Between solar power, wind power, high tech composting and rainwater harvesting, the toolkit for off grid living is expanding rapidly. Now an organization called Off-Grid.net offers a window into the off-grid lifestyle and a way to connect with other people who are off the grid now, who are interested in off-grid living, or who want to help others get off.
The project is called LandBuddy, a free service that networks off grid fans with information and assistance in finding suitable sites for off grid living. To meet the interest in its site (75,000 visitors monthly and growing), Off-Grid.net also offers free classifieds, and plans for video and TV are in the works.
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Sure, the concept of living without electrical, sewer and water connections conjures up images of survivalists and hippies, but on the other hand many households in the U.S. are not too far from the lifestyle. Between on site well water, septic tanks and wood stoves, many homes need little more than home-made electricity to free themselves from the grid infrastructure and still enjoy all the modern comforts of a fully hooked-up domicile. Off-Grid.net offers a heady mix of technical advice, case studies, personal anecdotes, and other information. Founder Nick Rosen has also authored a new book on the topic titled – what else – OFF THE GRID.
Everybody’s Going Off Grid
For that matter, the off grid concept, or at least parts of it, are rapidly seeping into the U.S. mainstream as more businesses, government facilities and agricultural operations discover the bottom line benefits of generating their own power. The venerable Minturn Nut Company is just one example of the application of on site solar to run a commercial operation. One major off grid pioneer is the Department of Defense, which has been working aggressively to make itself more energy-secure – and even achieve net zero status at some military bases – by installing solar arrays and taking advantage of geothermal opportunities at U.S. military bases, among many other sustainability initiatives.
Image: Off grid demo house by dominic’s pics on flickr.com.