Unique? When I first saw it I immediately compared it to a caravan.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by kirtu » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:43 am

DGA wrote:Most off-the-gridders live in rural areas, often remote areas. Earthships are a feature of the landscape in New Mexico, where population density is very, very low, for example. The carbon footprint of rural life is significantly higher due to an increased need for transport, for example.
Groundhouse - Earthship Brittany
Earthship Tempelhof - in a village in Baden-Wuerttemberg between Stuttgart and Nuernberg

Just two examples. Of course both sites *ARE* in the countryside.

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Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
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"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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treehuggingoctopus
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:17 am

tomamundsen wrote:Any idea what specifically breaks regarding its off grid capabilities? The unique thing about this vs a house is its mobility.
One obvious thing is the heating problem: when it comes to heating, they just cannot guarantee that the ecocapsule will turn out to be a year-round house -- all depends on the environment. But actually many more of its functions are equally susceptible to environmental conditions: its water storage capacity and its toilet composter, for instance.

Lloyd Alter adds:
I often complain about the designs of tiny homes and as we say on our about page, am partial to a modern aesthetic. But I do wonder about how this unit actually could live up to some of the designers' claims:

If offers a long off-grid stay
It brings civilization’s standards into the wilderness
It has an energy sustainable shape
It has low energy consumption
It is easily transportable around the globe
It does not require any supporting infrastructure

Everything needs supporting infrastructure; waste tanks have to be emptied, gas bottles for cooking have to be filled. Truly going off grid is hard work, a lot more than just airdropping an egg.
The rest here: http://www.treehugger.com/tiny-houses/e ... -pipe.html

It looks cool. The idea will sell for sure, too. But honestly, it is just about the worst possible way to design anything like a self-sustaining house -- such houses need to be fully integrated into their exact location, their designers/builders taking into account every little thing about that particular spot of the planet and using the most appropriate designs, materials and building methods. Ecocapsule's design philosophy is the reverse of that.
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Nemo
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Nemo » Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:37 pm

Once you get up to R40 insulation and use passive solar gain you can heat with wood ecologically again. Half a cord a year for a family of 4 in the Canadian bush. Making your own power and growing your own food is a much better idea than buying gold, diversifying your portfolio or pretending your pension will still be there when you retire.

This is not for the poor though. To do so takes a great deal of privilege in terms of intelligence, time and a way to have a modest income living far from a population centre. In many cases I find hipsters romanticizing poverty. I can live in egg cartons and have no carbon footprint because I eat garbage from dumpsters. We have created a generation whose greatest aspiration is to live in a shed.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:14 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:...The unique thing about this vs a house is its mobility.
Unique? When I first saw it I immediately compared it to a caravan.

:toilet:
Kim
Well yea. A caravan needs a hookup whereas this thing doesn't. I'm not specifically interested in buying this, but looking to see where this kind of tech goes in the future. These kinds of things might improve a lot within 10 years or less.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:03 pm

tomamundsen wrote:These kinds of things might improve a lot within 10 years or less.
I honestly do not think so -- they will not improve enough to become an actual housing option. Unless, of course, you find yourself living in the environment they are ideally suitable for and do not really intend to move.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:18 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:These kinds of things might improve a lot within 10 years or less.
I honestly do not think so -- they will not improve enough to become an actual housing option. Unless, of course, you find yourself living in the environment they are ideally suitable for and do not really intend to move.
Fair enough. I wasn't really basing my statement on anything substantial.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Grigoris » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:35 pm

I think that "the egg" is a failed attempt to combine the convenience of an inner city lifestyle and aesthetic, with off-grid living.

Consider that they seem to be selling the idea that the fracker produces water out of thin air. It doesn't. It has water collection capacity. So if you are living in an arid zone, you are going to die of thirst without access to a water source.
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"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Rakz » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:47 pm

Nemo wrote:Once you get up to R40 insulation and use passive solar gain you can heat with wood ecologically again. Half a cord a year for a family of 4 in the Canadian bush. Making your own power and growing your own food is a much better idea than buying gold, diversifying your portfolio or pretending your pension will still be there when you retire.

This is not for the poor though. To do so takes a great deal of privilege in terms of intelligence, time and a way to have a modest income living far from a population centre. In many cases I find hipsters romanticizing poverty. I can live in egg cartons and have no carbon footprint because I eat garbage from dumpsters. We have created a generation whose greatest aspiration is to live in a shed.
Without proper outdoor skills most of these privileged hipsters would be dead from either hunger or cold.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:54 pm

Cars cause a lot of pollution already in the process of being made, long before they are even driven.
I wonder how much pollution the production of such an egg causes.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:28 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:These kinds of things might improve a lot within 10 years or less.
I honestly do not think so -- they will not improve enough to become an actual housing option. Unless, of course, you find yourself living in the environment they are ideally suitable for and do not really intend to move.
Fair enough. I wasn't really basing my statement on anything substantial.
I do not really know about these things, just parroting what I have heard from the architects I have worked and become friendly with. But the civil engineers guys I talk to now and then are of the same opinion. They may well be right.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by boda » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:45 am

This house was built in 24 hours and cost 10k. Perhaps this tech could be combined with some of the ecocapsule tech. Install your own solar/wind power, furnace toilet, etc. A reliable water supply would still be a challenge though.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:50 am

An interactive worldmap of Ecovillage projects - some established and some under development.

