Skip to comments.Green living: Off the grid families pioneer sustainable energy lifestyles
Posted on 08/12/2010 3:41:46 PM PDT by posterchild
Living "off the grid" can conjure fantasies of Swiss Family Robinson-style ingenuity in paradise. Or, for those with less love of roughing it, it can simply remind them of the hardscrabble self-reliance throughout much of the developing world, where millions cook over fires, bathe in streams, and consider the glow of a bare light bulb a luxury.
In the United States, off-the-grid living without relying on government entities or utility companies to provide electricity, heat, gas, and water often is associated with gritting it out on the survivalist fringe.
But an increasing range of Americans are leading a snug, even smug, lifestyle totally or mostly unhitched from public utilities. Using nature the sun, wind, water, and the earth itself they cheaply warm and cool their homes and power everything from a blender to a giant flat-screen TV to a raging hot tub. And with the constant concern about global warming and messy dependence on fossil fuels, it's natural that growing numbers of Americans "the foot soldiers" of energy independence, as one expert calls them would begin taking steps to untether themselves from the grid.
For Wayah Hall, going off the grid in a cabin 26 miles from downtown Asheville, N.C., was a way to live in harmony with nature and avoid reliance on electricity that comes from the region's coal-burning power plant that pumps smog into the famous Blue Ridge Mountains haze.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
i think the reason people scoop all the dog crap in little plastic bags off the sidewalks of this city is ‘cause they use it to make little fires to cook soup and stuff at home.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Pleeeezzzz....He’s living in the woods...Obviously doesn’t have a job...or a family.....or responsibilities. He’s a friggin’ hermit...
One can live off grid and have all the modern comforts. This article makes it sound like some kind of sacrifice.
How clean-burning is the wood?
This enviro cr** added $100,000 to the cost of his house. Dumb and dumber. Pssssst...He’s got a cell phone. Read the article...You’ll like what these folks do for a living!!
If he want’s to spend his own money I’ll be glad he’s doing it if it reduces the tech costs in the future.
‘splains it all.
“Most clean-energy experts don’t see off-grid living as the solution to the nation’s energy crisis. “
Experts don’t like it when ya can’t meter it. LOL
He’s doing it for the ‘universe.’ When a black hole consumes the matter that used to be the earth the universe will be glad that a minor oxidation reaction didn’t take place prematurely a few billion years prior.
I’m going off the grid.
I just installed a 47KW diesel generator.
“How clean-burning is the wood?”
Burning wood produces all natural substances, all of which are beneficial to the environment.
I like the idea of living off the grid, but not for ‘environmental’ reasons. I also like growing some of my own food and doing my own house repairs and doing a few other things that are transactions not taxed.
“powered with electricity that comes exclusively from solar panels mounted on a wagon that they wheel around the property to catch the best rays.”
This is “high tech” at its best.
Now that's more like it. Plus you can start a small co-op with that kind of power.
Running the economy on alternative energy is like running on fairy dust. As if by magic everything will be all right.
If enough people were to do this, the gov’t would find a way to tax it. Look at your utility bills closely; it’s a great place to hide taxes.
From the article..."waterless composting toilets built decoratively out of tree stumps mean they don't need a sewer system."
His toilet is a hole in the ground, or should I say...a hole in stumps.
I remember outhouses, they stink, they are unsanitary, and I don't want one.
The eco-freaks think going backwards is progress.
None of them produce anything. None of these people could earn a living if it were not for our post-industrial economy and accumulated wealth (which I fear won't last long.)
They had one of those holes in a State Park. You could feel the bacteria level in the place. It was horrid. I went outside and puked after.
It works now, but wait until they trip on the cord and break the panels...
These people seriously need to read a book called “Trees”. It tells about the time on earth when people starting settling in this country. Their so called vegetation and trees made it near impossible to live. It was depressing; it made people sick due to no light.
Don’t let them con you here.
screw the green I want to KEEP MY GREEN.
Solar panels should get the same protection as digital dishes. No local law or association is allowed to ban or prohibit them.
