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

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

Post by KarmaOcean » Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:24 pm

It seems that the network of modern technology, electricity, internet, etc has joined up the world and this is really great for human communication.

Whilst shunning these benefits seems virtuous for the environment, do you think this independence would be a form of exclusion from your progress towards liberation ?

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

Post by DGA » Wed Mar 01, 2017 8:48 pm

I don't know if living off the grid is, in all instances or even most, a better choice environmentally. has anyone studied this?

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

Post by Malcolm » Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:43 pm

DGA wrote:I don't know if living off the grid is, in all instances or even most, a better choice environmentally. has anyone studied this?
Not in terms of carbon usage. Wood heat is pretty bad in terms of large particulate pollution.

A few years ago, large areas of Conneticut were left without power in the winter (Hurricane Sandy), so much so, that there were severe air pollution warnings from wood burning.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by kirtu » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:28 pm

Malcolm wrote:
DGA wrote:I don't know if living off the grid is, in all instances or even most, a better choice environmentally. has anyone studied this?
Not in terms of carbon usage. Wood heat is pretty bad in terms of large particulate pollution.
You don't have to burn wood for heat. You just have to plan ahead and use passive heating. See Earthships, although this is only one solution.

Technology makes living off the grid ecologically safe. we just have to use carbon neutral or even carbon negative design.

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

Post by DGA » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:51 am

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.

related: one of the ironies of mass-produced food production and distribution is that locally-grown produce at one's farmer's market can be more carbon intensive than, say, the produce that has been trucked in en masse from across the country. This is in part because agribusiness hires data analysts and bean counters with gimlet eyes to ensure that every square inch of a 53' refrigerated trailer is maximized.

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

Post by Rakz » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:35 am

Best thing you could do for the environment would be to stay wherever you and embrace a minimalist lifestyle. You're mind and wallet will be happier for it too.

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

Post by WendyDarling » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:59 pm

This off the grid lifestyle interests me too for it is a slower, more aware way of living where there is less waste and more do it yourself ingenuity involved. Since there are satellites everywhere, with wind turbine generated and battery stored power, internet service is available even in mountainous or desert remote areas. It's good to have some connection to civilization for news/info. and emergency usages for weather/medical. Is anyone here living a more natural existence?

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

Post by boda » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:33 am

Technology can help in living off the grid, if you don't mind living in an egg.

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https://www.ecocapsule.sk

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

Post by Kim O'Hara » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:15 am

WendyDarling wrote:This off the grid lifestyle interests me too for it is a slower, more aware way of living where there is less waste and more do it yourself ingenuity involved. Since there are satellites everywhere, with wind turbine generated and battery stored power, internet service is available even in mountainous or desert remote areas. It's good to have some connection to civilization for news/info. and emergency usages for weather/medical.
So many ways to answer your post ... :thinking:
You seem to be thinking of a self-sufficient household. If so, the technology to make it work is available and fairly well understood but still improving. The easiest option is to find a traditional farmhouse on 10 acres or so and retrofit it with solar panels (wind turbine optional), battery storage and satellite data/phone/tv etc. It should have its own water supply; if not, you will need a tank and maybe a dam or bore.
BUT be prepared for long hours growing your own food, butchering your own animals, making your own clothing and furniture, repairing your own machinery ... how independent do you want to be? What skills do you have?
AND if you can't be totally independent, you need a cash flow - working off-property for money, logging in to online work, or producing something you can sell (honey, veggies, crafts, etc).
It all adds up to a lot of work. There are good reasons poor rural people are flocking to the cities in their millions. :thinking:
Is anyone here living a more natural existence?
More natural than what?
Most people who want to make the change do end up with a compromise, because going all the way is much too hard to be attractive or even practical. So long as you plan for it, that's fine - and you can pick your levels of independence and technology.
For instance, I grew up on a farm (which is how I know how hard it is), moved to a big city, and have settled in a comfortably in-between lifestyle: small (by world standards) provincial city, traditional house with solar panels and passive solar hot water but still on the grid, growing some food but buying most of it, doing a lot of my own household maintenance but paying for anything too big or complicated ... it works for me. :smile:

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

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:39 am

It won't be long before it will be unrealistic to live on-grid.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by shaunc » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:19 pm

Grigoris wrote:It won't be long before it will be unrealistic to live on-grid.
I don't think that will happen in our lifetime.

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

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:56 pm

shaunc wrote:
Grigoris wrote:It won't be long before it will be unrealistic to live on-grid.
I don't think that will happen in our lifetime.
It is already happening in our lifetime to countless people due to poverty.
"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."
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Nicholas Weeks » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:06 pm

boda wrote:Technology can help in living off the grid, if you don't mind living in an egg.

Image
https://www.ecocapsule.sk
A tempting gizmo, but as their FAQ says:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Grigoris » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:28 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
boda wrote:Technology can help in living off the grid, if you don't mind living in an egg.

Image
https://www.ecocapsule.sk
A tempting gizmo, but as their FAQ says:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
70 friggin' K for a piece of plastic and steel that'll last a friggin' year?

Strictly for the white upwardly mobile ecologist!
"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."
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Vasana
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Vasana » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:48 pm

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 of stuff on YouTube. Both traditional homesteads and more modernized approaches.
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Re: Is living off-grid realistic in today's technological age?

Post by Norwegian » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:57 pm

Well you could go the DIY route, like Dick Proenneke did back in the days:

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Short clip, main action starts a couple minutes in. There's a part 2 on the same channel I believe, full documentary used to be on YouTube many times but due to copyright issues it's always been removed.

Anyways, no plastic to be found there.

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

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:05 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:
boda wrote:Technology can help in living off the grid, if you don't mind living in an egg.

Image
https://www.ecocapsule.sk
A tempting gizmo, but as their FAQ says:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
What the heck happens to it after a year? It starts falling apart?

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

Post by boda » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:16 pm

Grigoris wrote:
Nicholas Weeks wrote:
boda wrote:Technology can help in living off the grid, if you don't mind living in an egg.

Image
https://www.ecocapsule.sk
A tempting gizmo, but as their FAQ says:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
70 friggin' K for a piece of plastic and steel that'll last a friggin' year?
It's actually made of fiberglass and aluminum, which may explain the expiration date. Fiberglass contains formaldehyde, a toxin. The expiration date is for the occupant, not the egg.

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

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:24 pm

tomamundsen wrote:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
What the heck happens to it after a year? It starts falling apart?[/quote]

Most people seem to read it like this: you can live off-grid in it for up to a year -- then the off-griddness is no longer guaranteed.

Bloody expensive. The eco-friendliness of the materials worries me, too. A cleverly-made passive house (or its more up-to-date equivalent) would be a much better choice.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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

Post by Thomas Amundsen » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:41 am

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
tomamundsen wrote:
The Ecocapsule is designed for extended off-grid living for up to a year for 1 – 2 people.
So for a retreat or long vacation, but actual living for many years - nope, not yet.
What the heck happens to it after a year? It starts falling apart?
Most people seem to read it like this: you can live off-grid in it for up to a year -- then the off-griddness is no longer guaranteed.

Bloody expensive. The eco-friendliness of the materials worries me, too. A cleverly-made passive house (or its more up-to-date equivalent) would be a much better choice.[/quote]
Any idea what specifically breaks regarding its off grid capabilities? The unique thing about this vs a house is its mobility.

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