Living Off the Grid


Living off the grid – are you up for it? It’s an extreme yet liberating lifestyle requiring complete self-reliance for water, energy and resources. Most of us probably aren’t willing to go all the way (armchair off-gridding). Even if your electricity comes from wind or solar, having internet access means you’re on a grid. Perhaps your electric car charged with solar power keeps you off petroleum, but if you drive on managed roads, you’re using the grid, too.

Few of us would ever go completely off the grid – but there are a lot of things we can do to lower our dependence on it. Dave Black’s book Living Off the Grid gives a no-nonsense overview of your off-grid options.

The book begins with a chapter on conservation, for people who are city-bound (and therefore very much grid-bound) and need ideas on how to manage their home and property in energy-efficient ways. For those who have access to land, the next chapters cover shelter, energy, water and waste management. This book is not technically dense and makes for an easy read, especially for the amateur off-gridder.

Although just about every off-grid option imaginable is explained and some basic instruction is given, you’ll need more resources to actually do any of the more complex projects. An appendix of websites will help you find the extra instruction you need. Even if you’re not planning to go all the way, consider this book a well-rounded, frank introduction to the world of self-sustained living.

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