I would love to see an affordable solar tile system.
Dams where old mills once were powered with hydroelectric power still remain, the mills long closed even demolished, but many dams still remain no longer serving their original purpose. The historical habitat of 12 species of diadromous fish were intersected by these dams- 65% of dams have now been removed in Maine, or slated for removal.
Many American families do live off the grid "for fun" every summer--it's called camping out!....and that is where the s'more was invented!!
Who is getting conned?
I believe going Number 2 is illegal in Asheville.
I know of some folks living off-grid and they didn’t get sucked into this enviro-nonsense in the process. This article doesn’t give a realistic image of what living off-grid is all about.
Burning wood produces a lot of the same emissions as does burning coal in a coal fired power plant. SOx, NOx, ash, soot.
Don't get me wrong, I like burning wood and coal powered electricity. But it bothers me when these eco-freaks want to regulate coal and oil out of existence and then think we can all start cutting down trees for our own heat.
If we did that, the US would be bare of trees pretty quickly. It was a real problem in areas with no coal back in the steam engine days.
Horse shit......Asheville has been a refuge for Mother Earthers for at least 50 years. Artists flock there to starve together in celebration of their lack of the skills to be part of the work force.
You betcha!! We live in the south, but have heated with wood for 25 years now. Most of the time, not too cold, but some years we get to 15 degrees and for us that is cold.
That all depends on.....
.....How you define "all the modern comforts"
.....How much money you want to spend on alternative electricity generation and storage
.....How much wood you want to burn for heat and cooking (better not catch you cutting it with a fossil fueled chain saw).
.....How much you enjoy sitting in the dark.
.....How small your house is and how well insulated it is.
.....How much money you have to buy special DC powered appliances.
It depends on a lot of things. Mostly it is a balance between primitive living and money.
I live off the grid.
This is NOT my Winnebago, but it is the same year, make, model. Notice that when the guy starts the engine the second time it’s still in drive. It can start in drive. I did that by accident and it took off without me. I ran to the front and put my hand on the brake pedal, got thrown forward, and put out my shoulder. I’ve been very careful since then. I love my Winnebago. I don’t have a generator, and my engine is a 440. It runs beautifully.
“If we did that, the US would be bare of trees pretty quickly.”
A popular misconception!
Cutting more trees down would make our densely overgrown forests much healthier. there is not likely any chance that we could even keep up with the growth rate of our forests.
The whole East Coast used to be covered in trees.
Years ago when I was in home construction, a couple was building a new home. They dug a water well about 50' from their house before the house was completed. The drill stem fell about 75' when it hit a cavern.
The temp of the air inside the shaft stayed between 68 and 72 year round. They piped that air into their house and the utility company wanted to know why their bills were less than $10 per month.
Nothing wrong with making sure they weren't stealing electricity.
“wood-burning stoves heat the cabins”
But they claim to be happy not be using coal fired electricity.
Eff this nonsense.
Build more nukes, also the smaller nieghborhood nukes as well.
Power should be cheap and plentiful in this nation.
The so called “green” movement has neutered us! And we chose it!
Total crap. The Lake Julian steam station was converted to a scrubber stack years ago.
Alternative energy is receiving huge subsidies from rate payers and taxpayers. Even with enormous subsidies alternative energy solutions are still expensive and often unreliable. If you are not connected to the grid, alternative energy generation may be a better alternative than grid connection.
Living off the grid may work for rural locations and hard core enviros but the ideas will not scale for large populations. It is a retreat to the past with a much lower standard of survival.
if you have to ask; you have no business posting this thread.
I hear you. The utility company could not believe they had year round AC / heat from and underground cavern. I think that house is still heated and cooled from that cavern. Believe me, it does need a dehumidifier.
I do have to ask as I don’t see the con. Before you revoke my posting privileges please use your psychic abilities and superior knowledge to tell me what it is.
That’s what I thought. You are the one making accusations; not me.
Most of the country is covered with trees, more than we could ever burn, except for the forest fires that are enabled by not thinning the forests.