Ecovillages around the world

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Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:29 am

Vasana wrote:Things like solar panels, D.i.Y wind turbines, batteries for storage and good permaculture know how mean that living off grid is as realistic as you're willing to commit to the lifestyle changes.

There's a bunch ofp stuff on YouTube. Both traditional homesteads and more modernized approaches.
Pardon my cynical attitude but is this saying it is possible to live off grid as long as you have money to buy the high tech gear from the on-grid people?

Mike

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Sat Mar 25, 2017 9:26 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Vasana wrote:Things like solar panels, D.i.Y wind turbines, batteries for storage and good permaculture know how mean that living off grid is as realistic as you're willing to commit to the lifestyle changes.

There's a bunch ofp stuff on YouTube. Both traditional homesteads and more modernized approaches.
Pardon my cynical attitude but is this saying it is possible to live off grid as long as you have money to buy the high tech gear from the on-grid people?

Mike
Well, Vasana did mention permaculture. But even learning the basics of permaculture involves being on-grid, of course, presently at least -- and switching to permacultural gardening is just infinitely easier when one is on-grid. The paradox of every revolution: the new is (to some extent at least) to be attained by the old within the old in terms of the old.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Grigoris » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:05 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
Vasana wrote:Things like solar panels, D.i.Y wind turbines, batteries for storage and good permaculture know how mean that living off grid is as realistic as you're willing to commit to the lifestyle changes.

There's a bunch ofp stuff on YouTube. Both traditional homesteads and more modernized approaches.
Pardon my cynical attitude but is this saying it is possible to live off grid as long as you have money to buy the high tech gear from the on-grid people?

Mike
Well, Vasana did mention permaculture. But even learning the basics of permaculture involves being on-grid, of course, presently at least -- and switching to permacultural gardening is just infinitely easier when one is on-grid. The paradox of every revolution: the new is (to some extent at least) to be attained by the old within the old in terms of the old.
Material dialectics. You can thank Marx for that one!
"My religion is not deceiving myself."
Jetsun Milarepa 1052-1135 CE

"Butchers, prostitutes, those guilty of the five most heinous crimes, outcasts, the underprivileged: all are utterly the substance of existence and nothing other than total bliss."
The Supreme Source - The Kunjed Gyalpo
The Fundamental Tantra of Dzogchen Semde

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:39 am

I guess I'm wondering what the motivation is. If it is to be more resilient in a crisis, then being off the grid one thing. If the idea is to be long-term independent of the grid then you won't have devices such as solar cells and high-tech batteries.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by binocular » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:15 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I guess I'm wondering what the motivation is. If it is to be more resilient in a crisis, then being off the grid one thing. If the idea is to be long-term independent of the grid then you won't have devices such as solar cells and high-tech batteries.
Not just a few proponents of off-the-grid living seem to be doing it primarily because it's fashionable these days, and because it seems like a lucrative enough business.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Vasana » Sat Mar 25, 2017 2:30 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:
Vasana wrote:Things like solar panels, D.i.Y wind turbines, batteries for storage and good permaculture know how mean that living off grid is as realistic as you're willing to commit to the lifestyle changes.

There's a bunch ofp stuff on YouTube. Both traditional homesteads and more modernized approaches.
Pardon my cynical attitude but is this saying it is possible to live off grid as long as you have money to buy the high tech gear from the on-grid people?

Mike


Well, Vasana did mention permaculture. But even learning the basics of permaculture involves being on-grid, of course, presently at least -- and switching to permacultural gardening is just infinitely easier when one is on-grid. The paradox of every revolution: the new is (to some extent at least) to be attained by the old within the old in terms of the old.
Yeah - existing infrastructure is used tp develop tramsformative and regenerative infrastructure. I once stayed on a permaculture farm that described it's self as around 80% self sufficient. They didn't seem too bummed about the last 20% since it's always a work in progress and an exercise in working with circumstances.

I think better than the binary off/on grid mentality is that of increasing self sufficiency and self reliance at a pace that is personally tailored . Better to live 20% self-sufficiently and improve gradually as time, knowledge and resources permit rather than not at all with an 'all or nothing' mentality.
'When alone, watch your mind. When with others, watch your speech'- Old Kadampa saying.

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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by kirtu » Sat Mar 25, 2017 8:25 pm

Ashton Hayes, not off-grid but a whole village in the UK that is carbon neutral.

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Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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